Wrestler’s Review – Molly Holly

WWE Divas has never had a good wrap as female figures in the wrestling business. So many times, I wonder how does Vince McMahon get away with treating their female employees into sex symbols in front of a live audience and gets away with it. Not to say I’m against this or anything, but when you have really tough women like Chyna, Victoria, or Beth Phoenix no matter how any one would like to make them intimidating they still fall in the same category of being treated as a sex symbol, but Molly Holly on the other hand was something different. This is another wrestler in the WWE that had a really great start in her career on mainstream television but then went downhill towards the end of her career. So let’s see how Nora Greenwald’s career went from her first televised appearance to the day she retired.

WCW as Miss Madness to Mona (1999 – 2000)

Nora Greewald didn’t enter the wrestling business as the Molly Holly that we all know of today, instead she was one out of the three valet  girls for “Macho Man” Randy Savage along with Gorgeous George (Stephanie Bellars) and Madusa (Alundra Blayze). Together they were one as a Team Madness who were a much much different wrestling faction than other nWo but instead Macho Man being protected by some of the toughest, strongest, and most beautiful female wrestlers in World Championship Wrestling at the time. This was at the point were WCW wanted to make their women’s wrestling division taken serious due to the fact that WWF’s Chyna got more women audiences (and a lot of male audience) to see her taken serious and beat up guys like never seen before. Since Macho Man was out of nWo and the Wolfpack he made Team Madness for these women to help interfere in his matches.

Team Madness was interesting because in many tag team matches, (even despite the fact that they’re training Gorgeous George to be a wrestler) Macho Man would be tag team partners with Madusa or George herself and let them wrestle against men like Sid Vicious, Ric Flair, David Flair, Kevin Nash, and Sting. The fast popularity of Team Madness earned Macho Man winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. And that’s where things start to fall apart because eventually, Savage betrayed Miss Madness by firing her from Team Madness along with Madusa after a championship loss. Team Madness slowly started to disband after Madusa and Miss Madness began fighting each other over who was responsible for Savage’s title loss. Eventually, Savage fired both of them which forever ended Team Madness.  Miss Madness then became Mona, a fan favorite who wrestled in a blue cocktail dress and barefoot. As her new wrestling persona as Mona, she begun a feud with Madusa which just ended out of the blue. Mona embarked on mini-feuds with Madusa, Little Jeannie, and Asya. Independent female wrestlers, such as Dee Dee Venturi and Brandi Alexander, were also brought in to wrestle Mona. WCW released Greenwald, however, in August 2000 in a cost-cutting move, but her wrestling career didn’t end there.

WWF as Molly Holly (2000 – 2005)

After how dissapointing they handled Nora Greenwald’s character as Mona in WCW, she moved to WWF now as Molly Holly. Her gimmick is that she was a talented tough chick who is a cousin with Hardcore Holly & Crash Holly. At the time, the Holly Cousins were in rivalry with Test, Albert, and Trish Stratus so the Hollies needed their own female wrestler to fight against Trish Stratus. Leading to her first televised victory over Stratus in a Six-Person intergender tag team match at Survivor Series 2000. Afterwords, the Hollies began a rivalry with the Dudley Boys (Buh Buh Ray Dudley, D-Von Dudley, and Spike Dudley). There was a romeo and juliet story where Spike and Molly were in a on-screen relationship together which got a fuss with each member on each side. Back in the day, relationships with wrestlers were a popular thing to watch with famous ones like Lita and Matt Hardy, Perry Saturn and Terri Runnels, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, Steve Austin and Debra, and Eddie Guerrero and Chyna.

It was interesting to see someone as small and weak as Spike Dudley to be with a beautiful woman like Molly Holly and we all somehow found the relationship believable. It’s also one of the biggest reasons why Spike disbanded with the Dudley Boys who were together since ECW. Spike Dudley was tag teaming with the Big Show, with Molly Holly has their wrestling valet. But there was that one instance where Big Show and Spike Dudley were facing Lance Storm and The Hurricane (superhero persona) in an episode of Smackdown where Molly was thrown off the ring by Ivory only to be caught by The Hurricane’s rescue from falling hard on the floor. He put her down and gave Molly a thumbs up to show kindness and compassion. The Hurricane won the match and gave Molly again a thumbs up. This gave WWF writers some ideas but for now the Dudley Boys came in and ended the on-screen relationship between Molly and Spike by putting them through the table.

