Lita's Best, Worst and Most Outrageous Moments in WWE Career
There are few Superstars who can claim to have revolutionized anything over their careers.
Lita is one of them.
The 2014 Hall of Fame inductee not only revitalized women's wrestling in North America, she proved that women could look good and kick ass during an Attitude Era synonymous with over-sexualization of female performers.
She brought athleticism and a never-say-die approach to the sport and, with Trish Stratus, laid the foundation for the Women's Revolution fans enjoy today.
Relive the greatest matches and moments of her career with these 10 best, worst, most outrageous and most unforgettable occurrences.
When Lita announced the 2006 Survivor Series pay-per-view would feature her retirement from in-ring competition, fans wondered how WWE would pay tribute to its most influential female given her status as a heel.
Fans, unfortunately, got their answer in Philadelphia as she was beaten by Mickie James, lost her Women's Championship and was disgraced and humiliated by Cryme Tyme.
It was a distasteful and unfortunate way to say goodbye to a woman who had elevated the status of her gender's wrestling to heights it had never been. She was an innovator, and to see her sent off in such embarrassing fashion was more than unfortunate.
Just 24 hours before Valentine's Day in 2000, the WWE Universe fell head over heels in love with an enigmatic newcomer who would take the wrestling world by storm in relatively short order.
Lita accompanied Essa Rios to the squared circle for a Light Heavyweight Championship match with Gillberg. The energetic redhead eagerly mimicked the actions of her associate, putting an exclamation point on the explosive debut with a picture-perfect moonsault.
The performance announced to the wrestling world that Lita was a woman unlike any they had ever seen. She was not destined to be highlighted because of her looks but, rather, her ability to soar through the air with grace and an attitude that fit right in with the edgier, more extreme nature of WWE programming.
Best: Hall of Fame Induction
In 2014, Lita took her place among the greats when she was enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Presented by her best friend, and greatest on-screen rival Trish Stratus, she thanked those who were instrumental in her development, growth and success. She also showed some of her personality and appeared slightly more comfortable than she did on the microphone during her career.
Enjoying every second of the moment, she gleefully accepted the honor.
For someone who revolutionized her sport, she was kind and humbly walked into immortality.
Outrageous: A Nice Day for a Black Wedding
In 2004, it was becoming clear the neck injury Lita had suffered two years earlier had forever altered the type of in-ring performer she would be. With that in mind, WWE Creative began using her as a character more than a wrestler and inserted her into a program with Kane that summer that would get increasingly weirder as the weeks passed.
She would become pregnant by The Big Red Monster, have Matt Hardy unsuccessfully fight in her honor at SummerSlam in a Till Death Do Us Part match and, ultimately, wed the monstrous competitor in a grand and bizarre ceremony on Raw.
That entire period of time was a strange one for the future Hall of Famer. Equal parts soap opera and horror film, it would not even be the most outrageous and unbelievable of her illustrious career.
Outrageous: A Live Sex Celebration
To say Lita's career featured more than a fair share of uniquely outrageous moments would be an understatement of mammoth proportions. Perhaps no other segment is more reflective of that than the Live Sex Celebration that played out on the January 9, 2006 episode of Raw.
Live from Hershey, Pennsylvania, the segment was a highly controversial one that saw the lewd, crude and tattooed couple engage in a public and risque makeout session before Lita's clothing was removed and she took her place under the covers.
A (lack of) wardrobe malfunction, an Attitude Adjustment from John Cena and the roar of the fans in Hershey brought the episode of Raw to its close.
The blink-and-you-missed-it nature of her malfunction would result in the family-friendly Giant Center in Chocolatetown, U.S.A. not booking another one of the company's live television productions for over two years.
Best: Fully Loaded 2000
Fully Loaded in July 2000 would feature Lita's first pay-per-view action as she teamed with The Hardy Boyz to battle Trish Stratus, Test and Albert in a Six-Person Tag Team match.
