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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

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Dawn Marie: A true definition of a Diva – Unsung Heroes

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 several who we feel are unsung heroes in the industry. Starting with the 1980s and 1990s we are now working through the 2000s. 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

Tori

Victoria

Nidia

Up next – Dawn Marie. Dawn Marie had it all and knew how to captivate an audience. Although her time in WWE wasn’t until the 2000s, her career started on the independent scene in 1995 as she was quickly used as a manager for Tony Atlas. She would continue her work on the indie circuit until she received an offer for Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). Her moment with ECW was originally just a few week plan.

ECW founder Paul Heyman saw something in Dawn though and offered her a contract after her work with Lance Storm impressed him. She would be by the side of Storm opposite the ring from Chris Candido and Tammy Lynn Sytch (Sunny). Other popular feuds at the time were between Francine and Jazz. This was her primary role until Storm left for World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Dawn would stay with ECW up until they went bankrupt with her then – fiancé Simon Diamond.

It didn’t take long for Dawn to be contacted by WWE after her stint with ECW came to an end. Prior to her legendary feud with Torrie Wilson, she started her time with the company as Vince McMahon’s “legal assistant.” She briefly feuded with Stacy Keibler over Vince’s attention.

Now to get into the meat of Dawn’s career and that was her feud with Wilson. Over the span of two years, these two entertained the fans both inside and outside of the ring. There biggest rivalry centered around Dawn’s on-screen marriage to Torrie’s real-life father, Al Wilson. This continued through a storyline death of Al during the couples honeymoon due to overexertion in the bedroom.

The two would have many matches together which included infamous matches such as Bra & Panties, Bikini, Lingerie, and even a Pool of Mud. However, they would also have some high profiled matches on many pay-per-views that left the gimmicks that pigeon-held the women of that era. Some of these matches included bouts at No Mercy, Royal Rumble (Stepmother vs. Stepdaughter match), and Judgment Day (if Torrie lost she would leave WWE). All three matches Wilson won.

Dawn would also have a handful of matches that aired on Velocity with Nidia and Gail Kim. Her final big feud was with Miss. Jackie followed by the last encounter with Michelle McCool before leaving the company. Dawn found herself in a love triangle with Jackie and her fiance Charlie Haas.

This feud saw Dawn facing Jackie with Haas as a guest referee at Armageddon. Haas would count to three giving Dawn the win. He would then confront the rumor that he was having an affair with Dawn. This was true. He would then get on one knee to propose but instead would call her a slut, saying he didn’t want either one of them. He left both of them in the ring as he retreated up the ramp. Dawn was released from WWE in 2005 during her maternity leave.

After WWE, Dawn would return to the indie scene for a short time, mostly participating for Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU). She had the perfect mix of what a Diva truly was. That mixture of a valet/manager role but still able to fight in the ring. Although she fits the time she was in, I can’t help but think if she was around a little bit longer she would have become a Divas Champion.

Just as everyone we continue to celebrate this month, Dawn is never mentioned in today’s product. For someone who held such a big role within women’s wrestling, she hasn’t returned to WWE for any reunions or events that involve former talent. Let’s celebrate by putting some respect on her name.

What are your thoughts on Dawn Marie’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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