Wrestler of the Day – February 27: Trish Stratus

Today it’s the most famous female wrestler in WWF history: Trish Stratus, for no other reason than there aren’t any good options today and she’s rather good looking.

Trish debuted in early 2000 and was an absolute blonde bombshell with a figure that blew away anything anyone had seen before. She would immediately hook up with Test and Albert as T&A, eventually setting up a six person tag at Fully Loaded 2000 against her greatest rival and her team.

Trish Stratus/Test/Albert vs. Hardy Boys/Lita

Trish is a total rookie here and is just there because of her looks. This is something that they need to do with the Divas more often: put them as a manager for a long time before getting them into the ring on their own. That’s the thing: anymore, no Diva is given any kind of chance to get going or get any experience and all of a sudden they’re thrown into the spotlight and they fail.

Here, Trish can get some ring time but not enough to expose her weaknesses. That’s very smart and is a big reason why she’s one of the best ever. That being said, Trish looks incredible as she’s more or less wearing a pink swimsuit. Her abs could rival Orton’s. Lita has injured ribs here because we can’t have Lita vs. Trish in a straight match yet.

I’ve always liked Test and Albert for some reason. See what’s going on here though? We have two tag teams that have been having a moderate feud lately but the titles aren’t involved. See what having a tag division can do for you? You can have matches that don’t have to be for the belts and it can give you a decent match.

Also remember there’s no brand split yet so Raw and Smackdown had the same stories going on. Jeff gets a NICE pop as he comes in. Jeff is ridiculously fast out there. The Hardys, The Dudleys and Edge and Christian were the perfect answer to the cruiserweights in WCW. Their matches were completely insane and had very little story to them but they didn’t need one.

They were so awesome that we could overlook that and it worked every time. Now why couldn’t the cruiserweights get over like that too? Trish and her amazing figure are in for a bit but runs for her life from Lita. There we go again: Trish getting heel heat and a small amount of experience while not actually doing anything. That’s very smart.

In a cool spot, the faces hit a double suplex on Trish and Test then all three take their tops off. That’s nice indeed. I never used to be able to tell the Hardys apart. I finally got it right though: one is an overrated hack that keeps missing ring time and botches half the moves he attempts and the other is named Jeff.

Trish put Lita through a table on Raw which apparently nearly ended her career. So in six days she got injured, had time to find a doctor that decided that her career was in jeopardy, heal enough to be able to get back in shape for this match, and get doctor’s clearance to not only travel but be in the ring for this match as her career apparently isn’t in jeopardy anymore? Don’t you just love wrestling and the stupid lines of commentary that come with it?

Jeff gets destroyed for a good while until Test misses an awesome looking elbow and takes a SWEET looking mule kick to the chin so Matt can get tagged. After a big mess of a brawl, Lita gets in and hits a NICE tornado DDT from the top on Test. She follows that up with a huge dive to the floor onto Albert and then another NICE hurricanrana onto Test.

She was so ridiculously awesome around this time that it’s insane. After some cheating though, Test hits that diving powerbomb that I always marked out for on Lita to stop her cold. I think I liked Lita getting in there against the men more than I did Chyna. Chyna was trying to wrestle like a man and it got boring to me.

Lita got in there and wrestled a lucha style which is far more exciting than Chyna being able to do a handful of solid moves and a bunch of botched moves and complain about everything and then bragging about how awesome she was. Trish comes in to the biggest pop of the match. See what huge implants can do for you?

Lita kicks out of the powerbomb from Test though which is awesome. Trish bends over in from of the Hardys and you can easily see them checking her out. I love that. The men run in and the Hardys win that and they hit the floor where Jeff “chokes” Albert with his foot. When I say chokes I mean puts his foot about an inch away from Albert’s head so it’s not anywhere near his throat.

Lita hits the moonsault for the pin. Post match, Albert shows that the choking really didn’t work as he nails Lita (lucky bastard. I guess half the locker room fits that description though) and the heels dominate and Trish whips Lita with a belt.

