Pulse Wrestling’s Top 100 Wrestlers of the Modern Era: #28 – Trish Stratus
by David Brashear on April 9, 2008

From a manager to one of the most respected female wrestlers around to someone who left the wrestling business on her own terms, Trish Stratus has always played the game her way.

28. TRISH STRATUS

Real NamePatricia Stratigias
HometownToronto, Ontario, Canada
Debuted19th March 2000
Retired17th September 2006
Titles HeldWWE Women’s (7); WWE Hardcore
Other AccomplishmentsPulse Wrestling’s 2005 and 2006 Best Female Wrestler; Pro-Wrestling Illustrated’s Woman of the Year in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006; WWE’s Babe of the Year in 2001, 2002 and 2003; WWE Diva of the Decade; Recipient of Fighting Spirit Magazine’s Double X Award and Three Degrees Award in 2006

Trish Stratus never planned to be a wrestler. In 1997 a teacher’s strike forced her out of college and into a position as a receptionist at a local gym. While here, she was spotted by a photographer and she soon agreed to pose for a test shoot for MuscleMag International. Her first layout ran in the May, 1998 issue and she spent the next six months doing fashion work.

Her layouts soon caught the eye of the WWF. She was signed to a contract in November of 1999 and sent for training.

On March 19, she debuted on Sunday Night Heat while scouting talent. The next night on Raw, she debuted her finds – a new tag team consisting of Test and Albert that was known as T & A.

In June she competed in her first match as she and T & A took on the Hardy Boyz and Lita. T & A’s win led to a feud between Trish and Lita, which culminated in an Indian Strap Match on July 24. Trish won with help from Stephanie McMahon.

At the end of the year, T & A was history and Trish was entering a new role – that of Vince McMahon’s on-screen lover. With Linda institutionalized following a breakdown, Trish found herself feuding with Stephanie. Shortly after No Way Out, McMahon dumped Stratus after humiliating her in the ring. At Wrestlemania 17, Trish, Linda, and Stephanie all helped Shane defeat his father in a match that ended the storyline.

After that, Trish began wrestling but soon went down with an ankle injury that kept her out of action for the summer. She returned in the fall and capped off 2001 by winning the WWF Women’s title for the first time at Survivor Series.

Trish soon found herself feuding with Jazz over the title. After Jazz won the belt from her, Trish defeated Crash Holly to win the Hardcore title, and then lost it to Steven Richards.

Trish, assigned to Raw by the brand extension, finally regained the women’s title in May and lost it a month later to Molly Holly at the King of the Ring. This time period saw Trish feuding with Molly as well as the newly-debuted Victoria. Trish had regained the belt in September, only to lose it in November to Victoria at Survivor Series.

At Wrestlemania, Trish finally managed to defeat Victoria and reclaim her title. Although Trish lost the belt back to Jazz in April, her next onscreen pairing was with Jeff Hardy. However, the angle was scrapped when Hardy was released that summer.

Trish next allied with the newly-debuted Gail Kim. Kim wound up turning on Trish and the two feuded throughout the summer. Finally, after Kim had allied with Molly and Trish had allied with Lita, Trish managed to defeat Gail to end the feud.

In November, Trish began an onscreen romance with Chris Jericho. However, things soon turned rocky as Jericho was spotted with Christian (who was dating Lita at the time) making a bet as to who could sleep with their date first. Lita and Trish allied and began feuding with Christian and Jericho.

As 2004 opened, Jericho had a change of heart and began trying to win Trish back. This culminated in a match at Wrestlemania where Jericho faced Christian and lost after Trish turned on him and allied with Christian. At Backlash the two defeated Jericho in a handicap match and the next night picked up a problem solver – Tyson Tomko.

In June, Trish defeated old foe Victoria to win the women’s title for an unprecedented fifth time. In July, Trish was sidelined for a month with a broken hand but continued defending the belt upon her return. She lost the belt to Lita on December 6.

2005 quickly took an unexpected turn as Trish won the belt back from Lita at New Year’s Revolution after Lita suffered an injury. Trish then began feuding with Christy Hemme over Hemme’s Playboy centerfold. That culminated in a match at Wrestlemania which saw Trish retain her title.

In May, Trish was once again out of action with a herniated disk in her back. She returned in September still holding the belt. Now Trish allied with Ashley Massaro against Candice Michelle, Torrie Wilson, and Victoria. New diva Mickie James also soon figured in as a stalker of Trish.

Trish also began having problems with MNM after defeating Melina to retain her title on November 14. Melina challenged her at Survivor Series and Trish retained with help from Mickie. The year closed with Mickie catching Trish under mistletoe the day after Christmas and kissing her.

