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This Day in Wrestling History (Apr. 14): Happy Birthday Lita!

Today's TDIPWH is presented in two parts. The first part focused on the events of the day, including Bryan Danielson's final match, WCW's debuts in Philadelphia and New York, and Japan's top wrestling company closing its doors. This part focuses on the career and life of Amy Dumas, who has a birthday today.

It's a happy 41st birthday for Amy Christine Dumas, best known to wrestling fans as Lita.

Born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, she is an early graduate out of Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia. She majored in education at Georgia State University, but dropped out because she felt it was too much like high school.

While having her head in music in Washington, DC (she played bass guitar and was a roadie), she took an interest in professional wrestling, particularly after watching Rey Mysterio, Jr. on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro. In 1998, she moved to Mexico to learn the art of wrestling. She worked as a dancer to fund her training. She would be trained by several wrestlers, including Kevin Quinn and Ricky Santana. She made a few appearances for Empresa Mexicana de la Lucha Libre (today known as Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre, or CMLL for short) before returning to the United States.

Stateside, Amy worked on the independent circuit, most notably for Maryland Championship Wrestling as Angelica, the manager for Christopher Daniels, and NWA Mid-Atlantic, where she met Matt and Jeff Hardy.

In early 1999, she was approached by ECW owner Paul Heyman and would debut for the promotion that year as Angelica, aka Miss Congeniality, the on-screen girlfriend of Danny Doring. That same year, Rob Van Dam introduced Dumas to Dory Funk Jr., and Dory would invite her to the Funkin' Conservatory, the Funk family's wrestling school. She was the only female in a class of 24. Dumas graduated from the school in August 1999, and subsequently returned to ECW. But she wouldn't be around long; the Funks sent video footage of Dumas to the WWF, and on November 1, 1999, Amy signed a deal to join the company. Amy would be done in ECW after just five months.

After further training in Memphis Championship Wrestling, Amy joined the WWF in February 2000 as Lita and was paired with Essa Rios (the two were initially unidentified at the taping; they only found out their new ring names in post-production). Lita mimicked Essa's moves, performing hurancanranas and moonsaults after he did them. The two briefly feuded with Essa Rios and Chyna; shortly after the feud ended, Lita busted Rios for hanging out with the Godfather's "hos". After she had cost Rios a match, Essa turned on her and proceeded to beat on her until the Hardy Boyz came to her rescue.

The Hardy Boyz and Lita formed an alliance, known later as Team Xtreme. Lita traded in her shiny red outfits for loose-fitting, alternative clothing, most notably baggy pants with the thong hiked above her pants. The trio feuded with T&A (Test & Albert) and their manager Trish Stratus. It was during this feud Lita would find her biggest rival in Trish (the two feuded frequently until Trish's retirement in 2006). The feud ended in July when Lita defeated Trish in an intergender tag team match.

In August 2000, Lita defeated Stephanie McMahon to win the WWF Women's Championship on an episode of RAW. A few days later, Lita would be physically involved in the first ever TLC match at Summerslam. She would hold the title for about two and a half months, losing it to Ivory in a fatal four-way match at a Smackdown taping in late October thanks to interference from Edge & Christian. Ivory, the only woman in the conservative stable Right to Censor, would defeat Lita in a series of rematches, often with the help of the group's leader Steven Richards.

Lita would then feud with Dean Malenko, who tried to court her romantically. Lita and Malenko had a pair of notable TV matches, one where Malenko defeated Lita in a WWF Light Heavyweight Championship match, and again where Lita defeated Dean with help from Matt Hardy. It's following Lita's win that her relationship with Matt was used in storyline for the first time. Lita and Matt would participate in several intergender tag team matches through the spring.

During the Invasion era, Lita joined forces with her rival Trish Stratus against Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson of the Alliance. At Invasion, Lita and Stratus defeated Keibler and Wilson in the first ever tag team bra and panties match. She would engage in feuds with other alliance members including Ivory and Mighty Molly. In November, she unsuccessfully tried to win the vacated WWF Women's Championship at Survivor Series in a six-pack challenge; her rival/friend Trish would go on to win the bout.

