Even though her run with the WWE lasted only six years, Trish Stratus has been able to put her name near the top of some of the best women wrestlers ever in pro wrestling. Starting with zero experience, Trish went from fitness model to Hall of Famer through hard work, both in the ring and on the mic, while having both the beauty and charisma that connected with fans all over the world.
Known as “Canada’s Greatest Export” Trish was able to amass seven Women’s title reigns for a combined 828 days; both are second all time behind The Fabulous Moolah. She also won the Hardcore title (for a very short period of time - like, not an even full episode of Raw) and was awarded “Diva of the Decade” for the 2000s, even though she only worked six of them.
Ever since her retirement, she’s made a few appearances with the WWE and has always been billed as one of the more respectable performers in the company. That’s mainly because WWE tries to keep all of the more scandalous things she was asked to do quiet, primarily early on in her career. From being forced to strip to getting spanked during a match, there’s plenty of moments WWE would rather you just forget about Trish Stratus.
16 16. Barking and Stripping Down
When Linda McMahon was running for office, this segment was probably played by her opponents and news outlets more than any other. Not only did it have her husband telling a woman to crawl around in the ring and bark like a dog, but he demanded she strip down, as well. It’s fair to say, they had to do plenty of explaining to get around that subject, but it’s easily one of the more embarrassing segments Trish has ever had to perform in.
In terms of the storyline, Trish was basically Vince’s mistress, while Linda was confined to a wheelchair in a comatose state, mainly due to all the stress from Vince’s threat of divorce. Yeah, it was a really dumb storyline and more segments from it will appear throughout this list. Probably the biggest issue with this angle was that Trish never got any true revenge, she was pretty much thrown aside like she was nothing, although, it did get her enough sympathy from fans that she ended up turning face promptly afterwards.
15 15. Thong Shots
These days, the WWE lives in a PG world along with a revolution that’s currently going on in the women’s division, this kind of exposure would be just simply unacceptable. There has been a swift change in the winds to push the women’s division as more wrestling-focused and away from the more sleazy things seen in the past. Today, WWE holds Trish to a higher esteem as one of their greatest wrestlers to ever pass through the company, inducting her into the Hall of Fame in 2013.
Performing in “Bra and Panty” matches or just simply distracting opponents with a quick thong shot is not something either party likes to remind fans of these days. When the Attitude Era was still alive, the live crowd got quite a show – literally anything could happen back then. Trish never regretted her more risqué segments, they were just meant to entertain the crowd and get more attention on the product.
14 14. WrestleMania 22 Match
The rivalry between Trish Stratus and Mickie James was one of the most popular women’s feuds ever in WWE. As an obsessed fan, Mickie would do anything to get near her idol. She would put together strange shrines, bum rush her backstage, and even dress up like Trish - and all of this was just the tip of the iceberg between these two.
13 13. Table Rub Down
In one of her earliest feuds, Trish (while managing Test & Albert) began taunting the stuttering Bubba Ray Dudley in a series of seductive promos involving tables. For context, the Dudleys love putting people through tables and during this specific time Bubba would actually getting an orgasmic-like feeling when putting women through tables. So as the weeks went by, he put a couple through them, including a very elderly Mae Young, just to let Trish know he hadn’t forgotten about her.
In terms of quality, Trish actually did a really good job with these (as strange as they were) and it showed she had a natural charisma to cut a promo about anything the WWE could think up. Back to the story, Trish thought putting these promos out would either satisfy Bubba’s strange urge or at least provided a distraction so her team could win future matches against the Dudleys. Did it work? Well, we’ll find out later on in this very list!
12 12. T & A
WWE signed Trish in November of 1999, sending her to train for only four months before bringing her up to start performing on-screen. For those unaware, that amount of training for someone who hadn’t wrestled before is not very long at all, which showed how much confidence the company had in her. After initially scouting Test and Albert from the stage, Trish’s first role was managing the duo that was given the double meaning tag name of “T & A.”
With a natural charisma, Trish did a lot of talking for the team right off the bat, eventually working in tag matches with them against The Hardy Boyz and Lita. The team barely lasted a year before Albert turned on Test, which led to a total break-up. Trish’s star was far too bright to just be a tag manager and the WWE knew this, so off she went to begin her solo career.
