She wasn’t the most beautiful woman to ever grace professional wrestling. She wasn’t the most talented woman to ever step into a ring. But, charisma, this woman had in spades. She came from a wrestling family, trained by her father, uncle, and two of the greatest women’s wrestlers of all time. Her family wasn’t keen on her joining the family business, but even a trip to Paris with Andre the Giant when she was 12 did not sway her. Four years after that trip, she began her official in-ring training.
She was Luna Vachon….and though she died way too young, she did leave a rather interesting legacy in her chosen profession. She was very open about her family not wanting her in the business in an interview:
“From the time I was three years old I had told my parents I was gonna to be in the wrestling business and they tried to discourage me because it’s so hard on woman’s bodies. It takes a lot more toll than it does on men’s bodies because we are made to reproduce. So they tried to discourage me. That’s why when I broke into wrestling I didn’t in the very beginning use the name Vachon because my family actually wasn’t talking to me.”
I could sit here and rattle off “historical” facts about her life and her career, but those things are always done in features like this. So, other than talking a bit about her famous wrestling family, I am going to stick to my memories of her.
Gertrude “Trudy” Vachon was born in Atlanta on January 12, 1962. She was adopted by Butcher Paul Vachon when she was four, and with that adoption, she gained a famous female wrestler as an aunt, Vivian, and a famous wrestler as an uncle, Mad Dog Maurice Vachon. Needless to say, with the exception of Vivian, this group was just a bit out there. She began her wrestling training at the age of 16 under the tutelege of her aunt Vivian, her father Paul, and The Fabulous Moolah. She would train for years, under various styles and promotions, before “officially” debuting in Florida Championship Wrestling as a reporter dubbed Trudy Herd.
Once she got her foot in the door, there was no turning back. She found her true passion, and she was there to stay.
Luna’s most famous feud that would last her full career was with Madusa/Alundra Blayze. These two fought in every promotion they worked in together. They fought in FCW, the WWE, and WCW, putting on some really entertaining matches. Both women worked out-of-the-box styles and were flexible enough to work well with anyone. And, they worked especially well together.
But, as diverse as her wrestling career was, she may be most remembered as a manager. I just can’t use the word “valet” with Luna; she never fit the bill. When she was in the WWF, she hooked up with Bam Bam Bigelow, and not surprisingly, the two made a great team. During her time managing Bam Bam, Luna herself was feuding with Sensational Sheri Martel. Yes, it was bizarre.
Luna even managed Bull Nakano during the height of Nakano’s feud with Alundra Blayze over the WWF Women’s Title. Bull and Luna were the perfect pair, too. While Luna mostly stayed at ringside as Nakano’s manager, there were times they teamed up to face Blayze and a partner.
And, if you thought Luna couldn’t get any stranger, well, just look at her run with Goldust. That pairing may have personified WWE’s Attitude Era perfectly. Luna as the dominatrix, Goldie as the…oh so many things. A lot of it was uncomfortable to say the least.
But, Luna knew how to have fun, too. She wasn’t just this crazy, bizarre character…well, she was, but when she joined up with The Oddities, we got to see Luna have fun and look like she was having the time of her life. Yeah, it was a bit creepy…ok, a lot creepy, but the fans loved them and everyone seemed to be having a great time.
Luna retired from active competition in 2007, finally giving the real Trudy time to find herself. She was married three times, one to wrestler Gangrel, had two sons, became a born again Christian in 2004, and was working for a trucking company in 2007. The Trudy outside the ring wasn’t the one we saw on television, at least according to her.
“People around here don’t know me, they only know me as the woman who leaves early in the morning and comes home dirty and dragging her butt at the end of the day.”
She had a little home with a garden full of vegetables and sunflowers. A favorite room with her bed and candles and children’s pillows. She loved to listen to Lenny Kravitz to relax in her “little land of lunacy”. And her “crazed” character on television wasn’t just that.
“It’s not just a gimmick. And I have the papers to prove it.”
Vachon had bi-polar disorder and was medically diagnosed as being manic depressive. Her condition was known in the wrestling world, but not outside of it. She was on medications for her conditions and those more than likely played a role in her death on August 27, 2010. Her death was ruled an overdose. Today would have been her 56th birthday.
When great women in wrestling are discussed, Luna’s name rarely comes up. But her legacy lives on. Second generation female star, championships all over the world, one of the most unique managers ever, and the balls to be a woman that knew she had what it took to be a success in the business without having to look like a Babie doll.
“In this world of butterflies, it took balls to be a caterpillar,” she said. She had the balls and she, whether she believed it or not, was one of the most unique butterflies the professional wrestling world ever had.