The wrestling world was dealt yet another blow Friday as the news spread of Gertrude “Luna” Vachon’s passing. Just 48 years old, Luna was one of the most memorable performers in recent history.
The friends that she made in the wrestling industry began paying tribute to her as word began to spread.
Among those paying tribute was Brian Heffron, better known to fans as The Blue Meanie, on Facebook. “She was like a den mother when I first went to the WWF. She read me the list of do’s and do not’s. She was tough but gentle all at the same time. This one hurts.”
Mick Foley reflected on Vachon as well, sharing insights about his and his family’s relationship with her in a phone interview with SLAM! Wrestling.
“I’m heartbroken,” Foley said. “I just had a very nice, long talk with Luna about a month ago and after hearing about her passing, I’ve been thinking about how good she was to my kids and how much I’ll miss hearing that voice.”
Kevin Sullivan reflected on his time working with Luna in an email. “I am saddened to hear of the passing of Luna Vachon,” he wrote. “Not only was she a fantastic performer, but I was lucky enough to consider her a dear friend and I will miss her greatly. Luna was an integral part of my career and I would not have succeeded without her. We have lost a great performer and an even greater person. My condolences go out to her family and to her friends.”
As word began to pass around the Twitterverse of Luna’s passing, current and past superstars shared their thoughts.
“Rip- Luna Vachon…you were loved by many. My heart goes out to you,” said Calgary’s Nattie Neidhart. “I’m just so saddened- my heart goes out to Luna Vachon and her whole family. She will be missed and always remembered.”
“RIP Luna! Your intensity in the ring was matched by your kindness in the locker room,” said Christopher Daniels on his Twitter account.
Tommy Dreamer, who worked with Luna in his early days, reflected on their time in the business together. “Luna was the 1st Queen of Extreme. My 1st manager. Luna passed away on the night of 2 moons. Pretty unique just like her. Strong woman.”
Daffney, in her post, recalled looking up to Luna as she trained for her own career in wrestling. “Watched hours of Luna while learning the art of Women’s Wrestling. What an influence. And she was so kind to me. I’ll never forget that,” she said.
Lisa “The Adjuster” Haynes was one of those influenced by Vachon. It was Vachon who gave Haynes her first pair of wrestling boots.
“She was very good as far as training and that sort of thing. She had a very good persona and she was able to easily express the good vs evil type values that was very important in wrestling in order to get your message across. Her ring psychology was important,” said Haynes, adding that she was “diabolical in the ring, but a nice person outside of it.”
In her autobiography, Lita (Amy Dumas) addressed Luna’s role in her career as well. “Luna was a definite inspiration for me — she had a wild look and was a genuinely tough female wrestler,” she wrote. “The two of us hit it off immediately. Luna had a reputation for being kind of crazy, but I found her to be as sweet as could be. We chatted a bit and actually corresponded for a while, writing letters back and forth. She was always very encouraging, telling me to stay true to myself as far as refining my wrestling persona.”
— with files from SLAM! Wrestling staff
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