Wrestler of the Day – December 17: Madusa

Today is one of the most dominant female wrestlers in American history: Madusa.

Madusa got her start in the AWA in the late 80s, including this match at SuperClash III.

Badd Company/Madusa Micelli vs. Wendi Richter/Top Guns

Ok quick recap here. Richter was the second biggest face in the WWF regardless of gender but left because of various issues. She recently beat Madusa for the AWA Women’s Title. Badd Company, the AWA tag champions, are more famous as Tanaka and Kato (Paul Diamond here, minus the mask) of the Orient Express in the WWF a few years later. All titles are on the line here as per the usual stipulations. The Top Guns are Derrick Dukes and Ricky Rice, both of whom suck. They’re the faces here. Oh and Badd Company/Madusa have none other than Diamond Dallas Page as their manager.

Richter gets a huge pop so Page, with hair longer than Shawn Michaels in 96, makes fun of Richter for getting a fluke win for the title and introduces his own team. Everything goes insane at first and genders have to match in this one. The good guys clear the ring and the Top Guns hit a double back elbow on Tanaka. Mike Enos, a future kind of star in the AWA and the guy that was in the ring when Hall jumped the guardrail in 1996, is the referee for some reason. He’s not a known wrestler yet but that’s him.

Ok now we’re down to sanity with Tanaka and Dukes in there. Dukes really likes to work on the arm. Long headlock goes on as the girls yell at each other. Dukes hits a dropkick and let’s try that headlock again. Diamond comes in and actually doesn’t get destroyed as Dukes plays face in peril for a bit. Diamond misses a charge in the corner and it’s off to the girls. They do the usual girls in the 80s stuff here that isn’t all that interesting or, you know, good. Everything breaks down again and Tanaka accidently kicks Madusa so Richter can pin her.

Rating: D+. Another pointless match here as they just did their thing for awhile and the guys meant nothing. I don’t think Rice was ever even in the match. The girls didn’t mean anything at this point but then again they didn’t for a long time. This went nowhere at all and was way too short to be anything of note.

Off to WCW now just after being fired from the Dangerous Alliance by chauvinist. From Clash of the Champions XXI.

Paul E. Dangerously vs. Madusa

This has a five minute time limit. Paul wears headgear on for the match. Madusa charges into the ring and gets blasted with Paul’s phone off camera, knocking her out cold. Dangerously says he wants what everyone else in the locker room has gotten: a kiss from Madusa. He bends down to her but Madusa’s hair falls off, revealing Mike Thor from earlier. Madusa sneaks in behind him and kicks Paul in the back of the head.

A slam puts Paul down again and he tries to run. Madusa throws him back in but gets tripped up by Hayes. We’re under two minutes to go and Paul poses over her. A top rope ax handle has no effect on Madusa and she dropkicks him down. Madusa rips his clothes off and Paul runs away as time expires.

Rating: D-. This was a bad execution of a decent idea. The Mike Thor stuff didn’t really do anything other than eat up time and the match didn’t make Madusa look tough as much as it made Paul look inept. I see no reason not to have Madusa get a pin here and the humiliation route didn’t do much. This was also Paul’s last appearance in WCW as a contract dispute sent him running off to Philadelphia and ECW.

Madusa would head to the WWF as Alundra Blayze, the face of the newly resurrected women’s division. Here she is at Wrestlemania X, defending the Women’s Title she won back in December.

Women’s Title: Lelani Kai vs. Alundra Blayze

Kai was at the first Wrestlemania if that tells you anything. Blayze is the new champion after the belt was resurrected for no apparent reason. Kai, a Hawaiian/something else hybrid, runs Blayze over but gets caught in a sunset flip a few seconds later for two. Lelani comes back with a chokebomb for no cover but a bad splash gets two.

The champ comes back with a hurricanrana before there was a name for such a thing in America. Either way it gets two and we head to the floor. That goes nowhere so Kai hits a butterfly suplex for two. Blayze comes back with some basic strikes and some hair drags for two each. Alundra hits her bridging German suplex to retain a few seconds later.

Rating: D. Was there a point to this? I didn’t think so either so let’s see what was stupid about it. First of all, the “division” had two regulars in it: Blayze and a Japanese monster named Bull Nakano. Based on that, it’s pretty clear why the division was done in just a few months, not to be mentioned again for about four years.

Here’s another title match from later in the year at Summerslam 1994.

Women’s Title: Bull Nakano vs. Alundra Blayze

Nakano, the challenger, is a Japanese monster and has Luna Vachon in her corner. A quick clothesline and a hair drag put Blayze down as Nakano looks strong early. We hit a chinlock less than two minutes in but Blayze gets her feet on the ropes. A spin kick puts Nakano down for a few seconds but she comes back with a choke to take over again. Off to a modified Boston Crab as Nakano is destroying the champion so far.

