CvC: Made In USA, The Greatest Women's Champion Is Debra Miceli
So many great women have graced the world of professional wrestling. These women were journeymen in the ring as well as warriors. They were as tough as nails and tough as the men themselves.
They let their dominance be heard with vicious shrieks that instantly caused intimidation, and the presence never went unnoticed with their stunning radiance. Some of these women were stars, few were superstars, and only one was the best.
How can one pinpoint the best there is with so many promotions spanning across the world?
Women were as tough as they come in France's Queens of Chaos, simply excellent in the African Wrestling Association, and flat out fantastic in Japanese promotions, but the one that stood out was made in the USA.
The epic journey for Debra Miceli in 1980's as Madusa, which was short for Made in USA is would be one of great proportion. She was born in Italy and raised in Minnesota in foster homes.
When she became fond of wrestling, she began working every chance she could working in the independent circuit in 1984. A woman with dreams to make it in the wrestling world began her quest in the American Wrestling Association (AWA).
It would be in that very promotion where Madusa would earn her first women's championship in December of 1987 in the prominent gambling and partying city Las Vegas. The great Sherri Martel was the last AWA Women's champion and vacated the title as she departed to a fast growing World Wrestling Federation.
Madusa got her chance at the gold against Candi Devine, who she defeated in Las Vegas, Nevada six months after the title was vacated to become champion. Madusa held the title for nearly an entire year, but lost the title to another legendary woman wrestler in the form of Wendi Wetcher.
There were only nine women who ever won the AWA Women's championship as the title only had little over a three decade run from 1960 to 1991 when the AWA shut down altogether. Who knew that a simple title reign would be the inception of a remarkable career?
Miceli's career grew wings and soared to new heights the following year as she became the first woman to ever be awarded Rookie of The Year by Pro Wrestling Illustrated. The evolution in her career called for new environments and progression to stardom.
Changes in her careers included a big decision by being the first foreign wrestler to sign with All Japan's Pro Women Wrestling. Success wouldn't leave Madusa's side Kumamoto as she earned her first of two IWA Women's championships during her stint in Japan. Miceli honed her wrestling abilities while overseas and decided to add more styles to her arsenal.
She trained and learned the styles of boxing, kickboxing, and Muay Thai. She even took the time to learn the Japanese language and used her wrestling abilities to choreograph her own scene in the Street Fighter II film.
The milestones kept rolling in as Madusa also became the first non-Japanese wrestler to sign a three year deal with All Japan's Pro Women Wrestling. She also competed in a hair vs. hair mixed tag match with the great Cactus Jack, also known as Mick Foley.
From there she moved on to World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in short three year stint where a majority was spent as the manager of Rick Rude and part of the Dangerous Alliance.
During 1993 Madusa had also wrestled for International World Class Championship wrestling. The promotion only lasted a decade and only had five women champions, Madusa being one of them.
Miceli's career would take new heights yet again as she saw her last days as Made in USA upon entering the World Wrestling Federation under the ring name that she's at times more prominently known by, Alundra Blayze.
Miceli had been Madusa in the AWA, All Japan Pro Women's Wrestling, IWCCW, and WCW, but now she was the elegant and fierce Blayze. The year was still 1993 and the WWF Women's championship had been vacated for three years since 1990. Blayze won a six women tournament to and became WWF Women's champion.
Blayze went on and defeat Lalani Kai at Wrestlemania X. Her string of successful title defenses also included one on Monday Night RAW against Luna Vachon. Following her win, she wanted better competition to match up with the array of styles she possessed from Japan.
The company brought in Bull Nakano from Japan to feud with her. The two women would have a bitter rivalry that resulted in the end Nakano earning a shot at Blayze's women's championship at the 1994 Summerslam.
Nakano was defeated, but the feud went on.
Alundra Blayze's reign would last through the rest of the summer and most of the fall before Nakano ultimately defeated her in Japan in November of 1994. She regained the title in spring of the next year on Monday Night RAW once again pinning Nakano.
Blayze triumphed emerging victorious in the feud, but a new one was formed following an attack by Bertha Faye who attacked her after she defeated Nakano. Blazye lost the belt at Summerslam to Faye, but regained it two months later in October to earn her third and final WWF Women championship.
She was stripped shortly after as she once again jumped ship to rival promotion WCW for a second stint where she would end her wrestling career. Miceli had seen her last days in the WWF, but she was still Made in USA upon her return to WCW. Instead of two years she spent her last six there.
Madusa was back and she was back with a sting. She jumped ship during the Monday Night Wars, a vital and epic period in WWE/F and WCW wrestling as well as wrestling in the USA. Madusa appeared on Monday Night Nitro with the WWF Women's championship only to throw it in a trash can in an attempt to add fuel to fire and spice up the war, the idea was concocted by the mastermind WCW booker Eric Bischoff.
Bull Nakano would be brought in to WCW to once again feud with Miceli, the only difference was wrestling under Madusa instead. The feud didn't take long to heat up as Nakano's motorcycle was destroyed by Madusa following a match between the two. The two would meet up again at Clash of the Champions 1996.
Madusa went on to battle for the right to be crown the first WCW Women's champion but failed after losing to Arika Hokuto at Starrcade. She took a hiatus from the company after the Great American Bash and returned almost three years in 1999.
She returned as part of Randy Savage's Team Madness. That stint didn't last too long and even had a period where Diamond Dallas Page was her manager.
The great Madusa was more than just a striker, she had an arsenal of suplexes and kicks that were stunning as herself which also included one mean German suplex.
Already a proven women's champion and hungry competitor, Madusa set her eyes on the WCW World Heavyweight championship. She attempted to enter tournaments and earn contention, but nothing ever came of it. She turned into a manager for Karagias, the WCW Cruiserweight champion.
Madusa later went on to defeat him at Starrcade 1999 becoming the first female WCW Cruiserweight champion. Made in USA was made again after pulling off the huge feat. Towards the end of her career she had a short feud with Torrie Wilson and trained upcoming women wrestlers like Molly Holly.
Miceli finally decided to hang up her boots in 2001 when Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation purchased WCW thus ending the Monday Night Wars and the end of her career. Miceli had disputes with McMahon and decided not to rejoin the WWE as she believed women's wrestling would never be the same again and would be more focused on appeal than actual wrestling.
She was right.
Debra Miceli wanted nothing more than to wrestle and her list of milestones and achievements manifest her passion for professional wrestling. She hopped around to numerous promotions during her career in hopes of learning new techniques, expanding her wrestling abilities and arsenal, and to taste different environments.
Her dedication to wrestling took her career down many paths including the big decision to go Japan, which helped pave the way for other wrestlers and link the bridge between Western and Eastern world wrestling.
The world would see the last of Madusa in the ring but the ring great found other ways to dub herself a women's champion, one of which came in the form of monster truck racing. She raced during her wrestling career and continued after retirement.
She proved monster trucks to be more than a hobby for her as she won numerous monster truck freestyles. Miceli was also the 2004 co-champion at the 2004 Monster Jam World Finals for freestyle. She won the world racing title the next year in the Monster Jam World Finals being the only woman to make it that far that year.
Debra Miceli was much more than Madusa and Alundra Blayze, she was a women's champion. She wasn't only a women's champion in the wrestling ring, but in monster truck competition as well.
Her contributions speak for themselves as she didn't have to hold the NWA or any women's title for many years to be a well respected and prominent wrestler.
Whether it was the ring, the gym, or the dirt Miceli was a women's champion. Her successful tenure in the world of professional wrestling over the years put together a unique and unmatchable career as one of the greatest, most talented, radiant women wrestlers and personalities today.
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