Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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Appreciating Molly Holly

Molly Holly is one of the greatest of all time. She is also, in my opinion, one of the most under-appreciated women’s wrestlers of all time. Molly was fantastic in the ring and could vary her demeanor to connect with the crowd. She has earned a WWE producer post in recent years for her hard work.

Molly began training in 1997, and WCW soon signed her. Miss Madness was one of Randy Savage’s valets. Holly left Savage and became fan fave, Mona. Due to budget difficulties, she was removed from the company in 2000, before she could show off her wrestling skills.

Shortly after being released from WCW, Molly signed a deal with WWE. She was sent to Memphis Championship Wrestling for more training, where she took on the character of Lady Ophelia. As Lady Ophelia, she was a manager and valet for William Regal. She also competed in matches against women such as The Kat and Victoria. She got a chance when she was brought up to the WWE as Molly Holly, Bob, and Crash Holly’s cousin. Her first feud was against Test, Albert, and Trish Stratus where her and Trish’s career-long feud got its start.

Molly changed her character yet again when she became the Hurricane’s sidekick and started going by Mighty Molly. Mighty Molly was a fan favorite and she even won the Hardcore Championship when she turned on the Hurricane and hit him with a frying pan, effectively defeating him for the title. After splitting with the Hurricane, she returned to her Molly Holly character.

Molly slowly started becoming a villain character for the first time when she started to insult other Divas on the roster and referred to herself as “pure and wholesome”. Her new attitude proved to be effective when she defeated rival Trish Stratus at King of the Ring in 2002 to win her first-ever WWE Women’s Championship. She lost the title later that year at Unforgiven in a rematch with Trish Stratus. In July 2003, she defeated Gail Kim to win the title again. Molly held the title until February 2004, when she lost to Victoria in a Fatal Four-Way. Molly and Victoria’s feud continued for a month, up to a Women’s Championship contest at Wrestlemania XX.

Holly lost the match and therefore had her head shaved on the grandest stage of them all. Molly left WWE less than a year after her Wrestlemania match because the corporation emphasized aesthetics over talent in the women’s division.

Molly generally stayed out of the spotlight when she left the WWE – she had one appearance in 2007 during Raw’s 15th Anniversary special. She also appeared at Wrestlemania XXV in the 25 Diva Battle Royal in 2009. Holly re-gained WWE popularity in 2016 when she appeared on Table For Three with Alundra Blayze and Ivory. Two months later, she returned with Candice Michelle and Michelle McCool. She competed in the 2018 and 2020 Women’s Royal Rumbles as Mighty Molly.

In 2021, she took her rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame and shortly after accepted a producer role backstage for WWE where she has been highly praised for her work with the women’s division. She competed in the Women’s Royal Rumble again in 2022 as Mighty Molly where she faced off with Nikki A.S.H.

Molly Holly was truly ahead of her time. When the corporation was concerned with aesthetics and scandalous tales for their women, Molly focused on wrestling and connecting with her audience. As a producer for the women’s section, it’s no wonder she has these attributes. I want her to wrestle Bianca Belair, Becky Lynch, and Shayna Baszler when women are respected in the ring. In recent years, it’s been heartening to watch Molly earn some of the respect she deserves.

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