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Sports & Recreation Wrestling

The Woman Who Would Be King

The MADUSA Story

by (author) Debrah Miceli & Greg Oliver

foreword by Paul Heyman

ECW Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2023
Wrestling, Women, Automobile Racing, Sports
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Through four decades of entertaining, in the wrestling ring and on the monster truck circuit, Debrah “Madusa” Miceli never could sit still. But her desire to learn, grow, and inspire legions of followers masked deep secrets … Her upbringing was a lie from the start, and the dark truths of her childhood, revealed here for the first time, are the earliest examples of Debrah’s determination to persevere.

Professional wrestling may have been an odd choice for a nursing student, but Madusa went all-in, toughening up in Japan before conquering WWE as Alundra Blayze. She held the WWE Women’s belt … until being fired. In the rival WCW, Madusa infamously tossed the WWE belt in the garbage on live TV.

Then, in 1999, Madusa changed lanes and revolutionized the monster truck world. At meet-and-greets, girls in pink “Queen of Carnage” t-shirts would wait alongside ogling fanboys. By 2004, she was the world champion in a sport dominated by men.

Only one thing has eluded her: motherhood.

This is the spellbinding story of how one woman survived child abuse, financial disaster, death-defying injuries, heartbreak, and chaos to emerge triumphant.

About the authors

Debrah Miceli's profile page

A writer, editor, and stay-at-home dad, Greg Oliver has written extensively about hockey and professional wrestling. Recent books include Blue Lines, Goal Lines, & Bottom LinesDon’t Call Me GoonThe Goaltenders’ UnionWritten in Blue & White; and Duck with the Puck. A member of the Society for International Hockey Research, Greg lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his wife and son. Learn more at Jim Gregory is a vice-president with the NHL and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.

Greg Oliver's profile page

Paul Heyman's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“It’s been my distinct pleasure to work shoulder to shoulder with Madusa in the upside-down world of professional wrestling, where her reputation as a highly respected and no-nonsense individual couldn’t be more apt! Like the legend goes, God only made one of Ms. Miceli, and her life’s journey as expressed in this book is testament as to why.” — Billy Corgan, The Smashing Pumpkins

“I have worked with Madusa directly for over 30 years, in both the wrestling and monster truck worlds. I have never met anyone as confident and resilient as her. She is one of the most driven and tough people I have ever met in these two male-dominated sports. It was not an easy road to success, but she made it to the top.” — Michael Weber, Chief Operating Officer, FITE

“Madusa’s book is captivating; I finished it in just two sittings. Much more than a wrestling memoir, it’s an in-depth and very personal journey into the life of a woman who blazed trails, who was knocked down repeatedly and got back up each time stronger and more determined. I give The Woman Who Would Be King my highest recommendation.” — Mick Foley, champion wrestler and author

“I have witnessed Madusa’s journey like no one else has. I’ve fought Alundra Blayze like no one else has. I know Debrah the way no one else does. I am so proud to be able to call her my friend.” — Keiko “Bull” Nakano, former WWE Women’s Champion

“I have been waiting for Madusa to write this book for a long time. She has a story to share, a story that must be shared not only with wrestling fans but with the whole world. She came to Japan with two suitcases. Lived, learned, and conquered. And now you’ll know the rest of the story.” — Fumi Saito, author, sociologist, wrestling historian

“The word ‘trailblazer’ gets thrown around a lot, but Debrah Miceli struck the match long ago. She blazed a trail in two different male-dominated professions and lit the way for others to follow. I’ve been a lifelong fan of her many personas and am fortunate to know the amazing woman herself. Deb’s story is one of strength through struggle, with the courage to kick down obstacles in the path of her goals. The Woman Who Would Be King: The Madusa Story is a riveting and powerful account of her journey. It embodies her grit, tenacity, and resilience in the face of any challenge. This book is an inspiring read that will resonate with anyone chasing a dream.” — Cynthia Vespia, fantasy author

“There’s nothing cooler than a strong woman holding her own and blazing a trail in a traditionally male-dominated field. Madusa has done just that for over 20 years and hasn’t stopped. In a world where women are often encouraged to cooperate, stand down, or go with the flow … be a Madusa.” — Nita Strauss, guitarist

“Overall, every chapter was immediately engaging and one could follow along with Madusa's journey (even if most could not imagine overcoming the difficult circumstances in order to succeed that she did). Although pro wrestling autobiographies are prevalent, The Woman Who Would Be King: The MADUSA Story stands out in 2023 and is recommended.” — Lion Cub Job Search blog

“Greg Oliver does a great job capturing Debrah’s unique voice and style of storytelling” — POST Wrestling

“Debrah Miceli's book, The Woman Who Would Be King: The Madusa Story, is a fascinating look at a woman who was a champion pro wrestler, a world champion monster truck driver, a life coach and so much more. Readers will be awed, enthralled, infuriated and saddened with Miceli’s life story.” — The National Examiner