Blayze FINALLY makes the rope but Nakano pounds her right back down like she’s not even there. Bull starts a Sharpshooter but after turning Blayze over (Nakano doesn’t step over) she reaches down and pulls her up by the arms in a PAINFUL looking hold. Blayze finally gets an arm free to grab a rope but almost immediately Nakano has a modified cross armbreaker on the champion. Alundra FINALLY comes back with a hair takedown but Bull is easily out at two. Bull easily counters a powerbomb attempt and drops a knee for two, only to miss her guillotine legdrop finisher. Blayze hooks a quick German suplex to retain.

Rating: C. This was an interesting match but it was hard to get into at times. Nakano was a monster who destroyed Blayze for about eight minutes and then Alundra got a quick suplex for the pin in fifteen seconds. Bull would win the title in a few months in Japan in a near masterpiece.

The “division” continued to struggle with this new challenger at Summerslam 1995.

Women’s Title: Bertha Faye vs. Alundra Blayze

Blayze is defending and Faye is this rather frumpy fat chick designed to be disturbing. She also has Harvey Whippelman with him as her worshiping admirer. Alundra fires off some quickly kicks to start and the 280lb or so Faye runs her over in response. A bad looking hair pull sends Blayze down and some legdrops get two. Bertha misses a middle rope splash and a victory roll gets two for the champion. Three clotheslines get no count for Alundra as Harvey has the referee. Some middle rope dropkicks stagger Bertha but she avoids a third before hitting a Batista Bomb for the title.

Rating: F. See, Faye was fat and that’s the extent of her character. The title would literally be trashed on Nitro in a few months in the right ending for it. Nothing else to say here.

Now we hit the joshi stuff at Survivor Series 1995.

Team Bertha Faye vs. Team Alundra Blayze

Bertha Faye, Aja Kong, Tomoko Watanabe, Lioness Asuka

Alundra Blayze, Kyoko Inoue, Sakie Hasegawa, Chaparita Asari

Let me make this clear for those of you that feel the need to educate me every time there is a Japanese wrestler in a match: I do not care about Japanese wrestling. If I did, I would watch it. I also do not care about women’s wrestling. If I did, I would watch more of it. Therefore, do me a favor and save your history lessons about these girls because I have almost no idea which is which, nor do I particularly care. I’m not saying they’re not talented and that they haven’t had some great matches. I’m saying I do not care about them, nor do I want to learn about them.

Bertha is a fat and not incredibly attractive woman and is Blayze’s main rival for Blayze’s Women’s Title. She tells the fans to shut up in an attempt to get people interested in this match. Asari and Asuka start things off with Asuka kicking her head off with a spinwheel kick. At least I think that’s what happened because we’re getting a wide shot of the arena for the opening bell. Asari, a member of the face team, stands about 4’9 and is a tiny thing whereas Asuka looks like a monster.

Off to Blayze who is more Asuka’s size for a slam on the Lioness. Back to Asari who debuts the Sky Twister Press (a corkscrew moonsault) in America. Asuka doesn’t sell it but you can’t ask everything of her. Vince has no idea what to call it but JR is there to clean up for him. Blayze comes back in and hits a German suplex to eliminate Asuka. Good now I don’t have to keep track of two girls with similar names.

Watanabe comes in but misses a dive. Blayze sends her to the floor and does hit her dive to take over. Hasegawa comes in and hits five rolling double underhook suplexes on Watanabe as Perfect makes sexist remarks. Watanabe hits a seated senton off the top for two as this selling thing is still an issue. Aja Kong, a total monster, comes in with no tag and is immediately kicked in the face and suplexed by Hasegawa. Another Rock Bottom suplex puts her down but Hasegawa jumps into a kick to the chest. Something like a belly to back suplex eliminates Hasegawa to make it 3-3.

Asari comes in and is quickly dispatched by a middle rope splash. If you can’t see the ending of this match coming, you fail your exam. Blayze comes in but tags out almost immediately to Inoue. Inoue looks like a cross between a Rocker and the Ultimate Warrior. By the time I finish typing that, a seated senton eliminates her. Kong put out three girls in about 90 seconds.

So it’s Blayze vs. Faye, Kong and Watanabe. All three get in the ring at once but it winds up being Watanabe who is legal. A snap suplex gets two for the champion and a slow motion piledriver gets the pin and the elimination for Blayze. Faye comes in and after some basic shots to Blayze, Faye gets caught in a German suplex to make it one on one. Kong hits a superplex for two and she crushes Blayze in the corner for a bit. Alundra hits a bad rana for two and a standing moonsault for the same. Blayze goes up but gets headbutted down and the spinning backfist gets the pin for Kong.

