Trish Stratus remains one of the most important women in WWE history due to her legendary run in the women’s division. WWE struggled with putting together a credible women’s division in the '90s. Stratus would become the face of the new division in the early 2000s when WWE tried to put together a capable division. The work ethic, athleticism, and charisma of Stratus made her the breakout star with fans investing in her matches.
We will look at how things worked out for various performers that worked with Trish throughout the years. The ones to benefit looked like legitimate stars during their matches with Stratus. Meanwhile, others looked like a joke when failing to keep up or get booked strongly against the legend. Find out just how careers would shape feuding with such an important wrestler. These are five wrestlers that Trish Stratus made look legit along with five that looked like a joke.
10 Legit: Molly Holly
The career of Molly Holly was quite underrated looking back at her matches. Holly rarely received much love from the WWE creative team. Despite having a solid run as part of the Holly family, the best stint of her career came in a feud with Trish Stratus.
Holly was one of the few ladies in the division that did not participate in the bikini contests or match stipulations that involved showing skin. It created the perfect story as a heel character attacking Stratus for going along with those concepts. Trish and Molly had great matches against each other for the Women’s Championship.
9 Joke: Christy Hemme
WWE had high hopes for Christy Hemme as the first-ever Diva Search contest winner. Fans voted in huge numbers for Hemme to win the WWE contract since she developed a stronger connection with the audience than her competitors.
Hemme’s Playboy cover release tied into a storyline with Trish Stratus leading to a match at WrestleMania 21. The huge opportunity for Hemme would see her struggle to keep up with Stratus. It wasn’t Trish’s fault, but the match exposed Christy and slowed down her push.
8 Legit: Jazz
The WWE Women’s Championship returned to the company at the end of the Invasion storyline months after Chyna vacated the belt. Trish Stratus won the title at Survivor Series 2001 and needed new opponents to help build the division.
Former ECW star Jazz signed with the company for the Invasion but remained following the end of The Alliance. Jazz became a top rival of Stratus constantly attacking her on Raw. They had great matches together with Jazz looking like a credible threat every time.
7 Joke: Torrie Wilson
The start of the Invasion storyline saw Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler represent WCW. A feud with Trish Stratus and Lita would see them both facing off with the WCW ladies on quite a few occasions throughout the summer of 2001.
Wilson never had the wrestling skills and often did better as a manager. This showed when she failed to come off as an equal to Trish in their matches. Stratus outclassed Torrie any time the two had a match in the ring. WWE moved Wilson into a managing role shortly after.
6 Legit: Victoria
An important feud for the women’s division in the early 2000s would see Trish Stratus face off with Victoria. The debut of Victoria saw her obsessed with Stratus viewing the top female star as the reason she didn’t get opportunities.
Both wrestlers had outstanding chemistry together leading to strong matches. Survivor Series 2002 featured Victoria winning the Women’s Championship from Stratus in a memorable Street Fight. This was arguably the best feud of Trish in the Ruthless Aggression Era.
5 Joke: Santino
One of the first returns from retirement would see Trish Stratus make an appearance during an episode of Raw in Canada. The reveal would see Stratus as the partner of John Cena in a mixed tag match against the couple of Beth Phoenix and Santino.
Given the comedic character of Santino, he looked like a joke when bumping for Stratus. WWE rarely did intergender wrestling, but there were some teases of it here for the sake of comedy. Santino would never become a credible threat again due to moments like this.
4 Legit: Christian
The WrestleMania 20 heel turn of Trish Stratus would see her betray Chris Jericho to enter a new romance with Christian. Stratus did well in the role of a heel again, but Christian was the one to benefit most from this storyline.
The talent of Christian was always there as WWE tried to find ways to add more relevance to his character. Christian became a bigger star by having a romantic storyline with the most successful woman on the roster. They had impressive chemistry that made their run together quite entertaining.
3 Joke: Stacy Keibler
The popularity of Stacy Keibler made her arguably the second most over wrestler on the roster after Trish Stratus. This led to them having a few matches despite Keibler lacking the in-ring skills that Stratus and many others brought to the division.
The matches would always expose Stacy as being better off in a non-wrestling role on the show. Judgment Day 2002 would see Keibler have her best chance at winning the WWE Women’s Championship. Stratus retained as Keibler looked weak in the effort.
2 Legit: Mickie James
Mickie James became a star for WWE thanks to a long-term storyline with Trish Stratus. WWE introduced James as a fan signing with WWE that was obsessed with Stratus. James essentially forced Trish into a friendship through 2005.
The eventual turn came when Stratus started setting boundaries that inspired James to attack her. Mickie scored the biggest win of her career defeating Trish at WrestleMania 22 to win the Women’s Championship. The incredible moment made James a top star for the women’s division moving forward.
1 Joke: Melina
Melina scored a huge storyline in 2005 when feuding with Trish Stratus for the Women’s Championship. The run of Melina as the manager of MNM would see her face off with Stratus at the Survivor Series 2006 event with the Raw vs Smackdown theme.
Trish easily won the lackluster match that made Melina look weak along the way. Things would grow worse between them many years later. Stratus teamed with John Morrison and Snooki in a WrestleMania 27 win that reportedly upset Melina to give her backstage heat. This chain of events essentially led to Melina’s release from WWE.