Since 1952, the wrestling promotion now known as World Wrestling Entertainment, has entertained millions of fans around the world, as well as becoming the world’s biggest and most profitable promoter. Those who actually ran the promotion, both past and present, may have been the ones to successfully find, develop, and market the wrestlers, but it is the wrestlers themselves, with their work ethic and charisma, who truly made the WWE the billion dollar company that it is today. Most of the company building credit, goes to the iconic male wrestlers, but there were several female wrestlers who deserve credit as well, be they Mae Young or The Fabulous Moolah from the Golden Age or Sable, Chyna, Lita, and Trish Stratus of the Attitude era.
Trish Stratus happens to be one of the most recognizable and popular superstars of the WWE’s pivotal Attitude era, and even though her career did not last as long as the company and the fans would have hoped, it was still a very good career. The original “Diva” may have not started out as a wrestler, but she learned quickly, and became a good in-ring performer who was a part of some of the more memorable storylines and women’s matches of her era. It is true that Trish was, and still is, a very attractive woman, who is one of the most decorated female wrestlers of all time, and a deserving member of the Hall of Fame, but there are still some instances that involved her, that the now PG friendly WWE would like people to forget. Here is a list of 10 things WWE wants you to forget about Trish Stratus.
10. WrestleMania 22 Crotch Grab And Botched Finish
At WrestleMania 22, Trish defended her title against Mickie James. Those who watched it live, or who possess a recording of the live broadcast, will mainly remember only one segment of the match: when Mickie James countered Trish’s signature move, the Stratusfaction, by grabbing her crotch. Trish was stunned by the improvised move, and the crowd loved it, especially when it was followed up by Mickie spreading her fingers into a V and then sticking her tongue between them. The match ended shortly after, and with a terrible finish, as Trish was supposed to lose after Mickie hit her with the Stratusfaction, but the two slipped as they made their way to the ropes, and Trish simply fell down. Mickie then went on to simply kick her in the head to get the win. Vince was not pleased about the crotch grab, but no real punishments resulted from it. Now that the WWE is a PG company however, they act as though both sequences never happened, as DVDs of the event and the WWE Network have edited out those portions of the match.
9. Absent Four Months Of Women’s Championship Reign
The Women’s Championship had existed since the 1950s, but was utterly ignored for most of the 90s until it was brought back into focus in 1998 where it was subsequently successfully booked for years. Trish played a major role with the title, as she won it a record seven times, and held it for a record 448 straight days. That reign however, is ultimately not as impressive as it should be, as she could not even defend it for a four month period. In 2005, right in the middle of her record title reign, Trish was still a heel champion following that year’s WrestleMania, but she got hurt shorty thereafter thanks to a herniated disc in her back; an injury that caused her to miss four months of work. Instead of simply having her vacate the Women’s Championship, the WWE simply neglected to mention its very existence until Trish finally returned to action in September, this time as a babyface. The end result was Trish achieving her 448 day reign while being physically unable to compete for over 120 of those days.
8. Dissed By John Morrison
Following her retirement in 2006, Trish would return to the WWE for brief appearances here and there, with one such appearance coming at WrestleMania 27 where she agreed to wrestle in a six man tag match with John Morrison and Snooki from Jersey Shore. They faced and defeated the team of Dolph Ziggler, Michelle McCool, and Layla in a truly uneventful match that lasted less than four minutes. The only significant part of the match came when it was over, and Morrison visibly showed that he may not have wanted to be partnered with Trish, as he gave her the cold shoulder during their victory celebration. The following night, the two were partnered together and won again, and once again Morrison gave her the cold shoulder. Trish herself acknowledged shortly after on a radio interview that he had some kind of problem working with her. It is possible that Morrison did not think it was right for her to take a spot away from someone who was actually working for the company, but that does not excuse him for showing that kind of disrespect to one of WWE’s most respected women wrestlers on back-to-back live events.
7. Dropped Through A Table By The Dudley Boyz
Yes, before the WWE went PG, there were instances during the Attitude Era, where women wrestlers would sometimes be involved in violent segments and matches against men, that today would be perceived as violence against women; and Trish Stratus was involved in a few of them. At one time, Trish was managing the team of Albert and Test, and the group got into a feud with the Dudley Boyz, a feud which had Trish distracting the Dudley’s with her “womanly ways” multiple times. The feud’s blow-off match occurred at Backlash in 2000, a match which saw the Dudley’s put Trish through a table, an act that was not all that controversial because it was in the year 2000 during the Attitude Era. By 2008 though, when WWE went PG and Linda McMahon was running for political office, the company went all out trying to delete all records of Trish going through a table, as well as other violent segments involving women wrestlers, as those specific segments were used against Linda and helped to hurt her ultimately unsuccessful campaign.
