Before there was Daffney, Nikki Cross, Rosemary, Asuka, Mariah Moreno, Tracy Wayne Gacy, Ember Moon, or Shelly Martinez there was Luna Vachon who, with her style and larger-than-life personality, was one of the first true “characters” of modern women’s wrestling. This week Throwback Thursday on WrestlingDVDNetwork.com celebrates what would have been the 54th birthday of Gertrude Elizabeth “Luna” Vachon by looking back at ten of Luna’s most memorable matches (and a few overlooked gems) found in the vault of the WWE Network
The daughter of wrestling legends Paul “Butcher” Vachon (and niece of “Mad Dog” Vachon and Vivian Vachon), Luna began training at the age of 16 with Vivian and then Fabulous Moola, debuting at the age of 21 in 1983.
Luna’s first success in the business came in Championship Wrestling from Florida where she debuted as “Trudy Herd”, a scene that can be seen here, Kevin Sullivan’s attack on “Trudy” drove her mad. When she resurfaced it was as “Luna Vachon”, member of the Army of Darkness and one half of the Daughters of Darkness with The Lock. A fan of her uncle, Luna blended many of the “Mad Dog” traits, most notably the gravely voice, into the new gimmick.
— “10-Woman Battle Royal” (WATCH – 1:45:57)
Special Guest Referee: Stu Voigt
1) Joyce Grable, 2) Kat LeRoux, 3) Leona Vachon, 4) Rose Devine, 5) Taylor Thomas, 6) Despina Montega, 7) Misty Blue Simmes, 8) Sherri Martel, 9) Debbie Combs, & 10) AWA World Women’s Champion Candy Devine
AWA WrestleRock ’86 ♦ April 20, 1986
There may be no better example of just how unique and ahead of her time Luna Vachon was than this match from WrestleRock ’86. In an era where the difference between a heel and a babyface in ladies wrestling was a bad attitude and a disregard for the rules, there were virtually no “characters”. In a ring full of some of the greatest ladies wrestlers in the country, Luna steals the match by simply being herself, exposing ladies wrestling of the day (and those booking it) for the bland, outdated attraction that it was.
— “Mixed Tag Team Grudge Match” (WATCH – 38:10)
Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon vs. Doink & Dink the Clowns
WWF WrestleMania X ♦ March 20, 1994
In 1992, while in Puerto Rico, Luna was trying to get David Heath, Luna’s future-husband, signed to the WWF when they took an interest in her instead. Unable to locate Luna the WWF hired a P.I. who tracked her down in Florida. This match (rushed due to time) was the high-water mark of Luna’s first run in the WWF and an overlooked instance of Luna’s ability to make the best of a bad situation.
— Tag Team Match (WATCH – 32:01)
Bull Nakano & Luna Vachon vs. Heidi Lee Morgan & WWF Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze
WWF Monday Night RAW #80 ♦ October 3, 1994 (TAPED: September 26, 1994)
Part of the ongoing Blayze/Nakano feud, this ladies tag team match is impressive for its time. Madusa and Luna Vachon first worked together in the AWA at a time when Luna, admittedly, wasn’t ready to hang with Miceli. By 1994 both women were widely considered to be two of the very best ladies wrestlers in the world. Though Luna and Blayze worked numerous house shows in 1994 they only worked one televised match (Superstars on July 9, 1994, a series currently unavailable on the Network) for the Women’s Championship.
— ECW World Tag Team Championship – “Mixed Tag Team Match” (WATCH – 51:45)
Tommy Dreamer & Luna Vachon vs. Raven & Stevie Richards(c)
ECW Hardcore Heaven ’95 ♦ July 1, 1995
After leaving the WWF Luna landed in ECW as Tommy Dreamer’s partner in Dreamer’s ongoing war with Raven and Stevie Richards, debuting May 6, 1995 after the conclusion of yet another Raven victory over Dreamer. An example of Luna’s ability to work any style with any opponent, this match, while not a true classic, is an overlooked gem in the career of Luna Vachon. Luna’s favorite match, a steel cage showdown with Richards at Heatwave ’95, is currently unavailable on the Network.
— “Grudge Match” (WATCH – 22:59)
Luna Vachon vs. Madusa
WCW Slamboree ’97 ♦ May 18, 1997
This match marked the one and only American televised match between these two in WCW. Though this is a very good match, the two would have a better match on German TV (WCW Take Over ’97) on June 21, 1997 that can be found here. Given the roster of talent and its potential, WCW’s women’s division was one of the biggest blunders of the nWo era. With all the hype and story going in to this match virtually nothing came of it for either woman or the division, and it stands as a lost opportunity.
