Inducted by JCool
“In a world full of butterflies, it takes balls to be a caterpillar.”
Surrounded by professional wrestlers, Luna became enamored with the squared circle from an early age. Her aunt Vivian Vachon, the Queen of Wrestling was an AWA champion and even starred in a 1973 film called “Queen of Wrestling” She became Luna’s inspiration along with her uncle “Mad Dog” Vachon. In fact, she damaged her vocal cords trying to imitate him, which is why her raspy voice stood out amongst her peers. It was genuine.
Luna trained under the Fabulous Moolah in the early 1980s and wrestled in Florida and Memphis before gaining experience internationally in Japan, Puerto Rico and Canada. She would wrestle and manage in those federations. This experience would set her apart from many of her peers, in North America, and it made her an asset to promotions who were trying to maintain or start up women’s divisions. Luna was a self-motivated woman. She wanted to be seen as a top talent, she wanted to be a champion, and she wanted to give everything she had to entertain the fans.
In 1993, she joined Jerry Lawler’s new promotion, USWA, and defeated Jacqueline Moore to become the USWA Women’s Champion. From that success, she made the jump to WWF who were re-launching their own Women’s Division. For Luna, this was a natural progression, for a woman as talented as she.
Her willingness to embrace a persona, a punk rock one, with mohawk, chains and dark makeup, helped her to stand out, but it wasn’t always appreciated by her promoters. It seems that, for the WWF, her unique character would be what prevented her from championship gold. She played an excellent foil for women like Alundra Blayze, Sable, and Ivory. Those stars benefitted from looking different from Luna, more conventionally beautiful. Luna struggled with that and became frustrated with being passed over time after time.
In 2008, Luna said in an interview with “On The Mat”, This is the sport of kings and gentlemen. It’s not the sport of bimbos and boob jobs. So if you can’t wrestle, you ought to keep your (bleeping) ass out of the ring.”
Seeing that the Women’s Division was going to continue in praising looks over talent, it eventually led her to leave WWF in 2000. but they also benefitted from Luna’s passion for wrestling, and her experience. She made her opponents look great and made it easy for fans to know who to cheer and who to boo. I believe that a character like Luna would have found a more prominent role, and likely some championship gold, in recent years. Looking at wrestlers like Daffney and Rosemary, or Ruby Riott (now Ruby Soho) Luna can be seen as a prototype for the feature roles those ladies have earned. Even Hall of Famer Lita has acknowledged the influence Luna had on her. It allowed Lita to envision herself bringing her personality into the ring, that she could be talented, beautiful and bad-ass, and not fit the conventional look of other females. In fact, that’s a lot of the reason why Lita was so successful when paired against her main rival, Trish Stratus.
Despite wrestling in an era where her abilities may not have been appreciated as much at the time, looking back on her career, Luna held a feature role wherever she went. Her appearances at Wrestlemania IX and X, working mixed-tags, are the grittier forerunner to the Mania mixed-tags of this era. Her work in ECW saw her continuing to excel as a manager, this time to Tommy Dreamer, where she was unafraid and seemed to relish interfering and brawling with her male counterparts. This would even lead to a cage match against Stevie Richards at ECW HeatWave 1995, which further bolstered the iconic Dreamer/Raven feud. She was willing to get bloodied and beaten, though she would win the match with a move Mick Foley would allude to later in his career, the “testicular claw”.
Her biggest moment, one she would admit to in numerous interviews, though, was at Wrestlemania XIV when she, along with Goldust, would face Sable and Marc Mero. Sable had become WWF’s biggest female draw, despite not really being trained in the wrestling ring. Luna was a professional through the entire feud, though unafraid to share her feelings on her inexperienced foe. She put in the time to ensure Sable would understand her role and wouldn’t get legitimately hurt through the match, all the while enduring threats from management.
In every successful team, you have the role players, those who shoulder the load more in practice than they do in the game. In the few minutes of gametime they have, they are asked to be great. In a way, the pressure on those players to perform is weighted more heavily because they don’t have the same leeway of a starter who can have a bad game, and know they’ll get another chance next game. Luna Vachon was one of those role players, at a time when women’s wrestling was not portrayed as competitively and equally to the men as it is today. She brought credibility to her feuds. She scared little children (myself included). She was an effective manager, using her gravelly voice and willingness to embrace the odd (even being joined with the Oddities near the end of her WWF run). She was a true star of the squared circle and a look through her career will make it quite clear just how much of a pioneer she is for women’s wrestling.
Congratulations to Luna Vachon for being voted, by wrestling fans around the world, into the LOP/WH Hall of Fame!
- USWA Women’s Champion
- AWF Women’s Champion
- Appearances at WrestleMania IX, X and XIV
- 2nd ever female wrestler to be ranked on Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s top 500 list, at #306 in 1995.
- 2019 WWE Hall of Fame Inductee
- 2020 Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductee
Lords of Pain.net/Wrestling Headlines.com welcomes Luna Vachon into the Hall of Fame class of 2022.
Related Links: Full Coverage of the 2019 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony 4/6/19
LOP/WH Hall of Fame Class of 2020- Madusa