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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
A Bad Week to be an Anti-Diva: Serena Fired, Luna Dead
August 28, 2010

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OOWrestling.com

 

I wasn't expecting to have to write anything this weekend, but hey, guess what? Another wrestling death means another wrestling obit by The Me. And since it sorta corresponds a little bit with another news story from the past week, here I am, trying to tie two unfortunate tales together in such a way that at least you have something to distract yourself from the absolutely saddest and most soul crushing story of the day.
 

By which I mean: Glenn Beck's WrongFest 2010, currently taking place in Washington and attempting to guide America back to the heady days of "Monty Python and the Holy Grain," when everybody believed in the literal truth of the bible, and where everybody also had the Plague and the equivalent of a 3rd grade education, all while inbred grandfathered-in retards told them what to do.
 
But I digress... I understand it's not nice to use the "R-word" in reference to Sarah Palin. If only she -- in her infiinite demonstrable wisdom and inellectul curiosity -- was up to speed on the teachings of Michael Scott... or had a better explanation for how GW Bush got to be in charge for 8 years. Ahem.
 
Anyway, here's your double shot of Wrestling Sad for today:
 
A BAD WEEK TO BE AN ANTI-DIVA
 
It doesn't happen often, but every now and again, WWE has dabbled with the concept of female characters that are the antithesis of the "diva" label. When it does happen, it's usually a pretty half-hearted attempt to make a crowd boo, and still amounts to a super-hot-chick having one odd quirk to make her un-lustable by the opposite sex (think RTC Ivory, or Prude Molly Holly).
 
But every now and again, there have been true anti-divas who seem designed to antogonize the audience not just with one quirk, but with the entirety of their actions and appearances.
 
In the past week, the anti-diva who probably enjoyed the most success in her role in WWE history passed away; while the lone anti-diva still on the active roster got fired for reasons still unclear.
 
Luna Vachon (real name: Gertrude Vachon), was found dead on Friday morning at her mother's home. Luna had been living there since her own house burned down a few weeks ago. Police reported that there were no signs of foul play, and an autopsy was going to take place; results won't be known for weeks.
 
In recent years, Luna had gotten her life together and become a born-again Christian after a rather, ummm, "unique" life. While never known to be a heavy substance user/abuser, Luna had been under treatment for bipolar disorder for the past decade. The loss of one's home and all worldly possessions is something that's not easy to deal with under any circumstances; it probably becomes doubly difficult for someone in Luna's situation.
 
Luna Vachon was 48 years old, and is survived by two grown sons (ages 30 and 28) from her first marriage.
 
If you do that math, you can see that Luna got into the family-having early and often, and at a young age. That's also how she got into the wrestling business... born into a wrestling family (her dad, uncle, and aunt were all well-known performers on the Candian circuit and had they biggest successes in the AWA of the 70s and 80s), she started training at the age of 16, and did so under the watchful eye of the Fabulous Moolah.
 
Despite being a "legacy," Luna still had to earn her way into the business. Old school training under Moolah led to grunt work of ticket taking and concession sales at shows her dad/uncle worked and eventually to spot work as a wrestler as one of the "package deals" Moolah would send out to various territories so promoters could flesh out their shows with 4, 6, 8, or however many girl rasslers they wanted. It wasn't exactly glamorous, and when Luna did get in the ring, it was more as a circus sideshow deal than as part of the "real" show...
 
After 7 years of paying her dues, Luna finally broke through in Florida Championship Wrestling (not the current developmental company, but the original NWA affiliate). In 1985, FCW was probably the 2nd or 3rd strongest regional affiliate of the NWA, and had a strong TV distribution which fed a 5 shows per week touring schedule. Luna's TV debut was as an innocent young TV interviewer being turned to the dark side by Kevin Sullivan; from that point on, pretty much every incarnation of Luna's character had some sort of freaky fetish-y overtones to it (and at times, she was even living the gimmick).
 
From initial exposure in FCW, she got the chance to work back up in Canada (for Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling) and even overseas in Japan (where women's wrestling was taken FAR more seriously than here). After spending the better part of 5 years proving herself capable in the ring, Luna returned stateside to find there still wasn't any real market for female wrestlers, so she turned to managing... she gained notariety for accompanying a team called the Blackhearts to the ring (one of the members was her then-husband Tom Nash, and the other was future husband-to-be Dave "Gangrel" Heath); the Blackhearts were staples of the Philly/NJ indies and a big hit in Japan, but when the WWF passed on them after a 1991 try-out, they parted company. But Heath remained close with Luna...
 
There is a Wrestling Legend (which I will neither confirm nor deny, I'll merely repeat it here) that Luna -- because of her family's connections -- tried to get Heath a singles job with the WWF in 1992... but when Vince/et al got the request and looked at more and more Blackhearts footage, they decided they were interested in hiring LUNA, not Heath... but nobody (not even Luna's dad) knew where she was, as she'd given up on her dream of ever actually being a wrestler herself. Turns out she was working as a waitress when somebody from the WWF finally tracked her down and offered HER a job. All because of the good word she tried to put in for her pal Dave Heath.
 
