2-time Women’s Champion and 1-time Hardcore Champion, plus Diva of many gimmicks
Good Golly, Miss Molly. Here’s a fun little fact that readers will probably be happy to hear and it’s made me all the more appreciative of my excellently random memory – Molly Holly was in the very first wrestling match I ever watched. My brother got me sitting down to watch WCW with him when I’d heard about it for weeks and a women’s match opened the show between Miss Madness and Brandi Alexander. Years later I discovered Miss Madness and Molly Holly were the same person and I was thrilled because Molly was one of my favourite Divas, and after watching her shoot interview she is one of my favourite people in real life too. Now unfortunately the WWE career of Molly Holly is a bit of a sad story behind the scenes but nonetheless I still enjoyed her work so we’re going to celebrate the better moments of her career because there were more than a few.
A Stratus-fying Debut – Raw 2000:
Molly herself told a story about her debut on Raw in her shoot interview. She said she came to the arena for the Raw taping (she had been doing dark segments for a few weeks now) and was approached by a wardrobe assistant saying she needed a piece of her clothes to sew Crash Holly’s symbol onto. And then Stephanie approached her to say she would be going out there with Crash that night as the third Holly Cousin. It was one of my favourite Diva debuts and formed a nice trio of debuts that year along with Trish and Lita who both got nice ones too, though Molly was the only one of the three who got to debut on the main show. Something as simple as running in to attack Trish was done so well and was such a cool moment to see.
A Date With Dudley/Destiny – Raw 2001:
Molly’s little romance storyline with Spike Dudley may have been corny and a little sappy but she herself listed it as her favourite thing she did in her career and so of course it’s getting a mention. Not a lot of wrestling couples have chemistry but Spike and Molly did look like a couple that fit, the delivery of their lines aside. This Romeo and Juliet inspired storyline led Molly’s cousins and Spike’s brothers to disapprove of their relationship and they found themselves struggling to find a quiet spot to kiss backstage. It seems that whenever there’s a budding young couple in WWE, the entire locker room turns into Moment Killers.
Hardcore Hurricane Hot Potato – WrestleMania X8:
Before she became Women’s Champion for the first time, Molly actually bagged the hot potato Hardcore title for a very brief period at WrestleMania X8. The title had been officially on the line in a match with Goldust against Maven but plenty of other Superstars interfered, including the Hurricane who was promptly betrayed by his sidekick (now Mighty Molly) and whammed in the face with a frying pan. Molly became the second woman to have held the Hardcore title (the first being Bobcat) but she didn’t have time to celebrate as Christian slammed a door in her face and relieved her of the title. A Mania moment is a Mania moment I guess…
Baywatch, The Early Years – Raw 2002:
If you heard the words “Molly Holly” and “bikini contest” in the same sentence, you’d think you were on Mars or somewhere. But long before Molly became a self-righteous prude with a huge ass, she was a bit more of a goofy Kurt Angle type of heel. So one segment that also marked the first Raw under the WWE brand had Molly set to face Terri Runnels in a swimsuit competition. Terri did her normal thing and Molly told King he would go wild when he saw what was under her robe. Now a glance at any of Molly’s photo shoots for the Divas’ DVDs will show that she looks damn fine in a swimsuit but you won’t be getting arousals from this. You will get plenty of laughs though. Fast forward to about 7:15
A Little Off The Top – WrestleMania XX:
When WWE.com caught up with Molly Holly a couple of years ago for a “Where Are They Now?” interview, she dropped a little titbit about her famous match with Victoria; there apparently wasn’t going to be a Women’s title match at all for WrestleMania XX and so Molly came up with the idea of having her head shaved because she wanted to do something shocking for the 20th WrestleMania. The match itself was nothing special and in fact was one of their worst matches together. But the real gold came from after the match as Molly lost to Victoria, having put her own hair on the line. She tried to flee the arena and ended up strapped into the barber’s chair and had all of her hair shaved off in front of the live crowd. The head shaving itself was actually praised as being one of the high points of an otherwise dismal show by critics, so there’s another plus for Molly.
10) vs Trish Stratus – Smackdown 2000:
Molly has said in numerous interviews that Trish was one of her favourite people to work with and it’s not hard to see why. This happens to be Molly’s first singles match in WWE and I think it’s one of Trish’s first singles outings too. I felt I had to include it on the list because it is a very good match in its own right but also a testament to Molly’s work ethic when she’s able to work with Trish who had barely been wrestling for four months through a fairly lengthy and nicely done match. And listen to the crowd pop when she does her Molly-Go-Round for the first time ever, and Michael Cole’s reaction is nice to hear as well.
9) vs Crash Holly – Raw 2001:
Despite looking like a petite cutesy blonde, Molly was actually a former power lifter in addition to her gymnastics, and she was no stranger to intergender deals. During her romance with Spike Dudley, her cousin and long-time tag partner Crash Holly got so fed up and annoyed at the situation that he challenged Molly to a match. You’ll see that Molly works just as well with men as she does with women and you get a nice little match that shows off her Waif-Fu abilities. And poor Crash, you should have known better than to have Jacqueline in your corner.
8) vs Lita – Heat 2001:
Here’s another highly Googled match. Afterall, Lita was one of the biggest stars of the Attitude Era and Molly was one of the best workers so of course people would like to see matches between them. There weren’t that many actually, only about six singles which isn’t that many considering they were both in the company together for five years. Molly has said in interviews that she found Lita a bit hard to work with so that might explain their patchy chemistry but this match here was very good in my opinion. It came on the Heat before the Backlash PPV and had no story, other than building up Lita as the challenger for Chyna’s Women’s Championship. A very solid match between them.
