Lita Talks Her Latest WWE Run And Building A Physical Hall Of Fame

Over the last four decades, WWE’s iconic rivalries have created some of the most significant pieces of memorabilia in sports entertainment history. In Season 2 of “WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures” series on A&E — which debuts on Sunday, April 30, at 9 p.m. ET — WWE legends Booker T, Mick Foley, and Lita have joined forces to continue bringing dozens of original pieces of history back home.

For Lita, the experience brought along some unexpected emotions. “There were some really special connections, both human and then with the artifacts that we were able to find that go so far beyond just a pair of trunks or just a pair of boots,” Lita tells Uproxx Sports.

Lita says the show was a perfect blend between her passion for wrestling and the joy that a good scavenger hunt brings. There were numerous items she enjoyed tracking down for a variety of reasons, and among her favorites was joining Cody Rhodes in finding boots that belonged to the late, great Dusty Rhodes.

“I had a relationship with Dusty and, of course, (Cody) has a very different one,” Lita remarks. “Seeing the different emotions that each person has, whether it’s the collector or me or the person that’s coming along and the feeling they get, it’s a real attachment that you have and it evokes emotions that you maybe didn’t know were there until you are faced with this one-of-a-kind piece of memorabilia.”

These pieces have traveled with WWE to the Royal Rumble and were on display at WrestleMania this year, and are the sorts of things that would look great in a Hall of Fame. Currently, WWE honors important contributors as Hall of Famers, although there is no physical building for people to visit — Lita would, ideally, like to see this somewhere down the line. If that does happen, there’s no doubt moments from her career will be prominently displayed.

Lita has played a significant role in WWE history, both on her own and as a member of Team Extreme. When she reflects on how far the women in WWE have come, she’s incredibly proud, saying that “I love just seeing them shoot for the stars and go beyond.”

“They don’t think that no is what they’re going to be told when they have an idea and go pitch it to the writers,” Lita says. “And I just love seeing them succeed. Just the level of talent. The least talented wrestler is so much more talented than we were back in the day. We were there, just in the dark trying to figure things out and holding my breath and crossing my fingers that I could pull something off.”

Lita recalls being on the independent scene, finding a ring she could work in, showing up early to shows, and picking up skills along the way. It was a much different path than coming up through today’s Performance Center.

“Here, they’re literally going to class. There’s five rings, there’s a padded ring to try things out. There’s coaches from all eras there. There’s a strength coach. All of these aides to set them up for success that we didn’t have,” Lita says. “There’s just fierce talent pouring out of the Performance Center. It’s pretty incredible.”

After retiring in 2006, Lita took a break from wrestling before eventually coming back. She recalls flipping on WWE for the first time since leaving and being taken aback at what the women’s championship — which was rebranded as the Divas Championship — had become.

“I was like what is happening, is that a butterfly on there? It was the Divas Championship for so long, but these women had been having banger matches for a long time, and it was like, alright, let’s get rid of the butterfly,” Lita says. “To be the one, just from a personal standpoint, remembering that moment when I (saw the Divas Championship), to bringing a proper title down, reinstating the women’s championship (at WrestleMania 32) was definitely an honor, and seeing how far that they’ve taken this with no limits.”

The Performance Center generation has been a driving force in changing the way women’s wrestling is viewed. From evolving the Divas Championship to holding a women’s-only premier live event, it’s been the likes of Bayley and Becky Lynch who opened new doors. It also happens to be those two who were significant factors in drawing Lita back to the ring.

At this point in her career, Lita isn’t interested in taking part in getting a pop for a one-time return at a Royal Rumble or anything like that. If she was to return to the ring, it had to be for something meaningful. An opportunity at WrestleMania and a chance to work with some of the most talented women in wrestling today was just that. As such, she teamed up with Lynch and Trish Stratus to take on Bayley’s faction, Damage Ctrl, at SoFi Stadium this year.

“I didn’t feel as though I was looking for a retirement match. The full circle of paving the way on the front end and breaking barriers for women in the industry and then moving on to having a singles match with Becky, that felt like a lovely period on the end of a career that I’m already proud of,” Lita says. “And then this just felt like fun to be able to come back with such talented women. I feel really confident and satisfied with my career. But Bayley, Dakota (Kai), Iyo (Sky) are such incredible talents, Trish and Becky, such close friends of mine. There was no way I could say no. To be with everybody and the poetry of paving the way a bit and then seeing how far these women have come and to be in the mix with them, it was a truly incredible experience.”