On October 2001 Molly Holly dumps her boyfriend Spike Dudley to align herself with Hurricane Helms, calling herself MIGHTY MOLLY! This was an interesting booking decision where she’s a super hero figure with The Hurricane, but I thought it was a waste of potential as this gimmick. She never had a serious rivalry as Mighty Molly due to the fact that WWF doesn’t know how to take her character seriously. However, I find it most interesting that as this gimmick she won her first ever wrestling championship when she tricked The Hurricane by giving him a sneak attack knocking him out and pinning him for the Hardcore Championship in Wrestlemania X8. At the same night at Wrestlemania when she was looking for a way out of the building, Christian knocked her out by slamming a door on her face and pinned her to take her Hardcore Championship away. And that was the end of Mighty Molly and WWF writers brought back her Molly Holly character.

Upon her return to the newly renamed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), she made a surprising heel turn by attacking Trish Stratus after Trish’s match against Torrie Wilson on a Paddle on a Pole match. There, Molly attacked Trish with the paddle and that was the last time we saw blonde Molly ever again. She drastically changed her look by shortening her trademark blonde hair and darkening it to autumn brown. Greenwald adopted a self-righteous prude character, who was appalled by the other WWE Divas continually using their “assets” and degrading themselves. During this gimmick, she would often refer to herself as being “pure and wholesome” which was her way to rebel against the stereotype that women’s wrestling shouldn’t be about women taking off their clothes to be loved by fans. This led to a feud with the then-Women’s Champion Trish Stratus, which culminated in her winning the championship at King of the Ring 2002. The feud with Stratus continued for several months, and Molly later brought in Victoria as an enforcer to help deal with Trish. She would finally drop the title back to Stratus at Unforgiven 2002.

Greenwald earned her second Women’s Championship by defeating Gail Kim on Raw on July 28, 2003. Kim later became a villain and joined Greenwald in her feud with Stratus. During an attack on Stratus, Lita made her return, helping Trish fend off her attackers. Greenwald and Kim then lost a tag team match to Lita and Trish at Unforgiven 2003 sparking a feud with Lita. This feud led to a match against Lita at Survivor Series for the Women’s title, which Greenwald retained. I have to say that this was the best idea for a heel character who despises sex symbols in the wrestling division only to earn herself a WWE Women’s Championship. Her run throughout 2003 (despite a lack of a good storyline) was the best career a woman has ever had at the time. Even despite some of the suggestive humiliation with what Trish did to Molly (like taking off her clothes on front of Molly, making fun of Molly huge ass, and even took off Molly’s pants) she did actually got the guys excited for Molly’s beautiful side which her character refuses to show. At times when there’s a sexy women’s wrestling show (like Diva’s undressed) she just likes to ruin the event so that there’s a big time women heel wrestler to build up the heat. And as she has her matches, she offers really good wrestling for a women’s division to actually show everyone what women’s wrestling is all about (instead of taking clothes off and doing suggestive moves). It was finally nice to see Molly Holly being one of the few women in the industry to be taken seriously…

Until 2004 started and things came apart for her career. Victoria made a face turn in the beginning of this year only to have them feud off. Molly Holly lost her championship to Victoria in a Four-Way Elimination match on February 23, 2004. But she didn’t want to just let the title slip out of her hands like that so Victoria and Molly continued the feud to Wrestlemania XX. But it was not only for the Women’s Championship but the loser had to loose her hair… and this is the part that ruined the Molly Holly character… She lost the match and everyone treated her like a joke. So we have a very serious female wrestler that actually made the women’s division look good only to humiliate her worse than Trish exposing her beautiful side. Time and time again, everyone joked about her baldness by taking her wig off and have backstage interviews where joke characters like Eugene  to scream at her. It’s even worse when she had feuds with other women wrestlers who aren’t even in the same league as her to beat her in matches.

