Her beauty was astonishing; combined with strength and natural athleticism, Trish Stratus redefined WWE Diva for a new generation. She began her career as a top fitness model, appearing in many magazines. She grew up as a fan of professional wrestling, and after college, she attended Ron Hutchinson’s wrestling school to pursue a dream.
She made her debut on Sunday Night Heat in March 2000. She became the manager of the team of Test and Albert, and Val Venis. After she parted ways with her stable of WWE Superstars, she became involved with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon in an affair that did not sit well with other members of her family, particularly his daughter Stephanie. The tension between mistress and daughter reached a boiling point at No Way Out in February 2001. When Stephanie emerged victorious, Vince turned on Trish the next night on Raw. Trish had her revenge at WrestleMania X-Seven when she wheeled Linda McMahon to ringside for the father vs. son Street fight between Vince and Shane, costing Vince the match.
Trish began to focus on competition within the women’s division. At the 2001 Survivor Series she won her first (of seven) Women’s Championships in the Six-Pack Challenge. After she lost three months later to Jazz at No Way Out, she managed to briefly hold the Hardcore Championship.
Over the next few years Trish evolved as a performer and her dedication and hard work were recognized by fans when she was voted WWE.com Babe of the Year in 2002, 2003 and 2004. She was voted Diva of the Decade at Raw – Tenth Anniversary in 2003, as well as Woman of the Decade by Pro Wrestling Illustrated.
In October 2005 Trish met her biggest fan in Mickie James. As James’ friendship turned to infatuation, she turned on Trish and defeated her for the Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 22. In August 2006, Trish signed a contract to face Lita for the Women’s Championship at Unforgiven after confirming that it would be her final match. With Toronto’s Air Canada Centre chanting her name, Trish forced Lita to submit to the finishing move made famous by Bret “Hit Man” Hart, the Sharpshooter. An emotional Trish bid her devoted fans farewell and her storied WWE career came to a close.
Thankfully, Stratus continues to make appearances on WWE programming. She teamed with John Cena against Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix on Raw. She acted as a guest host for WWE’s flagship program in 2009, and took part in a match at WrestleMania XXVII. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin hand-selected Trish as one of the expert trainers on the the 2011 edition of Tough Enough.
During her time in WWE, Trish Stratus redefined “Diva” and took the women’s division to all-new levels. Her formula for success was simple: 33% Beauty + 34% Brains + 33% Brawn = 100% Stratusfaction guaranteed.
8. Cold Shoulder Treatment From John Morrison
At WrestleMania XXVII, Trish Stratus returned to the biggest Pay-Per-View in wrestling for the first time since ‘Mania 22. On the event, Stratus teamed with John Morrison and Snooki. The latter was installed to add some celebrity fame, due to her work on the hit reality show, ‘Jersey Shore’. Opposing Dolph Ziggler, Michelle McCool and Layla, the babyface trio emerged victorious.
Behind the scenes however, there was animosity. Melina, the girlfriend of Morrison, was apparently unhappy that both Snooki and Stratus had ‘taken her spot’. More to the point, Melina felt that Stratus wasn’t deserving of the space on the card, because she wasn’t working for WWE all year round. Obviously siding with his partner, Morrison gave Trish the cold shoulder.
This was something Stratus picked up on, and she felt compelled to address it during one radio interview shortly afterwards. