Molly Holly, a true pioneer of women’s wrestling, is the first inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2021. She was surprised with the news of her induction by her former associate The Hurricane on WWE’s The Bump. Holly will take her place in sports-entertainment history on Tuesday, April 6, during the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The special, which will stream on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else, will feature the induction of both the 2020 and 2021 classes.
After training under “The Man of 1,000 Holds” Dean Malenko, Holly broke into the wrestling business in 1997 and first appeared on television for WCW in 1999 alongside fellow Hall of Famers “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Alundra Blayze as part of Team Madness. Donning a glittering blue dress and sash, Holly looked like a beauty queen but was ruthless inside the ring.
She made the jump to WWE in 2000 and immediately became embroiled in a bitter family rivalry between her cousins — Hardcore Holly & Crash Holly — and The Dudleys. But a romance bloomed between Molly and Spike Dudley, as they quickly became the Romeo & Juliet of WWE. Holly then embraced her inner superhero, turning into Mighty Molly as she joined forces with The Hurricane. Her newfound superpowers helped her win the Hardcore Championship at WrestleMania X8 in 2001.
After her turn as a caped crimefighter, Holly got serious — and a little self-righteous — and set her sights on WWE’s biggest female stars, starting with Trish Stratus. She defeated Stratus to win the WWE Women’s Championship for the first of her two reigns at King of the Ring 2002. Holly took on all comers during her two turns as champion, although her attitude came back to haunt her as her second reign ended, and she was shaved bald by Victoria at WrestleMania XX.
Holly left WWE in 2005 but returned to take part in the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble Match in 2018, as well as the 2020 edition of the over-the-top-rope melee. Her impact on women’s wrestling has been felt to this day, as she is consistently cited by today’s Superstars as an inspiration. After a legendary career, Molly Holly is more than deserving of induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Don’t miss Molly Holly enter the WWE Hall of Fame during the 2021 Induction Ceremony on Tuesday, April 6! Stay tuned to WWE programming and all of WWE’s digital platforms as WrestleMania Week approaches for more information on the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
— WWE (@WWE) March 10, 2021
When the news broke, Shane Helms was not the only one to be happy about Molly Holly being inducted into the Hall of Fame quite simply because she earned it. Holly, a former 2-time WWF Women’s Champion and WWF Hardcore Champion, was a huge part of The Attitude Era and has become a standard for many of the female wrestlers who walked in her footsteps in a WWE ring.
Nora Greenwald was a powerlifter and a gymnast when she out of curiosity tried out for wrestling. She began training under Dean Malenko in Tampa, Florida and She debuted on August 2, 1997, in the World Professional Wrestling Federation (WPWF) under the ring name Starla Saxton. Greenwald wrestled on the independent circuit throughout 1997 and 1998, winning two championships. On August 21, 1998, she defeated Malia Hosaka to win the New Dimension Wrestling Women’s Title but lost it one day later back to Hosaka. She appeared with both World Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation as Starla Saxton, unsuccessfully challenging Jacqueline for the WWF Women’s Championship on an October 1998 episode of Sunday Night Heat and on an episode of the U.K. version of Shotgun.
Greenwald debuted in WCW in 1999 as the Miss Madness, one of Randy Savage’s valets along with Gorgeous George and Madusa. Savage asked Greenwald and Madusa to train his then-girlfriend Gorgeous George in real life, highlights of which were shown on WCW television. As part of the storyline, this villainous alliance, called Team Madness, would interfere in matches for the benefit of Savage. Behind the scenes, Greenwald and Madusa trained the other women of WCW at the WCW Power Plant. Eventually, Savage betrayed Miss Madness by firing her from Team Madness along with Madusa after a championship loss. She then became Mona, a fan favourite, who wore a beauty pageant sash, tiara, white gloves, and heels to the ring and wrestled barefoot in a blue cocktail dress.
