|Birth name||Nora Kristina Greenwald|
September 7, 1977 |
Forest Lake, Minnesota
|Resides||White Bear Lake, Minnesota|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Lady Ophelia
|Billed height||5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)|
|Billed from||Forest Lake, Minnesota|
|Trained by||Dean Malenko
|Debut||August 2, 1997|
|Retired||April 11, 2005|
Nora Benshoof (born Nora Kristina Greenwald on September 7, 1977) is an American retired professional wrestler. She is best known for her appearances with the World Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Entertainment from 2000 to 2005 under the ring name Molly Holly. She is also known for her appearances with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) as Miss Madness in 1999 to 2000.
Holly began her professional wrestling career in WCW, where she also worked as a trainer. In 2000, Greenwald debuted in the then-WWF as part of the The Holly Cousins stable, an alliance of storyline cousins. She was later aligned with The Hurricane. During her time with the WWF/WWE, Holly held the WWF Hardcore Championship once and the WWE Women's Championship twice.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Professional wrestling career
- 2.1 Early career (1997–1999)
- 2.2 World Championship Wrestling (1999–2000)
- 2.3 World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment (2000-2005)
- 2.4 Independent circuit
- 3 Personal life
- 4 In wrestling
- 5 Championships and accomplishments
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Greenwald was born in 1977 to Rick and Bonnie Greenwald. She has two brothers. Growing up, Greenwald had no plans to be a wrestler, but she was interested in appearing on American Gladiators while growing up. She trained to be a powerlifter from age 14 to age 18, and at age 14, she broke the Minnesota state powerlifting record (75 pounds) for her age group by lifting 100 pounds. She also trained as a gymnast. Later, she began wrestling for fun, not because she wanted to be on TV.
After she graduated from Forest Lake Area High School in 1996, Nora left home with $200 and a '65 Oldsmobile, which she drove from Minnesota to Florida. Before training as a wrestler, Greenwald was employed at a Subway restaurant and as a telemarketer for Special Data Processing. While working at Subway, it was suggested to Nora that she try out for wrestling, and out of curiosity, she did.
Professional wrestling career
Early career (1997–1999)
Greenwald began training as a wrestler under Dean Malenko in Tampa, Florida in 1997. She debuted on August 2, 1997 in the World Professional Wrestling Federation (WPWF) under the ring name Starla Saxton. Greenwald wrestled on the independent circuit throughout 1997 and 1998, winning two championships. On August 21, 1998 she defeated Malia Hosaka to win the New Dimension Wrestling Women's Title, but lost it one day later back to Hosaka. She appeared with both World Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation as Starla Saxton, unsuccessfully challenging Jacqueline for the WWF Women's Championship on an October 1998 episode of Sunday Night Heat and on an episode of the U.K. version of "Shotgun." In late 1999, she briefly feuded with Brandi Alexander while wrestling in the Florida independent circuit.
World Championship Wrestling (1999–2000)
She debuted in WCW as Miss Madness, one of Randy Savage's valets along with Gorgeous George and Madusa. Savage asked Greenwald and Madusa to train his then-girlfriend Gorgeous George in real life, highlights of which were shown on WCW television. As part of the storyline, this villainous alliance, called Team Madness, would interfere in matches for the benefit of Savage. Behind the scenes, Nora and Madusa trained the other women of WCW at the WCW Power Plant. Eventually, Savage betrayed Miss Madness by firing her from Team Madness along with Madusa after a championship loss. She then became Mona, a fan favorite, who wrestled in a blue cocktail dress and barefoot. She embarked on mini-feuds with Madusa, Little Jeannie, and Asya. Independent female wrestlers, such as Dee Dee Venturi and Brandi Alexander, were also brought in to wrestle Mona. WCW released Greenwald, however, in August 2000 in a cost-cutting move.
World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment (2000-2005)
Lady Ophelia (2000)
Upon signing a contract with the World Wrestling Federation, she was sent to their training ground in Memphis Championship Wrestling to work off ring-rust. She became the manager of William Regal and was known as Lady Ophelia. While there, she squared off against The Kat, Bobcat, and Victoria. In 2000, she reappeared in the World Wrestling Federation under the Lady Ophelia gimmick, wrestling dark matches and valeting for William Regal.
