Wrestling / Miss Elizabeth

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/misselizabeth_4991.jpg

"The face that launched a thousand dropkicks."
Deadspin, parodying Helen of Troy

Elizabeth Ann Huelette (1960-2003), a.k.a. "The First Lady of Wrestling," was an American pro wrestling valet/manager known for her work in the 80s and 90s as "Miss Elizabeth".

The Elizabeth-Macho Man angle is a strong contender for most emotional kayfabe moment in history. It spanned years (from WrestleMania IIVII) and paid off big-time for viewers: Macho (Randy Savage) is a showboat who treats Elizabeth like crap. He turns heel, replaces Liz with Sherri, and declares himself the "Macho King". In the end, Macho loses his title and his career is over. Sherri, realizing hers is too, starts beating up the already-broken Savage, but Liz jumps into the ring and saves him. It's as close to a Hollywood ending that wrestling has ever done, apart from the Flair retirement match.

They later divorced (both in kayfabe and real life), though they had an amicable working relationship. She followed Randy to WCW, where she turned heel on him and eventually became Luger's valet. Of all the wrestling personalities in the world, Elizabeth looked like the least likely to get a drug addiction. He's pretty open about it in his book; Luger knows he has a lot to answer for in regards to Elizabeth. He had a very notable career, but he's largely shunned in the business. (Sadly, her family greatly resents pro wrestling. Liz and Lex belong in the WWE Hall of Fame, but it probably won't happen.)

Not to be confused with that Cate Blanchett movie.

"The First Lady's Tropes":