Rating: B. This was a great opener as it got the crowd into the show and didn’t really do anything of important note. In other words, it was the best possible choice for an opening match. The faces should have won here and did. Trish and Lita would obviously become the biggest women’s rivalry of all time and they would have a bunch of great matches. Here though it was about looks which is fine with me as both of them had some great ones.

The rivalry with Lita would continue as Trish would challenge her for the Women’s Title on October 23, 2000 in a bra and panties match. Yeah it’s stupid but it’s Trish Stratus. How can I not include one of these?

Women’s Title: Lita vs. Trish Stratus

Lita is defending and remember that this is bra and panties. Lita tackles her down to start and takes it into the corner before this becomes a catfight. This is about two years before Trish was even remotely good in the ring so this isn’t going to be anything more than what you would expect. Trish rips off Lita’s top so Lita does the same to Trish. The champ is about to fall out of her top before suplexing Trish down, hitting the moonsault and completing the stripping to retain.

Trish would enter her first big story soon after this, as she would become Vince’s mistress. This didn’t sit well with Stephanie and the two had a showdown at No Way Out 2001.

Trish Stratus vs. Stephanie McMahon

Trish is a set of boobs and a gorgeous face at this point. She has no talent as far as we know in the ring so Stephanie is probably the ring general in this match. She has the awesome old school HHH music though so I can’t complain. It’s nice to see one of the girls in a t-shirt though instead of their traditional stuff. Spear and a slap fight start us off.

We’re in the crowd in like a minute as this is a big fight. Stephanie dives off the barricade with a big punch to the chest. Granted it’s hard to miss so there we are. Bulldog by Trish but it means nothing yet so it only gets two. They do the smart thing here and don’t try to make this into a wrestling match, opting instead for a fight. Water gets involved, making Lawler freak out.

Trish with wet hair and a wet chest: win. A powerbomb from Stephanie gets two and down come Trish’s shorts for a spanking. Trish in a thong wins also. The girls both go down (lucky) as does the referee. Cue Regal, who puts Trish on top (works for me) but then saves Stephanie from getting pinned since he doesn’t know what the right thing is. Trish slaps him so he takes her down with a neckbreaker for the pin.

Rating: B-. This is considering who was in there and the level of their talent. It’s no classic, but considering who was in there, this was AWESOME. They didn’t bother trying to have a match and just beat each other up, which was without a doubt the right way to go. Trish would of course get FAR better, but this was pretty good considering what they had to work with. Regal saving us from the attempt at a finishing sequence was a nice break too.

Soon after this, Women’s Champion Chyna would walk out on the company while still champion, so the title was held up for a six pack challenge at Survivor Series 2001.

Women’s Title: Trish Stratus vs. Ivory vs. Lita vs. Mighty Molly vs. Jacqueline vs. Jazz

Chyna relinquished the title earlier in the year without being pinned and then disappeared so this is the best we’ve got to pick from for the new champion. This is Jazz’s debut and NO ONE CARES. Why does no one care? Because Jazz meant nothing in ECW and was a face there but is a heel here. Jazz and Lita start things off with Jazz pounding away. Off to Jackie vs. Molly off some blind tags and somehow even fewer people care about Jackie.

Jackie dropkicks Molly down and it’s off to Ivory who gets caught in a sunset flip for two. This is one fall to a finish. Ivory slingshots Jackie into the ropes and it’s off to Trish who is looking very good in those little pink shorts of hers. Lita gets knocked to the floor and the three Alliance chicks (Ivory, Jazz, Molly) triple team Trish for a bit. Jackie double crosses Lita on Poetry in Motion and everyone hits their finishers on everyone else. The Litasault gets two on Ivory as Jazz saves. Lita gets backdropped to the floor and it’s Ivory vs. Trish left. Stratusfaction gives Trish I believe her first title.

