Timmy D's Take: Most Underrated Women's Wrestlers Submitted by Tim Dorst on 10/28/2018 at 01:14 AM
Top 5 Most Underrated Women's Wrestlers in WWE History
With WWE’s first-ever all-women’s Pay-Per-View event, Evolution, hours away, WWE is preparing to celebrate some of its best and most notable female wrestlers from years past as well as present day. From often-touted legends like Trish Stratus and Lita, to some of the top names from the “Divas” Era, there will be no shortage of nostalgia for long-time viewers of World Wrestling Entertainment. However, with as many former talents who are sure to be presented and celebrated Sunday night, there are a handful of women in WWE’s history who either were underappreciated during their time with the company and/or all but ignored by the WWE machine today.
Here is my list of the Top 5 Most Underrated Women in WWE History.
5. Molly Holly: Nora Greenwald, better know to WWE fans as Molly Holly, had a career that spanned beyond WWE, making appearances in the later years of World Championship Wrestling as one of Macho Man Randy Savage’s valets. As WCW attempted to build its own women’s division, she, along with Madusa, trained many of the company’s aspiring talents in the Power Plant, before becoming a fan favorite with her Mona character. She debuted in WWE in 2000 as the kayfabe cousin of Hardcore and Crash Holly and quickly began endearing herself to fans and colleagues alike. While she enjoyed some success, winning the Women’s Championship twice, she often took a backseat while women such as Trish and Victoria were at the forefront of the division at the time. Add in her admittedly comical “Mighty Molly” gimmick and getting her head shaved at WrestleMania XX, and it’s apparent that Molly’s overall career in WWE left something to be desired.
Thankfully, Molly has been presented well in her occasional appearances with WWE since, having participated in the first Women’s Royal Rumble match and being scheduled for the Historic Battle Royal at tonight’s Evolution.
4. Jazz: If you were to ask a WWE fan if he or she remembers who Jazz is, even some lifelong fans might struggle to think of details of her stint with the company. After a short time in Extreme Championship Wrestling, Jazz debuted in WWE in 1999 and looked as though she would become an imposing force in the women’s division. Unfortunately for Jazz, it appeared her type of talent was before its time. With WWE management leaning toward more model-types like Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson, Jazz’s muscular physique and overall badassery apparently didn’t fit into WWE’s vision for its female competitors, even though having a strong woman such as Jazz presented as a dominant force had previously been effective (see: Chyna). Jazz did eventually become a two-time women’s champion but never gained much traction in the WWE, who released her from her contract in 2004.
Today, Jazz remains active in the independents and currently holds the NWA Women’s Championship. She also made her opinions on 'WWE Evolution' clear, stating that she “doesn’t give a damn” about the show as she’s focused on making her own statement in the wrestling industry.
3. Jillian Hall: Jillian Hall was a good wrestler. A very good wrestler. But most WWE fans who watched her during her tenure with the company would’ve never known, considering the way she was portrayed on screen. Making her pro wrestling debut in 1998, Hall bounced around the independent circuit before eventually signing a contract with Ohio Valley Wrestling, WWE’s developmental territory at the time. From there she made sporadic appearances on WWE programming, mostly as the devious manager/valet for John Bradshaw Layfield. But it wasn’t long before she was saddled with the gimmick that most fans remember: the brash, egocentric wannabe pop star with a shrill, tone-deaf voice. WWE faithful had to endure weekly assaults on their eardrums as Hall belted out each new “hit”, much to the crowd’s dismay. And to be honest…this was pretty much all she did. She did win the Divas Championship one time in 2009 but held it for an astonishingly short five minutes before losing it to Melina immediately after, making her reign the shortest in that title’s history.
Those who followed Jillian Hall closely knew how talented she really was and were no doubt left disappointed by how she was utilized in the WWE and yearning to know what could’ve been.
2. Emma: There are few people in WWE History who have had a more fascinatingly bizarre career as Emma did. For all intents and purposes, Emma could easily be considered just as responsible as any of the “Four Horsewomen” when it comes to the Divas Revolution/Women’s Evolution in WWE. Her rivalry with Paige, which peaked at the first-ever NXT Live Special, 'NXT Arrival', set the stage for how women’s wrestling would be presented in the WWE from that point on. With her bubbly personality and infectious dance moves, Emma got the call-up to the main roster where she began an on-screen partnership with comic relief man Santino Marella. However, the chemistry never gelled, and Emma’s goofy antics didn’t translate well with the main-roster crowd, so she was reassigned to NXT to rebrand her character. And rebrand it she did, debuting a darker, much more aggressive side of herself and putting on some impressive performances in big matches. In what turned out to be a relatively short WWE career, she re-debuted on the main roster, got fired under suspicion of shoplifting before being rehired the next day, teased another gimmick change with the supermodel-esque “Emmalina” vignettes, made one appearance as the character before reverting back to “Evil Emma”, and then was released by the company just weeks before the history-making Women’s Royal Rumble. Emma never won a championship in the WWE, and her sudden release left many of her fans shaking their heads.
She moved on to the indies under her real name Tenille Dashwood and competed in Ring of Honor’s Women of Honor tournament before announcing she was stepping away from wrestling for the foreseeable future due to several health problems.
1. Gail Kim: This should come as a surprise to virtually no one. Arguably the most successful women’s wrestler outside of WWE (at least in the US), Gail Kim’s two stints with the WWE were largely forgettable, through no fault of her own. Beginning her career wrestling locally in her home country of Canada, Kim signed with WWE in 2002 and made an immediate impact, winning a battle royal and capturing the Women’s Championship in her very first match with the company. Despite her hot start, Kim was never elevated to the status of a top-tier talent during her first stint, and WWE released her suddenly in 2004. It was in Total Nonstop Action (TNA) wrestling, however, where Kim began to really shine as a pro wrestler. Kim spearheaded the new TNA Knockouts division, becoming its inaugural champion and having an incredibly noteworthy feud with Awesome Kong which helped bring the division (and TNA) into the public eye. Kim returned to WWE in 2008, but her second stint was even less eventful than her first. Frustrated with the way she and other women in the company were being held back, Kim eliminated herself from a battle royal and subsequently quit WWE in 2011, declaring that she would never sign with the company again.
Kim returned to TNA and once again became the face of the Knockouts division, recapturing the championship and earning the #1 spot in Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Female 50 ranking in 2012. She would go on to win the Knockouts title a record seven times before officially retiring from in-ring competition earlier this year. Given her less-than-smooth split from WWE and her strong negative opinions towards its management over the years, Kim’s name is one you will more than likely not hear celebrated at 'WWE Evolution.'
What do you think of this list? Is there anybody you feel is missing? Feel free to leave you opinions in the comments below. Thanks for reading!