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"Stratus sets new standard with fifth reign as Women’s Champion"

by Aaron Williams - June 15, 2004 (WWE Official Site)

    Trish Stratus made history Sunday at Bad Blood, winning the Women’s Championship for a record fifth time; not too bad for someone who came to WWE just four years ago with the most basic of wrestling knowledge.

    Her victory over Lita, Gail Kim and Victoria, all champions themselves, was a testament to how far she and the women’s division has come in a relatively short period of time.

    When Trish arrived on the scene in March 2000, the women’s division was something of an afterthought. On occasion, WWE’s Divas would grapple, but for the most part, they worked as valets and entertained the crowd with their beauty much more than their brawn.

    As Trish and the other female competitors demonstrated this past Sunday, and every night on RAW for that matter, today they are every bit as athletic as they are beautiful.

    “When I came to WWE in March 2000, I just had some very rudimentary training and some basic knowledge,” Trish said. “I think the turning point for me came when I had my ankle injury in 2001 and then made my return in October. About that time WWE began to put more focus on the women’s division and Fit Finlay came aboard to help train all the women. He’s been a godsend to me and all the women on the roster.”

    Though this is Trish’s fifth time wining the championship, her victory was no less sweeter than any of her other title wins.

    “Each championship is unique and special,” she said. “The first time was the most surprising, at the 2001 Survivor Series. I went in as the underdog and everything just came together. My fourth win, at WrestleMania XIX, was maybe the most emotional moment of my career. The crowd was so into the match and behind us. It was an incredible feeling.”

    Trish’s success has not come without a lot of hard work and dedication. Beyond the weekly grind of wrestling a WWE schedule, she’s suffered numerous injuries and spent countless hours learning the ropes and improving her wrestling skills. Few could have succeeded as she has, and the hard work has only made her championships that much sweeter.

    “I’m very proud of becoming the first woman to win five World Championships,” she said. “I’m focused in everything I want to do. I set my goals high and work very hard to achieve those goals.

    “But as much as I am personally proud for winning five championships, I’m equally proud just being part of a women’s division that has gotten so much better with all these great athletes here.

    It all stems from the emphasis that WWE puts on the women’s division. Without it, the fans would not be so into our matches and the championships wouldn’t be as rewarding.”

    The record for number of world title reigns, regardless of gender, is currently held by Ric Flair, who has 16 to his credit. Although Trish is flattered by any type of comparison made with the man many consider the best to ever lace up a pair of boots, she realizes that even coming close to the Nature Boy’s record might be stretching things a bit too far.

    But who knows what the future holds? Who would have guessed in March 2000 that just over four years later, she would become the most decorated female Superstar in history? When it comes to Trish Stratus, anything is possible.

    Trish Stratus Main Page

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