Rating: D. It was short, the match wasn’t any good, Trish looked great in the skin tight barely there pink shorts, Lita looked good as usual, and that’s all I’ve got here. As usual with situations like this, when the previous champion doesn’t lose the title, the new champion comes in at a big disadvantage.

Trish would hold the title for a few months before dropping it to Jazz. Her rematch would come in Toronto at Wrestlemania 18 in a triple threat also involving Lita.

Women’s Title: Jazz vs. Lita vs. Trish Stratus

Jazz is defending as these three get the death spot after that last match. Trish looks GREAT in a Canadian Maple Leaf themed outfit as the hometown girl. Jazz gets double teamed to start as you can hear the crowd not caring at all. Jazz comes back almost immediately with a half crab on Trish and the double chickenwing on Lita. A kick to Trish’s ample chest sends her out to the floor but Lita pounds on the champion to take over.

A Cena spinning powerbomb gets two on Jazz but she isn’t interested in being on defense that long. She loads Lita up for a superplex but Trish breaks it up with an electric chair for two. All three are back in now and Lita gets a weak clothesline to put Jazz down. Trish loads up Stratusfaction but Jazz breaks it up and gets two off a splash on Lita. A release fisherman’s suplex gets two on Trish as Jerry lists off countries the show is airing in. Jazz is knocked to the floor so we can have the brawl that people actually care about.

A bad looking backdrop puts Trish down but Jazz comes back in, only to walk into the Twist of Fate. Lita teases taking her top off but tries a moonsault instead, only hitting Trish’s knees. Trish chops at Lita but they collide coming out of the corner. Lita sends Jazz to the floor and breaks up a Stratusfaction attempt by sending Trish to the floor. Lita goes up but gets crotched, allowing Jazz to hit a fisherman’s buster off the middle rope on Lita to retain.

Rating: D-. Trish looked great and Lita wasn’t bad either, but DEAR GOODNESS no one cared about Jazz. For the life of me I don’t get why Trish didn’t win the title here. She would eventually take the title off Jazz in like a month. On Raw. In Toronto. You know, not HERE AT WRESTLEMANIA IN TORONTO.

After not doing much for the rest of the summer, Trish would defend her title against newcomer Victoria at No Mercy 2002.

Women’s Title: Trish Stratus vs. Victoria

Sweet merciful goodness Trish looks amazingly good tonight. She’s in her standard stuff but the blue with the long blonde hair and the big smile is WORKING. Victoria is currently known as Tara in TNA. Total bring the crowd down match after the awesome match they just had. Victoria is a bit more hardcore than the rest of the Divas. Trish was pretty good in the ring by this point and can more than carry herself.

You can tell that Trish has talent as she’s not afraid to go after Victoria here and clearly looks comfortable out there doing what she’s doing. When you watch the Divas today for the most part they clearly have to stop and make sure they’re doing everything right. With Trish like most of the male wrestlers, you can see she’s mostly going on instinct which is the better way of doing things.

Victoria in control here as she hits a front flip slingshot legdrop and then botches the living heck out of a monkey flip to the extent that Trish landed on Victoria rather than hitting the mat. Victoria throws on an old school backbreaker which is the kind where they throw the other girl over her shoulder and pulls down. A big spinning sideslam gets no cover so Trish gets an electric chair drop for two. Chick Kick gets two before a neckbreaker and rollup end it.

Rating: D. This was just there but the sloppiness of it hurt things. Trish was getting a lot better but still wasn’t as great as she would get. Victoria wasn’t a character yet and was just a bit nuts and said that Trish slept her way to the top of the fitness modeling world. She would get the title the next month in a hardcore match. This was pretty much nothing.

Speaking of Victoria, she replaced Lita in a rematch of the triple threat match from the previous Wrestlemania.