Trish soon tried to back away from Mickie and the two finally split in March when Trish told Mickie she needed space. Still, the two teamed at Saturday Night’s Main Event against Candice and Victoria. After they won the match, Mickie turned and attacked Trish.

At Wrestlemania, Trish lost the title to Mickie. The two faced off again at Backlash in a match that saw Trish dislocate her shoulder.

In June Trish returned to action and fell into a romance with Carlito. They feuded with Johnny Nitro and Melina and Edge and Lita.

Things soon changed as word leaked that Trish was planning to retire after her contract expired in August. At Unforgiven, Trish defeated Lita with a sharpshooter to win the women’s title for the seventh time. Trish retired as champion. The title was vacated following her retirement and a match the next night on Raw crowned a new champion.

Trish’s last WWE television appearance was on the fifteenth anniversary episode of Raw. She and Lita joined forces to attack Jillian Hall and celebrate afterwards.

So why is Trish on this list, and why is she ranked so highly? Simple. Trish Stratus showed something very rare in WWE women’s wrestling – she wanted to be more than eye candy. It was obvious that Trish wanted to improve herself in the ring, and she did. She had the raw talent that was melded to make her a true superstar.

While most WWE women’s matches are dull and go for cheap thrills, Trish waged athletic wars against Lita, Victoria, Gail, Molly, and Mickie. As a matter of fact, Trish once fought a match against Lita that served as the main event of Raw!

Throughout her career, Trish also stuck to her guns and didn’t allow herself to be changed by her fame. One example is the fact that she refused to do a layout for Playboy. She explained that she wanted her career to be remembered for her wrestling.

Is Trish Stratus the greatest women’s wrestler of all time? It’s not likely. But it could be argued that she laid the groundwork for women to be just as respected as men in the ring. While other WWE divas were busy smacking each other on the rear end during matches, Trish was out there actually wrestling. She showed that women wrestling athletic matches could draw on the national level. It could be argued that both SHIMMER and TNA’s women’s division have followed in Trish’s footsteps and have taken that athletic style of competition to the next level.

Because of her accomplishments and contributions to women’s wrestling, Trish Stratus has definitely earned her place on this list of the top 100 wrestlers of the modern era.



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David Brashear

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  • audrew

    So, just wanting to be “more than eye candy” makes you a better wrestler than: Rick Rude, The Ultimate Warrior, Edge, Rob Van Dam, Ted DiBiase, Arn Anderson, Bam Bam, Vader, and Taz???? Um….no.

  • http://insidepulse.com Matthew Michaels

    I think there’s a strong argument to be made that she’s the best North American woman wrestler of the modern era. Perhaps your question should be how can the top wrestler of her gender be ONLY #28?

  • http://wrestling.insidepulse.com Iain Burnside

    Because they’re all shite.

  • mattindeed

    This entry only proves how moronic this list is — who’s deciding this? No offense to Trish, because she was a great woman wrestler, but if you put her in the ring with another girl, and then had RVD with a guy in a ring opposite of hers and then you asked her to do RVD’s moveset the way he does it, could she pull it off? I highly doubt it. Hell, I doubt she could pull off Bigelow’s moveset. Keep in mind, I like Trish. I’m just not crazy enough to put her at #28 on a list of the 100 greatest wrestlers.

  • Mark Allen

    IP staff voted on the list. Look at MM’s response as to why Trish is #28. Chyna was the only other female even briefly mentioned about inclusion in the list and she was shot down quite handily.

  • http://insidepulse.com Matthew Michaels

    Plus even though the top women’s tennis player probably couldn’t beat the #100 men’s player, that doesn’t mean she isn’t one of the TOP tennis players of all time. And this is performance art, not a “sport.” Could RVD be a good valet?

  • mattindeed

    So valets are wrestlers now? You guys called it “Top 100 WRESTLERS of the Modern Era”…not “Top 100 Wrestlers/Valets/On-Screen Personalities of the Modern Era”. If that were the case, and you were letting valets on the list, you might as well add personalities like Jim Ross as well. Oh hey! I have a great idea! Why not Big Dick Johnson?! He would fit right in with this list. There is absolutely no reason for this list at all.

  • Brad Curran

    Well, I’m happy she charted this high, even if she doesn’t meet the criteria of not being girl RVD or Bam Bam.

  • Nick Sansom

    If Trish was a man, You would be bitching the rating was too high. Mattindeed, she started a valet, but became a great worker the best female wrestler ever.

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