With WWE’s current ‘Divas Revolution’ in full swing, a spotlight has been cast on women’s wrestling in a way that has not been seen in a long, long time. The noticeable direction change towards match quality and athletic ability has born references to the days of Lita and Trish Stratus – i.e. the last time WWE’s female division was given any kind of priority on TV. Sadly, one name you likely will not hear mentioned as a pioneer of the current Divas division is that of one of WWE’s most consistent female performers from the early 2000’s. So, Whatever Happened to Molly Holly.
Born Nora Kristina Greenwald, the former high school gymnast and power lifter began wrestling as a weekend hobby. Having been on WCW’s radar for a couple of years, Nora got her big break when Macho Man Randy Savage asked her to train his then girlfriend, Gorgeous George, to wrestle. This inevitably led to a blossoming friendship and a spot on the WCW roster for the future Holly cousin.
Bleaching her hair blonde and dressing like a beauty pageant contestant, Miss Madness joined Gorgeous George and Madusa as part of Team Madness; Macho Man’s entourage. Nora’s run as a valet for one wrestling’s top stars did not last long, but considering she was working for Subway not long beforehand, one could hardly complain. Changing her name to Mona, Nora would wrestle as a babyface on WCW’s B and C shows until her release in mid-2000. With barely time to catch her breath, Nora met with Jim Ross about working for WWE.
Initially considered for a role as one The Godfather’s hoes, Christian girl Nora was thankfully given the slightly better suited gimmick of Molly Holly; Crash and Hardcore’s attractive, and wholesome, cousin. With The Hollys feuding with The Dudleys, Molly found herself at the centre of a Romeo and Juliette angle with Bubba and D-Von’s little brother; Spike. After a whirlwind romance Molly binned Spike in favour of The Hurricane, thus transforming country girl Molly into her superhero alter ego; Mighty Molly. This equally likeable gimmick’s most memorable moment was probably dropping the Hardcore Title to Christian at Wrestlemania 18, after Captain Charisma smashed her in the face with a door.
Ditching The Hurricane, and thus the superhero gimmick, Mighty Molly became plain old Molly Holly again. Cutting her hair short and dying it back to her natural colour, Molly transformed into a conservative, self-righteous, prude. Not too far removed from Ivory’s Right To Censor gimmick, Molly’s new heel persona was the perfect adversary for pretty much every other female performer on the roster. This character adjustment ushered in Molly’s most productive run in WWE. On top of some excellent matches with Trish, Lita and Victoria, Molly captured the WWE Women’s Title on two occasions.
Having seen her character – and women’s wrestling in general – plateau, Molly sought to remedy the lack of a woman’s match at Wrestlemania 20 by offering to lose a hair vs. hair Women’s Championship match to Victoria. Her idea was accepted, and Molly bagged herself her very own ‘Wrestlemania moment’ when her head was shaved bald on a live PPV. Thereafter Molly would appear in different wigs in a vain attempt to hide her lack of hair.
Having been at the top of women’s wrestling as a two time champion, and top heel, unfortunately the only way was down for Molly. As her hair grew back, her position on the card fell. By April 2005 Molly had decided to leave WWE. Save for appearing in the occasional nostalgia angle, we have not heard from her since.
So, whatever happened to Molly Holly? Well, much like her babyface persona, Nora Benshoof – she married Geno Benshoof in 2010 – is an all round good spud. She now works with young people recovering from drug addiction and substance abuse, and also in a preventative capacity. Add to that her work as a missionary in Guatemala, raising money for children with additional support needs and donating the proceeds of her biographical DVD to fund the education of the late Mike ‘Crash Holly’ Lockwood’s daughter and you get the idea. As if she doesn’t keep busy enough, Nora also dabbles in real estate and is a keen amateur photographer.
You can read all previous ‘Whatever Happened To…’ pieces here.