Women’s Title: Trish Stratus vs. Jazz vs. Victoria

Victoria is defending and is still psycho here. She’s also Tara for you TNA fans. Jazz hits a quick dropkick for two on Trish before Victoria can even get to the ring. Off to what we would call a Last Chancery to the Canadian after the champion is knocked to the floor. Everyone winds up outside with the champion taking over. She sends Trish back inside for a slingshot legdrop, getting two. Jazz and Victoria square off now before turning their attentions back to Stratus for some double teaming.

That goes nowhere though as it’s time for the villains to fight again with Jazz getting two off a powerslam. Trish comes back with a rollup on Victoria for two but she clotheslines Trish down for two as a result. Jerry: “Trish is like a quarter among pennies in there.” JR: “…..what?” Jazz hits a sitout powerslam for two on Stratus before arguing with Victoria even more. A spin kick by Jazz hits Victoria by mistake and allows Trish to roll her up for two. The Chick Kick puts Jazz down and the Stratusphere does the same to Victoria.

The champion is knocked to the floor as Jazz puts Trish in a half crab which is transitioned into an STF. Victoria’s boyfriend/manager Steven Richards comes in to send Jazz to the floor, allowing the other two to trade rollups for two each. Jazz comes back in and lifts Trish up for a double chickenwing before dropping her down on her uh…face. Yeah face. Victoria kicks Jazz down but misses a moonsault, knocking herself to the floor. Richards comes in and hits himself with a chair. As he goes to the floor, Trish hits the Chick Kick on Victoria for the pin and the title.

Rating: C. Not bad again here and one of the better women’s matches I’ve seen in a long time. There wasn’t much of a story being told here but at the same time, they looked like they knew what they were doing and never looked lost, which puts them miles ahead of anything in the last three years of Divas matches.

Later in the year, Trish would enter one of her biggest feuds ever. Christian and Chris Jericho would start hitting on Trish and Lita, leading to a tag team match between the teams at Armageddon 2003.

Chris Jericho/Christian vs. Lita/Trish Stratus

JR says that Bischoff is like Hussein. No, he isn’t. Jericho and Trish start us off and Jericho tries to explain. A right hand slap misses but the left connects. After all those years of Trish being the best female wrestler in the country, Trish becomes a slap fighter. Jericho spanks her which wakes Trish up a bit so she starts firing off some headscissors and dropkicks.

Christian tags himself in and wants Lita. Lita at least tries some more leverage and speed moves which is what she does in her regular matches so it makes sense. A slam puts Lita down and it’s off to Jericho. Then he stands on her hair and pulls her up. FREAKING OW MAN!!! Lita counters a powerbomb into a rana and it’s off to Christian. There goes Lita’s top which makes Christian far more popular.

Lita manages to get a low blow in and there’s Trish. THANKFULLY she wakes up and fights like she’s capable of doing, snapping off her forearms and the Chick Kick. Stratusfaction doesn’t work but she ducks to avoid a charging Christian and he goes to the floor. Lita crotches Jericho but the Stratusphere doesn’t work. Christian gets two but the Matrish sends Christian into Jericho for two. Lita snaps off a rana which she does better than almost anyone. Jericho checks on Trish and Christian rolls her up for the pin.

Rating: C. All things considered, not too bad here. Once Trish remembered how to wrestle this got a lot better. The men vs. women matches can work and this got close as the girls weren’t out there using nothing but chokes and slaps as they used their regular stuff and it worked pretty well. Not a great match or anything but for the purposes of this it was fine.

Trish would win the title back during the year before what many consider to be the high point of her career. Lita and Trish renewed their rivalry and built up to a showdown on the December 6, 2004 episode of Raw. This was the main event of the show, a first and only time for a Divas match. I don’t mean it went on last and then the real main event happened. Trish Stratus vs. Lita for the Women’s Title was built up as the main event of the show, went on last, and the celebration after the match closed out the episode. Imagine that happening today and you’ll see how far the division has fallen.

