WrestlingInc.com owner Raj Giri recently spoke to former two-time WWE Women's Champion Molly Holly. During the interview, Holly discussed her career beginnings in WCW.
After training under Dean Malenko in Florida, Holly joined WCW in 1999. She debuted as Miss Madness, one of "Macho Man" Randy Savage's valets along with Madusa and Gorgeous George. Holly explained that Savage himself picked her to join his valet team because he wanted her to train Gorgeous George (Stephanie Bellars), who was Savage's real-life girlfriend.
"It was Randy Savage's idea to bring me on TV – he let Eric Bischoff know that I was going to be a part of his entourage. So, how it happened was, Randy told me that he wanted me to train his girlfriend, Stephanie, on how to do some wrestling moves. Stephanie and I then hit it off and became friends. She then told Macho Man, 'Wow, this girl Nora, she has amazing moves! Do you think she can be part of our entourage on television?' And Randy said, 'Yep, that's great,'" Holly explained. "So, Randy had Stephanie's stylist make me a sequined bodysuit, and Stephanie taught me how to rub on some fake tan and dye my hair platinum blonde, and she brought me backstage at WCW. Randy then said to Eric Bischoff that he was bringing me onstage with him at WCW. After that, it was pretty much it. Although, eventually, I did get a contract, it was kind of cool that Randy just had the power to do what he wanted on TV, and he wanted me to be a part of his group. And that was very flattering, and awesome."
Holly dished on what it was like to work with Savage backstage. She revealed that his real-life personality is not that far off from his on-screen persona. She also said she feels forever indebted to him because of his influence on her wrestling career.
"He is super-intense. I owe so much to him – because he believed in me enough, and he gave me my shot of being a full-time career wrestler. So, I owe a lot to him," she said. "But he's the kind of guy that doesn't need a lot of sleep. He's very driven, goal-oriented, and he has high expectations. His off-screen persona is also very intense, which really just helped me push myself to the limits, and do things that I never thought I could do before. But he was always very kind to me – and also, very driven."
After leaving WCW, Savage was rarely in the public eye except for a notable appearance in the first Spiderman movie in 2002. Holly said she didn't really stay in touch with him after he left the wrestling business.
"We didn't really have a ton in common outside of the ring," she said. "When we were together, that was the main focus – the performance of the show. But outside of the ring, we had different hobbies and different interests, and of course, we were very different ages. I want to say I ran into him in Tampa after he left, but no, we really didn't hang out or anything like that."
It's no secret that WCW eventually went out of business after losing the Monday Night Wars to the WWE. Holly said she didn't really experience the internal turmoil in the company when she was aligned with Savage. But when he left the company, he standing within WCW was much less stable. Luckily for her, she was able to jump ship to the WWE before WCW folded.
"Well, I was really protected, being under Macho Man's wing. I was not a part of any type of politics or drama or stress of any kind. We would show up right before the show, and he would give us our own dressing room, and we would do the show and leave. So whatever kind of stuff was happening, politically or within the management, I felt like I had nothing to do with it. I just enjoyed being on TV on Monday nights," she said. "When Macho Man left, I felt it a lot more because I felt like I was no longer under his protection. And so that's when I got bounced around to things like the Power Plant, and I started being around a lot more disgruntled employees. But even though everyone was disgruntled, I thought, 'Man, I just came from a world where I was making $4.25 an hour. So I'm not going to complain about whatever was happening, because it was way better than what was happening before.' So whatever was going on, I didn't let it affect me too negatively. But I had no idea that the company was going to fold. Thankfully, I got picked up by the WWE, or at that time, the WWF, before the company folded. So I already felt pretty secure in my career, moving forward."
Holly currently serves as a female coach at "The Academy School of Professional Wrestling" in Minneapolis, Minnesota owned by Ken Anderson and Shawn Daivari. Billy Gunn will be a guest trainer at"The Academy: School of Professional Wrestling" on Monday, February 19th. The first seminar will be held from 6:30pm to 8:30pm for those who have had 0 to 20 professional wrestling matches. From 8:30pm to 10:30pm will be the second seminar for those who have had 20+ pro-wrestling matches. Participation in the seminar of your experience level is $50. You can attend both seminars for $75. You can register for the "Mr. Ass" Billy Gunn seminar at theacademyprowrestling.com/billy. Limited spots are available, and they will not accept registrations once the seminar is full.
Bernadette Giacomazzo contributed to this article.