The Holly Cousins (2000–2001)
Greenwald, however, had her first major run in the company as Molly Holly, where she joined her on-screen cousins Bob Holly and Crash Holly. At the time, The Holly Cousins were involved in a feud with T & A (Test, Albert, and manager Trish Stratus). Greenwald says that Stratus was one of her favorite people with whom to work. Molly's arrival on the November 6, 2000 edition of Raw started a short feud with Stratus, leading to her first televised victory over Stratus in a Six-Person intergender tag team match at the Survivor Series. In a match between Crash Holly and Dean Malenko, Molly distracted the referee by standing on the ring apron, interfering on Crash's behalf. Malenko then forcefully kissed Molly, annoying her, who later helped out Crash by debuting her Molly-Go-Round finisher on Malenko and enabling Crash to win. In 2001, Molly formed an on-screen relationship with Spike Dudley, in the midst of their storyline rivalry between her cousins and Spike's brothers (The Dudley Boyz). In interviews in subsequent years, Greenwald recalled the "relationship" with Spike Dudley as the "best time of her career." A subsequent fallout between her and Crash even led to an intergender singles match, with Molly pinning Crash.
Mighty Molly; Women's Champion (2002–2003)
In September 2001, Molly dumped Spike to become Mighty Molly, the superhero sidekick of The Hurricane. Molly, however, eventually left The Hurricane to become a full-time solo wrestler, taking his Hardcore Championship after whacking him with a frying pan at WrestleMania X8 on March 17, 2002 in Toronto. She promptly lost it to Christian an hour later after getting a door slammed in her face.
After splitting up with The Hurricane in April 2002, she returned to her previous ring name, Molly Holly. Upon her return to the newly renamed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), she drastically changed her look by shortening her trademark blonde hair and darkening it to autumn brown. Greenwald's reasoning behind this was that it fit her new character better. Greenwald adopted a villainous, self-righteous prude character, who was appalled by the other WWE Divas continually using their "assets" and degrading themselves. During this gimmick, she would often refer to herself as being "pure and wholesome." This led to a feud with the then-Women's Champion Trish Stratus, which culminated in her winning the championship at King of the Ring in June 2002. During the feud, Jerry Lawler also began to poke fun at Greenwald, which Greenwald later revealed genuinely hurt her feelings. Greenwald, however, initially did not mind the storyline when Stephanie McMahon approached her with the idea. The feud with Stratus continued for several months, and Molly later brought in Victoria as an enforcer to help deal with Trish. She would finally drop the title back to Stratus at Unforgiven in September.
Greenwald earned her second Women's Championship by defeating Gail Kim on Raw on July 28, 2003. Kim later became a villainess and joined Greenwald in her feud with Stratus. During an attack on Stratus, Lita made her return, helping Trish fend off her attackers. Greenwald and Kim then lost a tag team match to Lita and Trish at Unforgiven, sparking a feud with Lita. This feud led to a match against Lita at Survivor Series for the Women's title, which Greenwald retained.
Sporadic appearances and departure (2004–2005)
Greenwald lost her championship to Victoria in a Four-Way Elimination match on February 23, 2004. The feud led to a Hair versus Title match at WrestleMania XX in March 2004, which Greenwald lost, resulting in Greenwald having her head shaved. Greenwald maintains that it was her idea to have her head shaved, suggesting the idea to Vince McMahon months before the match occurred because of her having cancer and she wanted to do something shocking at WrestleMania. Over the next few months, in storyline, she desperately tried to disguise her bald head using loose-fitting wigs. Later in 2004, she feuded with Stacy Keibler, with Keibler pinning Holly on three consecutive occasions, the last one occurring in a number one contender's match.
Greenwald's final WWE pay-per-view appearance occurred at Taboo Tuesday in 2004 as she appeared in the Fulfill Your Fantasy Battle Royal along with many other WWE Divas. The fans voted online for the Divas to wear schoolgirl uniforms, as opposed to French maid or nurse outfits. In contrast to the other girls who wore sexy schoolgirl uniforms, Greenwald wore a demure 1980s-style schoolgirl uniform with large pink panties underneath. Greenwald failed to win the match when Stratus eliminated her by tossing her through the ropes for the win. Greenwald's efforts in subsequent attempts to regain the title failed. Due to several wrestlers from the company's women's division being released in late 2004 and the introduction of the Raw Diva Search program, Greenwald was mostly left off television, only occasionally appearing on Sunday Night Heat and Raw in losing efforts to the likes of Lita, Victoria, Trish Stratus, and Christy Hemme.
