Hall of Fame Profiles: Lita
Jay Shannon returns with his third installment of profiles of the WWE Hall of Fame, Class of 2014. This time, he looks at possibly the most talented female wrestler to ever step inside a wrestling ring…Lita
Before there was Lita:
Amy Christine Dumas (pronounced Do Mahs) was born on April 14, 1975. Amy and her family moved, quite often, when Dumas was a child. She eventually graduated from high school in Marietta, Georgia. She went to Georgia State University but left as she didn’t care for the high school-like feel of college. She eventually relocated to the Washington, D.C. and returned to one of his first loves, music. She played bass guitar in several local bands. She also earned a living working as a roadie for a band for five years. During this time, she began to study Judo.
Learning the business
Amy was inspired by Rey Mysterio (Jr.) and several other Luchadores that she saw on WCW TV. In 1998, she decided to head down to Mexico to learn the Lucha style of professional wrestling. Being short on money, Dumas paid for her wrestling training by working as an exotic dancer in local clubs. Amy’s first training came from Kevin Quinn, Ricky Santana and Miguel Perez (Sr.). After a few months, Dumas returned home to the East Coast of the United States and began working as a manager/wrestler named Angelica. Her biggest “client” was “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels. It was during these early days that Dumas first met Matt and Jeff Hardy.
Going to the Extreme
Paul Heyman saw reports on Dumas and eventually approached her about joining ECW. She was initially brought in as Danny Doring’s girlfriend, under the name “Miss Congeniality”. Eventually, that name was dropped and she returned to her ring identity of Angelica. During her time in ECW, Rob Van Dam introduced Dumas to the legendary Dory Funk Jr.. Dory invited Dumas to spend a few months at his training facility in Florida. During her training, the Funk family put together quite a bit of footage of Dumas and eventually submitted it to the then-WWF. Dumas was contacted by the WWF in the fall of 1999 and officially signed with the WWF on November 1, 1999.
From the Land of Extreme to Team Extreme and Beyond
Dumas, now re-christened Lita, was sent to Memphis Championship Wrestling for some further refinement of her persona. When she arrived in the WWF, she was the valet to Essa Rios. Rios and Lita were placed into a mixed-gender feud against Eddie Guerrero and Chyna in early 2000. As that storyline played out, Creative had Rios turn on Lita. Rios actually Powerbombed Lita, at one point. That brought Matt and Jeff Hardy aka the Hardy Boyz to her aid. Rios was eventually phased out and Lita became one third of what came to be called “Team Extreme”. During the early days of their alliance, Lita became the first (and so far only) female wrestler to compete in a TLC (Tables, Ladders and Chairs) match in the WWF/E. In June, 2000, Lita began a long-running feud with Trish Stratus. Lita also began to feud with then-Women’s Champion, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley. Lita won her first Women’s title on August 21, 2000, when she took the belt from Stephanie.
After just over two months as champion, Lita dropped the belt to Ivory. Ivory was aided by Edge and Christian (who had been feuding with the Hardyz, at the time). IN addition to feuding with Ivory, Lita also began an inter-gender feud against Dean Malenko (a spurned suitor).
Lita was recruited by her old rival, Trish Stratus, to aid her in a Summer 1991 feud against Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson. As part of the short feud, Lita was part of the first Bra and Panties Tag Team Match (July 22nd). The Lita/Stratus team came to a sudden end when Trish won the Women’s title in a Six Pack Challenge Match at SummerSlam. Chyna, the former champion, had vacated the title, earlier. After that feud, Lita got in the middle of a Brother War between Matt and Jeff Hardy. Lita would even compete against Matt, on a few occasions. The trio was removed from WWE TV, as a unit, when Matt was injured during a match against the Undertaker.
When Lita returned, she set her sights back on the Women’s title. She faced Trish Stratus and Women’s Champion, Jazz, at Wrestlemania X8. Jazz would retain her title in that wild match. Lita’s career was nearly ended by a wrestling move, away from the ring. During practice for a Litacarana (Hurancanrana) on the set of Dark Angel, the stunt person working with Lita accidentally dropped Lita. She ended up with three cracked vertebrae in her neck. That injury would require surgery and put her on the shelf for the better part of a year. During the recovery period, Lita moved behind the desk to work as a color commentator for several programs, most notably Sunday Night Heat. She worked on Heat until she was “Fired” by Eric Bischoff (then the General Manager of the WWE). Eric had tried to seduce Lita and had been rejected, which led to the termination.
