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By Derek Burgan, Torch Media Guy
Shootin’ the Shi Crap with Nora Greenwald
In a recent Torch Talk with Wade Keller, Nora Greenwald (a/k/a Molly Holly) said that the morning after she quit the WWE she was inundated with offers to do a shoot interview. After watching a couple shoot DVDs, Nora decided that she could do one herself and hooked up with a local music video producer. The positive of this arrangement is that Nora’s shoot looks fantastic, and is interspersed with pictures from her personal collection, so whenever Nora talked about someone, we usually saw a picture of them appear onscreen. Nora also got local bands to donate songs so that her shoot had a music soundtrack, which was a nice surprise. Also included, as a supplement to where a chapter list would usually go, is a one page note from Nora talking about how she found God and extolling the virtues of Him. I guess that’s cool if you are into that type of thing, but I fear it could come across badly to those who don’t want to hear about a person’s religious beliefs. Although I’m the last one on Earth who should talk about that as I included a pamphlet from PeTA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) with a CD I made for a music trading group.
On to the DVD!
DVD started off in Sin City-ish black and white, as Nora sat in front of her fireplace reading an official document from the internet! Molly read off a statement, "Molly Holly, widely regarded as the best female in-ring worker in WWE, asked for her release on Monday after frustration with how she was being used and her pay. She did not like being involved in risqué situations, given her staunch Christian beliefs. She also didn't like the direction of the women's division toward Playboy shoots and Diva searches. She wasn't comfortable with the pressure to be a heel, because management didn't believe she could play an effective babyface without playing the T & A card." Molly then used a lighter to torch the page and threw it into the fireplace, saying it was written by someone who didn’t ask her anything but thinks they know her. If only we knew how many reviews of mine suffered the same fate as that poor piece of paper.
Nora burns report from THE INTERNET
After a montage of Nora training and wrestling clips, the first thing she talked about was being back in high school and having to read the paper for a Current Events class. Molly enjoyed the Personals section and found it odd that so many people defined their life with how much money they had or their level of education. Nora, in a theme which continued throughout the DVD, wanted her life to have meaning and some sort of purpose. This was reinforced when the DVD cut to interviews with her family, including two brothers and her parents. The family talked about how driven Nora had been her whole life. Nora felt she could be “important” in small jobs, and put over how much she loved working at the Subway restaurant chain down in Florida. As luck would have it, the assistant manager for the franchise was an indie wrestler and asked Molly if she would like to try out. Nora immediately thought “if this guy’s a wrestler, why is he working for Subway?” That’s probably a question many ROH wrestlers get asked as well. Molly agreed to try it out and the manager picked her up in his gear, which was a t-shirt and cut off sweatpants. Welcome to wrestling Nora!
While training, Nora met a 14 year old Roderick Strong sweeping acorns off the ring. This was accompanied by a picture of the young Roderick. Like I said, one cool thing about the DVD is pictures or video related to whatever Nora is talking about at the time pop up on the screen. Just a great touch. Nora didn’t think she could become a full time wrestler, but figured it would be a fun thing to do on the weekends. She explained to her parents that what she was doing was backbreaking work that could one day lead to a big payday in the future, but didn’t have the nerve to admit it was wrestling. Nora’s Mom felt it was stupid for anyone to do anything for no money, and that whatever Nora was mixed up in must have been a pyramid scheme like Amway. My girlfriend has said the same thing about a million times. “Why do you spend so much time writing those stupid reviews?!”
That's Roderick Strong in the top left
Nora trained for six months before her first match, and the DVD aired footage that was on the WWE “Before They Were Superstars” DVD. There were less than a dozen fans in attendance, which sources tell me was heavily papered, but Nora loved seeing the kids’ reaction to her babyface character. That one match convinced Nora to think about wrestling as a career rather than just a hobby. She was a natural wrestler thanks to her gymnastics background and loved that she was being seen as a role model. This was the “meaning” of her life that she had been searching for.
