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Nidia was a missed opportunity for the women’s division – 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

Before there was the infamous Diva Search which launched us into the Diva Era there was Tough Enough. A show that focused on what it takes to make it in the ring and become a WWF/WWE Superstar swept the industry and had everyone’s attention. From the start of the first season in 2001 and through the third season there were two winners per season. One man, Maven, and one woman, Nidia, won the first season.

Credit: WWE

Nidia came in as most competitors to the reality show did and that was green. She worked hard throughout the competition to win and earn a one-year developmental contract with the biggest wrestling company in the world. While she had made a few appearances on WWE television after her win, she was sent down to the then-developmental Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) for further training. There she feuded with Victoria.

When people hear the name Nidia other than her Tough Enough win many remember her alliance with cruiserweight star Jamie Noble. The two started an on-screen romance as they portrayed a “trailer trash” type gimmick. During this early part of her in-ring career, she would feud with Torrie Wilson. Nidia played a pivotal role in the success of Noble as he was able to capture the Cruiserweight Championship from her former boyfriend, The Hurricane.

She would continue her gimmick and add the aspect of being “blind” as a result of Tajiri spewing the black mist in her eyes. She would continue to accompany Noble to the ring wearing sunglasses and be used as a shield to help him pick up wins from his opponents.

After she realized that he was, in fact, taking advantage of her, she would turn on him after still acting as if she was blind. This led to an intergender match between the two at the No Way Out pay-per-view. The stipulation was for Noble to be blindfolded but he would continue to cheat in order to pick up a victory.

After her well known time with Noble, Nidia’s in-ring career started taking off more. She moved to RAW as a babyface where she was excited to finally be able to fight for the WWE Women’s Championship. A goal she would sadly never accomplish. That title was solely on the red brand at the time and the Divas Championship had yet to be introduced for SmackDown. Along with her move and change to a face, her gimmick had to change as well. She went from the “trailer trash” villainess to being billed from Puerto Rico and cutting promos in Spanish.

When Nidia would continue more in-ring matches, she would share the ring with legends of the industry such as Trish Stratus, Gail Kim, Victoria, Torrie Wilson, Molly Holly, and Jazz. She won her RAW debut against Holly. For the amount of time she spent with these great names, she is quickly overlooked and never mentioned in today’s discussion of early 2000s talent.

She was a missed opportunity who could have been a bigger name as she was relatable to the fans. Solid in the ring and great on the mic, Nidia could have definitely held some championship gold. If she lasted a few more years in the company, I am certain we would have seen this.

Just as many others seemed to encounter through their careers, Nidia hit her peak in the ring just as she was released from the company. With a uniqueness about her, she was still able to stand out amongst more popular talent at the time. She was released at the end of 2004 after just three short years with the company. After WWE she did do work on the indie scene, however, this was only for about a year.

Since her time in the business, Nidia has a family with two children and has attended culinary school.

What are your thoughts on Nidia’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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