7) vs Gail Kim – Raw 2003:
Bitter rivals turned tag team partners…wait isn’t it normally the other way around? Gail Kim debuted on Raw in sensationalist fashion – winning the Women’s title in a battle royal. And it was Molly who was her first challenger and allowed the WWE Universe to see what Gail could really do. They had two matches together and both were really fun to watch, especially now with the hindsight that the two of them eventually became tag partners. The one I ended up picking was of course the one where Molly won and became a 2-time Women’s Champion. At the time it was the most random title win ever and even more randomly it ended up leading to a seventh month long title reign.
6) vs Trish Stratus – King of the Ring 2002:
And coincidentally we’re moving backwards from Molly’s second title win to her very first. Molly was turned heel in 2002 when Jazz tore her ACL and left the heel side of the Divas’ roster at pretty much just Ivory and Stacy Keibler so Molly helped make up numbers. She got pushed into a feud with Trish Stratus who was ever improving and this resulted in an infamous segment where Trish made fun of Molly’s ass and gave Jerry Lawler all the material he needed for the next seven months. Nonetheless, Molly defeated Trish in a non-title match and was awarded a Women’s Championship shot at the King of the Ring. Molly showed that she was Queen of the Ring that night as she reversed a roll up and grabbed Trish’s tights to become champion. She was given a very respectable title reign of about four months.
5) with Crash Holly vs Kaientai – Smackdown 2000:
Oho, it’s another intergender match getting onto my list and it’s one of my personal Molly favourites. How awesome were her and Crash as a tag team? Wouldn’t you just love it if they’d won a set of intergender tag titles because you know they’d be great champions. This match was a Christmas corker for Molly fans as Kaientai had been acting like Grinches for the Christmas episode of Smackdown and so Mick Foley booked them in an intergender tag match against the Hollys. Just look at Molly working so effortlessly with the guys and showing off so much in such a short amount of time. Her and Crash were quite the force to reckoned with.
4) vs Ivory – Heat 2003:
Some fans might be interested to hear that Ivory and Molly are very close friends outside the squared circle and Molly even gave Ivory a personal thank you at the end of her shoot DVD. In my (short) experiences, wrestlers who are very good friends tend to put on really solid matches. Molly and Ivory did indeed see a lot of each other inside the ring so it was hard for me to pick one of their matches that stood out. I eventually came to this one from 2003 when Molly was enjoying her second title reign but was not enjoying the current feud with Lita. I know Molly hated being a heel but she displayed knowledge of wrestling psychology like so few other Divas. Out of today’s crop of girls, I liken Layla to her the most as someone who always tries the hardest to make the best of whatever role she’s put into.
3) vs Jacqueline – Heat 2001:
What a great match. It’s so short, pretty much what the Divas get nowadays, and yet it’s still one of my favourite matches to watch. Molly said Jacqueline always took her to the limit and this match demonstrates it. They had longer matches years later but this will always be my favourite of theirs. A simple face vs face match on the B-show and yet so much more. Look at all the athleticism displayed by both the women in the first part and then soak up all the back and forth action that takes place in the match’s short time length. Makes me wish we’d see a Sarita vs Molly match sometime in the near future.
2) vs Victoria – Vengeance 2004:
These two had a very disappointing match at WrestleMania XX with Victoria’s title and Molly’s hair on the line but they made up for it a few months later as they got a random PPV spot on Raw’s Vengeance since the reigning Women’s Champion was out with an injury (Trish, who else?) and they needed to crown a #1 contender. This is my favourite Victoria/Molly encounter because of how awesome the action was. WrestleMania had some hard-hitting stuff but no real flow or excitement but here there was plenty of that, plus some great psychology too. Just look at the way Molly tweaks her signature moves so that they target Victoria’s arm, and just how she works the arm in general. No locking in an arm wringer for two minutes and calling it a day. She dominates like a general and helps Victoria put on a bit of a sleeper match considering it had no build-up whatsoever.
1) vs Trish Stratus – Unforgiven 2002:
Picking a number 1 match for Molly was extremely hard. She’s very much like Natalya in that all her matches are solid in their own way and she has an endless stream of good ones so that makes it all the more difficult to pick the great ones out of the list. But after due consideration, it could go to no other match. True this was Trish’s time to shine but this was also the best Divas’ match of 2002 (in my opinion of course) and a fantastic display of Molly’s wrestling abilities. From bell to bell this was just a great wrestling match and of course one of my all-time favourites – it did make it to Trish’s list of best matches as well. And Diva fans all know how rare it is for a truly talented technical wrestler to be given such a showcase on a PPV, for the title as well.
So that closes the door on the highlights of Molly Holly’s career. She may have had a bit of a rough time behind the scenes and ended up unhappy and depressed with her job but she still remains a big favourite among Diva fans and is in turn gracious and kind to them. The last woman I wrote this highlight piece for – Michelle McCool – cited Molly as the past Diva she would most like to face and current Diva Beth Phoenix was actually struggling to pay for her wrestling training in OVW and Molly saw potential in her, and stepped in to pay the fees for her. And yes, Molly has listed Beth as one of the Divas she would love to work with if she ever came back. However it seems that Miss Molly has no interest at all in returning to wrestling for the time being. But whatever the case is, we can still type the words “Molly Holly vs” into a Youtube search and enjoy whatever video comes up. So here’s to you, Nora Greenwald, a talented and enchanting lady and a consummate professional.
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