11 11. Stephanie Spanking
Going back to 2001, Trish was involved with a really messed up McMahon family, as mentioned previously; Vince was basically hooking up with Trish, while his spaced out wife literally watched on. Stephanie couldn’t stand seeing her mother treated like this, so she took it out on Trish by being incredibly mean to here and having a match against Vince’s mistress.
At some point during their classic encounter, water got involved in the match and Stephanie decided to dole out some punishing by pulling down Trish’s wrestling tights and giving her a spanking (which seemed to happen a lot to her during this time) about midway through. The end came when General Manager William Regal came down to the ring and finished off Trish so Stephanie could get the easy win. Clearly, the odds were stacked against her and fans went from disliking Trish to slowly becoming supporters at the sad state she found herself in.
10 10. Trish Gets Some Revenge
Back in her early years, Trish wasn’t relegated to awkward positions by just the McMahons; no, Triple H also got in on the act when she asked him for some wrestling tips and he put her in an armbar. He then instructed her on how to escape from the move, which looked like the picture above. At that very moment, Stephanie entered the room, obviously not happy with what she was seeing, Trish swiftly bailed out of the room, leaving Triple H to explain himself.
Twelve years later, Trish made a surprise appearance on Raw and ended up speaking with Triple H about yoga (which is the primary focus of her post-wrestling career). This time around, it was Triple H who was bending over for Trish and it was DX who walked in on the two. After a moment of silence, Road Dogg aptly states: “We’ll wait by the backdoor…in the rear…we’ll just wait out here.”
9 9. The Cold Shoulder
In 2011, Trish came back for a short run with the WWE in tandem with her being a Tough Enough trainer, working a couple tag matches along the way. Primarily, she began to have issues with LayCool (Layla and Michelle McCool) and Dolph Ziggler, but John Morrison and Snooki (of all people) came to her rescue.
The three ended up banding together to defeat LayCool and Ziggler at WrestleMania XXVII, which was great and all had Morrison not given Stratus the cold shoulder almost the entire time due to his real-life girlfriend, Melina, not getting Trish’s spot at WrestleMania. Melina had been with the company since 2004 and didn’t even get a match in 2011, which ended up being the same year she was released. Melina had fallen out of WWE’s good graces and they were looking for more star power in the match, which is exactly what Trish provided. In later interviews, Trish stated it was an embarrassing situation that she was glad to be done with.
8 8. The Villainess
Much of what we see of Trish is typically big achievements, smiling, and good deeds done by the fan favorite wrestler. Well, aside from her initial heel run with T&A, there was about a year’s worth of time later in her career where Trish went to the dark side and she was awesome at it!
It basically started when she turned on then good guy, Chris Jericho, to join up with Christian, forming an evil alliance where Trish became a very cocky and unfriendly person who would come out and bow to the crowd saying “Thank you!” sarcastically. In terms of gimmick work, many have agreed this was Trish’s best effort as it came off very believable and entertaining as she feuded against Christy Hemme and Lita. This was also during the time when Trish spray painted “S**t” across the back of a knocked-out Christy, can you imagine that happening today?
7 7. Bra And Panty Match
No, you are not seeing things, that is an actual match that was booked between Lita and Trish, two women who were more than capable of putting on a quality match, without such a lame stipulation. If this tired gimmick match wasn’t bad enough, it was actually for the Women’s championship, but in the story Lita didn’t care, she just wanted to get a piece of Trish, no matter the match type. Mick Foley was commissioner at the time, and was initially (somewhat) hesitant to book such a match, but Lita convinced him that it needed to go down, so he gladly approved it.
The match took place in 2000, when Trish was still very green in the ring, so it went by fairly quickly and wasn’t a very memorable one. Lita lost her top, but was able to strip Trish all the way down to get the big win. Trish - thong and all - grabbed a black silk robe and ran off into the night.
6 6. Kissing Vince
Apologies for the close-up picture that will probably give you nightmares, but it gives a clear idea of how over-the-top this storyline was between Vince and Trish. Honestly, it felt like a really cheap way for Vince to get his hands all over a young woman (nor was it first or last time he did it) and it was probably the most egregious of his random “love stories.” Leave the “creepy old guy” gimmick to Jerry Lawler, he plays it so very well.