  • '80s Hair: Well, she did make her TV debut in 1985.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: During her earlier valet days, a few times she executed a limp-wristed slap that her adversaries sold like whiplash.
  • Bookends: When Randy realizes what's happened and that his ex-partner saved him, he holds the ropes open for her as she did it for him for many years. It's also a callback to her first appearance: Savage was the hot commodity with all the managers in the ring hoping he would sign with them. When Elizabeth made her entrance, he refused to let the other managers hold the ropes for her. (Macho was jealous of anyone who looked her way.) So him holding the ropes is actually a 'full circle' moment.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: You have to know the history with Savage treating Elizabeth like a piece of meat, ditching her after 'Mania V and then joining up with that harlot Sherri, to fully appreciate what happens after Savage loses to Warrior in his retirement match. Sherri goes off on him, the meek Elizabeth jumps the rail and kicks that hussy out of the ring. That's the kind of payoff wrestling rarely gets.
    Gorilla Monsoon: What a woman! And what a man.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Liz left the WWF after 'Mania VIII (the same year she split from Savage), and generally stayed away from wrestling until she was called back into action—along with Luger and Kimberly Page—to join WCW '96. She turned heel on Savage at WCW SuperBrawl VI, costing him the World Heavyweight Title in his match against Flair. Elizabeth remained with Flair's Horsemen until she defected to (where else?) the nWo in November. Liz's last angle in WCW had her as the valet for Luger.
  • Damsel in Distress: WWF Liz always looked terrified. She was basically a trophy, right down to Savage parading her on his shoulder like a belt.
    • She was kidnapped by George "The Animal" Steele and King Kong Bundy a few times — a regular Fay Wray.
    • The segment where Jake Roberts slapped Miss Elizabeth and made her beg for him to stop. The body language and the buildup is very conformable, even today. Two weeks later, in one of wrestling's most infamous matches, Jake struck Elizabeth when he saw her groveling for Savage's safety.
    • During Savage's original heel run (1985-1987), he would repeatedly bully Elizabeth, even threatening to strike her, but never did. When Savage became a face (in the late summer of '87), Elizabeth was frequently a target of the heels, most notably Honky Tonk Man. In fact, it was Honky shoving her (at Saturday Night's Main Event) that was the tipping point in Savage's face turn.
    • Big Boss Man, One Man Gang, and André the Giant were also known to accost her on occasion, but Savage (or on at least one occasion, Jake the Snake) beat them up.
    • 1992, during her last angle, she was kissed forcibly by Ric Flair.
    • Savage's fiercest rival during his run as WWF Champion, Ted "The Million Dollar Man" DiBiase, never so much as made a physical threat to Elizabeth (Virgil did once restrain her and forced her to watch DiBiase and Andre beat Savage to unconsciousness), although at least once he did grab her ankle in frustration after losing a match against Savage.
    • In 1999-2001, she attracted the ire of Vince Russo, flagrantly abusing his office at WCW. He booked Elizabeth into some "matches" (including one with Daffney), with Luger sometimes having to bail her out.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Summerslam 1988 saw Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan teaming up as the "Mega Powers" against the "Mega Bucks", DiBiase and André, with Jesse "The Body" Ventura as guest referee. At one point, Hogan and Savage were knocked out of the ring, and Ventura was about to count them out, when Elizabeth (who had been built up as the Mega Powers' "secret weapon") got up on the ring apron, removed the skirt of her dress to reveal a red bikini bottom and a pair of shapely, tanned legs, to the roar of the crowd. Ventura, Andre, and DiBiase stopped dead in their tracks as Hogan and Savage shook hands outside the ring, climbed back in, and finished off the villains.
  • False Rape Accusation: Her most dubious claim to fame was her involvement in the Fingerpoke Of Doom.
    • In an inversion of her Princess Peach schtick from the old days, Liz—under orders from the nWo (presumably Hogan)—brought charges against Goldberg for harassing her at the water cooler or some such. Goldberg was later released from custody after Elizabeth couldn't keep her story straight; but her interference slowed Goldberg long enough for Hogan to take his place as Kevin Nash's challenger. When Goldberg staggered back to the arena, he was promptly set upon by nWo mooks, costing him the title.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: That's how the MegaPowers came together and what confirmed Savage's face turn. At the September 23, 1987 taping for the October 3 WWF Saturday Night's Main Event, Savage had hit the Flying Elbow on the Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion (Honky Tonk Man), when the World Tag Team Champions (The Hart Foundation) attacked Savage for the DQ. The Harts held Savage up for the guitar shot and Honky shoved Liz down. Liz ran off backstage while Honky and the Harts triple-teamed Savage and came back with Hulk Hogan, and he and Savage cleaned house and shook hands.
  • Groin Attack:
    • During the May 15, 2000 episode of WCW Monday Nitro, Vince Russo had forced Miss Elizabeth to participate in a steel cage match against Madusa. Fortunately for Elizabeth, Lex Luger had arrived and was able to take care of Madusa via the Torture Rack. Russo had then attempted to strike down Luger with a low blow uppercut punch, but this proved to be ineffective as Luger had soon revealed that he had a groin-protected cup from inside his pants, which he then removed so he could taunt Russo with it. Upon seeing that his plan had failed, Russo had attempted to escape from the steel cage, but Elizabeth, who was standing in front of the steel cage's door, had quickly thrown a fast right kick towards Russo's family jewels and made him fall down to the wrestling mat in a state of agony. Adding insult to injury, Elizabeth had then took Luger's groin-protected cup and began to shove it down Russo's own mouth in an attempt to humiliate him even further. That was the end of the Liz/Russo feud.
    • Of course, before this particular ballbust, an earlier one had occurred during the May 3, 2000 episode of WCW Thunder, in which Elizabeth had used a right back mule kick to strike Russo down in the family jewels with a painful groin attack as he had attempted to use her as a Human Shield against Ric Flair during their confrontation after the "Tables Match" between Luger and The Wall.
  • Hello, Nurse!:
    • She debuted in '85, to the surprise of many. The storyline was that all the heel managers were competing for the chance to sign Savage.
    • When Savage first introduced her on the August 24 (taped July 30), 1985, WWF Championship Wrestling, commentator Bruno Sammartino asked, "Who is this, some movie star, what is this?"
  • Tag Team: The MegaPowers
  • Hotter and Sexier:
    R.D. Reynolds: Winner by unanimous decision, WCW Liz. (Debate if you wish below. Just know that I am right.)
    • Saturday Night's Main Event III: Everyone was in costume, since it aired soon after Halloween. Savage and Elizabeth were dressed as Tarzan and Jane, and Liz effectively had no pants at all. (She had black bikini briefs and that's it.) And, yes, the camera was certain to make us well aware of it.
  • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: The George Steele-Randy Savage feud was sparked and fueled by Steele's interest in her, though, in contrast to the WE Divas who would follow her, she never did anything to provoke it. She was just STANDING there..
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: During her WWF run, Elizabeth was always cheered or placed in the sympathetic role, even when Randy Savage was wrestling as a heel (and, at a point in 1986 and early 1987, the WWF's most hated wrestler). Her popularity and reputation as the all-American good girl only strengthened when Savage turned face. It helped that she herself never partook in any of Savage's Heel behavior, and acted more as a tempering element to him. Compare the original Heel Savage to his maniacal "Macho King" persona in 1989-1991, when he had Sensational Sherri as his manager.
  • Love Martyr: Though Savage wasn't so much evil as kind of a douche during his original heel run, Elizabeth could always be seen showing genuine concern for her client (at the time when they didn't have an on-screen relationship) when he was in trouble.
  • Mistaken for Cheating:
    • "She was mine before she was yours!" (Who doesn't use towels monogrammed with your first initial when you're poolside eating strawberries?)
    • Flair had them photoshopped and published them in the (real-life) WWF Magazine. He also faked a voicemail from Liz. It didn't make a lot of sense from a kayfabe standpoint (why would Randy not remember taking those pictures?), and even Randy knew he was full of shit. He did a sitdown interview a week before Wrestlemania VIII where he growled "UNTRUE!!! UNTRUE!!!" over and over. He was just upset Flair was besmirching Elizabeth's name. (She eventually did leave him for Flair, though.)
    • Bad News Brown also never harmed Elizabeth, but the claim he made about her — that she was secretly trying to seduce then-WWF president Jack Tunney into exempting Randy from a series of title matches — was even worse.
  • Morality Chain: They were partners until 1989, when Savage went so far over the line (attacking Hogan) that Elizabeth finally had enough and ditched him. So he replaced her with the worst possible alternative: a screeching, manipulative spider-woman who is desperate to keep her own career afloat. Under her influence, he lost himself in the haze of being the "Macho King". (All it got him was getting trolled by a goof in polka dots and his "Queen" losing to a woman with literally no wrestling experience. He actually had to hit the other guys with her purse to win lousy matches anyone else would win.)

