Make Movement: Nine Years of Stratusfaction (part 2)

Trish Stratus is “on her way out” very soon as the wrestling world is discovering, and though it will come to a shock for most that she’s leaving now, she’s given nine intense years of her heart, body and soul into a business she fell in love with. Of course there is always a chance she may decide to return, but if she doesn’t, she has nothing to be ashamed of with her strong and passionate work ethic and drive that many respect in the squared circle.

Trish has played many roles within the wrestling world in her nine year career. From a valet/manager to adulteress to professional wrestler and even dabbled in hosting WWE Excess with Jonathan Coachman. She came into the WWE playing a heel valet managing Test and Albert, playing off “T&A.” By her looks alone, she got fans to pay attention to her and her tag team, and at the same time, the seeds were planted with a feud with popular Lita and her tag team, The Hardy Boyz. I remember initially not liking her, thinking she was just another girl getting by on her good looks. I’m so glad I was wrong.

She was able to progress into a storyline with the McMahon family and Triple H, which lead to some controversial moments in her career. Trish had a amazing feud with Stephanie McMahon because of Trish’s involvement with Vince and her compromising, misunderstood positions with Triple H. To this point in her career, this was the most passionate feud she had and one of the most talked about in the wrestling world at the time. Another career bookmark was when she had to bark like a dog for Vince McMahon and got slopped by a mop bucket of slop/mud by Stephanie. Right or wrong, embarrassing or not, Trish got air time and earned it by being a team player. On the biggest stage of them all, WrestleMania XVII, she swerved the McMahons and got the better of them all with the help of Linda McMahon. Nothing makes you a face more than getting revenge on the McMahons. With this, it was time to start the wrestling portion of her career.

Trish hit some road blocks as she learned her trade, but in 2001, at Survivor Series, Trish captured the vacant WWE Women’s Championship in a Six-Diva challenge. 2002 was a much hotter year for Trish and a more active one, getting involved against a heel bad ass named Jazz. In mid 2002, another rival became introduced to the WWE fans, in the form of crazy Victoria, unexplained to why she had heat with Trish which seems to be a common occurrence when writers write storylines for women. Victoria and Trish have had special chemistry throughout their career, where they have always brought out the very best in each other. I believe they both have a lot in common where they both had a lot to prove to their peers. Both Victoria and Trish have similar backgrounds in fitness modeling and turned into amazing athletes and sports entertainers. In 2002, Trish held the WWE Women’s Champion three times and in 2003, captured it again from Victoria, being the only WWE diva other than the Fabulous Moolah to hold the WWE Women’s Championship four times.

In 2003, the focus of Trish’ character turned to romance. This pleased the younger audience, but in a clever swerve and getting Trish out of her two year bubble of being a face, Trish added depth to her character and turned on Chris Jericho and joined Christian. This sparked her feud with Lita again, and Lita recaptured the WWE Women’s Title. Trish was able to work the mic more as a heel, and seemed to do so with ease. Trish was able to do what any clever heel can do, get their point across, get the crowd to react and to do so without apology and make it believable.

Trish ended up returning to be a face when mentoring Ashley. It didn’t seem a role out of the ordinary for Trish, since she had carved a place in wrestling history by working so hard. At the same time, when you are in this role, unless you are going to turn, you are completely limited in what your character can offer and Trish had done a amazing job being more than a pretty face.

The next big rivalry for Trish has been my favorite and that’s when Mickie James debuted in the WWE in October 2004. The WWE took the time to book it appropriately, and most of the time consistently, so when Mickie turned on Trish, the fans were ready to see the two “go.” Each had made the most of their air time and made what seemed to be a lull in the women’s division, compelling, even more than the men’s storylines at the time.

Sadly, Trish dislocated her right shoulder during Backlash 2006, and after this, their feud was never the same. The writers moved Mickie on to Beth Phoenix, who also got injured, and never had Trish and Mickie picked up where they left off. It was disappointing to me because I felt they had more to give with their feud and should have been treated by the writers as important as it was a year ago, as one of the best storylines of Trish’s career and really launched Mickie James.

Trish has since been moved on to Carlito, in another romantic storyline which gives Carlito the Stratusfaction Rub. Carlito, already popular, doesn’t necessarily need the endorsement, but since both are good looking people, this appeals to the younger teens in the audience and a good portion of Stratus’ demographic. Carlito has a Rock flavor to him and the chemistry doesn’t seem forced. I can’t help but feel let down though if she leaves the wrestling world with only this storyline as the lasting memory.

What I’ve always loved about Trish is that she has worked hard for every accolade she has ever won, from being a six time WWE Women’s Champion to being a three-time WWE Babe of the Year winner to WWE Diva of the Decade. She’s been good, she’s been bad, but she’s always made the most of her time and was entertaining. Not bad for a girl who was just going to medical school in Toronto.

Love or hate her, the undeniable legacy of Trish Stratus is that her passion and her drive made her a success. She was more than a woman who stood at the corner and cheered on “her man,” she came in, took the bumps on the road, took the bruises and though most fans choose to ignore this, took the damage to her body just like the rest of them and with a smile on her face. Only in professional wrestling do men and women work hard, risk injury and still smile and say thank you for allowing me to perform for you. In a world of superficial shortcutters, Trish earned her way to her success.

My favorite Trish quote has always been, “Preparedness meets opportunity.” This couldn’t be more true to describe Patricia Stratigias real life persona, and the future will remain bright, whether she decides to return to the “private sector” off of the road and away from cameras that have been apart of Trish’s daily life for nine years. Anything Trish has done she has done by preparing and meeting the opportunity without waiver. Thank you Trish for making the best out of everything you do, for years of entertainment and Stratusfaction, you deserve to realize how hard you’ve worked. Thanks for “workin’ it girl.”

Always remember, for things to change, you have to make movement. Thanks for reading and for all the feedback, feel free to contact me anytime at Bam@insidepulse.com.