Luna debuted at WrestleMania in 1993, as Shawn Michaels' new valet (Luna was replacing Sensational Sherri in this role, as Sherri had turned babyface, and WWF was high on Luna's ringside skills which would make her a perfect foil for the equally capable Sherri)... but the HBK/Luna pairing didn't last much more than one round of TV tapings (most assume Michaels politicked his way out of it), and Luna ended up aligned with Bam Bam Bigelow for a feud against Sherri and Tatanka.
 
Bam Bam and Luna got the better of that one, but then segued into another "mixed tag" feud. But this time, instead of another woman being involved, it was a midget. Doink the Clown and his sidekick Dink were thorns in Bam Bam/Luna's sides, and even sent Bam Bam and Luna to humiliating defeat at WrestleMania 10. The two split after that, as Bam Bam joined the Million Dollar Corporation, while Luna was given a chance as the lead heel for a revived Women's Division (led by Madusa "Alundra Blayze" Micelli).
 
Luna lost pretty much every match she fought against Blayze, and was done with the company by late 1994.
 
In early 1995, she resurfaced in the suddenly-red-hot ECW. As crazy as ever, and sporting a new pair of boobs, she was initially paired with "Vampire Warrior" David Heath (the two were officially an item by now), before Paul Heyman decided he didn't really have much of anything for Heath, but liked what Luna brought to the table... Luna eventually became Tommy Dreamer's first manager, but in reality, her time in ECW was something like 8 months in total, and not all that memorable. Still: more memorable than the 3 weeks she got on TV for a brief WCW feud against her old foe Madusa/Blayze.
 
In 1998, the WWF came calling again, though, as they needed a heel woman to serve as valet to the mega-weirdo version of Goldust that surfaced after he "lost" Marlena. When you need "mega-weird," you call Luna Vachon, apparently. The highlight of the Goldust/Luna pairing as a feud against Marc Mero and his valet/wife Sable, where Sable was made to look like a million bucks. Fans ate it up, and Sable became the Diva du Jour as a result (replacing Sunny)... behind the scenes, Luna was upset that she actually did all the work to make Sable look good (Sable just wasn't that talented) and even her co-workers didn't bother to applaud Luna for the effort. The fans? They're expected to believe what they see, but Luna recounted the story many times that in her two "Sable-making" PPV matches, the only person who bothered to say "Great work out there" was Owen Hart.
 
This tension with Sable getting all the reward for doing 5% of the work eventually led to Luna taking a vacation from the WWF, as management (for obvious reasons) took the side of the money-making boobs, not the mega-weird boobs. The two sides eventually made peace, and Luna was brought back specifically to feud with Sable over the Women's Title... that comeback lasted about 2 months before Luna was suspended again for another 6 months (because of backstage dust-ups with Princess Sable).
 
Upon returning again, Luna went through a few phases. She was briefly assigned to manage her husband, who FINALLY got a job with the WWF and was repackaged as "Grangrel." But probably more memorable was a run as a member of "The Oddities," which were ostensibly led by John "Earthquake" Tenta wearing a mask and having a Cartman Fetish, but which also included Luna getting to play "Princess Luna" in a group where she really was pretty and sweet and adorable by comparison to the other freaks (also: her portrayal of this character was a direct slap at Sable and her precious little stuck-up self). By mid-2000, however, there were more backstage issues, and Luna was sent packing by WWF management, this time for good.
 
She made a few appearances on the indie circuit, especially shows where Gangrel would work, but that came to an end when Luna and Heath divorced in 2006. The split was said to be amicable enough, but necessary when Luna decided the best way to keep herself sane and happy was to ditch all the weird goth-fetish-y lifestyle stuff she and Heath did, and to live it straight and narrow. Luna decided to find Jesus, and became born again; Heath decided to become a porn director. So, uhhh, like I said: the two remained friendly enough, but the divorce probably had to happen at that point.
 
[DIGRESSION: Heath's foray into porn after Luna got religion did spawn one of my most favorite OO Forums Threads EVAR. Word of warning: it's not just naughty, it's downright sacreligious. But also: funny as hell.]
 
Luna would still make sporadic convention appearances and the like, but mostly was satisfied making an honest living (doing construction work, of all things) in her post-wrestling life. Then, unfortunately, a big fire and yesterday's sad news of Luna's passing. Condolences go out to all of Luna's family, friends, and fans.
 
And while it pales in comparison, the release of SmackDown's Anti-Diva Serena (real name: Serena Deeb) is also in the news this week...
 
Word got out back on Monday that she'd been fired, but WWE didn't bother to confirm it until last night at precisely 10:04pm (eastern), on the grounds that SD was pre-taped and Serena was on it. Whee: WWE r so smrt!
 