After being released the year after by WCW, Upon signing a contract with the World Wrestling Federation, she was sent to their training ground in Memphis Championship Wrestling to work off ring-rust. She became the manager of William Regal and was known as Lady Ophelia. While there, she squared off against The Kat, Bobcat, and Victoria. In 2000, she reappeared in the World Wrestling Federation under the Lady Ophelia gimmick, wrestling dark matches and valeting for William Regal. Greenwald, however, had her first major run in the company as Molly Holly, where she joined her on-screen cousins Bob Holly and Crash Holly. At the time, The Holly Cousins were involved in a feud with T & A (Test, Albert, and manager Trish Stratus). Molly’s arrival on the November 6, 2000 edition of RAW started a short feud with Stratus, leading to her first televised victory over Stratus in a Six-Person intergender tag team match at the Survivor Series. She would defeat Stratus in her first singles match on WWF. In 2001, Molly formed an on-screen relationship with Spike Dudley, in the midst of their storyline rivalry between her cousins and Spike’s brothers. A subsequent fallout between her and Crash even led to an intergender singles match, with Molly pinning Crash. In September 2001, Molly dumped Spike to become Mighty Molly, the superhero sidekick of The Hurricane. Molly, however, eventually left The Hurricane to become a full-time solo wrestler, taking his Hardcore Championship after whacking him with a frying pan at WrestleMania X8. She promptly lost it to Christian an hour later.
Back as Molly Holly, she changed her look, adopted a villainous, 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.” She would enter a fight with Trish Stratus and take the Women’s Championship away from her, even if she pinned Stratus by hooking her tights. After multiple intergender tag team matches throughout mid-July, August and early September 2012, including the first intergender tag team tables match between both Molly and Stratus who started an alignment with Bubba who competed along with her, Trish received a rematch for Molly’s Championship on September 22 at Unforgiven, where she dropped the title back to Stratus. The following night on RAW, Holly tried to regain her title during a triple–threat match against Victoria and Stratus in an unsuccessful attempt, to end their feud.
After ending her feud with Stratus, Holly started competing in various singles and tag team matches till the end of 2002 and early 2003 including a second triple–threat match for the Women’s Championship on October 28, episode of RAW. Molly earned her second Women’s Championship by defeating Gail Kim on Raw on July 28, 2003. Kim later turned villainous and joined Molly in her feud with Stratus. During an attack on Stratus, Lita made her return, helping Trish fend off her attackers. Holly and Kim then lost a tag team match to Lita and Trish at Unforgiven, sparking a feud with Lita. This feud led to a match against Lita at Survivor Series for the Women’s title, which Holly retained. Molly lost her championship to Victoria in a Four-Way Elimination match on February 23, 2004. The feud led to a Hair versus Title match at WrestleMania XX in March 2004, which Molly lost, resulting in her having her head shaved. Over the next few months, as part of the storyline, she desperately tried to disguise her bald head using loose-fitting wigs.
Molly Holly’s final WWE pay-per-view appearance occurred at Taboo Tuesday in 2004 as she appeared in the Fulfill 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 maid or nurse outfits. In contrast to the other girls who wore sexy schoolgirl uniforms, Molly wore a demure 1980s-style schoolgirl uniform with large pink panties underneath. Molly failed to win the match when Stratus eliminated her by tossing her through the ropes for the win. Molly’s efforts in subsequent attempts to regain the title failed. Greenwald left WWE and a full-time wrestling career in April 2005.
Greenwald spent some time in the indies while sporadically appearing in WWE. She mostly used her time to help other people, like kids with special needs or recovery-addict teenagers. She now serves as a coach at The Academy School of Professional Wrestling in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a training facility led by fellow WWE alumni Ken Anderson, and former WWE producer Shawn Daivari. Nora Greenwald’s all-time vocation seems to have always been a giver. During her short career, she had given to others as a trainer or a friend as much as she worked to build her own legacy. Beth Phoenix, during her own Hall of Fame induction, revealed that without Greenwald she would have never been able to be the successful wrestler she had become. She helped Phoenix, guided her and paid her tuition. Phoenix noted that the strong women are the ones who build each other up instead of tearing each other down and that Holly was such a woman. That’s a very good reason for her to become a WWE Hall of Famer.
The 2021 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will stream Tuesday, April 6 exclusively on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else. For the first time ever, the ceremony will feature two classes of inductees taking their place in sports-entertainment history.
The Class of 2020, comprised of Batista, The nWo, The Bella Twins, JBL, British Bulldog and Jushin “Thunder” Liger, will be joined by a new class of Inductees for 2021.
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