Rating: C+. The match was fun stuff considering it only had ten minutes to get through seven eliminations. Kong would have been a great challenger for Blayze, if the division had stayed around. Blayze would show up on Nitro in about a month and throw the WWF Women’s Title (and her career too) in the trash. Fun match but too rushed to mean anything.

While still champion, Madusa would famously head to WCW and trash the title, at least partially setting the stage for Montreal. She would however wrestle in WCW a bit, including this match on Nitro, January 29, 1996.

Madusa vs. Sister Sherri

Madusa kills her to start. Sherri has a surprisingly nice figure. Eric talks about Madusa throwing the WWF Women’s Title in the trash which I think she regrets now. After a quick beating Sherri gets a shot in and goes up, but Madusa slams her off the top. In an ending I haven’t seen before that I remember, Sherri holds on and rolls through into a small package for the pin. Madusa kills her afterwards. No rating as this wasn’t even two minutes long.

Somehow this led to Madusa facing Colonel Parker at Uncensored 1996. There’s some other stuff in there about a wedding and Sherri taking a bump on the head but I’ll let you fill in the details.

Colonel Parker vs. Madusa

The story here is about as complicated as you can think of. Sherri had gotten hit on the head and decided she was in love with Parker. They kissed at Fall Brawl so he decided he wanted to marry her. They had the wedding and for reasons that were never explained, Madusa jumped out of a trailer and broke it up. That leads to this, which is man vs. woman, yet I’ve never heard of another woman named Colonel Robert Parker before.

That’s clearly the less masculine of the two here though. Before this starts though, Heenan and Tony get into this STUPID argument with insults that aren’t funny and wouldn’t be funny in 6th grade. After some brief predictions, we get to the match. Bobby is clad in leather for some odd reason. He suggests buying off Madusa here with credit cards and flowers. Oh thank goodness for Bobby Heenan.

We get a WWF reference as this is just a bit after she dropped the women’s title in the garbage which inadvertently led to Montreal. Parker is just stupid looking here, wearing a white suit. Madusa was more or less the only American women’s wrestler worth anything that anyone could stand the sight of for a good many years, but Sable was on the rise and it would be a few years before this indy chick named Amy Dumas came up.

Trish was probably in high school at this time. Madusa is supposed to be sexy I think, but she’s just not as she’s more masculine than Parker. Naturally she’s a black belt also as all women wrestlers apparently are. After the bell we get a lock up.

We’ll move on with the match in just a moment, but first, this pearl of insight from Dusty: “HE LOCKED UP WITH HER! HE LOCKED UP WITH HER! WHAT THE HECK??? HE LOCKED UP WITH HER! SOMEBODY GET MY MEDICINE!” This is going to be a really long night. What in the heck am I watching??? The fans are about as one sided as you could possibly believe.

After an Airplane Spin that brought on some of the highest pitched screams that I can ever remember, she reverses into a sunset flip for a HUGE pop. I mean that was loud. She slams him and Dusty needs new pants I think. Not due to an issue or anything, but the 12 cheeseburgers he’s had during this match made him go up a size.

Heenan continues to crack me up by saying the closest thing he’s ever seen to this is one night when Gene got home late and his old lady backdropped him. Would anyone else be far more interested in a reality show of Gene and Bobby wandering around to various places and having stupid misadventures? Dick Slater, who was somehow married to Madusa at the time keeps him from running. Dang you Slater.

Madusa actually wasn’t that bad in the ring. She gets her signature German suplex, and actually gets a decent one all things considered, but Slater hooks her foot and Parker falls on her for the pin. That was…yeah.

Rating: D. That’s because she looked ok and to be fair, she was asked to do a lot out there and while it sucked beyond belief, she worked very hard so I’ll give her points for that. This made less than zero sense though and I have no idea what this was supposed to be other than a really bad comedy bit. It lasted about 4 minutes though, and that’s too long. My head is starting to throb from this show.

Back to Nitro on July 15, 1996.

Madusa vs. Malia Hosaka

They would have these random matches in WCW at times with the women and this is one of them. Madusa would have a destroy the Harley match with Bull Nakano at Hog Wild. Malia uses a lot of kicks because she’s Japanese I guess. Larry goes all sexist on the women, talking about how if you can find a woman that will keep quiet, marry her. Madusa gets taken over by her hair a bunch of times and we hit the chinlock. The American fires off some kicks to take over but gets caught in a Boston Crab. Some kind of backsplash misses but Madusa misses a dropkick also. And never mind as the American hits a German on the Japanese for the pin.