The explosive contest kicked off that year's festivities and featured a breakout performance from Lita. While her athleticism and daredevil attitude had been on full display before that, it had never been so expertly woven into the fabric of a match the way it was on that night.
Lita delivered flying headscissors and tornado DDTs to Test and Albert, men much larger than her, and showed a complete lack of fear in doing so. She could have crashed and burned. She could have eaten a nasty slam or punishing finisher.
But she did not.
She soared through the air and scored the victory for her team. It was a dazzling display from a woman destined to be an all-time great.
Best: Unveiling the New Women's Championship
To some, Lita unveiling the brand new Women's Championship at WrestleMania 32 may be forgettable and unworthy of a spot on this list, but it was recognition of her importance to women's wrestling.
When she arrived to WWE in 2000, only Jacqueline, Luna Vachon and Ivory were respected and established professional wrestlers. They were, unfortunately, saddled in terrible gimmick matches meant to sexualize and objectify rather than demonstrate their ability between the ropes.
Lita changed perceptions of what women were able to do when given the opportunity. She brought athleticism back to the division and proved fans would flock to an individual performer who could do what the guys could and provide them with thrilling in-ring competition.
She was a pioneer for the sport long before the words "women's revolution" were ever uttered by Michael Cole. Her unveiling that title in front of over 100,000 fans in AT&T Stadium, on the grandest stage in sports entertainment, was a pat on the back for everything she did to make that moment a reality.
A well-deserved one.
Best/Worst: Turning Heel
When real life bled into television, WWE Creative was left with no choice but turn the once-beloved Lita heel.
It was revealed in the summer of 2005 that Lita had engaged in a real-life affair with Edge, obliterating her six-year relationship with Matt Hardy. When Hardy was released from WWE due to threats made toward Edge, fan backlash hit a high.
Boos and jeers rained down from the stands in Lita's direction. Unpleasant chants greeted her in arenas across the country. She was supposed to be a sympathetic babyface, but the audience was treating her like an undesirable villain.
On the May 16 episode of Raw, she betrayed storyline husband Kane and aligned herself with Edge as WWE attempted to capitalize on the melodrama that had taken over the internet.
It worked, leading to some of Lita's best work and lending credibility to Edge as he prepared for his ascent to the main event scene.
Beyond that, it allowed a performer's real life to infiltrate the world of entertainment. While the television benefited, it set a dangerous precedent that WWE has all too often tiptoed on.
Best: First Women's Championship
The summer of 2000 was an explosive one for Lita.
One of the hottest Superstars on the WWE roster regardless of gender, she was enjoying a significant push. Prior to the August 21 episode of Raw, she had several opportunities to defeat Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley for the Women's Championship but lost every one of them due to interference.
On that night, though, her fortunes would be different.
With The Rock as the special guest referee, she would be spared interference from Triple H and Kurt Angle. The Hardy Boyz would also help ensure the match was between Lita and McMahon-Helmsley. With the odds evened, Lita delivered a huge moonsault to The Billion Dollar Princess and captured her first championship in WWE.
It was a momentous occasion and one her fans had patiently waited for. Their faith in Lita's story and support of her character were essential to her sudden ascension.
Best: The Main Event
The rivalry between Lita and Trish Stratus is arguably the greatest in women's wrestling history. No other two women competed in higher-profile matches, nor were they stars on this duo's level.
They were big-match performers, so it should have been no surprise to anyone that they were tapped to headline Raw in December 2004.
Their rivalry reintensified, and they tore the house down in the first main event to feature two women without male involvement. Lita nearly crippled herself on a suicide dive, demonstrating to the audience just how important it was for her to win the title from her hated rival.
And she did.
Fighting from underneath, she delivered an inverted Twist of Fate and a rib-shattering moonsault for the win.
The match was the triumphant culmination of a turbulent and difficult return from injury and one of Lita's last truly great moments as an active competitor on the WWE roster.