Catching up with Ivory: Part 2

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December 16, 2009

After a 10-year gap, Lisa Moretti would have her opportunity to shine once again in the entertainment world, and all it took was one phone call from World Wrestling Entertainment. When she took that opportunity, it opened up the door for the next six and a half years. (PHOTOS)

"I got a call from someone at WWE and was flown out for an appearance, knowing I had to do Revlon training the next day. I was open to it as long as they got me to the airport so I could make it to my gig in San Francisco on time.

When the company picked me up, I had all my Revlon stuff for the class the next day and took it with me to the arena. They dressed me up for what would be a one time appearance that consisted of escorting a Superstar to the ring, and getting beat up a little bit. It was fun."

"After the event, WWE got me to the plane just on time, and I was still in my outfit from the evening,. Unfortunately, when I got to San Francisco, my luggage didn't arrive. Luckily, everything did show up just in time, and I was able to change in the bathroom and did my show."

This one-time appearance turned out to be the beginning of a memorable career for Moretti. That day she got a call and the door of opportunity opened, giving birth to Ivory.

"I talked to Jim Ross,. and he said to get a tape together as they wanted to show it to [WWE Chairman/CEO] Vince [McMahon]. That was that, I was on board for the next six and a half years."

Four months later, Ivory would find herself on top as the Women's Champion.

"Looking back, it was really cool to be a person that helped catapult the women's division to become what it was," said Moretti . "It was me and Jacqueline, and soon after that we had Molly Holly on board, with Trish [Stratus] and Lita. It was really cool."

Her time in WWE may have sparked one of WWE's brightest periods in the women's division, but it didn't come without a lot of hard work.

"I was coming home from our tours," she remembered, "and I'd drive an hour down to the Huntington Beach area and work with Rick Bassman's group as I was really rusty. I wanted to train with the guys in the ring as, they wanted to make me a fighter. You've got to do your best and make up for lost time."

Things started to turn to the up and up and with the plentitude of skilled Divas entering the squared circle. Coupled with storylines and opportunities opening up, the scene just changed.

"It was great. We had awesome things going," Moretti said. "I mean, I think Trish and Victoria had some of the best matches women could ever hope to have. I can't squawk either as Chyna and I had a great opportunity with Right to Censor, and a huge lead-up to our match at WrestleMania [X-Seven]."

Though her time with the over-politically correct group was only for a handful of months, Moretti's time as part of the Right to Censor was one of her favorites..

"I loved it. It was awesome as it was something you could really sink your teeth into," she said. "I loved to have that challenge as a performer, being somewhat the opposite of what you are."

After supplying the WWE Universe with so many memories including three impressive Women's Championship reigns, Ivory's time on the main stage started to wind down. However, the opportunities within WWE weren't limited with Moretti being a trainer on WWE's Tough Enough series, as well as a co-host of "WWE Experience."

Unfortunately, in 2005, Moretti's successful career with WWE would come to a close. Yet even thought she was released from the company, that was just the start to the next chapter in her life. It was following Hurricane Katrina that Moretti's longtime passion for animals would begin to take on a much larger role in her life.

"I did some rescue work for Hurricane Katrina victims with a group of rescue people called Best Friends Society, who have a show on Discovery now called Dogtown," said the former Ivory. "I did that after an independent event in Ohio rearranging my travel plans to fly into Houston to volunteer my help right after the hurricane had hit."

"I met with my niece - my namesake Lisa - and we drove from Houston into a really dark town in the middle of the night in Mississippi where they had taken over a Humane Society. We wound up there and stayed for eight days, and that's when I got in touch with the Best Friends Society. I then went back for another rescue mission in November 2006 to help at their sanctuary with 150 dogs and 150 cats that were evacuated from Lebanon."

After working with animals and doing her best to help, Moretti realized how much she loved caring for them. The wheels began rolling as she made her passion her business venture in her hometown of Friday Harbor, Wash.

"We already had an animal shelter, but I thought we really didn't have any animal services. So instead of being an animal social worker, I hooked up with a girl with ideas similar to mine and we made Downtown Dog, which started as a do-it-yourself bathing facility for animals."

With Ivory's business acumen and passion for what she was doing, what started as something small grew to become much more with her teaching herself animal grooming as well as adding several other aspects to the company. From simple beginning, it grew to a complete doggy daycare, including "The Bow Wow Bus."

"We bought an old transit shuttle bus for $300, and would load the dogs up from daycare and bring them up to the beautiful acreage on the island. That itself became pretty hot and it really drove a lot more business in."

Things never come easy though, and Moretti would hit a speed bump requiring to start from scratch. But always optimistic and high-energy, Lisa looks forward to starting her business over after having to split from her business partner.

"I love my life. I am very, very, very lucky to have found a new existence that really gets me going. I love the animals. They're so positive and happy everyday and have a really great spin on how to live their lives and there's a lot to learn from them."

With a passion for what she wants to do and a drive like no other, Moretti's business hopes, though they won't be easy, are hers for the taking. As things will certainly grow for the better on that aspect, Ivory's story is also coming full circle with a GLOW reunion looming at the end of this coming January.

"There's a documentary coming out around the GLOW girls and they're organizing a big reunion in Los Angeles Jan. 30," says the former GLOW champion. "I recently spoke with the guys who did the documentary and it turns out a lot of girls are showing up so it's going to be a big deal."

"Also, it unfortunately turns out that one of the girls, Mt. Fiji, is ailing, so as part of one of her hopes of getting all the girls together, it kind of has become a reunion slash get together for Mt. Fiji."

With her hands full as always, Moretti can be seen as an inspiration to many. Never forgetting her roots but always striving to be her best and live her life to the fullest, the former Women's Champion has accomplished a multitude of things in her life and is still striving for more.

In parting, she just has one message left to pass onto her fans.

"Live life to make an honest difference."

She is certainly doing just that and wants everyone else to do the same in living their life to the fullest.

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