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Tori, an unmistakable stand out during the Attitude Era- Unsung Hero

To celebrate Women’s History Month Diva Dirt will be highlighting some of wrestling’s greatest unsung heroes. These individuals for some reason or another don’t get the recognition, respect, and status they deserve. These retrospectives will occur throughout the month of March.

Here at Diva Dirt, we have already touched based on a few who we feel are unsung heroes in the industry. Starting with the 1980s and we are now working through the 90s. Here is who we have gone over so far. You can click on their names to go to their respective articles.

Wendi Richter

Judy Martin

Luna Vachon

To continue the 1990s decade the next choice was a powerhouse who always gets overlooked. She is never mentioned in today’s product and could have very well succeeded in the modern day era. In a land where someone like Chyna stood out from the pack, this woman did also. In fact they both found themselves in the same popular stable at different times. That stable was D-Generation X and that woman is Tori.

Real name Terri Poch, Tori, started in WWF in 1998. She wasn’t new to wrestling at that time as she started on the independent scene. In 1988 she started as a valet and moving into 1990 she began her in-ring career.

Going by the name Terri Power, she would join the Ladies Professional Alliance where she defeated two big names from the 1980s. These ladies were Leilani Kai and Judy Martin who were known as the Glamour Girls and were two-time WWF Women’s Tag Team Champions. She was trained by Roddy Piper.

Starting her time with WWF in the late 90s, Tori was swiftly brushed in with one of the most popular women to come out of that era and that was Sable. Sable was bracing the covers of Playboy, TV Guide, RAW Magazine, and was the female face of the wrestling industry. Tori was introduced as her obsessed fan.

Credit: WWE

This started as Tori appeared at ringside and offering a yellow rose to the then WWF Women’s Champion. Several weeks went buy without anyone knowing her name but there she was, still at ringside. Finally she would interfere in Sables match against Luna Vachon at the Royal Rumble. It was a strap match and Tori assisted in helping Sable win.

Weeks after she continued to show up in the ring being shunned by Sable. Sable stated that Tori was pathetic and that she, just like every other woman, tries to live through her. She dismissed her only to have Luna come out. After Luna stated that the only reason why Sable held the title was based off her looks, the champion attacked both her and Tori from behind with the belt.

This led up to a huge in-ring debut for the newcomer between her and Sable at WrestleMania XV for the WWF Women’s Championship. Tori wouldn’t cash in on beginners luck and failed to capture the title thanks to a new enforcer known as Nicole Bass who helped Sable retain.

Credit: WWE

Tori would move on from this to feud with the likes of Jacqueline and Ivory. She would get another crack at the title, but this time with Ivory as champion. Another high profile match for her came against Ivory at SummerSlam. She wasn’t able to pick up the win after Ivory hit a sunset flip for the pin.

This continued in a catalog of matches where Tori was unable to capture the title. Included in that was what was coined as the first women’s Hardcore Match. This bout never started or took place in the ring as it was all backstage. In the end thanks to a mirror, Ivory would continue on as champion. After the pinfall, Ivory would use an iron to burn Tori.

After a number of failed attempts at the title, what came next for Tori was perhaps what most remember her for. This was her time with Kane/X-pac and allegiance to D-Generation X. This was launched as her being the on-screen girlfriend of Kane.

Credit WWE

During her time alongside the big red machine, her beau would be in a heated rivalry with his former partner, X-Pac. Her concern of Kane having to be placed in a handicap match, Tori went to Stephanie McMahon. McMahon in turn challenged her to a match but instead X-Pac would be Tori’s opponent. She would eventually have to spend a weekend over Christmas with X-Pac as a stipulation. Kane lost a title match against Big Show which caused this.

Throughout the remainder of their relationship, Kane quickly came to the defense of Tori and anyone who posed a threat. Many would employ his services to destroy their opponents for them. The two’s relationship came to an end after Tori confessed that she was in fact now in a relationship with X-Pac. This aligned herself with DX as a result of this heel turn and fueled the continuation of the heated rivalry between the big red machine and X-Pac.

Tori was never able to capture the title herself in her short career with the company, however, she did put over the Billion Dollar Princess. McMahon was a one-time Women’s Champion despite her, at the time, lack of ring experience.

A distraction to the referee from Triple H and a trip up from X-Pac to Jacqueline allowed Tori to hit a DDT on the champion. With the assist from her, McMahon would pin Jacqueline to become the champion and went on to hold the title for 146-days.

Tori’s last high profiled match was alongside X-Pac and Road Dogg vs. The Dudley Boyz in 2000. This took place at the King of the Ring event and was a table/dumpster match. Her team would win as the Dudley Boyz were placed into the dumpster, but Tori wouldn’t receive the last laugh. She was power bombed through a table that had her name written on it after the bell rang.

Tori would be out due to injury thereafter. She would return months later during a segment at WWF New York. She slapped X-Pac during the moment from the fall out of King of the Ring. This ended their relationship on-screen.

Tori’s last on-screen moments found her as a masked villainess known as the Black Ninja who helped out Raven. Prior to her unmasking, she was helping Raven retain his Hardcore Championship. This developed into a rivalry between her and Molly Holly (who was partnered with her on-screen cousin Crash Holly). On Sunday Night Heat, Molly unmasked her at the end of a match between Crash and Raven. Tori was never seen on WWE television again.

Throughout 2001, she would continue to work with WWF as a trainer. This happened during the newly launched show Tough Enough in which they were choosing one man and one woman as future WWF Superstars/Diva. She would subsequently retire from wrestling and focus on a career in yoga.

Unknowingly to many, Tori became the glue in the Attitude Era in her few years with the company. She may have had a different route than most of the Divas during that time but that is what made her unique. Personally, she is added to the list of women who should have won gold. 

She worked closely with the biggest names of the business. Being involved with Sable, Jacqueline, Ivory, Stephanie McMahon, and DX she was at the top of the mountain. Based on her dominating appearance, her in-ring style, and receiving great crowd reaction, Tori is definitely an unsung hero whose contribution should be acknowledged. 

What are your thoughts on Tori’s career and do you think she ever truly got the right recognition for her services to wrestling? Let us know below and stay tuned to Diva Dirt for more unsung heroes as we celebrate Women’s History Month.

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