Team Extreme would briefly feud with one another, with Lita caught in the middle. At Vengeance in December 2001, Jeff defeated Matt with Lita as the special referee. Lita did not notice Matt had a leg on the rope (forcing an invalid pin attempt). On RAW the next night, Matt defeated Lita and Jeff in a handicap match and would break away from the group and the relationship. One week later, both Lita and Jeff would be injured at the hands of The Undertaker, the WWF Hardcore Champion at the time. Matt would face the same fate the next night at the Smackdown taping. The trio was off WWF television for several weeks.

The trio would reconcile and, save for a cameo in the 2002 Royal Rumble match, Team Extreme returned to WWE television in February 2002. In March, Lita competed at Wrestlemania for the first time, but it was in a losing effort for the WWF Womens Championship in a triple threat match when she was defeated by Jazz.

On April 6, 2002, Dumas was filming a fight scene for the television series Dark Angel. The stunt double dropped Dumas as she was practicing a hurancanrana. What was initially a stinger turned out to be three cracked vertebrae, requiring surgery to repair. Famed surgeon Dr. Lloyd Youngblood performed the operation, using a section of her hip to fuse the C5 and C6 vertebrae together. She would spend the next year rehabbing her neck, but she was initially still around, doing color commentary for Sunday Night Heat. After turning down Eric Bischoff's advances and his demand to pose for Playboy (in storyline), Lita was fired from her commentary post in April 2003.

Amy would not return until September 15, saving Trish from a further beating at the hands of Molly Holly and Gail Kim. That weekend at Unforgiven, Lita and Trish defeated Holly and Kim. After unsuccessfully attempting to beat Holly for the women's title, Lita would be reunited with Matt Hardy. The reunion was not a happy one: first it was interrupted by Molly, challenging the couple to a mixed tag match, with Eric Bischoff as Molly's partner. Stakes were high: Lita would get a title shot if she'd won, but would lose her job if she lost. Matt short-armed Lita, and the couple would go on to lose the bout. Matt's reason: Lita "selfishly" returning to RAW instead of Smackdown, claiming she cared more about the women's title than him. Lita wouldn't be gone long; Christian as his one favor from his Survivor Series win would hire her back. The next week, Lita lost to Victoria in the first women's steel cage match in WWE history thanks to Matt Hardy. The favor, as it turned out, was only a way for Christian to bed Lita to win a bet. The bet was soon exposed, and Lita and Trish would meet Christian and Chris Jericho in a "Battle of the Sexes" match, with the men winning at Armageddon.

In the spring of 2004, Lita would be reunited once again with Matt when Matt tried to prevent Kane from harming her. Matt would be on the end of repeated beatdowns by Kane. Eventually, she was kidnapped and subsequently impregnated by Kane. Matt was set to propose to Lita, but Kane interrupted the proceedings when he claimed he fathered Lita's child, a fact that would be proven two months later. Hardy and Kane would feud until Summerslam in a "Till Death Do Us Part" match, where Lita would marry the winner. Kane won. The forced marriage went as planned just over a week later on RAW. Despite being married, Lita made Kane's professional life a living hell, constantly costing him matches. That changed when Lita miscarried after local jobber Gene Snitsky hit Kane with a chair, causing him to collide with Lita. The once-reluctant couple feuded with Snitsky.

With the pregnancy behind her, Lita returned to in-ring competition and picked up her feud with Trish Stratus. Stratus berated and humiliated Lita during her pregnancy, calling her chubby due to her weight gain. When that humiliation crossed into the miscarriage, Lita took a stand and beat on Trish. That rage would cause her to be disqualified at Survivor Series when Lita challenged Trish for the Women's Championship. The two rematched on RAW on December 6. During the bout, Lita overrotated on a suicide dive and narrowly avoided serious injury. In a classic bout, Lita would defeat Trish to win the title. Considered one of the best women's matches in WWE history, the bout is reportedly used as training footage for incoming female wrestlers.

The botched suicide dive would be storyline fodder for the next few weeks, with Trish saying, "Lita had to practically kill herself, just to beat me". The two met at New Year's Revolution in January 2005. This time, Lita could not avoid the injury bug; she tore her left ACL after a Thesz press. The bout went into a rushed finish, with Trish regaining the Women's Championship; for Trish, it would be her record sixth women's title (she would go on to win it seven times before retiring in September 2006). Lita was set to regain the title at Wrestlemania 21, but the ACL injury prevented her from competing at the event. Instead, Lita would act as a mentor for Christy Hemme and the Diva Search winner would face Trish at the event, with Trish retaining the title.