Rating: C-. Eh really just a way to advance the Madusa vs. Nakano match at the PPV which is fine. Madusa and the women never really got a proper push in WCW as they were brought in like twice a year and that’s about it. There was even a Women’s Cruiserweight Title for like a month. Either way this was nothing but wasn’t that bad.

Here’s a rematch with an old rival at Clash of the Champions XXXIII.

Madusa vs. Bull Nakano

Madusa would wind up feuding with Colonel Parker over the spring before feuding with Nakano, her old rival from the WWF. Some chops have little effect on the monster Nakano and she avoids a dropkick. Nakano throws Madusa around by the hair and then does it again for good measure. Some nunchucks to the ribs have Madusa in even more trouble but she comes back with a running hair takedown. Nakano gets dropkicked off the middle rope and Madusa takes out Sonny Onoo (manager of all evil Japanese wrestlers). Sonny misses a kick of his own, allowing Madusa to get a rollup for a quick pin.

WCW felt the need to have a Women’s Title of their own, setting up this match at Starrcade 1996.

Women’s Title: Akira Hokuto vs. Madusa

This is a tournament final for a title that no one wanted in the first place. WCW had a working relationship with a Japanese women’s promotion called GAEA and five of the seven women in the tournament were from that company. The “division” was so weak that one woman wrestled twice in the tournament under two different names. Madusa has been around in wrestling for years but is most famous for dropping the WWF Women’s Title in the trash live on Nitro, burning every bridge she could have in the WWF. Hokuto is with Sonny Onoo and her husband Kensuke Sasaki.

The title wouldn’t mean anything (being defended maybe three times ever in America) so we’ll move on to something more important from Slamboree 1997.

Madusa vs. Luna Vachon

This is the fallout from last month. Luna is billed from the Other Side of Darkness. Lee Marshall is brought in as a women’s wrestling expert here. Luna takes her down to start and chokes a lot. Madusa tries to throw punches but gets beaten down again. Marshall talks about Martina Navartilova as Madusa kicks Luna’s head off with a SWEET spin kick. Luna comes back with a stomach claw which that schnook Marshall calls scandalous. Madusa hits something like a Stinger Splash and screams a lot. Clothesline gets two. Luna manages a thumb in the eye, misses a top rope splash, and gets German suplexed for the pin.

Rating: D-. Nothing at all to see here as neither girl cared and none of the fans cared either. Bad match and there was nothing going on. The division didn’t exist but we got this stuff every now and then so that WCW could claim they had women’s wrestlers. Bad match but Madusa is kind of cute at times.

From the next month at Great American Bash 1997 with one of those title match things.

Women’s Title: Akira Hokuto vs. Madusa

Title vs. career here. We actually get a Candy Devine reference as WOMEN’S WRESTLING EXPERT Lee Marshall talks about his AWA days. Hokuto starts in control and sends Madusa across the ring by the hair. She chokes Madusa in the corner and then in the middle of the ring. Total squash so far. Off to a chinlock less than two minutes in. A piledriver kills Madusa even further but she comes back with a reverse mat slam to take over.

There are a pair of dropkicks which gets two. Marshall is talking about something called Johnny Taco’s Gym in Las Vegas. Hokuto comes back with choking and a slam/suplex kind of move. More choking follows and Hokuto shrugs off a kick to the head. A modified suplex sets up a figure four attempt but Madusa gets to the rope.

Madusa comes back with a spin kick to the chest and a series of kicks to the ribs. A small package gets two for the champion. Madusa comes off the top with an ax handle but blows her knee out in the process. Marshall again talks about AWA women’s wrestling and an old injury from ten years ago. Modified surfboard works on the knee some more as this match is better than most of the others on the show so far.

Now it’s up to a full surfboard and Madusa is in trouble. That gets released because it’s a very hard hold to keep up and Hokuto goes up. Madusa comes back with a Stratusphere and the suplex but the cover is delayed so it only gets two. Another German suplex attempt is countered into a leg bar.

One of the things you don’t see very much in this company in this era is time between moves. It’s just going from one move to another which takes a lot of getting used to. The leg bar stays on for awhile and is followed by a guillotine legdrop attempt but Madusa moves out of the way. German Suplex gets two and it’s back to the knee. A top rope splash hits knees but Madusa can’t do anything because of the knee. A Snow Plow by Hokuto ends this. The retirement of course didn’t last.

Rating: C-. This was the best match of the night probably other than the opener but that’s not saying much. Just boring overall but the story of the knee injury helped a lot. At the end of the day though, who cares about the women’s division in this era anyway? This is the end of the Women’s Title anyway.