Greenwald’s final WWE pay-per-view appearance occurred at Taboo Tuesday as she appeared in the Fullfill Your Fantasy Battle Royal along with many other WWE Divas. The fans voted online for the Divas to wear schoolgirl uniforms, as opposed to French maids or nurse outfits. In contrast to the other girls who wore sexy schoolgirl uniforms, Greenwald wore a demure 1980s-style schoolgirl uniform. Greenwald failed to win the match when Stratus eliminated her by tossing her through the ropes for the win. Greenwald’s efforts in subsequent attempts to regain the title failed. Due to several wrestlers from the company’s women’s division being released in late 2004 and the introduction of the Raw Diva Search program, Greenwald was mostly left off television, only occasionally appearing on Sunday Night Heat and Raw in losing efforts to the likes of Lita, Victoria, Trish Stratus, and Christy Hemme. She left WWE and a full-time wrestling career in April 2005. Reportedly, she was beginning to become disenchanted with WWE, who began to focus on looks rather than wrestling ability. She also hated that her character had become a villain, but that is not the direct cause of her leaving the company. Greenwald, however, stated that all of the a aforementioned reasons are incorrect, but she would like to keep the real reason she left WWE private. She decided to take a break from WWE and spend some time with her family and enjoy life. It’s really sad to see a woman that has so much potential and so much to offer in the wrestling industry but sadly because of the fact that her gimmick was to go against the sexism of the women’s division, this sausage-fest of a business ruined this woman’s career who refuse to take her clothes off on front of a live audience.

Molly Holly’s moveset

What makes Molly Holly a fantastic athlete is that she has tremendous grappling skills and wasn’t afraid of high risk maneuvers. She was one of those wrestlers that wasn’t afraid to put pain on her opponents and she was a tough obstacle for any bimbo to get pass through her. Oh man, if you seen Molly Holly in 2003 she was so eager to lay painful submission moves on these women and she’s a great example on women’s wrestling. She has great move that have been seen in many of her matches like

  • Armdrag
  • Bulldog
  • Handspring Elbow Smash
  • Missile Drop Kick
  • Northern-lights pin fall
  • Gutwrench
  • Headscissors takedown
  • Indian Deathlock
  • Suplex

Most importantly, she was the one wrestler that innovated the Molly-Go-Round, her finishing maneuver. What this is is a high risk move where only the flying wrestlers are capable of doing but trying this move out without missing is what’s so impressive about Molly Holly. Basically when she’s on the top corner and her opponent is up on his/her feet, she flips towards her opponent by landing on their head and shoulders as she lands on top of them. It’s a really difficult move to apply but not once did I ever see Molly make a mistake when applying that maneuver. She has without a doubt the best moves I’ve seen from a female wrestler and she never displayed anything suggestive when she fought her opponent; it was taken seriously and artistically about grappling and showmanship! A+

Molly Holly’s Accomplishments

From being a valet girl for the awesome Macho Man Randy Savage into a serious and dominant woman in any women’s division is incredibly impressive! I admit that her start in the WWF/WWE was a directionless character from a woman that was needed for a team (Hollies), to a love interest with Spike Dudley, to a stupid super heroine gimmick with the Hurricane, it took her about three years to finally get that serious woman wrestler that the women’s division needed. The problem however is that since this is a division that was required to show sexiness no pervert could ever see her talent in the wrestling ring. It was justified to let her win the WWE Women’s Championship two times for her athleticism and the risk she takes every time that she has a match. Yeah the Hardcore Championship was brief and pointless but at least she earned the Women’s title fair and square. My only wish was to have a women’s division taken more seriously, offer athleticism, & dedication as Nora Greenwald.

Conclusion

She was one of a kind of woman that was real and if only the WWE writers actually gave her another face run while going against this sexism on WWE programming, she would have been in the WWE longer and people would of see what I see from this wrestler.  If only she never did that shaving her headbald and have WWE let her do what she does best by giving her the best storyline that women’s wrestling could ever have, she would have more success than Trish Stratus. I believe Molly Holly deserves herself a Hall of Fame since there hasn’t been another woman since that did what she done.

The Top Lister’s wrestling score… 4 out of 5

Advertisements