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Beth Phoenix Paid Tribute To A WWE Pioneer At The Royal Rumble In The Best Way

We could sit here and argue all day about some of the creative choices WWE made during last night’s stacked Royal Rumble. I loved some of it. I was frustrated by some of it. I thought some of it was okay. That’s just the story of wrestling. Wrestling fans are opinionated, and we all think we could make better booking decisions. But one thing we all need to agree on is that Beth Phoenix looked terrific last night. She had a few excellent in-ring spots, and her distinctive look reminded some of a wrestling pioneer.

I’m talking, of course, about the make-up Beth Phoenix had on one side of her face. The jagged blue lines gave the appearance or at least a hint of veins protruding from her eyes, and it was very reminiscent of Luna Vachon, the talented wrestler and one-time main squeeze of Bam Bam Bigelow in the early 90s. 

She often did her make-up in a much more distinctive and visually jarring way, but the overlap was clear enough for many fans to comment on. Phoenix later confirmed it was intentional with a wonderful side-by-side she dropped on Instagram

For those of you who might be on the younger side, Luna Vachon was a wrestler and manager in the late 80s and 90s. She first competed in various promotions before joining WWE for a fun and memorable run mostly alongside Bam Bam Bigelow in the early 90s. She later had runs in ECW and WCW before returning for another few years to WWE in the late 90s/ early 00s. She worked some as a manager and some as an in-ring performer and was quite good at both. As a wrestler, she was ranked in the PWI top 500 at a time when that was very uncommon for women. 

The tribute was particularly fitting because the Rumble is often a time where WWE remembers its past. The event has run continuously since the late 1980s and often includes cameos and surprise appearances from wrestlers who haven’t been seen in awhile. 

Sadly, Luna Vachon passed away back in 2010, but it’s wonderful to see her memory is still alive and inspiring women who are still competing. That being said, it’s also fun to think about the absolute havoc she would have created if there was a Women’s Rumble back in the day. She would have been hell to throw out. 

As for the match between Beth Phoenix, Edge, The Miz and Maryse, I thought it was exactly what it needed to be. It was a refreshing change of pace (which The Miz is always good at). It had a bunch of fun sequences. Every competitor got a chance to play off and interact with the others. The crowd was into it. All four performers looked really sharp, and the ending was satisfying. Job well done by everyone involved, and job well done by Beth Phoenix for this loving tribute. RIP Luna.

Mack Rawden
Mack Rawden

Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.