On episode 12 of Legends With JBL, WWE Hall Of Famer Alundra Blayze, also known as Madusa, talked about being the first professional wrestler to pose for Playboy, how she got her start with WWE, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon helping her pay off her IRS debt, and being homeless, among other things.
According to Madusa, she was the first pro wrestler to do Playboy, but she did not permit the publication of the pictures because she wanted to be taken seriously as an athlete in Japan.
"I did Playboy before it was even big in WWE. I did not release the pictures, or, yeah, correct, I did not sign the release because that was the time I was negotiating and wanting to go to Japan and I did not want to be looked at that way. I was serious. So yeah, they're floating around there. I've got a picture for [JBL]. Just kidding. I have the pictures."
Also, Madusa credited WWE Hall Of Famer, Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine with putting WWE officials in touch with her.
"I was really excited and honored when I did receive that phone call [from WWE] and that phone call wouldn't have happened without Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine. And I think he called Pat [Patterson] and said, 'you really need to check out this woman. She's unbelievable with all her skills and Japan.' And right away, with Pat's connection to Vince, and, 'bring her in'. So that's how that came to fruition. It was because of Greg."
Madusa shared that McMahon always treated her very well and that he was even accommodating to her when she did not want to give WWE the 'Madusa' name, a name she came up with to work in Japan, as it is easy to chant and it highlights that she was 'Made In The USA'.
"I was speaking to Vince on the phone. He liked the name 'Madusa,' but I wasn't able to give it up. I didn't want to and I'm telling him and realizing that on the phone. I'm like, covering [the telephone transmitter], I'm like, 'oh my God! I'm getting fired even before I'm even hired!' I just told him, 'no, you can't use my name!' But right away, he said, 'that's alright. We'll come up with another one.' He was so awesome. Vince was amazing to me. Vince was so good to me through my whole career in the WWE and I couldn't say anything bad."
Madusa divulged that she was homeless for about a year prior to her WWE run and that McMahon paid off her IRS debt, which totalled $80,000.00.
"I lived in my car. My car got repossessed and I was on the streets. People don't know that I've lived on the streets for awhile and I rose above that and I got a call. And so when I finally got my contract, I was going into WWE, he says, 'is there anything I can do for you?' Anything this or that? And I said, 'yeah, you can pay off my IRS bill!' And he goes, 'how much do you owe?' I said, 'I paid everything off. I could have filed for bankruptcy, but I never did, sir.' He said, 'alright.' The next day, he sent a check and paid my IRS bill. He was amazing."
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Source: Legends With JBL