From this day forth, I will haunt your very breath! I will be your shadow in the darkness!
Luna Vachon was born in Atlanta, Georgia to Charles Henry Wilkerson and Rebecca “Van” Pierce. This episode of Dark Side of the Ring explores the many faces of Luna Vachon told by the people that knew her best. This episode explores who Luna was, how her experiences affected her mental health, the people who stood by her, and her desire to see women taken seriously inside the squared circle.
More Horror Stories of The Fabulous Moolah
She was trained at the Fabulous Moolah’s wrestling school with former students and even her ex-husband confirms some interesting and horrific things during this episode. Dark Side of the Ring has already explored this subject during the first season of the show, but even more, stories come out during this one on Luna Vachon.
There is a particular story that is told during the episode where Luna was sent to a photographer. During this interaction, the photographer wanted more than just photographs and attempted to sexually assault her. Luna fought him off and escaped but this would leave her shaken. Her ex-husband, Gangrel, said that when Moolah was around Luna would physically shake.
Luna’s Battle with Mental Health
Luna suffered from mental health issues her whole life being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which is a form of depression where the sufferer experiences great highs and deep lows. Her start in life wasn’t the best, with her father, a hotel owner, killing himself while she was very young and Luna along with her mother, finding the body.
Luna would join the famous Vachon wrestling family when her mother would marry Paul “Butcher” Vachon in 1966, adopting her and then raising her as his daughter even after the marriage broke down. Luna would become the niece of “Mad Dog” Vachon and Vivian Vachon. Luna would later claim that she was abused by her aunt, which her father denies but she may have felt that way due to her aunt’s connections to The Fabulous Moolah.
She would marry Dan Hurd and had two children with him, Joshua and Van before the two would divorce. Her relationship with Dick Slater was best described as volatile and she would leave him after he beat her. All of these events would deeply affect her to the point where she began using substances as a form of self-medication to deal with her emotions. This would also deeply affect her mental health and Luna would eventually succumb to her demons.
Luna Vachon and Her Long History with Gangrel
When David Heath, better known as Gangrel, first met Luna she kicked a door open, with a bloody nose and screamed at him. He wanted nothing to do with her, but over time they became really good friends. Despite their closeness, the two vowed never to date which Heath talks about in this episode, also stating it was funny cause the two ended up married.
But before all of that, he worked with Tom Nash and Luna Vachon as The Blackhearts. During this time Luna and Tom would become close & marrying, to the surprise of Heath, but this relationship, like her previous one, was also volatile. Tome and Luna would argue and fight constantly, and this may have been a factor in Luna and David becoming even closer.
It would all come to a head with Tom accusing David of being with Luna and resulting in the two getting into a fight. Soon after Luna’s second marriage would break down. In true horror fan fashion and Luna and David would get married on Halloween night in a small little ceremony.
He supported her through everything but eventually, they split up, divorcing in 2006. Gangrel states in the documentary that had they not both of them would be dead. The two remained close friends but Heath wishes he could have done more to help her, as he didn’t really understand what she was truly going through with her mental health at the time.
Groundbreaking Work in Women’s Wrestling
Luna Vachon makes it to WWE/WWF after years of hard work and is the first woman to be in a video game for the company. This is a huge achievement, but Luna wasn’t used in the way she would have liked along with being dissatisfied with the way the women’s division was being portrayed.
Medusa, like Luna, hated the way women were treated by the wrestling industry, especially in the WWF/WWE. Medusa tells a story about she wanted to drop the belt to Luna so she would be used more, but Luna couldn’t do it, she didn’t want Medusa to get fired.
Luna also became close to Sensational Serri and the two formed an instant bond with the two taking drugs and partying together. Both were very talented inside the ring but had been reduced to valates during their time in the WWF/WWE. Luna was also close friends with Woman, Nancy Benoit and all three of these women would die young.
Luna Vachon became the queen of extreme when she joined ECW and wrestled the men. She wasn’t appreciated when she came back to the WWF/WWE in 1997 and despite the fact Luna made Sable look amazing in their match at WrestleMania, she was never congratulated for it. She hated the way women were presented during the attitude era and after years of putting up with it, she exploded at Vince McMahon and refused to take her top off. She would be fired soon after.
As Mick Foley said in his eulogy after Luna Vachon’s passing:
“In a world full of butterflies, it took balls to be a caterpillar.”
I love that quote from Luna and in a way, I can’t help but hope that this life was but a chrysalis of sorts for her, that for a woman who never seemed completely comfortable in her own skin, this life was just a prelude to becoming the beautiful butterfly God always meant for her to be. But that would be too easy and so anti-Luna.
There are enough beautiful butterflies out there already. Maybe we should be able to appreciate the beauty of the caterpillar without needing or wanting it to change for our viewing pleasure. Maybe Luna was perfect just as she was. Maybe she was exactly who she was supposed to be.”