She left WWE and a full-time wrestling career in April 2005. Reportedly, she was beginning to become disenchanted with WWE, who began to focus on looks rather than wrestling ability. She also hated that her character had become a villain, but that is not the direct cause of her leaving the company. Greenwald, however, stated that all of the a forementioned reasons are incorrect, but she would like to keep the real reason she left WWE private. She decided to take a break from WWE and spend some time with her family and enjoy life.
Part-time appearances (2005–2009)
Since leaving WWE in April 2005, Greenwald has made occasional appearances with the company. On December 2007, at the Raw 15th Anniversary, she appeared in a backstage segment with William Regal, Mickie James and Hornswoggle. She was in attendance at the 2008 WWE Hall Of Fame ceremony in Orlando, Florida and was backstage at WrestleMania XXIV at the Citrus Bowl the next night. On the March 31 episode of Raw she returned with many other past wrestlers to applaud Ric Flair and his career. On April 5, 2009, at WrestleMania XXV, Molly made a one night return to WWE, competing in the 25-Diva Battle Royal to crown Miss WrestleMania, in her "Holly cousin" attire.
On November 20, 2005, Greenwald made her first public appearance since her WWE departure at Northern IMPACT Wrestling's first ever card at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall in her hometown of Forest Lake, Minnesota. She signed autographs and sold copies of her DVD. On January 8, 2006 in Amery, Wisconsin, Greenwald made her first in-ring appearance in nine months, appearing with Northern IMPACT Wrestling, a local Minnesota/Wisconsin wrestling promotion. In addition to refereeing a match between Rain and Ann-Thraxx (Ann Brookstone), Greenwald counted the pin for the main event match between Team Revolution and Team Invasion. She went on to referee an Impact Zone Wrestling match on February 14, 2006 in Tempe, Arizona and an XJAM Wrestling match on February 16, 2006 in Minot, North Dakota, where she challenged Ann-Thraxx to wrestle her, with Ann-Thraxx refusing. On April 8, 2006, Greenwald appeared at the German Stampede Wrestling event International Impact III in Olsberg, Germany, commentating on a match along with former Pro Wrestling Illustrated senior editor Bill Apter and refereeing a women's match. In subsequent months, she made (non-wrestling) appearances at several independent wrestling events.
Nora returned to several events as guest referee or for autograph signings. She first refereed an intergender match between Kassy Summers and Seito Hayashi for BAW Championship Wrestling on July 13, 2007 in McMinnville, Oregon, then was guest referee in a match between Ann-Thraxx and TNA's Christy Hemme for Heavy on Wrestling in Superior, Wisconsin on July 21. She appeared with Billy Kidman at an autograph signing during Family Fun Day in her hometown of Linwood Township on September 8, one day after celebrating her 30th birthday. Greenwald is one of the stars of the wrestling documentary, Bloodstained Memoirs.
In 2002, Greenwald competed on a special WWF superstars edition of Fear Factor, where she was eliminated in the second round. She won $10,000 for Prison Fellowship Ministries. In August 2005, she released an autobiographical DVD entitled "Nora Greenwald: Shootin' the
Shi Crap" that detailed the reasons behind her departure. A portion of the profits from the sale of the DVD went to the education fund of the daughter of Mike Lockwood, her onetime on-screen cousin, after his death.
After leaving the wrestling business, Greenwald has made sporadic wrestling appearances, acts as a landlady with regards to her property holdings, invests in real estate, and performs charity work. On December 16, 2006, Nora went to Guatemala for several months to learn Spanish and do missions work. In addition, she took public speaking classes and earned a license in massage therapy. Greenwald now works for Minnesota Teen Challenge, a one-year residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. She joined the program because at least ten of her friends have died because of drug overdoses. Greenwald, a born again Christian, ministers to the women in the program. In January 2009, Greenwald participated in The Polar Bear Plunge, where she voluntarily submerged herself in freezing water to raise money for the Special Olympics Minnesota. She has also been a bus aide for special needs children and worked with recovering addicts at Teen Challenge.