Why did Serena get fired? Get this: it boils down to the fact that she would drink alcohol. IN BARS. AFTER THE SHOWS!
 
Which is bad, because no wrestlers go out and unwind with adult beverages after the shows. Whoops, that's not it...
 
Which is bad, because it led to unfortunate and embarassing displays that speak ill of WWE? Whoops, nope, that's not it, either... Serena neither wrecked up a hotel room to the tune of $35,000, nor delayed an entire flight because her wasted-ass needed to be ejected from the airplane... which is more than you can say about Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy, respectively, neither of whom was fired for committing these embarassing acts...
 
Apparently, it's bad because Serena plays a straight edge character on TV, and it was bad for fans to see her in bars, drinking booze.
 
Full disclosure: even though nobody is saying specific about any incident which might justify this action by WWE, there ARE people who are saying there's "more" to it than just that. But the fact that they won't say specifically what doesn't sit well with me. Where's the smoking gun? Or, in this case, the 200 passengers forced to sit on the tarmac for an extra 30 minutes because Serena's a hot mess of a trainwreck? If this is a case where she never caused that one big outburst, but seemed to be exhibiting tendancies that MIGHT result in a big mess, then where is the Wellness Policy and the offer to enter rehab? In short: what's up with the double standard?
 
Either there's "more" and you tell us exactly what it is, oh mighty insider sources, or you admit that this sure as hell sounds like WWE making a PR move, not a talent development move. [FYI: my sources are not UNmighty, but limited, and they say they don't know of anything that would merit a firing and that this seems fishy. Serena, the person, just isn't Serena, the TV character, and there's nothing she's doing that's much different than what 80% of "the boys" do. And in a world where an under-age Kelly Kelly liked going out and getting liquored up to the point where she took pictures of herself pissing in a sink -- I'm not kidding, google it -- it's hard to fathom what horrible deed of potential embarassment a drunk girl could have done to get herself fired.]
 
There's also another fun part to this story: WWE sources say the move is justified because THEY WARNED Serena. How? Nope, not with a sit-down meeting, or anything intervention-y... they "warned" her by putting her in TV skits that tangentially mention her alleged "problem" and which WWE thinks served as a valid "secret message" that Serena should have heeded. What are you, WWE? A high school girl? A passive-aggressive whackjob girlfriend? "Secret messages," my ass... then again, this is the company that "spoke" to Carlito by having Flair cut a "shoot" promo on him about his lack of dedication in the middle of a live RAW... and a company that thinks rookies need to have Car Rental Etiquette taught to them in the form of Bob Holly Beating teh Shit Out of Them For Real in the Middle of a Fake Wrestling Match, too... so hey: they've got a spotty track record when it comes to mature interpersonal communication.
 
I guess the previous skits where Serena "fell off the wagon" and Punk threatened her will serve as the easy "out" for why Serena's suddenly missing from TV next week. Punk will bury her as a dirty, whiskey-swilling strumpet on TV, and that'll be the last you hear of her... but it's still a damned immature way to do business.
 
Doubly immature: 3 years ago, CM Punk was hazed, taunted, and ostracized by the WWE Locker Room for being straight edge, and not going out and being "one of the boys." To "teach him the secret hidden lesson," they did a TV angle where JBL poured real (non-gimmicked) whiskey down Punk's throat. That'll learn him to lighten up and drink more~! Punk made it through that hazing without giving in or imbibing one drop, and still has a job.
 
Cut to today, where Serena gets Secret Messages about drinking less, because she's not allowed to be "one of the boys" (for TV storyline reasons, she must not be seen having any fun). Serena didn't give in, but in this case, she's just a girl rassler. A bald one with a nice curvy behind. An anti-diva. So just fire her. Or so the story stands for now.
 
It ain't quite the same as Luna Vachon passing away decades too soon, but it's still a pretty frustrating bit of news. One of the handful of women on the roster who are capable of having a decent wrestling match, and she gets the axe less than one week after getting to have her first actual wrestling match on TV. Oy.
 
Serena didn't even get enough raw material to fill up a proper 3 minute video tribute to her time in WWE, and that's a shame... if it's any consolation, though, I'll admit that she definite wins The Rick Seal of Approval, which is saying something considering we're talking about a bald chick being presented in a G-rated manner. I have no particular interest in either of those things, and yet: ever since I had to lecture Serena about the ill-fated fashion choice of Capri Pants and Heels, she's done nothing but rock the hot, week in and week out.
 
I appluad that, and would stand in line to be the next douche to buy you a delicious adult beverage, honey. Unless you really are a complete mess and need to lay off the sauce, anyway. Nobody likes a sloppy drunk.
 
That's all for me today, kids. Talk to you again soon...


  
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E-MAIL RICK SCAIA

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Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.

 

 


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