Hey folks, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Bobby Calloway and I’m the newest writer (or so I assume) to this site. Before I get right into this article, I’ll tell you a bit about myself. I’m a wrestler-in-training myself, training for just over a year now. I’m originally from Manhattan but I’m based in Ireland now and I’m training at the school that produced Fergal Devitt, Rebecca Knox, Jenny Sjodin and many other talented people that probably aren’t that well known. I am a big women’s wrestling fan so I look forward to entertaining you guys aplenty.
This is a special feature I’ve really gotten into the spirit of doing. I take a departed WWE or TNA talent and put down what I think have been the highlights of his/her career. I end up narrowing it down to five segments and then list their top ten matches. And what better way to kick off my first Lethal WOW article than by doing it for the Diva of the Decade herself? Is there any woman in North America that has done as much as Trish has? Only thirty-five years of age now and she is a seven-time WWE Women’s Champion, has competed at five WrestleManias, main evented Raw quite a few times, has done hardcore matches, gotten raunchy with the boss, had amazing and historic rivalries and, above all, has broken new barriers for women’s wrestling along with the many other talented women she was lucky enough to call her colleagues when she was in WWE. So here are the highlights of Trish Stratus’s career.
Table For Two – Backlash 2000:
Trish didn’t exactly debut with the most promise. She was simply another busty blonde with no training that WWE had brought in to add a little more eye candy to the proceedings. She wasn’t much of a mouthpiece either if you watch her timid debut promo. And she even botched a catfight once (she was there a couple of weeks, what’s your excuse Maria Kanellis?). But then came a program with the Dudley Boyz. This was at a time when the Dudleys were also pretty new to WWE and their gimmick of putting women through tables was just starting off. Trish looked to help her charges Test and Albert in their feud with the wood-happy half-brothers and this led to a series of saucy vignettes with Trish in lingerie posing seductively over various tables. Then the big payoff came at the Backlash PPV. At the end of the match Trish locked lips with Bubba Ray Dudley while his face was covered in blood, in an attempt to save her skin. But Bubba had his cake and put it through a table too. Behind the scenes, Trish actually told Bubba not to protect her in any way when he put her through the table and she took the full force of it. Trish credits that moment as the one which made her realise she wanted to take up a more physical role in the ring.
Table For Two…
The Dog Slaps Back – WrestleMania X-Seven:
Back in the old days in WWE, it was almost a rite of passage for a Diva to have a sexy segment with Vince McMahon. Sable did it, Stacy did it, Dawn did it, Torrie sort of did it. And years later Candice even did it too. But Trish got more than she bargained for when she had her fling with Vince. A storyline that was notoriously controversial, from segments where Trish had Vince spank her to degrading moments where she was forced to strip to her underwear and crawl around barking like a dog, Trish knew that it was the opportunity of a lifetime and she went through with all of it because she knew that a payoff would be on the way. And what a payoff it was. In the midst of Vince’s street fight with his son Shane at WrestleMania X-Seven, Trish walked down to the ring and stood over her fallen boss. And slapped him right in the face before chasing his daughter from ringside. This was the moment that made Trish a star and got the fans properly behind her. It is actually impossible to find a clip of this on Youtube, so it’s likely still as controversial as ever.
The Dog Slaps Back…
Crouching Cutie, Hidden Heel – WrestleMania XX:
After three years of being WWE’s biggest babyface, Trish was about to enter a new phase of her career. She was put into a romance storyline with Chris Jericho where she discovered that he had made a bet with Christian to see if he could sleep with her. Despite Trish telling him she didn’t want to see him again, Jericho kept pining after her and longed to be friends with her again. Christian didn’t seem to take too kindly to this and ended up attacking Trish on Raw, setting up a match with Jericho for the 20th edition of WrestleMania. At the end of the match, Trish ran down to the ring to seemingly defend Jericho but she accidentally caused a distraction that led to Christian getting the win. Afterwards she stepped into the ring as though about to apologise…but shock! Horror! She slapped Jericho right across the face and turned heel before our very eyes. In a night filled with disappointments, Trish’s heel turn was praised as being one of the few high points of the show and she would indeed become one of the company’s most hated heels.
Crouching Cutie, Hidden Heel…
Slut Shaming With Style – Raw 2004:
Closely related to the previous segment, this one came about three weeks after Trish’s heel turn. She was invited onto Chris Jericho’s talk show The Highlight Reel to explain her actions. What ensued was one of the best promos of her career. It was Trish’s big opportunity to really sell herself as the new spiteful and vindictive heel character. And when you put a microphone between her and Chris Jericho, the result is almost magic. Trish was branded a “Dirty Disgusting Brutal Bottom-Feeding Trash-Bag Ho” and the fans jeered insults at her as she stormed out of the arena. While some big stars have immediately lost their popularity after heel turns, Trish turned hers into unbelievable heat. In today’s WWE where not a lot of heels can garner legitimate hate, watching a segment like this really gives me goosebumps.