6. Removed Breast Implants After Retiring
To the dismay of many male fans, Trish did in fact remove her breast implants after retiring from the WWE; a fact that was proven to be true when it was officially reported in a wrestling magazine in 2008. It makes sense that she made this decision, considering that removing them undoubtedly made things easier on her back, which she injured in 2005. It is true that for most of her career with the WWE, Trish was one of the most visually appealing and marketable individuals on the roster during the Attitude Era, and her ability to show off her “assets” was one of the reasons why she became so popular and profitable for the company. WWE made a good amount of money off of Trish and her appearance, so it is no wonder that no one from upper management acknowledged or endorsed her reduction procedure, especially when it pertained to an aspect of women’s health.
5. She Was A Great Heel
Now, whenever the WWE mentions Trish Stratus, they make her out to be the nicest diva to have ever wrestled in the ring; and making it seem as though she was never a “bad girl.” Granted, she really is a very nice person, but when it came to her WWE character, she actually portrayed a heel multiple times, and she was great at it. She made her debut in 2000 as a heel, where she was managing Test and Albert. This heel run continued well into 2001, where she became Vince McMahon’s on screen girlfriend and became the center of a storyline involving both Stephanie and Linda McMahon; and it was her performance in this feud that helped propel her career. She went on to turn face for the next few years, but returned to being a heel at WrestleMania 20 when she turned on Chris Jericho, a move that would later make her one of the most entertaining people on the roster once again. As a heel, Trish was more confident on the mic, her acting was better, and she was truly convincing in her role; she even dressed in sexier attire as well.
4. Turned Down Battle Royal At WrestleMania XXV
As mentioned earlier, the WWE would sometimes bring Trish back for the odd appearance, primarily if they were doing shows near the Toronto area; which is why she has wrestled on Raw a few times since retiring, and even once served as the show’s guest host. She did not accept every offer the company made her however, as she turned down an offer to appear in a match at WrestleMania XXV. The match was a 25 woman battle royal consisting of popular women wrestlers from WWE’s past, and she declined the offer primarily because she did not like the state of the women’s division at the time. It was a good thing she did not participate in the match, as it turned out to possibly be one of the worst matches in WrestleMania history, with Santino’s participation in the match being the most memorable part of it, with him dressing up as a woman named Santina.
3. The Jackie Gayda Match
Of all the things Trish will be remembered for, it is a shame that the match now known as “that Jackie Gayda match” is one of them, as it is infamous for being one of the worst matches to ever be shown on Raw. The match in question took place in 2002, and was actually a mixed tag team match that saw a face Trish and Bradshaw take on the heel team of Jackie Gayda and Chris Nowinski. This match contained some of the worst botches seen on TV, as Jackie, who was incredibly inexperienced, could barely take a clothesline properly. The female pair attempted to execute a move near the ropes, but Jackie did not grab Trish when she was supposed to, and it looked as though Trish herself jumped into the ropes. Trish later went for a bulldog off the middle rope, and Jackie stumbled a little and acted as though she received a forearm to the head instead of simply going down like she was supposed to. The live crowd did not react kindly to these obvious mistakes, as they went on to serenade the arena with a chorus of boos.
2. Vince Made Her Bark Like A Dog
Early in 2001, Trish transitioned from being a valet and part-time wrestler to a more full-time performer and the on screen love interest of Vince McMahon. The story involved Vince drugging his wife Linda, under the premise that she needed medication after “suffering a nervous breakdown”. She was under so much medication that she was confined to a wheelchair and appeared somewhat catatonic, and during this time, Trish aided in drugging her while becoming Vince’s girlfriend in the process. Their daughter Stephanie did not like what her father and Trish were doing, so she began feuding with Trish. It was during this feud that Vince started having doubts about Trish’s loyalty, so he tested her. He told her, “Get on your hands and knees like a dog, okay?” which she did, and then he told her, “Speak Trish, speak! Dammit Trish bark like a dog!” which she also did; he also made her strip down to her underwear and walk around the ring. Trish has said that she was not comfortable doing these segments, but also mentioned that she understood the reasoning behind the segments due to their eventual payoff at WrestleMania. It goes without saying that these were some of the WWE’s most controversial segments, and that they could not get away with something like that now in the PG era.
1. Responsible For Models Taking Over
For quite a while, the WWE made terrible decisions regarding its once great Women’s division, by renaming it the Diva’s division, removing the Women’s Championship for the Diva’s Championship, and filling the division with mostly talentless models instead of actual wrestlers; and Trish Stratus is partly to blame for all of it. Trish was hired because she was an experienced fitness model and wrestling fan; but unlike all the other women wrestlers previously hired by the WWE, she had absolutely no wrestling experience whatsoever. After hiring Trish, and seeing the impact she made, the company tried hard to find more women with similar backgrounds, with the horrid Diva’s search of the mid 2000s being a result of that search. Sometimes, a model would get picked up, but most of the women aiming for a job never panned out; unfortunately, the low success rates did not stop the influx of models with little to no wrestling experience (who also likely did not even have any interest in the wrestling industry) from being hired and placed onto the main roster. Granted this influx was ultimately the fault of management trying to find the next Trish Stratus, but with Trish herself owning the moniker of the first real WWE “Diva”, she is inadvertently at least partially responsible for everything that happened to the division.