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Wrestling / Molly Holly

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As Mighty Molly
"Molly Holly, you are something else!"
Jerry "The King" Lawler, WWE SmackDown, November 9 (taped November 7), 2000

Nora Kristina Greenwald(born September 7, 1977 in Forest Lake, Minnesota) is an American professional wrestler and referee who debuted in 1997 for the World Professional Wrestling Federation as Starla Saxton. She went on to work for both WCW and WWE, best remembered for her six year run in WWE under the name Molly Holly (2000-2005). She is a New Dimension Wrestling Women's Champion, a 2x WWE Women's Champion and a 1x WWE Hardcore Champion.


"Pure and Wholesome" Tropes:

  • Action Dress Rip: When competing as Mona/Miss Madness, removing the long part of her evening gown skirt was meant to evoke this.
  • Action Girl: Despite being a clean goodie wrestler, her work as Starla Saxton was impressive enough to attract the attention of Randy Savage, who brought her up to WCW and into the villainous Team Madness to train Gorgeous George (no not that, not that either).
  • Always Someone Better: Became this to her indies rival Little Jeannie in WCW, who viewed her losses to Mona as some of the biggest setbacks of her career (she hates goody girls and blondes)
  • Arch-Enemy: Trish Stratus at first. It was one sided as Molly spent a lot more time antagonizing Trish than the other way around. In real life she's said Trish was her favorite person to work with. They finally worked on the same team during the end of Molly's WWE career when Trish dumped Chris Jericho for Christian and turned heel. Victoria took over this role after she shaved Molly bald.
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  • Ass Kicks You: She debuted the Molly-go-round on Dean Malenko to help Spike Dudley defeat him. Her finishing move utilized her noticeably large posterior, crushing opponents off the top rope with it. Became emphasized even more once the size of her backside became a source of derision.
  • Affectionate Parody: As Mighty Molly, joining The Hurricane as a parody of a superhero.
    • A Kayfabe romance between Molly and Spike Dudley turned into a parody of Romeo and Juliet with them in the roles of the title characters. The rest of the Dudleys and the Hollys played the roles of the Montagues and Capulets, and Molly and Spike's romance caused an ugly feud between their families.
  • Alliterative Name: Quite a few - Starla Saxton (in the indies), Miss Madness, Mighty Molly.
  • The Artifact: Her "Holly" surname remained with her for her entire career (apart from her months as Mighty Molly) despite dropping her role as a Holly Cousin completely and being billed from her actual hometown of Forest Lake, Minnesota, as opposed to Bob Holly's hometown of Mobile, AL.
  • Badass Cape: As Mighty Molly, complete with her own logo.
  • Baldness Angst: Inverted. At one point she said she wished that it was more socially acceptable for a woman to be bald, because she loved it.
  • Barely-There Swimwear: Subverted hilariously when she was in a bikini contest with Terri. She claimed that King would go wild when he saw what was under her robe and quickly stripped off to reveal... a demure 1950s style bathing suit complete with swimming hat and flippers.
  • Bash Brothers and Sisters: Hardcore Holly, Crash Holly, Spike Dudley, The Hurricane, and Gail Kim.
  • Battle Ballgown: Wrestled in an evening gown as Lady Ophelia in MCW.
  • Beautiful All Along: Go back to when she was Miss Madness, or just look at the photo for this page.
  • Beauty Contest: Her Miss Madness gimmick.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: While this may count as YMMV depending on one's personal feelings about her getting her head shaved, she played this very straight, never suffering any notable injuries.
  • Beneath the Mask: Had the same problem as Bret Hart of being unable to separate herself from the character she played on TV.
  • The Big Bad: Subtle, but she became the driving force of the WWE women's division. While Eric Bischoff ran Raw, Gail Kim had him wrapped around her little finger and Gail took orders from Molly. Notably, Molly took Bischoff to task when Lita showed up to ruin her plans, with him stammering about not knowing how it happened. Turned out "Stone Cold" Steve Austin had rehired Lita, him becoming "sheriff" of Raw effectively broke Molly's power and led to her head being shaved. She also ended up getting Lita fired by picking Bischoff as her partner for a match and convincing him to put Lita's career at stakenote . Christian however intervened and got Lita's job back.
  • Break the Cutie: Sadly this happened to her behind the scenes. Watching her shoot interview will show a gradual increase in how depressed she becomes as she talks about her WWE career.
  • But Not Too Evil: Said this about her heel character. The character was envisioned as essentially an Expy of what Jazz was doing. Molly instead drew inspiration from heels like Kurt Angle and William Regal to give the character a comedic edge.
