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Wrestling / Luna Vachon

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In a world full of butterflies, it took balls to be a caterpillar. I love that quote from Luna, and in a way I can't help but hope that this life was but a chrysalis of sorts for her; that for a woman who never seemed completely comfortable in her own skin, this life was just a prelude to becoming the beautiful butterfly god always meant for her to be.
But that would be too easy and so anti-Luna. There are enough beautiful butterflies out there already. Maybe we should be able to appreciate the beauty of the caterpillar without needing or wanting it to change for our viewing pleasure. Maybe Luna was perfect just as she was. Maybe she was exactly who she was supposed to be.
Mick Foley, on the life and death of Luna Vachon.

Gertrude Elizabeth Vachon (January 12, 1962 – August 27, 2010), better known by her ring name '''Luna Vachon, was a Canadian-American professional wrestler and manager originally from Atlanta, Georgia. Among her in-ring achievements, she was a 1x USWA Women's Champion, the inaugural American Wrestling Federation Women's Champion, Great Lakes Championship Wrestling Ladies title holder, Sunshine Wrestling Federation Women's Champion, WWOW Televsion Champion, LMLW World Champion and POWW Tag Team Champion.note  She was inducted into the WSU Hall of Fame in 2011.

She began training at the age of 16 with her aunt Vivian and The Fabulous Moolah before beginning her career in earnest by 1985. Her first on-screen role was as a TV reporter named Trudy Herd, who was in Florida to interview FCW wrestler Kevin Sullivan. Sullivan instead brainwashed her into becoming "Luna", a cultist in his "Army of Darkness", resulting in her bizarre makeover and trademark statico voice. Luna was teamed with the Lock (formerly Winona Littleheart), forming the Daughters of Darkness. When that team broke up, she knocked around the independent circuit as a manager, forming the aptly-named Black Harts, Apocalypse (alongside David Heath) and Destruction (w/ Tom Nash.) She made her PPV debut in the Street Fight Lingerie Battle Royal at the AWA's SuperClash III.

She made a surprise WWE debut at WrestleMania IX, first spotted in Shawn Michaels' corner during his match with Tatanka. She would go on to feud with "Scary" Sherri Martel and Alundra Blayze (Madusa) before leaving. In 1995, she made (another) surprise debut at the end of ECW Enter Sandman, siding with Tommy Dreamer in his feud with Raven. They would team up against Raven and Stevie Richards to unsuccessfully challenge for the ECW World Tag Team Titles at ECW Hardcore Heaven on July 1st, though Luna would defeat Richards in a cage match two weeks later at Heat Wave. In 1997, she resurfaced in WWE as the manager of ("TAFKA") Goldust on Raw, which led indirectly to her famous feud with Rena Mero (Sable) and The Headbangers.

Luna disappeared from television for a short while but, in 1998, she redebuted on Raw as "Princess Luna" of The Oddities. While the Oddities' face turn rewarded her with more political clout, she proved too nutty to remain neutral for long and made another play for Sable's title. Unfortunately life began to imitate art, and Luna was released for good in 2000 following a series of brawls with Mero backstage.

Sadly, she was found dead of a drug overdose after years of suffering with Bipolar Disorder on August 27, 2010. She was posthumously inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2019 as part of the Legacy Wing.

"Luna-Tic Tropes":

