One of the greatest and most popular female wrestlers to grace a WWE ring, and also one of the best Womens champions in company history, Trish Stratus headed up an era of women’s wrestling in WWE that has not been seen since. And on April 6, Trish Stratus will become the latest diva to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
First appearing on WWF TV during an episode of Sunday Night Heat in March 2000, Trish started her career as a manager, scouting WWF superstars, with the story that she was looking for wrestlers she could represent and lead to success. Her choices were Test and Albert, forming the team T&A. Whether or not by design however, it was Trish getting the most attention of the three, without doubt she was the star of the show. And rather inevitably, it didn’t take long for her to get involved inside the ring. And when that time came, it was against the woman who she would later go on to have a long and memorable feud with; Lita.
But before that, Trish became involved in the McMahon family rivalry heading into WrestleMania X-Seven. And it was during that rivalry that she participated in a segment that has become infamous. On an episode of Raw in March 2001, Vince McMahon verbally destroyed Stratus and ordered her to strip down to her underwear and bark like a dog. WWE received many complaints about the angle, with Sky Sports in the UK refused to air the segment on their showings of Raw. The story with the McMahons ended at WM17 when Trish slapped Vince, turning babyface in the process.
Now a face for the first time in her career, Trish immediately found herself teaming with Lita during the WCW Invasion storyline to face Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler, before picking up an ankle injury that removed her from the storylines for several months. When she returned, she immediately found herself in the middle of the Womens Title hunt, and she eventually won the belt for the first time at Survivor Series 2001. She would end up trading the belt with Jazz, Molly Holly and Victoria over the course of the next couple of years, before forming a team with Lita in late 2003 which would move her onto the next major phase of the her career. Embarking on a romance storyline with Chris Jericho, which took several twists and turns leading into 2004 and culminating at WrestleMania XX, the angle resulted in Trish turning on Jericho and becoming a heel for the first time since her debut, forming a team with Christian. The new couple feuded with Jericho for the next few months, with Trish regaining the Womens Title and holding it until December 6, when she dropped it to Lita in the first – and to this day only – Womens Title match to main event an episode of Raw. She soon claimed back the title, and successfully defended it at WrestleMania 21.
The next 5 months saw Trish on the sidelines with a herniated disc, and a babyface turn upon her comeback. This led to a lengthy storyline with the debuting Mickie Jame, culminating in a match at WrestleMania 22 when James defeated Stratus for the title. The inevitable rematch the following month did not end well for Trish, as she suffered a shoulder injury during the match, causing her to miss another month of action. When she returned, she started another romantic angle, this time with Carlito, resulting in the two of them engaging in a mini rivalry with the WWE champion Edge and his girlfriend Lita. The rivalry came to a head at Unforgiven in September 2006 held in Stratus’ hometown of Toronto, where it was known that it would be her final match in WWE.
Fittingly, she defeated Lita to win the Womens Title for the seventh time, a record that still stands to this day.
Since her retirement in 2006, Stratus has made several appearances for WWE, notably on Raw’s 15th Anniversary Special, an episode of Raw held in Toronto in December 2008, and Raw 1000 in July 2012. As well as those, she also returned to the ring at WrestleMania XXVII, teaming with John Morrison and Jersey Shore’s Snooki to face and defeat Dolph Ziggler and LayCool. She also appeared as a trainer on the first season of WWE’s revived Tough Enough.
On April 6, as the youngest ever inductee into the Hall of Fame, Trish Stratus will take her deserved place in history, becoming only the sixth female inductee. She joins such names as Sensational Sherri, Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young. She is in good company, and deserves to be among them.