  • The Cameo:
  • Characterization Marches On: WWE envisioned her heel character to be a Hardcore Holly type that wanted the division to be more serious. She eventually evolved into a self righteous prude, wanting to be a comedy villain similar to William Regal. Molly sort of reverted to the Hardcore Holly type persona around 2003 when she became Women's Champion for the second time.
  • Combat Commentator: Served as one for German Stampede Wrestling.
  • Composite Character: At the 2018 Royal Rumble, she returned with short brown hair, her heel entrance theme and the corset bodysuit she wore in her 2004 period. But she played a face and did her Holly Cousin entrance pose.
  • Continuity Nod: Roughly a year after her Holly Cousin character had been dropped, she teamed with Crash Holly and their "history" was referenced. As was her former relationship with Spike Dudley.
  • Cool Teacher
    • She was trained by Dean Malenko, Dudley Dudley and Angel Orsini.
    • She was one of Daffney Unger's teachers and also had to train the Nitro Girls to wrestle.note  She has said that she appreciated that not all of them wanted to be wrestlers, but they were afraid of losing their jobs, so she went easy on them, saying "wrestling can be fun, so I wanted to make it fun for them". She's also said she got a lot of heat from other wrestlers for going easy on them, but didn't care.
  • Crossover: While WWF has never been particularly fond of these with wrestling companies, she was part of the WWF Fear Factor, where she won $10,000 for Prison Fellowship Ministries by making it to the second round.
  • Curse Cut Short: Shooting the Shi-Her Shoot Interview DVD.
  • Dark Action Girl: Her 2003 push saw some of her most vicious heel work yet.
  • Dartboard of Hate: She and Gail Kim played darts with images of Trish.
  • Denser and Wackier: Molly herself wanted to make her heel character funnier - hence segments where she wore a 50s bathing suit in a bikini contest, or being revealed to have granny panties on. This got reversed in 2003 with her character going Darker and Edgier.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Like Madusa, Mona would usually have footwear in WCW but would discard it when it was time to wrestle.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?
    • A great all-around in-ring talent and known outside the ring as one of the nicest people in the business, Flanderized into her gimmick of a prude with a large butt.
    • In-universe in 2003 when she and Gail Kim complained about Lita and Trish having a book and DVD respectively - while she was Women's Champion and got no extra press.
  • Easy Come, Easy Go: Starla Saxton was a rookie when she won the New Dimension Wrestling Women's Title and lost it back in a day to the previous champion, Malia Hosaka. Mighty Molly did not even hold the Hardcore Championship a day after she won the belt from Hurricane, dropping it to Christian.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Actually wrestled two matches on Heat in 1998 against Jacqueline as Starla Saxton, before she joined WCW.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: In 2003 her hair growing out coincided with her heel character becoming much more ruthless.
  • Face: Tended to be a face more often on the indies and for her first couple of years in WWE. She claims she preferred being a good role model for children. Her family also said in her shoot interview that she was more suited to being a heroic character.
  • Fanservice Pack: A minor example. In 2003 she abandoned her 'self-righteous prude' attire in favour of skintight singlets that were still conservative but did show a little more skin. Jerry Lawler even noticed once and said "Is it me or is Molly all of a sudden hot looking?". She also wrestled in gear that was meant to evoke corsets in 2004.
  • Finishing Move:
    • (as Mona in WCW): an Inverted Indian Deathlock she called the "Twin City Twister".
    • (in WWE): The Molly-Go-Round, a somersault seated senton off the top rope
  • Force Feeding: When Lita had biography released about her while she was in WWE, Molly, to illustrate Lita's story would not have a happy ending, tried to make Lita eat the pages of that very biography after beating her with a copy of it.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Hit WWE Hardcore Champion the Hurricane with one when she saw him getting thrown out of the Godfather's dressing room at WrestleMania X8, winning the title in the process. She soon went brunette, thus solidifying her heel status.
  • Gag Haircut: Had her head shaved completely bald at WrestleMania XX. She apparently still has the hair locked in a fireproof cabinet in her house should any fan wish to buy it. According to her website, she had initially planned to donate her hair to Locks Of Love, but it was too short.
  • Genre Savvy: At the 2018 Royal Rumble, when going to the top rope to perform a Molly-Go-Round on Sasha Banks, she was careful to leave the ring through the middle rope. That way, if someone knocked her off the apron while she was setting up the move, it would not eliminate her from the match.
  • Girlish Pigtails: As a Holly Cousin she always wrestled with her hair in pigtails. If it wasn't completely tied up, she'd have two smaller pigtails at the top. They emphasised her sweet Country Mouse nature.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: The first incarnation of Molly Holly as the bubbly and sweet country bumpkin. Her favorite role to play.