Slut Shaming With Style…
For One Night Only – Raw 2007:
Trish’s WWE career may have ended in September of 2006, but that wasn’t the last we’d see of her. For Raw’s 15th Anniversary show at the end of 2007, Jillian Hall plugged her album in the ring and tried to serenade the crowd until Trish made a surprise appearance to interrupt her. After not having seen in Trish in over a year, fan emotion was high. And to add icing to the cake, her long-time rival Lita showed up to join forces with her and they reunited in the ring once more to remove the tone deaf one from the vicinity. And in a small moment that made me smile, at the end of the show when all the Superstars came down to the ring for Stone Cold’s beer bash you can see Trish and Lita walking down the ramp together chatting just like old friends.
For One Night Only…
10) vs Victoria – Raw 2002:
No offence to Trish/Lita fans but to me, Trish vs Victoria will always be WWE’s best women’s feud. If Jazz and Molly had helped Trish prove that she was going to grow in the ring, it was Victoria that helped her earn that respect from fans. A brutal and violent feud unlike any that had been seen in WWE for quite some time, it all started with this match on Raw where Victoria suddenly attacked Trish backstage and ultimately cost herself the title by hitting Trish over the head with a steel chair. I credit this as the match that made me a women’s wrestling fan and I’m sure you can see why. It was tough for me to pick just one match out of the Trish/Victoria feud and even tougher for me to not include the Chicago Street Fight but I went with this considering all the pure emotions that were in it.
Trish vs Victoria…
9) vs Stephanie McMahon – No Way Out 2001:
As Trish’s affair with Vince McMahon blossomed, the jealousy of his daughter Stephanie increased. Daddy’s Little Girl was not impressed with his latest strumpet and the two had a heated rivalry that consisted of plenty of ringside catfights and a memorable backstage fight where Stephanie got manure poured all over her. The match that followed at No Way Out was amazing. Two untrained women went out there and delivered a spectacle. Even these days when Trish evolved into a great in-ring worker, this is still held up as one of her best matches. This is living proof that people without as much experience as the veterans are still capable of entertaining the fans.
Trish vs Stephanie…
8) vs Jazz – Insurrexion 2003:
This is a rare and little known match. For those who don’t remember, before WWE started doing regular TV tapings in the UK for Raw and Smackdown, they did a biannual set of PPVs exclusively for the UK fans. Insurrexion opened up with a Women’s title match between Trish and the reigning champ Jazz (who had captured the gold from her). While the girls back then weren’t exactly scrambling to get longer matches, this one was awarded a shocking ten minute length. The women did not waste their time and they delivered what I felt is the strongest match between them. It is indeed Jazz who we can credit with helping Trish really come into her own as a wrestler, as their early matches in 2002 showed a lot of potential in the young Canadian. Over a year later when Trish had really gotten good in the ring, the difference was astonishing.
Trish vs Jazz…
7) with Lita vs Chris Jericho & Christian – Armageddon 2003:
This one might seem a little strange to find on the list considering how hit and miss intergender matches could be. But watch this match for a moment and then tell me if you agree that this was booked in the absolute best way it could have been. Replace the men with two monster heels in the build of say Awesome Kong or Chyna. Would the match still make sense? Of course. Here they booked the women as lightweight underdogs against big monster heels, classic David vs Goliath stuff. They even had the men win dirtily so as not to bury the top two stars in the women’s division. It seems Jericho and Trish had chemistry beyond the backstage areas.
Battle of the Sexes…
6) vs Molly Holly – Unforgiven 2002:
Molly Holly is another talent to whom Trish owes a lot. Molly has said numerous times that Trish was one of her favourite people to work with. In the middle of 2002 when Jazz was injured, it was Molly’s chance to be the top heel and she got her reign as Women’s Champion. Come September though it was time to put the belt back on Trish and they had a second PPV match. What we saw was a completely new side of Trish Stratus then. A woman who had improved leaps and bounds in the months since these two had first met on PPV at King of the Ring. This is one of my favourite Trish matches because, while Molly did bring out the best in her, this time Trish had started to match her skills. And her third title win was an emotional one.