— “Mixed Tag Team Match” (WATCH – 44:52)
The Artist Formely Known as Goldust & Luna vs. “Marvelous” Marc Mero & Sable
WWF WrestleMania XIV ♦ March 29, 1998
Luna returned to the WWF on the November 24, 1997 edition of RAW as Goldust’s “nurse” (21:11), spraying alcohol in Vader’s eyes. Before long Goldust was “SableDust”, part of Marc Mero’s attempt to degrade and humiliate Sable, until Mero grew jealous of Goldust for trying to protect Sable from Luna, who by this time was hellbent on destroying Sable. The clever heel/face dynamics, combined with a red hot Boston crowd and solid booking, make this the best mixed tag match in WrestleMania history, largely due of the work Luna had done with Sable in the weeks leading up to the event to make the newcomer look like gold.
— WWF Women’s Championship – “Strap Match” (WATCH – 47:53)
Special Guest Ring Announcer & Commentator: Shane McMahon
Luna vs. Sable(c)
WWF Royal Rumble 1999 ♦ January 24, 1999
By this point in 1999 the heat between Sable and Luna was nearing the breaking point. Prior to WrestleMania XIV Luna had been working with Sable on protecting herself in the ring until Sable found out she was going to be the Women’s Champion. Sable told Luna that she didn’t have to learn to take bumps, offending the old-school Luna who had dreamed of being the Women’s Champion since the age of 3. According to Luna, Sable was supposed to drop the title to her on at least three different occasions but managed to get out of it every time. This match, while not a classic, is an example of Luna’s professionalism and skill in making the inexperienced Sable look like a top talent.
— WWF Women’s Championship – “Hardcore Match” (WATCH – 1:01:47)
Luna vs. Ivory(c)
WWF Unforgiven 1999 ♦ September 26, 1999
Luna and Ivory had been at each other’s throats since SummerSlam ’99 when Luna returned and attacked Ivory after her successful title defense against Tori. This was only the second “hardcore” women’s match in the WWF to this point, taking place less than three weeks after the first between Women’s Champion Ivory and Tori on the September 6, 1999 edition of RAW. This match is a lot of fun for what it is and again shows the versatility of Luna and her psychology, stalking Ivory like the psycho killer from a slasher flick.
— WWF Women’s Championship – “Hardcore Triple Threat Match” (WATCH – 41:57)
Jacqueline vs. Luna vs. Ivory(c)
WWF SmackDown! #13 ♦ November 18, 1999 (TAPED: November 16, 1999)
Luna was beginning to transition away from the Women’s title picture and into a feud with Jacqueline, whom Luna called one of the toughest women she’d ever met in the business, at the time of this match. Another fun brawl, this sees all three ladies getting into the act, producing a ladies street fight for the ages (despite the lackluster finish) that takes the WCW bathroom brawls to new heights.
— “Mixed Tag Team Match” (WATCH – 54:47)
Gangrel & Luna vs. Prince Albert & WWF Women’s Champion Jacqueline
WWF SmackDown! ♦ February 10, 2000 (TAPED: February 8, 2000)
Luna’s last match in the WWF was a long time coming. On top of issues with Sable, Luna was uncomfortable with the heavy sexual content of the women’s division of the “Attitude Era” and the lack of respect given to old school ladies wrestlers. This brief match was designed to carry the Jacqueline/Luna story forward but instead marked the end of Luna Vachon in the WWF and, in turn, the national scene.
Luna would continue to manage Gangrel away from WWF, even wrestling her husband in a “black wedding” match on World Wrestling All-Stars’ (WWA) first PPV, Inception, until their divorce in 2006. In 2007 Luna debuted for Dave Herro’s Great Lakes Championship Wrestling (GLCW), becoming the promotions first Ladies Champion on June 9, 2007. Back problems, however, forced Luna into retirement. Luna Vachon wrestled her last match on December 7, 2007, successfully defending the GLCW Ladies Championship against TNA Knockout Traci Brooks.
In April 2009 Luna Vachon was awarded the “Women’s Wrestling Award” during the Cauliflower Alley Club reunion. In August 2010 Mick Foley lobbied for Luna to manage Tommy Dreamer at TNA’s Hardcore Justice PPV in Dreamer’s “final showdown” match with Raven, which Luna turned down. On August 27, 2010, less than three weeks after Hardcore Justice, Luna Vachon passed away at the age of 48.
To say that Luna Vachon changed wrestling is an understatement. Like Madusa and the late Sherri Martel, Luna Vachon’s impact on the business is still being felt today in the “women’s revolution”. Luna Vachon loved pro wrestling, gave her life to the sport, and was old-school to the bone. Here’s hoping, someday, Luna Vachon gets the WWE Hall of Fame honors she so richly deserves.
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Thanks for reading – until next week, see ya at ringside!
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