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WWE Elite Collection
by yo go re

Not everybody can change the world.

Amy Dumas saw Rey Mysterio Jr wrestling on WCW Monday Nitro and was fascinated by his lucha libre style, so she bought a plane ticket to Mexico, picked up a newspaper, and started looking for local shows. It's hard to miss a white girl in the front row of a Mexican audience, so soon enough she was being trained by some of the pros. She worked in several different small promotions, but was with ECW when she was brought to WWF's attention. After a few appearances as an unnamed member of the Godfather's Ho Train, Lita officially debuted as the valet for Essa Rios (who's pretty much forgotten today), but didn't really break out until he turned on her and the Hardy Boyz came to her defense. Together the three of them formed Team Xtreme, leading to Lita showing off her high-flying style - which has since become almost the standard moveset for any female wrestler these days (a far cry from the slapping and hair-pulling that dominated the women's divisions before her).

I didn't follow wrestling during the Ruthless Agression era, so it's possible the only Lita match I've ever seen was from last year's Evolution PPV. But hey, "'90s SoCal club girl" is an aesthetic I can totally get behind, so thanks for stocking this one, late-stage Toys Я Us!

Mattel's wrestling figures have reliably good likenesses, but there's something about this one that doesn't quite work. Maybe it's the comparatively flat hairstyle, which makes her forehead look large, or the somewhat short neck, but this isn't their strongest work. Although she's a natural brunette, Lita usually dyed her hair red - at least the toy gets that correct.

As mentioned, Lita dressed like she was going to go out clubbing - when she was with Rios, that was a dance club, but by the time she was with the Hardys, it was more of a rave. The figure is wearing baggy black jeans that fall low enough on her hips to show off her blue thong, which suggests this represents her earlier days with the company - she was usually rocking the whale tail when she was one of the good guys, but lost that and showed a lot more cleavage when she was bad. She also would have had a lot more muscle definition by that point (this figure's stomach is fairly smooth). Her black bra is painted on, as is the ornate three-eyed demon tattoo on her right shoulder.

As far as accessories go, Lita's are somewhat unique. Rather than one specific set of ring attire, she'd wear all sorts of things that would have looked appropriate on a No Doubt-era Gwen Stefani, which typically meant she was more covered-up than most of the Divas. So that you can choose how you want her to look, she includes two interchangeable tops: one is a yellow mesh shirt that velcros in the back, and the other is a white halter top that has a peg concealed by the knot in the back. She can wear either of them, both of them, or even none of them - four different looks from one figure! I'm not really sure how you're supposed to be able to get the halter on her: the head seems too firmly attached to pull off, but you can't work the collar under her hair; I ended up removing the hair to get it done.

Lita has a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, hinged elbows,s wivel wrists, a balljointed torso, swivel waist, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. That's about the maximum any Mattel WWE woman has, so she doesn't miss out in that regard. It's definitely enough to perform her signature moves, like the Litacanrana. You know that flying head-scissors thing Black Widow is always trying to do to Bucky, but it never works? That, except Lita is successful with it. Or maybe you'd like to go straight to her finisher, the Litasault, a move where she routinely backflips 15 feet horizontally across the ring. Or even the snap DDT she eventually settled on. Lots of options, and the toy can do them all.

It's pretty impressive the way Lita has managed to outshine most of the people she was paired with. We already said that Essa Rios is only remembered as a footnote in her career, but even Matt and Jeff Hardy became laughing stocks for a really long time, only recently regaining any prestige thanks to an angle they cooked up while signed with TNA. Heck, the very concept of a WWE Women's Division deteriorated after she and Trish Stratus retired! Lita, for her part, was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2014, and pretty much invented modern women's wrestling.

-- 02/06/19

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