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Monday, September 5, 2011

Queens of the Ring: Alundra Blayze

Debra Ann Miceli was born February 9, 1964 in Milan,Italy but was raised in several different foster homes in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Throughout her years in school she participated in gymnastics and track, and after school she began working as a nurse part-time. She began her professional wrestling career in 1984, she was trained by Eddie Sharkey in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After her training she wrestled on the independent circuit for $5.00 a match. In 1986 she began wrestling in the American Wrestling Association under the name Madusa Miceli. On December 27, 1987 she defeated Candy Devine to win the AWA World Women's Championship, which she held until November 26, 1988 when she lost it to Wendy Richter.

In 1988 Miceli was the first woman to be awarded Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Rookie of the Year award. In 1989 she began wrestling for All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling. She won the IWA Women's title from Chigusa Nagayo but unfortunately lost it back to her the next day. She then began training in Japan, learning muay thai, kickboxing, and boxing. She would later sign a 3-year deal with New Japan Wrestling, becoming the first non-Japanese wrestler to do so. In 1991, while in New Japan Wrestling, Miceli and Eddie Gilbert defeated Luna Vachon and Cactus Jack. Later that same year she joined World Championship Wrestling as part of Paul E. Dangerously's Dangerous Alliance acting as Rick Rude's manager.

In 1993 she signed with the WWF which had reinstated the Women's Championship that had been inactive since 1990. Vince McMahon didn't want to pay Miceli to use her 'Madusa' name, which she had copyrighted, so she wrestled under the name Alundra Blayze. She wrestled in a six-woman tournament to crown the new Women's Champion. On December 13, 1993 she pinned Heidi Lee Morgan in the final to win the title. She lost the title twice, once to Bull Nakano and once to Bertha Faye, but regained the title both times. She was still the Women's Champion when the WWF released her from her contract due to their financial difficulties.

In December of 1995 she signed with WCW where she would throw the WWF Women's Championship belt in a trash can. She would later say that she regretted doing so but was ordered to do it by Eric Bischoff. While in WCW she once again wrestled under the name Madusa, she would defeat Bull Nakano at the Hog Wild PPV in August. Later that year WCW would establish the WCW Women's Championship, there would be a tournament to crown the first champion. Miceli made it to the tournament finals but lost to Akira Hokuto, whom she feuded with for the next six months. They would meet at the Great American Bash in 1996 for the title in a Hair vs. Career match; unfortunately Miceli lost the match. She would return to WCW in 1999 where she would be part of Randy Savage's Team Madness with Gorgeous George and Miss Madness. At Starrcade in 1999 she would defeat Evan Karagias to become the first woman to hold the WCW World Cruiserweight Championship. Once Vince McMahon bought WCW in 2001 she retired because she didn't want to work for the WWF due to the direction the Women's division was going in.

After retiring from pro wrestling Miceli began racing monster trucks. She won multiple freestyle competitions and became the first woman to win the Monster Jam World Finals Racing Championship in 2005. She married Alan Jonason on June 25, 2011 and now spends her time running her pet grooming businesses in Lecanto, Fl. And although Miceli stays busy with her businesses and many hobbies she doesn't rule out a return to the ring. In an interview with WWE.com she said “Once wrestling gets in your blood it's always going to be there, you've got a bag packed and ready to go.” So maybe one these days Meceli will return to the ring, but who will she return as? Alundra Blayze, Madusa, Debra Miceli, or who she really is: Queen of the Ring.

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