At this point Nora’s day job was working as a telemarketer selling magazines. She loved this job as well and her boss used to train with Mick Foley, so he let Nora have weekends off to do local indie shows. Nora got a call from her friend Lanny Poffo and it turned out that Lanny’s brother, Randy “The Macho Man” Savage, needed someone to help train his girlfriend, Gorgeous George. Nora didn’t know if she could take that much time off of work and still pay the bills, but Lanny assured Nora that Savage would financially take care of her. Nora agreed to help out while having no idea that would be the last day she ever work for the telemarketing company. I remember watching the Gorgeous George Shoot DVD and noticing how much respect that George had for Nora, so the two got along great. Nora said that the two girls trained nearly every day in an “extremely hot warehouse in Texas.”
While training George, Savage asked Nora if she wanted to go on TV with them and he created the Miss Madness gimmick. If you remember, this was the gimmick in which Nora was a beauty contestant winner. Nora loved the gimmick, but once Vince Russo got the book in WCW, he wanted to phase Nora out as she didn’t have the body type Russo wanted to push on TV. Russo asked if Nora would stay to train the Nitro Girls and she agreed. Nora added that the Nitro Girls didn’t want to wrestle, in fact some were terrified, but also didn’t want to lose their jobs. Nora also got heat with a lot of the full time wrestlers for not being hard on the Nitro Girls during the sessions. I guess they felt she was supposed to potato them like Bob Holly did to Matt Cappotelli during Tough Enough III. After finishing up the training, Nora was fired from WCW. However, Nora still had one airline ticket to Atlanta, which she used and then drove up to Alabama to get a job with the WWE. Take THAT Bischoff!
Nora with Randy Savage and Gorgeous George
That summer Nora sat in Florida collecting checks from both WCW and the WWE while waiting for the Fed to figure out what they wanted to do with her. That’s a tough life. Eventually the WWE sent Nora to train in Memphis, where she met many high profile indie stars (including Bryan Danielson and Spanky) before the territory closed down. Not long after that, she was put on TV as Crash Holly’s cousin, Molly Holly, a character she loved. To show how great the communication was in the WWE, when Jan the Sewing Girl asked Nora where she could put the Crash Holly logo on her ring gear, Nora had to ask if she was talking to the right person. That’s right, Nora had to find out from Jan that she would be on the show that night in her new gimmick. Nora put over Crash Holly in a big way as someone who was always looking out for her and trying to help her wrestling career. Nora also enjoyed the “Disney romance” storyline with her on-screen boyfriend Spike Dudley. Later, as Hurricane sidekick “Mighty Molly,” Nora was able to amplify her personality and be a huge dork. Unfortunately, Nora didn’t really get in-depth during the interview concerning any of the wrestling storylines.
American Dragon and Spanky are in this pic!
When Jazz got injured, WWE creative approached Nora about turning heel. And before I go on, Nora doesn’t really like saying “heel” or “babyface,” she says bad guys and good guys. Nora didn’t want to do it, but the WWE felt she was the only girl wrestler good enough to be able to lead a match and get the other girls over. The new gimmick would involve Molly wanting womens’ wrestling to be more pure, while getting upset at things like “paddle on a pole” matches. A heel version of the Hardcore Holly gimmick. Nora thought about some of her favorite heels, such as Kurt Angle and William Regal and felt she could make a go of it, despite her reservations. Nora cut her hair and colored it dark for the new gimmick, while taking it to heart that the fans though she didn’t look as cute as a brunette. Michael Cole no doubt has the same anguish written in his diary.
Stephanie McMahon pulled Nora aside one day and asked Nora if she would be open to an angle in which Trish Stratus would make fun of Nora’s ass. Nora agreed, thinking it would be a one-off gag, but then realized when the announcers started making fat ass jokes, she was doomed. The fans began to call Molly Holly “fat,” and like the comments about her hair, Nora took these words to heart. Nora’s gimmick also evolved to where she was a total prude, something she feels is the exact opposite of her real life nature. Nora sucked it up, probably realizing that Undertaker probably doesn’t sacrifice humans, Muhammad Hassan isn’t a terrorist and Chris Masters isn’t the most boring person in the world either. Well, two out of three ain’t bad.
