ESPN revealed the latest member of the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame class today (Feb. 12) - Lisa “Ivory” Moretti will be honored along with the already announced Goldberg and Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on April 6.
Inducting the three-time WWF Women’s champion into their Hall will also give WWE an opportunity to highlight a lot of women’s wrestling history at a time when promoting that part of their roster is a big part of their business. Before joining Vince McMahon’s company, Moretti wrestled for 1980s and 90s women’s promotions, including Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW - now the inspiration for a successful Netflix dramedy) where she worked as Tina Ferrari and won the GLOW crown.
Despite having an athletic and wrestling background, Moretti’s time with the then-WWF was representative of women’s wrestling in The Attitude Era. After debuting as one of Godfather’s “Hos” in 1999 and progessing to four minute title matches, she did get to take part in the some programs which showed fans that female wrestlers could entertain the same way as men given the opportunity. As part of the heel “Right To Censor” crew, Ivory carried and competed for the title against Lita, Trish Stratus, Molly Holly and others as women’s wrestling briefly earned a more respectable place in WWE at the turn of the 21st century.
After that, as her career wound down and the company returned to models “wrestling” bra-and-panty matches, Ivory served as a trainer on two seasons of MTV’s Tough Enough while working less in the ring and more out of it as a host and commentator. Her WWE contract expired in 2005 and she headed to the independents where she wrestled sporadically for the next several years. Since 2016, she’s made Legends appearances for The ‘E, and appeared on an episode of the Network’s Table for 3 discussion show.
As one of the quotes she offered ESPN shows, she makes a good spokeperson from women’s wrestling as WWE continues the push toward Ronda Rousey’s debut:
“It’s not about having a certain body type and looking picture perfect beautiful. It’s about having the drive and some kind of wacky attraction you have to the physicality, the test of learning how to wrestle and being to do it believably. It’s not easy theater to do. You can watch plenty of wrestling matches where the performers are not buying it. And it makes it boring for you to watch. There is a huge testament to the talent of the people who are engaging the fan or viewer.”
Thus far, the class of 2018 has rolled out as first leaked by Brad Shepard on Twitter late last year. While we wait to see if he’s right about Bam Bam Bigelow and Kid Rock, join us in sending congratulations to Ivory!