  • Hairstyle Malfunction: In the months following her head shave, she would wear wigs to the ring and it would be a Running Gag to see the wig ripped off. It didn't happen in every match though.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: As Mighty Molly. When the gimmick started, she was technically a heel since she was in the Alliance, but when that storyline ended, she was technically a face, though she didn't wrestle too often.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: with Lisa "Ivory" Moretti. The two went on a tour through the United States independent circuit, going in the direction of Toronto to earn enough money to make it to Trish's wedding.
  • Hidden Depths: Her 2005 shoot interview revealed a lot that was unknown about her. The most shocking example would be her attitude to the Diva Search. Many fans assumed that she was against it and hated all the models signed by WWE. She stated that she knew it was a part of show business and theorized that they could possibly find a new star that could make the company more money. She also said there were some contestants she was really excited to work with. Considering some of the women that came out of the Diva Search, she may have had a point.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: First Molly noticed that then-newcomer Victoria also hated Trish Stratus and tried to make Victoria her lackey, going so far as to teach her the Widow's Peak. Victoria proved too crazy to handle and used the Widow's Peak to pin Molly for the Women's championship. Molly then tried it again with Gail Kim after beating her for the women's championship. Molly boasted to be the only reason Gail ever made it to the WWE while cornering Gail in a hallway, then threatened to beat Gail up unless she helped Molly...destroy Trish Stratus.
  • Humble Hero: Despite being regarded as one of the best female workers of her generation, she said something to the extent of "I just went out there and wrestled for three minutes. Have you seen what the women can do now?" She also responded to being called underrated with "I had two Women's Championships and got to go to WrestleMania. Does that sound like 'underrated' to you?"
  • I Have Many Names: Sabotage (Florida indies, where she got her start), Starla Saxton, Miss Madness, Mona, Lady Ophelia (as William Regal's manager in the developmental promotion Memphis Championship Wrestling), Molly Holly, Mighty Molly.
  • I Have the High Ground: Her Molly-Go-Round finisher, which likely came from her amateur success in gymnastics.
  • Important Haircut: Behind the scenes, the hair change from blonde to brown was half-symbolic (fitting the new character) and half-practical (her hair had been fried from years of bleaching).
  • Irony
    • The self-righteous prude character came from her being a virgin but was completely the opposite of her real views. She said in her shoot interview how much she is looking forward to sex and hopes there will be "swinging from the chandeliers". Also, she apparently hated Trish for being trashy, yet when they finally teamed up Trish had become a "Filthy, dirty, disgusting, brutal, bottom-feeding, trash bag HO!"
    • Posed in pajamas for her Divas Undressed photo shoot, describing herself as "soft and cuddly" right when she was starting her most serious and intense heel work.
    • She probably would have gotten along with CM Punk as they actually agreed on some subjects but for different reasons. In the 2002 Divas Magazine, she said her biggest turn-off was "Tobacco and drug use." However, being a Christian (see Religious Bruiser below), she likely would not have approved of the Cult aspects of Punk's Straight Edge Society.
  • Jill Of All Stats: Technical ability? Check. Strength? Check. (See Pint-Sized Powerhouse below.) Aerial ability? Check. Her finisher wouldn't be possible without it. She was easily the best all-round competitor of her era.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: As Miss Madness and Mona she would frequently come to the ring in her pageant costume. She also wrestled an evening gown match against Madusa and wasn't affected by the dress at all. Also as Lady Ophelia in developmental before she debuted on TV.
  • Lovely Angels: With Gail Kim in 2003-2004.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: For Spike Dudley, which did help him get over after WWE decided to push him as the Dudley runt. This got her put through a table by Spike's brothers, who did not approve of their relationship.
  • Minnesota Nice: By all accounts is this in real life. But in kayfabe, she was only billed from Minnesota as a heel.
  • Older Than They Look: She turned forty right before her return in the 2018 Royal Rumble, and yet looked the same as she had before she left WWE (a thirteen year gap).
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Started wrestling in corsets around 2004-ish. Also wore them as Lady Ophelia in Memphis.
  • Opera Gloves: Wore them as Miss Madness, you know, to fit the theme
  • Our Angels Are Different:: Posed as a traditional white-winged version in the 2002 Divas magazine.
  • Pajama Clad Heel: Wore pajamas rather than lingerie for her Divas Undressed photo shoot.
  • Perky Female Minion: To Randy Savage as Miss Madness, to Madusa as Mona, to the Hurricane as Mighty Molly.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse
    • Is a former powerlifter but she certainly doesn't look it. While active, she stood at 5'4" (1.63 meters tall), weighed in at 140 pounds (64 kg), and had very feminine curves. While stopping by PGWA, Starla Saxton managed to take the larger and more visibly muscular Riptide by surprise with her strength (However...see the Hollywood Pudgy entry on the YMMV tab.)