  • Action Girl: In the Attitude Era, she was, along with Ivory and Jacqueline, one of the very few women in the WWE who was an actual trained wrestler and not just there to be eye candy.
  • Amazonian Beauty: If she did anything even remotely resembling a glamour shoot, she'd be showing off her biceps.
  • Amicable Exes: She was married to David Heath aka. Gangrel, but they eventually split up. They managed to remain best friends regardless, and if you listen to Gangrel talk about her in interviews, it's obvious that he deeply loved her and close to breaking down in tears. One interview even stated that they had to separate because they were just going to hurt each other.
  • Anti-Villain: In her feud with Sable.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Picked fights with Sensational Sherri when she first debuted, intending to dethrone her as the WWF's dominant woman. Sherri's first response was kicking her in the throat. They feuded for awhile before both left the Federation due to health concerns.
    • She later feuded with Sable, who she blamed for enforcing society's idea of what an ideal woman should look like.
    • Madusa/Alundra Blayze, combining Memphis, WWE and WCW. No love lost between these two in real life, either; there's an old interview with Luna in WWF Magazine, and within her tirade of insults towards Alundra, she even refers to her as a ring rat.
    • Jacqueline in Memphis
    • Raven and Stevie Richards in ECW.
    • Doink and Dink.
  • Author Avatar: She was the booker for Wild Women Of Wrestling.
  • Ax-Crazy: She really seemed to delight in watching the wrestlers she managed hurt people, even if they were people who would do no good for their careers to hurt or people whom Luna did not even know. But she especially loved it when they hurt her enemies.
  • Bash Brothers: The Lock, the Black Harts, Tommy Dreamer, Bam Bam Bigelow, TAFKA Goldust, Hot Rod Andie.
  • Battle Axe Nurse: Disguised herself as a nurse to trick Big Van Vader for The Artist Formerly Known As Goldust
  • Beauty Contest: Kurrgan, dressed in a suit, sang the "Miss America" song for her on the June 8, 1998 Raw.
  • Big Damn Heroes: TWICE at Pro Xcitement Wrestling's June 23, 2002 event.
    • Mike Quackenbush was facing Crowbar, and Crowbar's valet Syrena kept interfering. Quack headed to the back to find a partner, Crowbar followed...and practically dove through the curtain when he realized who Quack had found as a partner. Quack and Luna ultimately won the resultant mixed-tag match.
    • Crossed with Violently Protective Wife: The main event was Gangrel vs. The Hungarian Barbarian. At one point, Gangrel accidentally knocked out the referee, with him clearly thinking My God, What Have I Done?. Darren Wyse, the Hungarian Barbarian's manager, was on commentary and decided to attack Gangrel, leading to Luna running in and fighting off Wyse. For the record, Gangrel won.
  • Bitch Alert: Did this herself, saying "The bitch is back!" when she made her return as Goldust's new manager on the November 24, 1997 Raw.
  • Braids of Action: Upon her return to the WWF in 1997.
  • Cheap Heat: Her challenging Sable to an Evening Gown Match at Backlash 1998, and the subsequent match itself, got the fans very much on her side, if only for one night, for obvious reasons. Still, it's better than X-Pac Heat, or no heat at all.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Went very over-the-top in her promos.
  • Circus of Fear
    • The Oddities' original heel carnival sideshow gimmick.
    • The Jackyl lampshaded any similarities between the gimmick and the movie Freaks (see below under Video Full of Film Clips) during the Golga-Thrasher match that marked its debut when he, on commentary, said, "These people are normal compared to people like you (Michael Cole) and Jim Ross."
  • Combat Commentator: In Wild Women Of Wrestling
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Two years later, Jessicka Havok was the one trashing people, but when she challenged Luna Vachon for the "Universal Women's Hardcore Championship belt" in 2007 at CAPW, she was hit with a refrigerator shelf, force fed nachos, showered with beer and given a DDT onto concrete. Jake Roberts knocked out Ricky Steamboat with that last one. Luna, on the other hand, still had a finishing move to deliver...
  • Cut Short: Her feud with Riptide over the "Universal Women's Hardcore Title" in the PGWA due to scheduling conflicts. After Luna's death, Riptide went by "Angel Orsini" and dedicated her match at Call To Arms to Vachon.
  • Dark Action Girl: Jim Cornette called her the devil in disguise, and she's beaten him in matches too... so that's not much of an achievement, but still.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": (Half)-jokingly, she became a wrestler for the sole purpose of kicking the asses of everyone who made fun of her name.
    "'Gertrude Vachon.' You Americans can't pronounce it anyway. It's Va-Shon."
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The role of "Trudy" was to appease her manager, The Fabulous Moolah, who thought she was too small to be a believable heel.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Beulah McGillicutty in ECW, though Vachon was the face because she was brought in by Tommy Dreamer and McGillicutty did a Heel–Face Turn anyway.
  • Evil Is Petty: Repeated failed to beat Madusa in WCW, but successfully contributed to Madusa never winning a women's title in the promotion by aiding Akira Hokuto. In fact, backing wrestlers simply because they happened to be against Madusa was a past time of Luna's.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Default Luna makes Malia Hosaka's worst sound tender, but when she really wants to heel it up Luna sounds especially harsh.
  • Facial Markings: Which looked like veins.
  • Faux Action Girl: Against Sable, since Sable's contract limited the amount of bumps she had to take, forbade taking shots at her face, and her breast implants prevented her from being able to take any front bumps at all. So Luna's offense was limited mostly to kicks and forearm clubs, with maybe the odd backbreaker or bodyslam (delivered as gently as possible).
  • Femme Fatalons: When acting as a manager, she made sure to grow out her nails extra long. Weaponized against La Tigresa in their WWC matches.
  • Freaky Is Cool: In her first promo after her ECW debut, she said, "I've always been a misfit! I've never fit into your holes!"
  • Fully Absorbed Finale: After their television program was done in 1996, the AWF Women's title ended up being owned Yoshimoto Women's Pro Wrestling in Japan after Luna dropped the belt to Emi Motokawa.
