This is the second in a five-part weekly series looking at the 2018 inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame. Last week we looked at Hillbilly Jim.
Today we will be looking at the women’s entry, Ivory. Although Ivory, entered at a time when women’s wrestling was not always taken seriously, she was not one to be taken lightly.
Ivory was born Lisa Mary Moretti on November 26, 1961, in Inglewood, California. While attending the University of Southern California, Ivory was dragged to an audition for a wrestling TV show that would end up being GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling).
She trained under the legendary Mando Guerrero and started wrestling as Tin Ferrara in 1986. While in GLOW she formed a successful tag team with Ashley Cartier called T&A. She would go on to win the GLOW championship.
After GLOW, Moretti spent time wrestling in the independent territories. She wrestled in the POWW as Nina and the LPWA as Tina Moretti. In 1999 Moretti signed with the WWE.
Ivory started inauspiciously as one of the Godfather’s “ho’s.” Her next storyline was as Ivory girlfriend of Mark Henry. During this period she would often be at ringside with Henry and with D’Lo Brown.
The women’s title was not taken very seriously at this point and women were often seen in lingerie, pillow and slop matches. We’ve come a long way, and Ivory and the other women of her time, are to thank for that.
Nevertheless Ivory won her first title on June 14. 1999 from Debra. She lost the title, in perhaps the worst match ever seen on WWE TV, to a 76-year-old Fabulous Moolah. She quickly won the title back only to lose it to Miss Kitty in an “evening gown match.”
In late 1999 Ivory began to object to sexist women’s matches. This turned her villain of course and in September of 2000 joined the heel stable RTC (Right to Censor).
Ivory won her third championship, while in this stable, from Lita only to drop it to Chyna at Wrestlemania X-Seven. Shortly afterward, in 2001, The RTC broke up.
Ivory was next seen in August of 2001 when she joined the Alliance. A team of former WCW and ECW, both defunct by now, superstars who teamed up to take WWE out. Oh, and there were a few WWE stars in there too. Most notably Stone Cold Steve Austin.
She briefly formed an alliance with Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler and also briefly managed Lance Storm.
In 2002, Ivory was the trainer on the second tough enough. During this time the brand split happened, and Ivory went to Smackdown where she feuded with Tough Enough winner Jackie Gayda. Later in the year several wrestlers, including Ivory, were traded to Raw for the Big Show.
2003-2005 was slow for Ivory. She was a trainer on the third Tough Enough and did broadcasting at WWE events. She spent some time as a trainer in Ohio Valley Wrestling WWE ’s developmental division at the time and co-hosted the WWE Experience, a recap show.
At the end of 2005 Ivory chose not to renew her contract, and from 2005-2006 Ivory wrestled on the independent circuit semi-retiring at the end of 2006.
If you want to know who really started the diva’s revolution, you could pick a worse person than Ivory. Even though she was a villain, long before anyone else she demanded female wrestlers be taken seriously as athletes. And for that, the current WWE women’s division owes Ivory a debt of gratitude.