As one of the newest members here at WNW, I will be honest, despite how others may feel about this larger than life persona – I am pleased to present to you the reasons why Madusa deserves this honor, and why her rich history both in and out of the WWE make her a perfect inductee for the class of 2015.
Debra Miceli began her career in this sport during the late seventies through the eighties, and garnered many titles throughout this time period, from the American Wrestling Association Women Title belt division to the the International Wrestling Association belt, among others.
But, what defined her in these early years was not how many titles she won; but rather who she faced. And why does this matter? Because this was a time period where Kayfabe was very much alive, and well and even her name held significance, this was a woman who as a wrestler worked abroad and proudly proclaimed she was made in the USA; hence her stage name at the start of her career that would go on to prove that America had talent and strength in its women wrestling divisions across the country; no matter what the Association or Division in question.
So well known for her theatrics and strengths, she even was the only known member of the Dangerous Alliance as the valet to Rick Rude. Now during this time in wrestling history, people did not have the same level of access to information that we do today, so selling a stable of wrestlers to a crowd, whether in the WCW or WWF (WWE) was that much more important in order to make the artistry of this sport believable and relatable to crowds and fans as a whole, and I think she was successful at this for three main reasons:
1) She wrestled both in the USA and internationally: the first match that I saw as I typed in her name on YouTube was that of herself and Japanese wrestler Bull Nakano in defense of the WWF woman's title in 1994 at the All Japanese Wrestling Circuit. The first thing that caught my attention was without question the entrance of Blayze (formerly Madusa before being drafted into the WWE). It was loud, proud, patriotic and the motorcycles spoke better than any manager could've. Further as I watched these two women pay respect to the culture and each other before this seminal match; I could not help but notice one defining characteristic of the inductee: the sheer will in her eye. Did she win? In that case no. But there is a long history between those two alone, and if you want a good quality product of this industry look no further than that. Also, of note she did retake the title from Nakano in April the following year of 1995.
2) She managed Curt Hennig – According to my online research, early on in her career, in the eighties, she helped manage a current inductee whose son, Curtis Axel is being featured today. Even in today's society wherein we have a global community, there are disparities between genders from hiring practices to wage gaps. How much harder do you think it might've been for her in the early to mid eighties to make an impact in wrestling, much less manage someone else? Answer: Not a task for the faint at heart and yet she blazed through that as easily as some now break the glass ceiling of inequality in the workforce and beyond.
3) She knew how to sell a gimmick – Everyone in this business and community of the IWC knows of Monday Night Wars between WCW and the then WWF. Further, the garbage stunt with the title given to her by the WWF and summarily disposed of on WCW Nitro to quote Paul Heyman: "Completely changed the perception of women in this industry to this very day."
So what do you do when you have a dynamic force that set the stage ablaze and ignited the passions of Divas we know today? Well, for someone who knew how to perform in and out of the ring, and set the tone of the future; you do the smart thing, and the right thing. You induct that person into the WWE Hall of Fame and set an example for Divas to follow in future.