Female Wrestling - The History of the WWE Divas 2
The History of the WWF/WWE Divas Continues
Welcome to my second article about the history of the WWF / WWE Divas.
This time on our female wrestling list, we look at Lita in depth, Stephanie McMahon, Tori, Trish Stratus, Molly Holly and believe it or not...Finlay!
Lita (Amy Dumas)
In the last article, we left off with the signing of Lita (Amy Dumas) .
Like I said there, Lita changed the face of the Divas because she was REALLY into wrestling.
She started off as a kid watching WCW, then she went to Mexico in 1998 to study the Lucha Libre style of wrestling.
I have written several Hubs about Lucha Libre, and if you don't know anything about it, Lucha is a very high risk, high flying style of pro wrestling.
In Mexico Lita was trained by Kevin Quinn (who also helped train Colt Cabana) , Puerto Rican professional wrestler Miguel Pérez, and WWC Puerto Rico Heavyweight Champion Ricky Santana.
Down there, she made her pro wrestling debut with Empresa Mexicana de la Lucha Libre, which is now better known as Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL).
She came back to the States and worked for several Indy wrestling promotions including NWA Mid-Atlantic where she met Matt and Jeff Hardy.
In 1999 she debuted in ECW as Miss Congeniality, then wrestled as Angelica.
She went to the Funkin' Conservatory (a wrestling school run by the legendary Dory Funk, Jr.) graduated, and went back to ECW.
But while she was there, Dory and his wife sent a tape of her to the WWF.
They were suitably impressed and Amy was signed to a WWF developmental deal on November 1, 1999.
Amy was given the name Lita and paired up with luchador Essa Rios and on February 13, 2000, they made their WWF debut on Sunday Night HEAT.
Soon after, she teamed with her old friends from NWA Mid-Atlantic, Matt and Jeff Hardy (now known as the Hardy Boyz) and formed Team Xtreme.
During her six years with the WWF/WWE, Lita held the WWF/WWE Women's Championship four times.
Outside of the WWF/WWE, she was named the Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) Woman of the Year in 2001.
Lita at Amazon
Of course you cant talk about this era in the WWE Diva history without mentioning a woman that really lived up to the title "Diva", Stephanie McMahon.
Although most of Stephanie's fame came from story lines, she actually did hold the WWF Women's Championship once, having defeated Jacqueline (with the help of Tori and D-Generation X).
She held the title for 146 days, before dropping the belt to Lita.
And even though she isn't on TV hardly at all anymore, "stephanie mcmahon hot" is still a popular search term on Google, showing you this ladies staying power.
Tori (Terri Poch)
And I mentioned Tori earlier.
This isn't Torri Wilson, but Terri Poch.
Tori started out in the WWF as Sable's fan, a storyline that would be re-visited (in a fashion) years later with Trish Stratus and Mickie James.
But before Tori showed up in the WWF, she had already worked for Pacific Northwest Wrestling, the Ladies Professional Wrestling Association and All Japan Women's Pro Wrestling.
As with the later Trish/Mickie storyline, things went bad between Sable and Tori, with Tori challenging Sable for the Women's Championship at WrestleMania XV.
Tori lost there because of interference from Sable's debuting bodyguard, Nicole Bass.
And no, we are not even gonna go into Nicole Bass.
Tori had feuds with Jacqueline and Ivory, and she and Ivory had the first ever women's WWF Hardcore match.
She also became Kane's girlfriend, worked as the "Black Ninja" and was a trainer on WWF Tough Enough in 2001.
Tori never held a title in the WWF/WWE, but when she was in the LPWA, she held the LPWA Championship and was holding the title when the LPWA folded.
Of course right after Lita debuted, another Diva debuted that would make WWF/WWE history.
Trish debuted about a month after Lita, on March 19, 2000 also on Sunday Night Heat.
With her fitness model body and wild mane of blonde hair, Trish was pretty much an instant hit with the fans.
Although she became engaged in feuds with the others Divas (most notably Lita), Trish got her fair share of humiliation in the ring (at one point having to strip down to her bra and thong in the ring and bark like a dog).
Trish stayed with it though and eventually went on to hold the WWF/WWE Women's Championship seven times, the WWE Hardcore Championship once and was voted Babe of the Year three years straight (2001-2003) and was named Diva of the Decade in 2003.
Outside of the WWF/WWE, she was named the PWI Woman of the Year in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006.
Molly Holly (Nora Greenwald)
A woman that is another favorite among real wrestling fans made her WWF debut in 2000, Molly Holly.
Of course Molly (Nora Greenwald) had wrestled in the World Professional Wrestling Federation (WPWF), New Dimension Wrestling and the WCW before actually signing with the WWF.
And she pre-dates both Lita and Trish, having worked a match for the WWF in 1998 as Starla Saxton.
While at WCW, she and Madusa trained the female wrestlers at the WCW Power Plant.
Nora went to the WWF in 2000 and worked some "dark matches" under the name Lady Ophelia and later debuted as Molly Holly, the "cousin" of Bob Holly and Crash Holly.
During her time in the WWF/WWE, Molly held the WWE Women's Championship twice, and the WWF Hardcore Championship once.
Before ending part two of this series, I have to mention a man that made the Divas look good.
Dave Finlay (Or Fit Finlay or just plain Finlay) the "man who loves to fight" trained the Divas after he left WCW.
He helped train Lita, Trish Stratus, Molly Holly, Victoria, Gail Kim, Candice Michelle and a lot of others.
Without this man, a lot of the WWF matches would have just been two models slapping at each other.
Thank you Mr. Finlay!