Back in the Ring
After almost a year and a half, Lita returned to the ring to aid Trish Stratus as Trish was being double teamed by Molly Holly and Gail Kim. Lita would spend the majority of 2003 feuding with Molly Holly. Eventually, she would be reunited with Matt Hardy when Hardy was moved from Smackdown to Raw as part of the Brand Extension Draft. Matt would later turn on Lita,, claiming she cared more about the Women’s Title than about their relationship. During her feud with Matt, Lita faced Victoria in what would be the first female Steel Cage Match in WWE history. Lita lost, due to Matt’s interference. Lita appeared to leave Matt for a relationship with Christian. That led to an odd feud with Christian and Chris Jericho betting who would become intimate with their given choice first. Jericho was wooing Trish Stratus, while Christian showed interest in Lita. Eventually, the girls would learn about the devious manipulations of Jericho and Christian and exact revenge on them.
After the Christian/Jericho storyline, Lita refocused on the Women’s title. She feuded with Victoria, the standing champion. Lita also got into a romantic triangle being the romantic target of both Matt Hardy and Kane. The weirdest twist in the storyline came when Lita claimed she was pregnant and Kane was the father. It went to new levels of oddness, when Kane and Matt Hardy faced off, at SummerSlam, in a “Til Death Do Us Part” Match. The winner of the match would win…Lita. She would be forced to marry the winner of the match. Kane ended up taking the match. The two were eventually married. The baby storyline came to a shocking end when Lita lost the baby after Snitsky used a chair shot to send Kane onto his “pregnant bride”. Lita would return and join her hubby in a vicious feud against Snitsky.
Lita returned to feuding with Trish Stratus, who had taunted her during the whole “Pregnancy” storyline. After years of trying, Lita finally won her 2nd Women’s title, by defeating Trish. That match still stands as one of the best Women’s Title matches of all time. During one of the rematches, about a month later, Lita severely injured her ACL while doing a Thesz Press to the floor. Lita dropped the belt and then took some time off to recover. Lita served as a mentor to Christy Hemme as she recovered from the ACL injury.
During her recovery, it was leaked (via the Internet) that Lita had been having a real-life romantic affair with Adam Copeland (pka Edge). The fans began to boo Lita, unmercifully, at shows. Trish actually came to Lita’s defense and went “Off Script” to go after some rude fans who were berating Lita for her personal life.
Life imitates Art
When it became clear that the fans were going to continue to insult Lita for her relationship with Edge, Creative decided to incorporate the real-life situation into a working storyline. Lita turned on her “husband” (Kane) by aiding Edge. Lita proceeded to “Divorce” Kane. Lita and Edge were set to be married on Raw but Kane interfered. That led to the infamous “Kane Tombstones a Priest” segment that Kane brings up from time to time. Once Kane was out of the picture, Matt Hardy (who had been Lita’s real-life boyfriend at the time of Lita’s affair) was brought in to feud with the man who had taken his girlfriend (on both sides of the curtain). The fights often broke down into true shoots with Hardy taking out his anger on Edge. Lita and Edge pushed the envelope farther than anyone before (or after) by promising to have sex in the center of the ring, on live television. That segment drew some of the largest ratings, ever, for Raw. (By the way, the sex did Not actually happen).
Lita would win her third Women’s title by defeating Mickie James on August 14, 2006. She would drop the belt to Trish Stratus about a month later (September 17th). Lita would start her fourth (and final) reign at Cyber Sunday 2006.The last reign would last 22 days, at which time she dropped the belt to Mickie James. That match, at Survivor Series, would be Lita’s Retirement Match in the WWE.
Once she ended her WWE wrestling career, Dumas returned to her earlier love, music. She formed a moderately successful band call the Luchagors. She also worked with the British band, J.D. and the F.D.C.. Lita also made several appearances on WWE Programming throughout the years, including hitting a Litacarana on Heath Slater during his challenge to Legends storyline. On February 10, 2014, Lita was announced as the third entrant into the WWE Hall of Fame, Class of 2014. It is expected that she will be inducted by her long-time friend and rival, Trish Stratus.
Lita was a trailblazer as it relates to modern female wrestling. She participated in TLC and Cage Matches, which had not been done before her arrival. She was part of some of the most controversial storylines in recent wrestling history. She has often been called “Vicious and Delicious” (a mix of beauty and talent. She is a definite welcome addition to the WWE Hall of Fame.