Source: The Art Of Wrestling
On episode 336 of The Art Of Wrestling, professional wrestling podcasting pioneer Colt Cabana spoke with Nora Benshoof, also known as WWE's Molly Holly, who talked about helping Beth Phoenix pay for college, attending the same professional wrestling school as Roderick Strong, and her stint in WCW.
"I do remember when she was trying to break in or make it, she was already doing the indies, but she wanted to make it to the big time, I just saw her work ethic, and personality, and I was like, 'man, I really want this girl to make it.' So yes, it is true that I did pay for some of her schooling and I was just so proud of her that she did make it and she just did an awesome job representing women in the industry."
According to Holly, she met Phoenix at OVW while the latter was in developmental. Apparently, Holly would visit OVW because she was infatuated with John Cena.
"Sometimes, on my off days, I would go to the developmental territory. She was in OVW. And so, not everyone in OVW was under contract. They had, like, local people there training to, hopefully, meet the right people and get an in and stuff. So I was there. I was under contract, but I was there either because they asked me to be, maybe I was doing something with the developmental or I went there on my own for fun. I don't remember exactly."
Holly added, "maybe I had a crush on John Cena at the time. I think he was there. Yeah, that was probably one of the reasons I was there. That's the inside scoop, that I had a crush on him at one time."
Also during the conversation, Holly said that she went to the same backyard pro wrestling school as Roderick Strong and said the NXT talent was the best at the school.
"[Strong] was at the same school as me, the same [school]. So when I went up to the school, it turns out is in the backyard of a trailer park, has garden hoses for ropes, and I was 18 [years old] and Roderick Strong was about 13. He must have been about 13." Holly continued, "so I met Roderick when I was 18 and he was 13 and he was the best one in the training school. Everyone was like, 'oh my gosh! he's amazing!' and, sure enough, he was. He was super athletic."
Holly said she got the Miss Madness role in WCW because she had grown close to 'Macho Man' Randy Savage from training his girlfriend at the genius suggestion of Savage's brother, Lanny Poffo.
"The way that I met him was his brother, Lanny, was on the same independent scene as me, so I got to know Lanny. And then, 'Macho Man' mentioned to Lanny, 'hey, I want to teach my new girlfriend, Stephanie, how to do some wrestling moves. Do you know any female wrestlers that could show her a few things?' And Lanny's like, 'oh yeah, I know this girl, Nora. She wrestles locally. You should ask her.'" Holly continued, "he asked me to take a leave of absence from my job in order to spend a whole month, everyday, teaching his girlfriend how to wrestle, so I did and during that month, we all became friends and that's when he asked me to be part of his entourage."
Holly professed that she always speaks so highly of Savage because 'The Macho Man' is the whole reason she made it to the big time.
"He believed in me enough to help me get my big break. He brought me onto his entourage from the indies. He was like the whole reason I got a contract from WCW."
While professional wrestling fans often hear that WCW became a toxic environment, Holly admitted that she really enjoyed WCW because she was "pampered" as part of Savage's entourage.
"I loved it, but I was really pampered because I was part of 'Macho Man's thing. Like, we had our own private dressing room; I never worked house shows; I got paid really good money to show up five minutes before TV starts and then 'Macho Man' comes in and tells the booking office what he would be doing for the show. And then, I would escort him to the ring and if he gives me a missile dropkick or something to do from the top rope, he just tells me when and I do it. And I go home, so I thought it was awesome."
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