Nora Kristina Benshoof, better known by her ring name Molly Holly, is a retired American professional wrestler who made waves in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The world of professional wrestling has seen many larger-than-life personalities over the years. But few have made an impact as profound as Molly Holly. With exceptional strength, skill, and resilience, she carved a niche for herself in a male-dominated industry.
This blog post takes an in-depth look at Molly’s journey in the world of wrestling, from her early days to becoming a women’s champion in the WWE. Let’s explore her origins, trajectory, memorable storylines, rivalries, championships, and lasting legacy in women’s wrestling.
Who is Molly Holly?
Molly Holly, born Nora Kristina Greenwald on September 7, 1977, is a renowned figure in the world of professional wrestling. With a career spanning nearly a decade on the main stage, she has made a name for herself with her compelling performances and unforgettable storylines.
Molly Holly became one of the most popular female wrestlers during her time in the World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (WWF/WWE).
Early Life and Background
Molly Holly grew up in the small town of Forest Lake, Minnesota. She lived with her parents Rick Greenwald, and Bonnie Greenwald, and two siblings in a tight-knit family. Even as a young girl, she found herself utterly fascinated by the dramatic, high-energy world of professional wrestling.
She would eagerly watch wrestling matches on TV with her older brother, eyes glued to the screen. The flashy costumes, soap opera-esque storylines, and athleticism on display enthralled her.
This childhood passion later blossomed into a drive to actually enter the world of wrestling herself. After training hard, Molly finally embarked on the journey from hometown girl to celebrated women’s wrestling superstar.
- Molly Holly age – She is currently 45 years old.
- Molly Holly height – She stands at 5 feet 4 inches tall.
|Full Name||Nora Kristina Benshoof|
|Other Names(s) (also know as)||Lady Ophelia, Mighty Molly, Miss Madness, Mona, Nora Greenwald, Starla Saxon|
|Date of Birth||September 7, 1977|
|Age (as of 2023)||45|
|Birthplace||Forest Lake, Minnesota|
|Hometown||Forest Lake, Minnesota|
|Current Address||Minnesota, USA|
|Education Qualification||Completed Schooling|
|Hobbies and Interests||Wrestling, Traveling, Charity – Missionary Work|
|Social Media Profiles link (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)||Twitter, Instagram, YouTube|
|Wikipedia Profile link||Molly Holly Wiki|
|WWE Profile link||WWE Molly Holly|
|Website link||Official Website of Nora Greenwald-Benshoof – Molly Holly|
|Body Type||Slim, Athletic|
|Body Measurements (Chest – Waist – Hips)||36 – 32 – 32 inches|
|Height in feet, inches, cm||5’4’’, 163cm|
|Weight in kg, lbs||Around 66kg, 145lbs|
|Hair Color||Blonde, Autumn Brown|
|Hairstyle||Short Cut Curly Bob Hairstyle|
|Distinctive Features||Her wrestling attire and muscular build|
Family and Relationships
|Spouse – Husband||Geno Benshoof|
|Siblings||Luke Greenwald, Chancey Greenwald|
|Affairs – Boyfriend(s)||Not Found|
|Significant Relationships||Spike Dudley (on-screen relationship)|
Entering Professional Wrestling and Training
Molly Holly did not have any prior experience in professional wrestling before deciding to pursue it as a career. It was a bold move filled with challenges, requiring huge amounts of dedication, hard work, and practice.
Despite being a newcomer, Molly was eager to learn the ropes. Molly Holly received training from acclaimed wrestlers like Dean Malenko, Dudley Dudley, and Dave Finlay. Under their expert guidance, she swiftly developed the skills and knowledge required to succeed. Molly’s passion and drive to succeed were evident through her swift progress.
Molly Holly debuted on August 2, 1997 in the World Professional Wrestling Federation (WPWF) under the ring name Starla Saxton. She made her debut after just a few months into her training.
She spent 1997 and 1998 wrestling extensively on the independent circuit. Through her performances at various indie promotions, Molly gained valuable experience and won two championships, earning a reputation as a promising young talent.
While the road was difficult at first, Molly’s commitment and willingness to learn paved the way for an impressive career ahead. Her early days were only the beginning of her journey to make a name for herself in professional wrestling.
Some early career highlights include:
- Winning the WPWF Women’s Title in 1997
- Wrestling across indie promotions like GLCW, MCW, and UPW
- Portraying villains and fan favorites to gain experience
Her rapid improvement was a testament to her commitment and natural ability.
Rise to Prominence in the WWE
The next phase of Molly Holly’s career began in 2000 when she joined the mainstream promotion WWE (then WWF). This opened the doors to national fame and increased opportunities.
After a short stint in WCW, Molly Holly signed with the WWE in 2000. Here she assumed the name “Molly Holly” and gained traction as an adept women’s wrestler.
Her initial WWE storyline portrayed her as the cousin of Hardcore and Crash Holly. She supported them in their feuds. She also became a fan favorite as part of the duo with The Hurricane as a superhero personality.
She embraced this wholesome yet strong-willed character with enthusiasm. Her performances captivated fans and highlighted her versatility as both a wrestler and an entertainer.
Rivalries and Championship Wins
Molly Holly engaged in several high-profile rivalries during her WWE tenure, most notably against Trish Stratus and Stacy Keibler.
Despite challenges from top divas, she proved her mettle by winning the prestigious WWE Women’s Championship twice. Some of her other title wins in WWE include the Hardcore Championship and the now-defunct Cruiserweight Championship.