    • In her Where Are They Now? feature, she claimed that she had been working at a Subways sandwich shop when a coworker noticed her athletic appearance and asked her if she had ever considered wrestling. She said her response was, "I was like, 'What? Girls do that too?''"
  • Power Hair: As the self-righteous prude. She initially had it longer when she first turned, but had to cut it shorter because her hair was damaged from bleaching.
  • Power Stable
    • The Alliance
    • She was part of Randy Savage's Team Madness with Madusa, Gorgeous George (Stephanie Bellars) and Sid Vicious, though that was more of an entourage than it was a cohesive group where each person played a particular role.
  • Power Trio: Sisters of The Mighty with Aja Perera and Solo Darling at CHIKARA's 2018 King Of Trios.
  • Real Women Have Curves: In addition to her virginity, she was given a sweet, down-to-earth personality largely because of her body shape, which was more curvy and with slightly more body fat than the other divas.
  • Religious Bruiser: While not an explicit part of her on-screen character, she is known as a dedicated Christian in Real Life.
  • Retired Badass: For roughly fifteen years Holly continued to make indie appearances as a referee, timekeeper, ring announcer or just for meet and greets but stated she had no desire to wrestle again. Then seeing Darling and Perera inspired her to put the cape back on one more time...
  • The Rival
    • Mona had a rather one sided one with Brandi Alexander in WCW, only losing to Alexander once while they were in the promotion. The two met up elsewhere however, such as when they fought over the L.A.W. Television Title belt in Ladies All-Pro Wrestling. Brandi liked Molly to boot, she just had a hard time dealing with losses, which she kept racking up when they met.
    • Lita was her third most faced opponent in WWE after Trish Stratus and Victoria, though they only really had one feud and it did not last as long as her feuds with the other two.
  • Shaking Her Hair Loose: Miss Madness always wore her hair in an updo but whenever she wrestled, she would shake it free at the start of every match.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Never held up as one of the pretty Divas after her Face–Heel Turn but a look at this video will demonstrate.
  • Signature Move: The Handspring back elbow. She also liked to choke on the ropes with a leg over the back of her opponent's head and stretch around their faces. Northern lights suplex as well.
  • Skewed Priorities: When Eugene stumbled into the women's locker room, Molly didn't care that he saw her only half dressed but quickly grabbed her wig off the rack to cover her bald head.
  • Sour Prudes
    • To D'Lo Brown's annoyance and Jerry Lawler's amusement she claimed it made her better than everyone else and Chris Nowinski was out to end her virginity.
    • The image was also mocked by fans in a different way, as sometimes signs could be seen in the crowd reading "MOLLY'S NO VIRGIN I CAN PROVE IT!"
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Is it Starla Saxton or Sexton? You will see both used.
  • Still Got It: Her appearance in the first ever women's Royal Rumble, where she performed an absolutely gorgeous Molly-Go-Round on Sasha Banks. The fans chanted this out loud to her when she returned in the 2019 Rumble as her "Mighty Molly" persona.
  • The Tease: In a very Leaning on the Fourth Wall way. Her Divas Undressed shoot included her showing cleavage in a pajama top with most of the buttons unbuttoned except for the one that would actually have shown her breasts if she unbuttoned it, clearly aware that viewers would want her to unbutton that button and that she wouldn't do it.
  • Token Wholesome: A self proclaimed example. Even before she became a self-righteous prude, she had modest enough ring attire - which was surprising considering how every Diva in the Attitude Era was a Ms. Fanservice.
  • Uncool Undies: During her Sour Prude gimmick, she had her granny panties exposed by her then rival Trish Stratus in a Pants-Pulling Prank. For weeks afterwards, Molly would be teased by the commentary as well as the fans in the arena would bring in signs mocking her underwear.
  • Waif-Fu: Against Rhonda Singh, Chyna, Asya and whenever she wrestled men.
  • When She Smiles: She used to smile a lot, having a pageant contest gimmick but scowled a lot in an attempt to make herself look uglier after a face heel turn. Still, WWE had her participate in photo shoots and stuff, where she would naturally let it show again.
  • Wrestling Family: Kayfabe cousin to Hardcore Holly and Crash Holly, who weren't related to each other either.
  • You Go, Girl!: Won an intergender match against Crash. Earlier also teamed with him to defeat Kaientai, successfully holding her own against both men. She's taken part in a fair share of other intergender matches. She even pinned Lance Storm once, via a Molly-Go-Round executed off The Big Show's shoulders.