Trish vs Molly…
5) vs Mickie James – WrestleMania 22:
The women’s division took a sharp nosedive in 2005 when Trish and Lita got injured and Molly Holly walked out, which left Victoria as the only active wrestler for a time. When Trish returned and Mickie James debuted, things really picked up. A fun and creative feud (that was created by Mickie herself, though with Lita originally in mind instead of Trish), Mickie continued to cross lines by catching Trish under the mistletoe and cornering her in the shower. Eventually she snapped and set up what would be Trish’s final WrestleMania match until she came out of retirement to work a program with Snooki and LayCool. Remembered as one of the most intense and fiery WrestleMania matches, the smarky Chicago crowd actually turned on Trish for the only time in her career and rooted for the lovable psycho lesbian. Despite a botched ending, it still lives on in our hearts (and slightly further south for those that really liked Mickie’s crotch lick).
Trish vs Mickie…
4) vs Lita – Raw 2004:
Of course no Trish highlight list would be complete without this match. When Lita returned to WWE after a broken neck, Trish had now achieved big time stardom and a match and feud between the two was highly anticipated. When Trish turned heel, we continued to get small teases and tastes of a feud with backstage segments here and there and a memorable moment where Trish interrupted Lita’s wedding to Kane (yes you read that right) dressed in lingerie (“I even wore white because I knew you couldn’t”, *wink). Finally it all came to boiling point at the Survivor Series PPV when Lita broke Trish’s nose with a steel chair and got a disqualification. Lita was awarded another title match on Raw, courtesy of Chris Jericho who was GM for the night. It was the main event of Raw too and both women put on a brilliant display, earning a 3.4 in the ratings department which proves that, given the proper storyline, fans do care about women’s wrestling.
Trish vs Lita…
3) with Lita vs Molly Holly & Gail Kim – Unforgiven 2003:
What is better than Trish and Lita in the main event? Why, them teaming together of course. Lita’s 2003 return was one of the most epic Diva moments in WWE history and to see her and Trish Stratus standing side by side now as equals was a thrilling moment. The eventual tag match saw Trish and Lita teaming to take on Women’s Champion Molly Holly and then-rookie Gail Kim. Personally I find this to be one of the matches that really shows off Trish’s skills the best. I say it all the time but there is indeed an art to tag team wrestling and you can see Trish embracing that art here.
2) vs Victoria vs Jazz – WrestleMania XIX:
Trish/Mickie was good but this match was flawless. Technically a glorified rematch from the previous Mania, with Lita swapped for Victoria, on paper it had all the boxes checked to be one of the hottest women’s matches ever. Trish and Victoria’s feud had continued to be intense and brutal, and things picked up in a really big way when Jazz made her return to WWE. She showed she was a friend to neither woman and a triple threat was booked for the 19th edition of WrestleMania. In Safeco Field over 50,000 fans saw Trish really take her lumps and punishment at the hands of her opponents but ultimately come out on top as she blasted Victoria with a Chick Kick to win her record-tying fourth WWE Women’s Championship, matching the record previously set by the Fabulous Moolah.
Trish vs Jazz vs Victoria…
1) vs Lita – Unforgiven 2006:
Would you look at that, I’ve saved the best for last. Diva fans everywhere felt their hearts stop in 2006 when it was revealed that Trish Stratus would be retiring from wrestling after a good seven years with WWE. And what a way she went out – booked to face her long-time rival Lita once last time in her hometown of Toronto. It was only fitting seeing as Trish had faced Lita in her first ever WWE match and their famous rivalry now had the face/heel roles reversed. The match at Unforgiven had all the fans on their feet and clocked a whopping eleven minutes (an eternity in Diva time) before coming to a climax where Trish locked Lita in the Sharpshooter to win her seventh Women’s title. She received a standing ovation from the fans, the commentators and a teary-eyed Lilian Garcia.
Lita vs Trish…
So there you go. Seven years of Trish Stratus, shorter than a lot of careers I’ve given highlights to, but still tough to pick just fifteen moments. Trish was never the most amazing wrestler. She was good at the end of her career but there still were plenty of better wrestlers than her. But she was an amazing entertainer that really exemplified what it took to be a star in WWE. She had the looks, the charisma, the comic timing, the mic skills, the attitude and of course the passion and desire to succeed. There’s a reason I use a Stratusphere as one of my signature moves (though you can call it Air Zero now). The photo you see below was taken from the farewell bow Trish gave to her fans at the end of her retirement match, and I think it sums up her career perfectly. Thanks for reading.
1999 - 2013, Lethalwow.com
Lethalwow.com is not affiliated with the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) or Impact Wrestling (TNA - Total Nonstop Action). We are not affiliated with any indy or any other Pro Wrestling promotion. All other pictures and media files are copyrighted by their respective owners.