Holly’s WWE run was filled with amazing moments, including:
- Her iconic rivalry with Trish Stratus, including their classic battle at King of the Ring 2002
- Pulling off the shocking defeat of The Hurricane for the Hardcore Title at WrestleMania X8
- Getting her head shaved after a title loss to Victoria at WrestleMania XX – a powerful act of courage
- Returning for the historic all-women Royal Rumble matchup in 2018
- Competing in the first-ever women’s Elimination Chamber match
Career, Awards, and Achievements
|Sport(s)||Professional Wrestling (WWE)|
|Ring Name||Lady Ophelia, Mighty Molly, Miss Madness, Molly Holly, Mona, Nora Greenwald|
|Entrance Theme Music||“Molly Go Round” by Jim Johnston, “Out of the Fire”|
|Nickname||Mighty Molly, Starla Saxton|
|Debut||August 2, 1997|
|Promotions||World Championship Wrestling (WCW), World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (WWF/WWE)|
|Championships Held||WWF Hardcore Championship (1 time), WWE Women’s Championship (2 times), WWE Cruiserweight Championship (won in 24/7 rule)|
|Signature Moves||Molly-Go-Round (Corkscrew Senton Bomb), Northern Lights Suplex, Oklahoma Roll, Standing Moonsault|
|Finisher(s)||Molly-Go-Round (Corkscrew Senton Bomb), Molly-Go-Round II (Handspring Back Elbow Smash), The Widow’s Peak (Double Underhook Suplex)|
|WrestleMania Matches||WrestleMania X8 – defeated Trish Stratus to win the WWE Women’s Championship; WrestleMania XX – lost to Victoria in a Hair vs. Title match|
|Royal Rumble Appearances||2018 Women’s Royal Rumble match – entered at #5; 2020 Women’s Royal Rumble match – entered at #14; 2022 Women’s Royal Rumble match – entered at #3|
|Hall of Fame Inductions||WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2021|
|Other Achievements||PWI Woman of the Year (2002), Ranked No. 1 in the PWI Female 50 (2002), Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2016|
|Endorsements and Sponsorships||Former Female Lead Coach at The Academy: School of Professional Wrestling|
|Charity Work||works for Minnesota Teen Challenge|
|Training and Development||Trained by Dean Malenko, Dudley Dudley and Dave Finlay|
|Style of Wrestling||Technical wrestling with high-flying moves|
|Notable Rivalries||Trish Stratus, Victoria, Gail Kim|
|Media Appearances||Fear Factor|
|Merchandise and Branding||In 2005, she released an autobiographical DVD entitled “Nora Greenwald: Shootin’|
Assets and Finances
|Not Found||$100,000 – $1M|
|Salary (Annual) in Rs. and $||Co-founded an academy|
|Per Game Charges in Rs. and $||$15,000 – $40,000|
|Per Endorsement Charges in Rs. and $||Not Found|
|Sponsorship Deals||Not Found|
|Business Ventures||Not Found|
|Real Estate Holdings||Bungalow|
|Luxury Items/Properties Owned||A bungalow|
|Cars Collection||Not found|
Lasting Impact on Women’s Wrestling
Beyond her in-ring accomplishments, Molly Holly left an indelible influence on women’s wrestling through her groundbreaking approach.
She rejected the notion that female wrestlers must rely on looks over skills and performance. Her athleticism and dedication to excellence pioneered a shift in how women in wrestling were perceived.
Molly championed the idea that women could be attractive, fierce, and respected wrestlers. Her boundary-breaking efforts have inspired generations of women wrestlers to realize their potential. Her legacy continues to shape the future of women’s wrestling even today.
Life After Wrestling
Since retiring from WWE in 2005, Molly Holly has found new purpose and fulfillment outside the world of wrestling. Holly focused her energy on missionary work and occasional indie wrestling appearances. But her groundbreaking wrestling legacy remains stronger than ever.
What happened to Molly Holly? Where is Now in 2023?
Now 45 years old, the trailblazing Molly Holly is semi-retired but still beloved. By boldly challenging outdated gender norms, she inspired generations of female wrestlers to push boundaries and prove their worth. Her courage helped make the industry more inclusive.
Why did Holly Robinson Peete leave Mike and Molly?
Actress Holly Robinson Peete left the sitcom Mike and Molly in 2015 due to creative differences with the producers. Molly Holly the wrestler was not involved with the show.
Is Molly Holly married? Who is Molly Holly married to?
Molly Holly married Geno Benshoof in year 2010.
What color is Molly Holly’s hair?
Molly Holly’s natural hair color is blonde. She often wore her hair short and dyed brunette during her WWE days.
Where was Holly Molly filmed?
The movie Holly Molly was filmed in Nepal. It does not involve wrestler Molly Holly.
When does Holly Molly WWE come out?
Molly Holly has not been announced for any upcoming WWE video game releases like WWE 2K23 as of now.
When did Molly Holly first turn heel?
Molly Holly first adopted a villainous persona in WCW in 1999 as Miss Madness, before becoming a fan favorite in WWE.
Real reason why Molly Holly left WWE?
Molly Holly left WWE in 2005 when she decided to step away from full-time wrestling for a quieter life and new pursuits like charity work.
What does Holly Molly mean?
“Holly Molly!” is an exclamatory phrase used to convey surprise or amazement. It does not have any direct meaning related to wrestler Molly Holly.
Few wrestlers have made such a lasting impact as trailblazer Molly Holly. Her strength, skill, and determination shattered stereotypes and glass ceilings in the wrestling world.
While no longer an active wrestler, her pioneering influence continues to shape women’s wrestling. Molly Holly remains an inspiration for female wrestlers to believe in themselves and realize their potential. Her story is one of breaking barriers through passion and perseverance.