SLAM! Speaks: Thanks for the memories, Trish
SLAM! Wrestling Staff
|Trish gets mobile at a WWE presser. - photo by Jon Waldman
It's rare that a wrestler truly gets a chance to go out on top and say farewell
to their fans in the manner that Trish Stratus was able to earlier this month.
In that same regard, it is hard for us as fans to say farewell to those who
we are accustomed to watching week in and week out, especially when a retirement
is about as permanant as a Dusty Finish.
However, this time, Stratus retired for good. She's made it clear that her
bow at Unforgiven was, indeed, her final one.
So now, it is time for us to reciprocate. In honour of Trish's retirement from
the world of professional wrestling (and her marriage to Ron on Saturday in Toronto), SLAM! Wrestling's staff have taken time
to gather their thoughts on their favourite Trish Stratus moments. Here's what
we had to say about the one and only, Trish Stratus.
In-ring, Trish has given a lot of great memories, and for me I will always think
of her as one of the best female athletes ever in wrestling. While seeing her
wearing the red and white of the maple leaf during her Wrestlemania X-8 match
at SkyDome was a highlight, it is the next year that stands out.
I was in attendance at Wrestlemania in Seattle. On a show that was filled with
great matches, she won the Women's Championship in a bout that was just as good
as any of the men's and had the crowd on its feet. The next day I ended up near
the hotel where the wrestlers were staying and watched as they came out to head
to the Key Arena for RAW. Many of the wrestlers just went to their cars and
left, while others stopped to take pictures and sign autographs. Trish was one
of the performers who stopped. This, of course, was before I started working
for SLAM! and I would still get star struck easily. I stumbled out something
about being from Canada for the show, and her face lit up and she took a picture
with me. It was obvious the pride she took in being from this country as well
as the knowledge that Canadian fans travelled to see her and support the company.
I look like a goof in the picture, but it's Trish Stratus -- you would too. I'd
heard she was a class act through and through, and that day she proved it.
My favourite Trish Stratus moment may, ironically, be her last ever in a
WWE ring. At Unforgiven, she and WWE Women's champion Lita engaged in what
was one of the best Women's matches ever held on Pay Per View. Their bout
was proof that women do have a place in professional wrestling, not by having
"Bra & Panties" matches in the sports entertainment world, but
by contesting serious, competitive bouts.
Trish Stratus initially caught the attention of World Wrestling Entertainment
because of her stunning good looks. But her dedication to learning the art of
professional wrestling will be what true fans remember her for.
In 2002, in an interview with Tim Baines, Trish noted that "I want to
leave my mark in wrestling." Not only has she done that, but she's
also set the standard for the WWE's other female competitors.
My favorite is actually a radio interview she did on the Friday before Unforgiven with Winnipeg
Citi-FM's Cosmo on the drive-home show (which bumped my usual segment but I
Trish sounded relaxed and relieved and showed great humour about her career
and her future, and even promised to visit the city without having to rush to
and from a card for once. She showed herself to be a class act who hasn't let
success blow her ego out of proportion.
By the time I became a wrestling fan, Trish was already at the top of her game. But from a woman's perspective -- she's something to be proud of. As one of the handful of female "wrestlers" that actually wrestle, she'll definitely be missed. Though I've never met her or spoken with her, it's obvious that she's classy and put together. While I don't have a favorite memory of her, I'm content to watch her beat just about any wrestler out there. She's definitely one of a kind.
I've told this story lots of times, and you'll understand why. I was in Anaheim
at the Doubletree Hotel for WrestleMania 2000. It was the same hotel the WWF
wrestlers were at. I was checking in, and Trish came in line behind me. I turned
around and said, "Hey, Trish. I'm Greg Oliver. Nice to finally meet you." Her
reaction was genuine. "Oh my God! You're Greg Oliver! I read your stories all
the time!" So after 'Mania, we chatted again, and I wrote up More
to Trish than T&A.
While I was living in Toronto, working for a collectibles publication, I
had the opportunity to interview Trish for a profile I was writing on her. I
had heard fellow journalists talk about how great Trish was when it came to
dealing with the press, but I found out first hand what a true professional
Stratus took the time not only to to chat with me about life in and out of
the ring, but was completely honest and open about her work in the biz. To put
it one way, I've interviewed hockey players who kayfabe more than Trish did.
Trish was also more than happy to pose for a couple shots with a life-sized
WWE cell phone (yes, it was as cheesy as it sounds) and had a smile on her face
the whole time.
While my time with that particular publication is long gone, I still look back
at that story as one of the best I have ever written and I owe its success to
Trish, who was one of the more sincere athletes I have ever interviewed (Editor's
note: if Trish is reading this, please feel free to e-mail
me and I'll send you a copy of the story).
Oh yeah...and I guess being on her bio DVD would be a highlight as well :)
Now it's your turn. Share your Trish Stratus memories with SLAM! Wrestling
by e-mailing Jon with your thoughts. Reader responses will be posted next week.
More on Trish Stratus
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Get Stratusfaction while you still can: Order Trish Stratus: 100% Stratusfaction DVD