With Madusa being taken to the back and with her career being over, Gene pops up to say that her career is toast and puts a mic in her face. The fans chant LEAVE HER ALONE. This was a dick move even for Gene.

Madusa would disappear for awhile before coming back as part of Team Madness in 1999. From Nitro, May 17, 1999.

Charles Robinson/Ric Flair vs. Madusa/Randy Savage

Savage says Flair and Robinson will pay for injuring George’s knee. Robinson struts a bit before locking up with Madusa. She easily takes over with an armdrag and leg sweep, drawing in the big guys to stare at each other. Robinson actually springboards off the middle rope into an armdrag to take her down but Madusa takes his head off with a forearm.

Off to Savage vs. Flair for the biggest reaction of the night so far. I mean it even beats Evan Karagias’s pop. Savage hammers away in the corner but Flair kicks him in the knee and tags in Robinson. This goes as well as you would expect with Robinson being thrown across the ring and then getting beaten up by Madusa. A kneeling piledriver (a tombstone but with Robinson facing the crowd) puts him down again and it’s off to Flair. Madusa takes him down and rides him around the ring, only to get belly to backed down.

Ric goes after the leg but gets small packaged for two. Another belly to back sets up the Figure Four but Savage comes in to break it up. The distraction lets Madusa hit Flair low and bring in Savage to clean house. Big and Little Naitch get slammed off the top rope and Madusa beats up Ric on the floor. Randy goes up and drops the elbow on Robinson, cracking some of Charles’ vertebrae and collapsing his lung in the process, for the pin.

Rating: D. Remember at Slamboree where George and Robinson tried really hard and had a watchable match? Well this was nothing like that. There were a lot of botches and near botches with Savage’s actually causing a bad injury. The springboard armdrag does make things a little bit better though. I mean, IT’S CHARLES ROBINSON DOING A SPRINGBOARD ARMDRAG.

And then against one of the most bizarrely perfect named opponents ever on Nitro, July 26, 1999.

Patty Stone Grinder vs. Madusa

Stone Grinder is former WWF Women’s Champion Lelani Kai as a biker. Hervey spends the entrances bragging about being a network actor, making him better than Arliss. Patty jumps Madusa as she gets in the ring and chokes her with a chain. Some bad looking knees have Madusa in trouble as Hudson runs down upcoming Nitro dates. Patty drops her with a butterfly suplex but Madusa comes back with a clothesline to knock Grinder to the floor for a big dive. Back in and the German suplex ends Patty to end the Wrestlemania X rematch.

Rating: D. You know, I had a big rant set up about how this is the best WCW can do to compete with the WWF’s women’s division, but then I realized that Fabulous Moolah was about three months away from winning the title again. However, that at least had some nostalgia and charm to it. This was Madusa beating up whatever relic WCW could find who could work a passable match. It’s really all the proof you need that they didn’t care about this division and just put it together for the sake of saying they had one. To be fair though, that’s basically what WWF did with the light heavyweight division around this time.

We’ll wrap it up with this, ahem, questionable choice at Starrcade 1999.

Cruiserweight Title: Madusa vs. Evan Karagias

Evan is a generic pretty boy wrestler and is defending. These two used to be a couple but have since split over the title. Madusa jumps him on the way to the ring and sends him into the steps to take over. Evan can’t bring himself to hit her but then he punches her down anyway. What drama indeed as the reaction from the fans (or lack thereof) can tell you. A slam puts Madusa down but Karagias misses a moonsault (which would have missed even if she hadn’t rolled away) and Madusa hits (kind of) a middle rope dropkick for no cover.

She goes up again, only to be slammed down by Karagias. They trade powerbombs (Tony on Madusa’s: “that was almost like a powerbomb!”) followed by a neckbreaker from Evan. The fans rightly think this is boring as Evan dives on Madusa on the floor. Cue Evan’s chick Spice to turn on him with a low blow, allowing Madusa to German suplex Karagias down for the title. Did I mention that Spice and Evan hooked up on Monday, making this turn completely pointless?

Rating: F. Madusa is one of those very annoying female wrestlers who is supposed to be interesting because she’s a female wrestler, but at the end of the day she just isn’t entertaining. Karagias was as generic of a wrestler as you could get, making this to be absolutely terrible and sloppy on top of that.

Madusa may not measure up to Trish or Lita in the standards of what we consider a Diva today, but she was one of the first, for lack of a better term, modern female wrestlers. She certainly had personality and could do some good stuff in the ring, but she was much more of a pioneer than a big deal of her own.

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