When the WWE creative heard that Nora was a virgin, they started to make fun of that in her storyline, turning what Nora felt was something positive into something undesirable to the fans. Nora began hating the actual wrestling part of her job, and walking through the curtains became a test of will. Wrestling began eating away at her soul. Nora remembered that, back in WCW, Kevin Nash told her that she was the type of person that wrestling could never change. Nora felt she <iwas changing and didn’t like the person she was changing into. Nora started to visibly breakdown on camera during the shoot in a powerful moment. Nora wanted to be a role model and now felt like she was solely going to work just for the money. Kinda like Torch reviewer Mike Roe, except her job isn’t nearly as monotonous. Added on to this situation was the newly enforced WWE dress code! Nora looked at the list of banned items and realized everything that she wore was on the list. Nora does not like being told what to wear. It could have been worse. She could have been forced to go on TV with those horrid “I’M YOUR PAPI” shirts like Eddie Guererro is stuck with. Nora admits that being upset as she was at the dress code was, in the bigger sense, absurd, but was a good indication of how much every part of wrestling was affecting her life in a negative way.
Nora Greenwald (a/k/a Molly Holly)
When the WWE created the first $250,000 ‘Rat Search, the entire locker room was upset except for Nora, who had already been through that type of situation with the Nitro Girls. Nora felt that if the ‘Rat Search broke one huge star, everyone’s job would be improved, at least monetarily, so she was all for it. As much as I hate to say it, many fans need to realize that one Brock Lesnar is more important to the company than ten Charlie Haases. That’s not intended to be disrespectful to Haas, a guy that I’m a big fan of, but Brock Lesnar is the type of guy who brings the whole industry up and puts money into everybody’s pockets. If the ‘Rat Search could truly find the next Trish Stratus, then I’d be all for it. Unfortunately, all that it is doing is watering down the women in wrestling so that absolutely none of them get over.
Right now Molly is enjoying her time off from wrestling. She’s spending time with her family and, believe it or not, working part time construction. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it myself. Nora still watches the WWE to see her friends Shawn Daivari and Shelton Benjamin, while also going to local shows in Minnesota. Nora may or may not return to wrestling. Putting that through The Kayfabulator 5000, that means she’ll be back. Nora thanked about a thousand people in the credits, including Nova, the Great Muta and the MEAN STREET POSSE~! Finally, Pete Gas gets his due…
Bonus Features: The good news is that this shoot DVD is PACKED with extras. Well, packed for Shoot DVDs which normally don’t have any. The weirdest of all is one segment in which Nora goes shootin’ with the boys. You haven’t lived until seeing Molly Holly firing off a big ass gun and for some reason it brought me back to the days of playing DUCK HUNT on the old NES system. Was that game great or what? There’s also a segment in which Nora does an MTV Cribs-like tour of her house, notable for the fact that she seems to live a life that would make the Amish feel like hedonists. Nora also has a gigantic picture of Richard Nixon, which she refused to elaborate on. What I couldn’t believe was that I, for the first time EVER, watched a DVD extra “photo gallery.” I never understood why so many DVDs had this dumb feature, but Nora’s had a) a good soundtrack playing b) interesting pictures with Molly and wrestling personalities c) a slideshow running fast enough that I didn’t get bored. This might be the greatest accomplishment of the entire DVD.
Nora in Sydney, Australia
Nora with RICHARD M NIXON behind her
Nora with gun
What a great NES game
Overall Thoughts: If you are a Molly Holly fan, this is one DVD you are going to add to your collection. Nora comes across as a great person, funny and charming. The production values are top notch and the DVD is loaded with extras, including the tour of Nora’s house and an indie match from early in her career against Malaya Hosaka. However, hardcore wrestling fans will be disappointed with the main interview’s run time (less than an hour) and the fact that the wrestling angles (such as Molly’s head shaving angle) are glossed over. To find out more about this DVD, Click HERE or check out www.NoraDVD.com for more info. And if it makes you feel any better, proceeds from this DVD will go to the education fund for Crash Holly’s daughter.
Special Thanks to Mike Roe and Puroresu Power Hour’s own Keith Lipinski for their help with this review.
Torch Media Guy Derek Burgan has been writing for the PWTorch website for almost four years. If you have any questions, corrections, feedback, comments and ideas, he can be reached at:firstname.lastname@example.org
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