WWE Hall of Fame, Class of 2013, Profile, Part III: Trish Stratus
Jay Shannon returns with his third installment of this year’s profiles of the Hall of Fame Inductees. This time around, Jay looks at one of the most beloved Divas of all time…Trish Stratus.
The Early Days
Patricia Anne Stratigias was born, in Ontario, Canada, on December 18, 1975. While attending University in Canada, she had to leave because of a teacher’s strike. She took a position as a receptionist at a local gym. A talent scout for MuscleMag International approached her and invited her to test shoot for their magazine. She was a natural and began a fitness model career that became very successful.
In 1999, Trish’s modeling work came to the attention of WWE Scouts. She was approached about joining the then-WWF. She was sent to Sully’s Gym to train under Ron Hutchinson. She would later get more personal training from Dave “Fit” Finlay.
Being a Manager
After a few months of training, Trish was given the ring name of Trish Stratus (an easier-to-pronounce version of her true last name). She first appeared on Sunday Night Heat to scout talent. That was on March 19, 2000. The following night, Trish decided to take Test and Albert as her charges. That were given the slightly risqué name of T&A. Over the next few years, Trish would manage no fewer than 15 superstars (Including several Divas). Trish eased into in-ring competition by being a part of a mixed six-person team with Test and Albert.
From Manager to Mangler
At Wrestlemania X-Seven, Trish made her first Face Turn when she slapped Vince McMahon and joined forces with his son, Shane McMahon. Vince had degraded Trish for months leading up to the Father vs Son battle. Trish worked with Lita in an on-going feud with Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson. Unfortunately, Trish suffered an ankle injury that put her on the shelf for three months. That killed her push and she had to basically start over when she returned.
Later that year, Trish would survive a “Six Pack Challenge”, at Survivor Series 2001, to win her first Women’s Championship. She would drop the title to Jazz on February 4,2002. Trish was surprise everyone by winning the Hardcore Title, from Crash Holly, on May 6, 2002. Stevie Richards would take the title from her, within a few minutes, due to the 24/7 rule. She changed gears and finally took back her Women’s title a few days after the loss of the Hardcore strap.
Trish would then trade the title, back and forth, with Molly Holly. She also feuded with Victoria. The storyline between Trish and Victoria revolved about a time when they were both, supposedly, fitness models. Victoria would take the title from Trish at Survivor Series in a Hardcore Match. Trish was put into an on-screen romance with Jeff Hardy. That came to a sudden end when Hardy was released by the WWE. Trish had to restructure her career, again.
Trish would win her fourth Women’s title at Wrestlemania XIX, beating both Victoria and Jazz. She would only hold the belt until Backlash, when Jazz defeated her. Trish then worked with Gail Kim, until Gail turned on her. That led to a solid teaming with Lita. That alliance would also eventually fall apart. Lita and Trish would team and then feud and then re-team and re-feud for the better part of the next two years. Trish also had another on-screen romance, this time with Chris Jericho. Like so many before, it only lasted a few months. Trish learned that Christian and Chris Jericho had made a bet who could “Score” with either Trish (Jericho) or Lita (Christian). When the women learned of the sleazy bet, they united to take the fight to the men. Trish would later team with Christian after seeming to make up with Jericho. She also began to manage Tyson Tomko.
Trish won her fifth title at Bad Blood 2004. Despite a broken hand, Trish defended the title until losing it to Lita on December 6th. Trish won her sixth Women’s title at New Years Revolution (2005). She immediately went into a feud with Christy Hemme. From there, Trish went into a series with Melina.
During the Melina matches, Mickie James arrived on the scene. She portrayed herself as Trish’s biggest fan. Mickie even took the relationship into a romantic one, as Mickie kissed Trish on the December 26th episode of Raw. A disgusted and shocked Trish rushed to the back. Mickie, who felt her love rebuked, eventually got involved into one of the most violent Women’s feud in modern wrestling history. It did take a few weeks for the feud to build. It came to a head at Wrestlemania 22, when James took the Women’s title from Trish.
Trish suffered a dislocated shoulder at Backlash and had to take six weeks off. When she returned, she got romantically involved with Carlito. They feuded with Melina and John Morrison.
On September 17, 2006, Trish competed in her final match, before retiring. She faced long-time foe/friend, Lita. In her hometown of Toronto, Canada, Trish surprised everyone, especially Lita, when she slapped on a Sharpshooter. Lita tapped out.
After the final bell sounded
Trish made several non-wrestling appearances over the next 6 ½ years. In addition, she also starred in a travelogue series called Stratusphere. She toured the world with a film crew, looking at some of her favorite places (and a few she always wanted to visit). In 2011, Trish made a few in-ring appearances, including teaming with Snooki and John Morrison at Wrestlemania XXVII.
Trish would also take the role of a trainer in the reborn Tough Enough competition show. While it only lasted one season, she received high praise for her passion towards the potential WWE roster members. In addition, Trish has done several television appearances and worked for multiple charity events.
Trish Stratus is truly a deserving member of the Hall of Fame. She rose above the manager/valet position to establish herself as one of the most dominant female wrestlers of her era. It has been confirmed that Stephanie McMahon will induct Trish into the Hall of Fame. Trish joins great women like Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young and Sensational Sherri Martel. She definitely deserves to stand aside these legendary women.
I’ll be back, on Thursday, with part IV of the series. Tomorrow, I will look at possibly the greatest professional wrestler of all time…the one and only…Bruno Sammartino!