SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestling Trish Stratus
   Mon, December 1, 2003


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Into the Stratusphere
By SCOTT ZERR - Edmonton Sun
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There's good news for average-Joe-looking fans of World Wrestling Entertainment mega-Diva Trish Stratus.

You don't need a body rippling with bulging muscles like Chris Benoit, flowing blond locks like Chris Jericho or movie-star charisma like the Rock to win the heart of the (shockingly) still-single Canadian beauty.

All a potential suitor requires is a sense of humour, the ability to fit in with her sizable close-knit Greek family and, oddly enough, a little skill at the bowling alley.

"The main thing for me is a good personality. I have to be able to click with someone," said Stratus in a chat with the Sun to promote her new behind-the-scenes DVD, 100% Stratusfaction Guaranteed.

"All of my boyfriends in the past have never had a similar body. Short, tall, dark, I've had them all. Wait, I haven't had them all."

Despite her gorgeous features, sharp wit and bubbly personality, the 27-year-old, who launched her WWE career only three years ago, doesn't fit much social time into her hectic schedule. Between four nights on the road with the RAW crew and numerous personal appearances, such as stops last week at MuchMusic and at the WWE's store in Niagara Falls, Ont., there just isn't much time to meet Mr. Right, especially when Stratus is back in her hometown.

"I can't go out in Toronto," laughed the four-time WWE women's champ. "I'm more of a homebody, anyway. I eat a lot of takeout or I'm over at my mom's - she's a great cook. I either stay home or I go bowling at a 24-hour place."

Stratus is certainly generating some steam on TV, however, with a current storyline that has her in the arms of fellow Canuck Chris Jericho. It's not the first time fans have seen Stratus enjoy a little liplocking but maybe not with the voltage of sparks being exhibited by these two.

But read nothing into the smouldering fire.

"I've had the luxury to be able to develop my character physically onscreen and I've gotten over in the ring," Stratus explained. "Now fans get to see me act in a dramatic role. It's a real challenge acting in those little vignettes, but it's working and I love the soap-opera aspect of it.

"That storyline is all the fans want to talk about right now and I take that as a compliment on our acting. Chris and I have been friends for a long time and we've always had a good chemistry. We really know how to interact with each other. The key is being able to keep their interest up."

One wonders, though, how does Mrs. Jericho react to her husband smooching a hottie on national television?

"I'm friends with her, too, and she's well aware that it's acting and we're just playing a dramatic role," chuckled Stratus , who was no stranger to the cameras and lights when she joined the wrestling empire.

The former pre-med student at York University was a developing a slight celebrity status as a fitness model, beginning with a 1998 cover of MuscleMag, when the WWE came calling. That led to much more exposure under Vince McMahon's tutelage and Stratus's hot look led to multiple appearances in WWE's own magazines and videos. The fans were smitten, twice naming her Babe of the Year and ultimately crowning her Diva of the Decade.

The photos, posters and videos led to a fashion spread in Flair magazine and an appearance on Fox's Mad-TV.

"I'm not actively pursuing Hollywood but there are a lot of opportunities that come to us," said Stratus , who is rumoured to be up for the role of Sonja in Mortal Kombat 3. "I love to do comedy because it just fits with my personality being sort of quirky and witty."

Stratus had already gained valuable experience behind the camera as well. The blond bombshell had so much input into what her fans would see that she is credited with much more than a starring role on the new release.

"I was aware that a DVD was being put together and I thought about a couple of stories to tell," she explained. "I wanted fans to know the real Trish so I got some ideas together, laid things out and ended up being the producer. I didn't want to step on anyone's toes, but I was thrilled I got to have that much input and be the first WWE Superstar to get that involved in a project."

The DVD chronicles Stratus's early years when she was dubbed an "entertainer" and "agitator" by her aunts, her progression from model to valet to wrestler, and includes several clips of her raciest scenes, along with classic in-ring moments such as being put through a table by the Dudleys and her mudbowl match with Stacy Keibler.

It's a testament to Stratus's appeal in a business where popularity can soar and dip in an instant.

"The fans have grown with me," said Stratus . "They've watched me progress in a genuine way and I have that feeling that they're behind me."

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