Women’s Title: Trish Stratus vs. Lita

Even in a faceguard with what looks like masking tape over her face, Trish is gorgeous. How is that possible? Lita’s song is great too. 2004 had some awesome theme music. They lockup and go to the floor quickly. Lita takes over with a leg sweep for two. Remember that she’s the hometown girl. They go to the floor again and Lita tries a suicide dive and Lita lands ON HER HEAD, jacking her neck back in a landing that made my jaw drop and be stunned she isn’t dead. I mean she landed on her face and her feet hit her in the back of the head. The referee immediately checks on her and the crowd goes quiet.

The match keeps going as I guess she’s alive somehow. Trish takes the noseguard off and pops Lita in the face with it which isn’t a DQ somehow. Lita fights out of a choke and throws on a sleeper but gets countered into a seated full nelson. Trish goes up but gets caught in a superplex to put both girls down. Back up and the Chick Kick gets two. Trish pounds away in the corner and gets powerbombed to set up the moonsault but Trish breaks it up. Rollup gets two and Trish grabs a DDT for two. Stratusfaction is broken up and there’s a reverse Twist of Fate. The moonsault gives Lita her second title.

Rating: B. Considering that neck shot, WOW Lita was impressive here. At the end of the day, this was a solid match and they made it feel like a big moment. This was Lita’s second title, but she hadn’t won it in over four years so it’s not like this was something that happened every day. Trish would win it back in less than a month and hold it until Wrestlemania. As in the Wrestlemania the year after she won it, giving her a reign of about 15 months.

Trish would win the title back a month later as Lita would get injured during the match. Stratus would get injured soon after that and stay out of action for six months. Naturally the title wasn’t vacated or anything and Trish returned in September. After a quick feud with Melina, it was off to one of Trish’s best feuds ever. A newcomer named Mickie James was obsessed with Trish to the point that she would follow Trish into the shower and eventually kiss her under the mistletoe. The story was allowed to build until Mickie snapped and beat up Stratus, setting up their showdown at Wrestlemania 22.

Women’s Title: Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James

Mickie is challenging and has those awesome skirts that go all over the place. Trish is looking great too with the usual attire but showing her stomach as well. Trish is all aggressive here and chops Mickie down into the splits. They head to the floor but the Chick Kick hits the post. Mickie wraps the leg around the post and is still looking very psycho. Back in and a dropkick to the knee takes Trish down again, as does a dragon screw leg whip for two.

The fans chant for Mickie and I can’t say I blame them. Mickie wraps the leg around the ropes before driving it down into the mat for good measure. Off to a half crab followed by a knee crank but Trish power up and hooks a spinning headscissors to put James down. Trish comes back with the forearms and a spinebuster of all things for two. Trish’s corner splash hits feet but as Mickie goes up, Stratus tries the Stratusphere but gets slammed down for a sexy two. A rana is countered into a powerbomb for two and Trish is TICKED.

Trish tries the Matrish but the knee gives out. Instead she tries Stratusfaction but Mickie gropes Trish’s crotch to break it up. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Mickie licks her fingers so Trish DRILLS HER with a forearm. Trish keeps firing away but the knee gives out, and then the match falls off the rails. Mickie tries the Stratusfaction but COMPLETELY misses the rope, making it almost look like a botched atomic drop by Trish. Instead Mickie hits a lame Chick Kick to end Trish’s reign. JR sums it up perfectly: “The nutjob won the title!”

Rating: B-. This was one of the best Divas matches ever but the ending cripples it. The idea here was that it wasn’t a women’s match but rather a match featuring women in it. These two were beating each other up and Trish had real emotion out there. Mickie was PERFECT for this character and you really felt like she had a screw loose. The sexuality was there but it wasn’t the focus which is nice for a change. It’s nice to see a real story and a real fight between two people who happen to be gorgeous women. Good stuff here.

After a summer of nothing special, Trish announced her retirement match at Unforgiven 2006. She would face Lita of course and challenge for the Women’s Title.

