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Dark Side of the Ring Creators Reveal the WrestleMania Fabulous Moolah Controversy Was Jumping Off Point for Upcoming Season Finale

May 7, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Fabulous Moolah Battle Royal Shane Dark Side of the Ring

Speaking with Jeffrey Harris for the 411 Wrestling Interviews Podcast, the creators of Viceland’s acclaimed wrestling docuseriesDark Side of the Ring, discussed the show’s upcoming season finale, “The Fabulous Moolah,” which will cover the controversy surrounding WWE Hall of Famer the Fabulous Moolah that initially came out around the time of WrestleMania 34.

At the time, WWE had planned a women’s battle royal that was named after Moolah. After negative allegations surrounding Moolah allegedly prostituting her wrestling trainees for sex work had surfaced, WWE ultimately changed the name after a sponsor spoke out against the match being named after her [More on that RIGHT HERE]. Co-creators Evan Husney and Jason Eisener shared some details on the approach for the upcoming finale for Dark Side of the Ring. Below are some highlights.

Evan Husney on how the Fabulous Moolah controversy with the battle royal at WrestleMania inspired the upcoming episode: “That was the jumping off point for us. When we were planning out the first season, that had just happened. The controversy with the Fabulous Moolah’s legacy going into WrestleMania 34, which was the Fabulous Moolah, her name was going to be used for a women’s battle royal event. And the fans had sort of rallied against that, and these allegations had surfaced and these other controversies happened. … And then the sponsor of the event, Snickers, stepped in and the WWE took her name off of the event. That was interesting to us as a starting off point to look at because obviously the #MeToo movement had happened, and we’re kind of getting into this point of separating — or the conversation of separating art from artists and really reevaluating the legacies of those and certain things. So, that was interesting to us, and the fact that we’re talking about women’s wrestling and a female gatekeeper so to speak in a way. That was just compelling for us to look at to see if we can talk to as many women’s wrestlers who worked alongside of her, and of course, Moolah’s daughter and other people to sort of see for ourselves what really transpired and was their truth to this and so on and so forth.”

Jason Eisener on how the episode didn’t set out to persecute Moolah: “We didn’t set out to persecute Moolah because we didn’t know the extent of the allegations until the WWE struck Moolah’s name from the battle royal. But we wanted to give voice to the women’s wrestlers who did spend their time with Moolah and hear it from them, from themselves. I think you’ll see from the episode, it’s a pretty honest perspective of what the women went through working with Moolah and hopefully a good, honest perspective, as best as we could from I guess the Moolah side of things as well.”

The season finale for Dark Side of the Ring, “The Fabulous Moolah,” airs on May 15 on VICELAND.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit the 411 Wrestling Interview Podcast on 411mania.com.

Introduction (0:00)
On the response to the show as a whole from The Rock, hardcore fans and casual fans (0:47)
On the rise of docuseries in popular culture (2:32)
On Lance Storm’s criticism of the Montreal Screwjob episode and Scott Hall saying the Screwjob was a work (4:07)
On future episodes and the possibility of a second season (12:05)
On the Fabulous Moolah episode exploring allegations against Moolah and the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal name being changed (13:23)
On Jim Cornette and Vince Russo shooting on each other in the Montreal Screwjob episode and whether Russo reached out to appear in it (16:47)
On whether the Cornette vs. Russo feud is a work (21:16)
On whether there were episodes that had to be cut for the current season (25:30)
On the John Oliver Last Week Tonight segment on WWE and what keeps wrestlers from being part of something like the Screen Actor’s Guild (28:16)
On what they want fans to know about the upcoming episodes and where to find them (30:39)