    At 'Mania V, Macho's streak came to an end, and Sherri, thinking only of herself, turned on him. Elizabeth, out of sheer (and until that point, mostly unrequited) devotion, bitch-slapped Sherri and then apologized to Randy. Not even lunatics like Macho Man are immune to that sort of symbolism and he finally redeemed himself. From there, he went on to become one of the most beloved babyfaces ever.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Pssh... Concussions didn't exist in the eighties! That bump led directly to the dissolution of the Mega Powers.
  • Paint It Black: Her stint as a heel in WCW. Her wardrobe drastically changed as well as she began wearing black vinyl, short skirts and lots of makeup to look as far removed from the kittenish "Miss Elizabeth" persona as she could.
  • Power Stable: With regards to WCW, let's just say "All". (Busy lady.)
  • Precision F-Strike: To Vince Russo on the May 1, 2000, WCW Monday Nitro:
    ELIZABETH: "Hey Russo, you're from New York, right? Well, even you can understand this: kiss my Kentucky ass!"
  • Proper Lady:
    • Golden Age Elizabeth belonged on the Home Shopping Network or The Price is Right: Opera gloves, ballgowns, diamond necklaces, earrings, and other assorted swag.
    • TNA's SoCal Val wore Elizabeth-style gloves when she was Jay Lethal's valet, as his then-gimmick was based on Savage.
  • Red Baroness: "The First Lady of Wrestling"
  • She's Got Legs: Definitely, especially after her surprise stunt at WWF Summerslam 1988.
  • Shoe Slap: Heel Elizabeth came to ringside in stilettos — miniature Swords of Damocles for anyone foolish enough to threaten her.
    Uproxx: If Liz lost her shoe and you got hit in the face with it, you had to sell it like Boss Tanaka getting his head collected in Kill Bill. An instant Critical.
  • The Silent Bob:
    • She wasn't much of a talker, she was a valet. Of course, she was usually standing next to Savage or Hogan or Flair, who didn't need anyone to talk for them. (In the early interviews, Macho would ask her a question and immediately cut her off all the time.) The exception is when Macho asked if she would marry him, and she goes, "OHH YEAHHHH".
    • The crowd reaction to Liz choosing who she is going to corner at WrestleMania is pretty huge.
    • Elizabeth was finally given a speaking role on Nitro.... and botched it almost immediately. Not that anyone cared, both she and Nancy were smokin'.
      Jay Hunter: WCW decide to hand Elizabeth a mic live on Nitro and say, "Explain your heel turn."
      OOC: [whistles] How'd it go, Jay?
      Jay: Amazing, brilliant, urbane, witty, effervescent... how do you THINK it went?
  • Silk Hiding Steel:
    • Notably, the only people who could drive Liz to anger were Martel and Russo.
    • The Hogan/Beefcake vs. Savage/Zeus match at WWF SummerSlam 1989. After Hogan won, Elizabeth took a loaded purse and put out Sherri's lights. That's the closest she came to direct combat in the Federation.
    • She also knocked Ric Flair on his ass with an open hand slap across the face after she finally got fed up with his creepy stalker behavior towards her during the Savage/Flair feud.
  • They Do: They had their Kayfabe wedding at SummerSlam '91, with Randy wearing a tuxedo version of his ring gear. Even the smarkiest smark still gets a warm feeling inside when she (badly) says "ooooh Oeeeah" to Randy's proposal.
    Danielle Matheson: Elizabeth’s dress inhabits this little early-nineties time capsule all by itself. Or, it would, had she not been marrying Macho Man. Just like in conversation, Macho Man would never be outdone by anyone...
  • Token Wholesome: In the years before the Monday Night Wars. Even in WCW (apart from than the aforementioned skirt removal incident), she almost never did anything particularly fanservicey - she was more into looking demure and pretty, no one really expected anything salacious of her.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl:
    • Her first official match in WCW was vs. Daffney, still a deranged barfly at this point in her career. These two were about as opposite as you can get. Elizabeth nearly broke her in half!
    • Had this dynamic with Woman while they were both valeting for the 4 Horsemen. Elizabeth played the girly girl, distracting the referee and occasionally playing innocent while Woman (Nancy Benoit), playing the tomboy, introduced a weapon for the Horsemen to use or just got involved in the match herself.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: The strap of her dress broke when the Honky Tonk Man shoved her down to the mat, and she had to spend the rest of the segment holding it up herself.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Late period WCW - she sometimes wore black leather ones while valeting for the nWo and wore camouflage cutoffs during her brief in-ring career.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Wrestling/MissElizabeth