In July 2010, she announced her engagement to Geno Benshoof, whom she met while working as a teen counselor. The couple were married in the backyard of Benshoof's parents house in White Bear Lake, Minnesota on July 22, 2010.
- Signature moves
- Arm wringer
- Double wrist clutch, sometimes into a pin
- Handspring back elbow smash
- Indian deathlock
- Missile dropkick
- Multiple suplex variations
- Tilt-a-whirl headscissors takedown, sometimes to an oncoming opponent
- Springboard crossbody
- Lariat, to an oncoming opponent
- Monkey flip
- Diving crossbody
- One handed bulldog
- Wrestlers managed
Championships and accomplishments
- New Dimension Wrestling
- NDW Women's Championship (1 time)
- World Professional Wrestling Federation
- WPWF Women's Championship (1 time)
- World Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment
Luchas de Apuestas
|Hair||Victoria||Molly Holly||New York, New York||March 14, 2004||Hair vs. title match at WrestleMania XX|
- "Molly Holly's Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-05-18.
- "Molly Holly Biography". IGN. Retrieved 2008-05-23.
- Neutkens, Debra (December 12, 2007). "Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be... pro-wrestlers". PressPubs.com. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
- "Molly Holly". IGN. Retrieved 2008-05-23.
- "Holly's Alumni Profile". WWE. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
- Balinsky, Derrick (March 28, 2011). "38th annual sports night Q&A". The Evening Tribune. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
- "From Hair to Eternity...The Molly Holly Interview". Girls With Guns. March 2006. Retrieved 2007-05-12.
- Bailey, Andrea (September 26, 2006). "Holly survives industry's beatings". Cambridge Times. Archived from the original on 2007-03-27. Retrieved 2007-05-14.
- Roe, Mike (August 14, 2005). "DVD review: Shootin' the Shi Crap with Nora Greenwald (aka Molly Holly)". PWTorch. Retrieved 2010-01-22.
- "New Dimension Women's Title History". NDWrestling. Archived from the original on July 10, 2011. Retrieved 2007-05-12.
- Molinaro, John F. (June 30, 2001). "Molly Holly having a blast in the WWF". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-05-29.
- Walsh, James and Brendon Brooks (February 9, 2006). ""Mighty Molly Holly" Nora Greenwald". Archived from the original on 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2007-05-14.
- "Survivor Series 2000 official results". World Wrestling Entertainment. November 19, 2000. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- "Survivor Series 2000 Report". Gerweck.net. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- "Survivor Series 2000 Results". Complete WWE. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- PWI Staff (2007). "Pro Wrestling Illustrated presents: 2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". "Wrestling’s historical cards" (Kappa Publishing). p. 110.
- PWI Staff (2007). "Pro Wrestling Illustrated presents: 2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". "Wrestling’s historical cards" (Kappa Publishing). p. 111.
- Martin, Finn (2002-10-21). "Power Slam Magazine". "Dead Man Dictating" (Unforgiven 2002) (SW Publishing).
- "Raw July 28, 2003 Results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-05-15.
- Martin, Finn (2003-10-22). "Power Slam Magazine, issue 112". "Boldberg grabs gold" (Unforgiven 2003) (SW Publishing). pp. 22–23.
- PWI Staff (2007). "Pro Wrestling Illustrated presents: 2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". "Wrestling’s historical cards" (Kappa Publishing). p. 114.
- "Victoria's Second Reign". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-05-14.
- PWI Staff (2007). "Pro Wrestling Illustrated presents: 2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". "Wrestling’s historical cards" (Kappa Publishing). p. 115.
- PWI Staff (2007). "Pro Wrestling Illustrated presents: 2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". "Wrestling’s historical cards" (Kappa Publishing). p. 116.
- Nora Greenwald (2005). Shootin' the
- "Jonny Fairplay's Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-05-12.
- Waldman, Jon (January 29, 2009). "A mighty leap: Nora to take the plunge". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-01-30.
- Mark Nicklawske (July 21, 2010). "'Molly Holly' wins match of a lifetime". Retrieved 2010-07-21.
- "Geno and Nora need your help...". MNTC.ejoinme.org. 2010-09-01. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
- World Championship Wrestling (1998-09-19). "Malia Hosaka Vs Starla Saxton". WCW WorldWide.
- "Women's Title History". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-05-11.
- "History of the Hardcore Championship". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-05-12.
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