This particular kiss took place at the top of the ramp, right in front of his wife Linda who just sat and stared for the entire time. Overall, this story never really got over with crowd, the wrestling was sub-par when it happened and the drama was a mix of uncomfortable and corny. It’s pretty amazing that without this strange McMahon storyline, this list would probably be about five entries shorter!
5 5. Kissing A Lot Of People
Throughout her six years with the company, Trish was booked to kiss or be kissed by a lot of people in a number of her story lines. The list includes (but isn’t limited to): The Rock, Bubba Ray Dudley, Christian, Mickie James, Lita, and Chris Jericho.
The most random out of the group is probably with Jeff Hardy; WWE attempted to put the two together when an injury struck Trish, keeping her out for a few months, and promptly ending the story. When it was started up again, Jeff literally saved and kissed her out of nowhere, with no build-up or mention of their previous history. It would have been easy to connect their past and do just one segment to build things up, but WWE got lazy. The story was again cut completely when Jeff was actually released from the company; clearly WWE was trying to hook up two of their most popular wrestlers and they just couldn’t ever seal the deal.
4 4. Getting Mopped Up
The ending of the Trish/McMahon storyline came the night after Trish and Stephanie fought at No Way Out. The match was Stephanie and William Regal going against Vince and Trish where mid-match, Vince turned on Trish, saying “playtime was over,” and let Stephanie clean up the mess.
She did so by getting a janitor’s bucket full of nasty slop and mopping it all over Trish, right in the middle of the ring. Ah, but that wasn’t all, as Stephanie grabbed Trish and stuck her head right into the bucket of muck. The exclamation point came when Vince dumped the entirety of whatever that stuff was all over her and left the ring with Steph and Regal. As terrible as it was, this was the segment that finally got Trish sympathy from the fans and allowed her to move on as a face that propelled her towards the top of the promotion.
3 3. Table Time
Earlier in this article, it was mentioned how Trish would taunt Bubba with tables to get him off his game as they barreled towards their upcoming PPV match. Well, the tactics worked, because T & A ended up getting the win over the Dudley Boys. Even though they won, Test and Albert were quickly disposed of by the Dudleys after the match.
Trish ended up alone in the ring after the match and the angered Dudleys were able to get a hold of her, along with a table from under the ring. Bubba climbed the ropes and powerbombed Trish right through a table, going into a state of just staring off into the distance, eventually a wide smile coming over his face. In today’s WWE, men and women don’t get physical at all, aside from the random bump off the apron, you won’t see anything like this happened anymore. To close the segment, as Bubba walked towards the back he yelled: “That’s what you get, you stupid b****!” Classy.
2 2. Receiving A Stinkface
“Paying your dues” is something most new wrestlers have to go through and it’s pretty clear Trish’s first year was doing just that. Aside from the T&A and McMahon stories, she also had to deal was being on the receiving end of a Stinkface from Rikishi. The picture is pretty self-explanatory, but Rikishi will hike up his wrestling tights into more of a thong and then shove his booty into a downed opponent’s face.
No matter what else was talked about, there isn’t anything worse than getting your face shoved into a four-hundred pound man’s rear end – ew. It’s bad enough Rikishi did that to male opponents, but to do it to women who weren’t even involved in the match was grotesque and he was considered the good guy! Trish took it like the professional she is, but this is one highlight clip that WWE has locked away in their vaults.
1 1. The Jackie Gayda Match
Jackie Gayda was a Tough Enough winner who was still very green in the ring and was put on TV way too early, as evident in this match, which was awarded by the Wrestling Observer as the “Worst Match of 2002.” Trish tried her best to keep things together, but Jackie was far too hesitant, causing a lot of standing around and causing horrible sells to multiple moves.
Most notably, Trish went for a bulldog off the second rope, going all the way down to the mat, without Jackie following her; instead, Jackie flopped down late, making both wrestlers look awful. The entire match was a complete train wreck and showed WWE they couldn’t just throw people out on their televised shows without receiving plenty of training first. Jackie was sent right back down to development for more training, Trish continued to be awesome, and WWE just wanted fans to put this match perpetually out of their minds.
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