  • Gimmick Matches: Besides the aforementioned "lingerie street fight battle royal", NWA member Vendetta Pro Wrestling gathers women wrestlers to compete in anything from a fatal four way up to a full on battle royal to honor her memory, with the winner being awarded the "Lunacy Cup". Pro Wrestling Unplugged tends to have it when Vendetta is running.
  • Groin Attack: Defeated Stevie Richards in their cage match by making him submit to a testicular claw.
  • Guttural Growler: She always spoke like this.
  • High-School Dance: The Jackyl called her "The Prom Princess of the World Wrestling Federation" when she, Golga and the Giant Silva walked down to the ring for the Oddities' debut on the May 25 (taped May 19), 1998 Raw, adding how her "inner beauty" transcends the attributes of "a Sunny or a Sable."
  • Humiliating Wager: She and Cactus Jack lost a hair versus hair match in Japan to Madusa and Eddie Gilbert.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: While she herself was not particularly small, it looked that way during her time as Bam Bam Bigelow's valet, or "main squeeze".
  • Hypocrite: On the January 17, 2000 Raw, Ivory objected to having to take part in the Miss Rumble 2000 bikini contest at Royal Rumble 2000. Luna and Jacqueline told her that if they have to be in it, she has to be in it. During the contest, Luna refused to show her bikini.
  • I Have Many Names: Was the traveling wrestler Angelle Vachon before becoming the reporter Trudy Herd in FCW, prior to being taken by the Army Of Darkness and becoming Luna. She was primarily known as "Angel Baby" during her American Wrestling Federation run.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: Hair down to her hips, but shaved off on the sides of her head, and sometimes braided into cornrows or dreadlocks
  • Improvised Weapon: Hit Sherri with a TV monitor on the April 12, 1993 Raw.
  • Insistent Terminology: Not "Moonsault", "Lunasault".
  • Literal Ass-Kicking: In her Great Lakes Championship Wrestling match against Tracy Brooks, she literally beat Tracy's ass, with a squeegee.
  • Meaningful Name: She's crazy, and her name is LUNA.
  • Meaningless Meaningful Words: She once said that she's a bandit from the wild untamed future, a place that was before and will be again, whatever that meant. A pity she never had screentime with Warrior. Still better than the kind of lame promos people have to recite today.
  • Most Common Superpower: At a time when this wasn't a particularly common trait with female wrestlers.
  • No Indoor Voice: She didn't seem to have a setting lower than "scream at the top of her lungs."
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The Insane Clown Posse were supposed to face The Headbangers on the November 23 (taped November 17), 1998 WWE RAW, as part of the Oddities-Headbangers feud, but Violent J said that they weren't ready. Luna was so stunned by this that she actually spoke in her normal voice instead of the monster voice she'd been using for over a decade.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome
    • The fact that she was the second woman to crack Pro Wrestling Illustrated's top 500 list is often forgotten due to the fact her Miss Texas had beaten her to it.
    • The same wrestler is also the reason Luna being one of the first women on television to hold her own against male wrestlers is often forgotten, although Luna got to be the very first woman playable in a WWF/E game ever.
  • Parts Unknown
    • "The Other Side of Darkness"
    • Averted at Backlash 1998. Because she was associated with Goldust at the time, she was announced for her Evening Gown Match with Sable from Hollywood, CA.
  • Perky Female Minion: To Kevin Sullivan, Bull Nakano, The Artist Formerly Known As Goldust and the Oddities, though she was more like a manager and in the former case, Bull Nakano was usually the perkier.
  • Power Stable:
  • Religious Bruiser: Became a born-again Christian and was baptized by none other than Nikita Koloff.
  • The Rival
    • Vanessa Harding, who had a hard time getting over a loss to Luna. It might reach to Unknown Rival territory, considering Harding sits a top very few pecking orders, few of which were in Vachon's stomping grounds.
    • Lexie Fyfe on the independent circuit, both as a wrestler and as a promoter. Though Fyfe did not own her own promotion until two years after Vachon's death, she was associated with "Slam Promotions" where she used her connections to arrange bookings. This had the odd side affect of also making Vachon a rival to Fyfe's "greenhorn" Lorelei Lee.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Subverted - even though she participated in the odd 'glamour' photoshoot, she always did so wearing some kind of costume that would fit in with her gimmick. After donning the Luna Vachon gimmick in the first place, she never took it off. The closest you'd see to a "cleaned up" Luna was not shaving the sides of her head.
  • Squash Match: Flattened the debuting "Gillberg" on the January 11, 1999 Raw in a brisk 1:04.
  • Tag Team:
    • The Daughters of Darkness with The Lock as members of the Army of Darkness.
    • Satan's Sisters with Badass Biker "Primetime" Amy Lee.
  • Tainted Veins/Two-Faced: What her makeup is supposed to emulate. Also her time teaming with The Lock while they were both in the Army of Darkness.
  • Trope Codifier: WWE do love their crazy female heels. Luna was undoubtedly the first of these to pop up in the company. Victoria, Mickie James, A.J. Lee and Paige have definitely felt her influence. That said, it's unthinkable that WWE would ever let any of the Divas go as over-the-top as Luna, especially in terms of their appearance.
  • Unstoppable Rage: In her first promo after her ECW debut, she asked rhetorically if there was anything as compelling as rage and said, "Wake up Crow Man! My rage will be your horror show!"
  • Video Full of Film Clips: The Oddities' entrance video mixed footage of the team with clips from the 1932 horror classic Freaks, even starting with the lines, "We wouldn't lie to you folks, we told you we had living breathing monstrosity."
  • Wrestling Family: The adopted daughter of Butcher Vachon and adopted niece of Mad Dog and Vivian Vachon. Also her brothers, Pitbull and The Beast. She also dated Dick Slater and was married to Gangrel.
    • In addition, her second son, Vincent (better known as Van), is best known for his appearances on Hell's Kitchen, where he participated in Season 6 and All-Stars.