WWE announced on Monday that women from Raw, SmackDown LIVE, and NXT will face-off in the first-ever Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans, Louisiana. This announcement did not come without controversy as WWE’s decision to honor The Fabulous Moolah garnered significant backlash among fans on social media due to her reputation.
While Moolah, a WWE Hall of Famer, is best known for her time in the company during the 1980s and “Attitude Era,” she was also a prominent trainer and promoter in women’s professional wrestling. Over the years, several female wrestlers have accused her of financial and sexual exploitation (those accusations are detailed here). She also played a prominent role in “The Original Screwjob” of Wendi Richter and has been accused of sabotaging the careers of other female wrestlers.
Due to the amount of backlash, WWE announced Thursday that the match will be called the ‘WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal.’ Shortly after the announcement was made, Stephanie McMahon tweeted the following:
Thank you @WWEUniverse for using your voice. What remains most important is that the “@WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal” will be a historic match and is part of @WWE’s unwavering commitment to our Women’s Division. #WomensEvolution #ChangeTheName
— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) March 15, 2018
PWInsider caught up with Stephanie at yesterday’s WrestleMania 35 press conference and asked her about the controversy.
She said, “I love that the WWE audience expressed their opinions, whether they are positive or negative. I think that it is our responsibility to listen to our audience and do our best to give them what they want. Clearly, they did not want to name the Women’s Battle Royal after The Fabulous Moolah. We were really proud that they spoke up and we were really happy to make that change.”
On the possibility of branding the match after another former talent, McMahon noted, “For right now, we are sticking with the Wrestlemania Battle Royal Branding.”