Women’s Title: Trish Stratus vs. Lita

If she’s going to go, this is how you do it: in your hometown against your rival for the title. Both of their theme songs freaking rock. Lita is announced from Atlanta which sounds weird. LOUD Thank You Trish chant before the music even hits. She gets the loudest pop for a Diva ever, period. This really is a cool moment and her stumbling up the steps is awesome too.

Lita gets booed out of the building and I had to grab my headphones to get the loudness out of my ears when Trish went on offense. Thesz Press off the apron to Lita and I can’t get over how hot this crowd is for this. I know it’s a big deal but DANG they’re loud for it. They changed the mat during the video package so that the blood is gone, which is nice since the stains on the mat get annoying later on.

Lita’s looks never worked that well with bangs. In a cool spot, Lita blocks the headscissors out of the corner and Trish winds up sitting on Lita’s lap in the corner as they punch each other. Never seen that before. They fight even more on the top and Trish goes to the mat. Moonsault misses and the Stratusfaction is missed too. A fan at ringside actually asks Trish to marry him as she’s down. Well he’s certainly trying.

Trish is in trouble as they actually tease her losing here. That’s rather amusing. JR mentions she’ll be in the Hall of Fame, which better be true. If she’s not they might as well close off any other Divas. They slug it out which is something these two can actually make believable, which isn’t often said of the ladies. BIG old kick to the head of Lita gets two.

Sweet move by Trish as Stratusfaction is reversed but Trish twists PERFECTLY in midair into a sunset flip. The sunset flip part isn’t great but the twist was nice. It gets two, but Trish gets the FREAKING SHARPSHOOTER and the crowd absolutely loses it. Lita almost gets the rope but Trish drags her back to the middle for the tap and the title.

Rating: A. This wasn’t for the match, although it was good. This was about a last moment, and I’d love to hear a way to go out that is better than this. In her hometown, using the most famous move in the history of the country, she beat her archrival and broke the record for most Women’s Championship ever. That is what you call epic. Good match too, but that’s expected from these two. Crowd was awesome too.

Trish would come back a few times over the years, most prominently at Wrestlemania 27.

John Morrison/Snooki/Trish Stratus vs. Laycool/Dolph Ziggler

Barely any story here as it’s just there to give us Snooki, which is supposed to mean something. Vickie is with Laycool here because she’s already screwing Dolph at this point. Trish is STUNNING as a brunette here too. Laycool attacks to start and the guys get involved as well. Michelle shoves Layla to start so Trish comes in and beats Michelle up. The Matrish is broken up with a stomp but Trish escapes the Faithbreaker (Styles Clash) with a facebuster.

Michelle and Stratus slug it out on the top before falling to the floor at the same time. Layla tries to interfere and gets decked as well, only to have Trish dive off the apron and take both of them out. The Chick Kick gets two on Michelle as the guys come in sans tags. Starship Pain to the floor takes Ziggy out and there’s the tag to Snooki for a handspring elbow to Michelle. That and a splash are good for the pin.

Rating: D+. Trish and Laycool looked hot, Snooki did her two moves decently enough, the guys did almost nothing at all and Vickie was kept to a minimum in the less than three and a half minutes this ran. For a match that short with Trish looking that good, how much can you really complain here? Laycool would be split in a month with Michelle leaving the company.

Stratus would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013 as she certainly deserved. She was the most successful Diva in history with seven Womens’ Titles and one of the best rivalries of all time, gender aside. Her matches against Lita took women’s wrestling to a level it hadn’t seen in mainstream wrestling and some of those showdowns were amazing. Trish was just a gorgeous blonde to start but turned into a well rounded character who could go in the ring. She’s absolutely awesome and well worth checking out. Watch her matches too (especially when she was evil Trish in 2004. Dear goodness she was hot).

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of on the History of Summerslam at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HY4NV7Y

And check out my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

4 comments

  1. Maw says:

    DAMN, more than half of these feature Lita.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    It was a bit rivalry.

  2. ted says:

    Bit?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Big*