With the recent announcement that Molly Holly is to be inducted into the 2021 Class of the WWE Hall of Fame, Matthew Roberts takes a look back at her career and achievements.
Whilst there is now a bona fide acknowledgement from most (sadly, not all) fans that the women can be just as good (if not better) than the men when it comes to wrestling, it wasn’t always that way. You don’t even have to go back that far to a time when the women were “eye-candy” and not expected to be great wrestlers. And that’s a whole other article in itself.
But it’s also true to say that even during the worst of those times there were competitors that stood out as being more than two-minute filler on TV. There were those who truly cared about their craft, were looking to improve and were never willing to settle for less than they deserved. One such woman was Nora Greenwald, aka Molly Holly. The outpouring of love for her on social media in the hours after the announcement that she was being inducted into the Hall of Fame shows just what an impression she made.
Although most famous for her 2000-2005 run with the WWE, Molly Holly had experience on the independent scene and had a year or so with WCW under her belt before reaching Vince-Land.
Whilst always athletic (she trained as a gymnast, broke powerlifting records in Minnesota for her age group in her mid-teens), wrestling wasn’t her first love by any means. Her dream was to appear on American Gladiators and it was only after graduating from High School in 1996 and moving to Florida that she became curious about wrestling and she began training under Dean Malenko there in 1997.
Debuting under the name Starla Sexton she spent a couple of years on the indies, briefly winning titles in the World Professional Wrestling Federation and New Dimension Wrestling. She was good enough to get “jobs” with both WCW and WWE at the time as enhancement talent. In June 1998 she lost to Malia Hosaka (a name she had tangled with on the indies) in a dark match at a WCW Thunder Taping. Later that year she would make a couple of appearances on WWE TV in Women’s Championship matches. On the October 3rd Shotgun Saturday Night and the October 11th episode of Heat she was defeated by then-champion Jacqueline.