As the dust settles on WWE’s ill-fated attempt to name a memorial battle royal after The Fabulous Moolah, it’s becoming clear that it may have been candy bar manufacturer Snickers, not the WWE Universe, that ultimately convinced the pro wrestling company to drop the controversial Hall-of-Famer from the title and rename it The WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal.
WWE first announced the battle royal on Monday with a video featuring WWE superstars paying tribute to Moolah, who died in 2007, as a pioneer of women’s wrestling. However, longstanding allegations about Moolah’s treatment of trainees prompted a major backlash to the name amongst fans on social media, which led to stories about it at major news outlets.
Thank you @WWEUniverse for using your voice. What remains most important is that the “@WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal” will be a historic match and is part of @WWE’s unwavering commitment to our Women’s Division. #WomensEvolution #ChangeTheName
— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) March 15, 2018
Despite the backlash, WWE persisted with the name through Thursday before abruptly announcing the change. As it turns out, the change took place almost immediately after candy bar brand Snickers, which is the sponsor of WrestleMania 34, publicly announced that they would speak with WWE about the complaints.
Wrestling Inc. reported Thursday that Snickers, who fans had been petitioning regarding the battle royal name, issued the following official statement shortly before WWE made the decision to change the name:
We were recently made aware of the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc’s (WWE) decision to honor a former wrestler during the upcoming WrestleMania 34 event. As a principle-based business that has long championed creating inclusive environments that encourage and empower everyone to reach their full potential, this is unacceptable. We are engaging with the WWE to express our disappointment.
In retrospect, this makes much more sense, as WWE isn’t typically known for listening to their audience. A major sponsor, on the other hand, is likely to wield a lot more influence. Now, is it possible to get Snickers to do something about the plans for Roman Reigns to defeat Brock Lesnar in the main event?