A few weeks after Wrestlemania 21, Trish wanted to apologize to Lita for all the bad things she had done to her for the last year. Lita got a noticeably different reaction, as around that time, it was leaked on the Internet that Lita had an affair with Adam "Edge" Copeland. The segment was cut short, but the two largely stuck to the script. A knocked-out Trish was about to be attacked by Kane, only for Viscera, Trish's hired muscle, to attack Kane. Kane would defeat Viscera at Backlash.

Two weeks later, Lita turned on Kane when she helped Edge defeat him to win the RAW Gold Rush tournament and a World Heavyweight Championship match. She also revealed that her knee injury was a ruse. Lita publicly humiliated and divorced Kane. She tried to marry Edge in June, but the ceremony was interrupted by Kane. Edge and Lita escaped, but the priest would not, as he was tombstoned.

Around the time the Lita-Edge storyline kicked into high gear, Dumas was no longer in a relationship with Matt Hardy, who had recently been let go from WWE. Hardy would be rehired in the summer, and their real-life issues would become storyline fodder. Edge defeated Matt at Summerslam, but would lose the rematch to Hardy in a steel cage at Unforgiven. At RAW Homecoming in October, Edge defeated Hardy in a ladder match; per pre-match stipulations, Matt was banished from RAW.

Three months later, Edge would cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase and defeat John Cena for the WWE Championship at New Year's Revolution. In a post-match interview, Edge announced that he and Lita would have (in his words) "hot, unbridled sex" in the middle of the ring on RAW the next night. Boasting, you probably thought. Nope. It turned out Edge totally meant what he said. Edge and Lita had "hot, unbridled sex" until Ric Flair interrupted. Edge would attack Flair and give him a one-man conchairto. John Cena came to Flair's aid and gave the F-U to Lita. The "live sex celebration", as it is known in wrestling lore, scored a 5.2 rating, the most watched segment since Batista's infamous "thumbs down to Smackdown" in February 2005. Edge would boast (incorrectly, may I add) that he was the most-watched champion ever.

Edge would go on to lose the title just three weeks later back to Cena. In February, Edge and Lita were defeated by Cena and Maria Kannellis in a mixed tag team match. Through the spring and summer, Lita frequently interfered on Edge's behalf against Mick Foley. Ironically, the three would team up that summer at One Night Stand, defeating ECW originals Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk, and Beulah McGillicutty.

In August, Lita defeated Mickie James to win the WWE Women's Championship for a third time. She would lose the title in Trish Stratus' final match at Unforgiven just over a month later. With the title vacant following Stratus' retirement, a tournament was commissioned to crown a new champion. Lita would win the title back at Cyber Sunday on November 5, defeating Mickie James in the finals in a lumberjill match. Later that month, Lita herself would wrestle her final match, losing to Mickie at Survivor Series. Following her retirement, Lita's on-screen relationship with Edge ended without explanation.

Just before her retirement, Amy formed a band, the Luchagors. Despite being together for eight years, they would release just one album, The Luchagors in 2007. The band was picked up by Hellcat Records, but following an unsuccessful tour of the United Kingdom, the band broke up following one last show in July 2014.

Amy has appeared sporadically for WWE and on the independent circuit since her retirement. She appeared as a special referee for events for the United Wrestling Federation and Family Wrestling Entertainment on the independent circuit. For WWE, she appeared on the RAW 15th Anniversary Special with Trish Stratus to run off Jillian Hall. She also had a cameo appearance on a RAW in November 2010 with Pee Wee Herman and briefly reunited with her one-time on-screen husband, Kane. At RAW 1000 in July 2012, Lita defeated Heath Slater in a no disqualification, no countout match with help from a few WWE legends and the APA (of note, this is the last intergender match in WWE history).

On the weekend of Wrestlemania XXX, Lita was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by her "bestie" and former rival Trish Stratus.

In 2015, Amy returned to the company as a trainer on the reboot of Tough Enough alongside Booker T and Billy Gunn. That October, it was announced that Dumas had become a creative writer for WWE.

Most recently, Amy introduced a new WWE Women's Championship belt during the Wrestlemania 32 preshow. She was on RAW the next night to present the new championship belt to the champion, Charlotte.

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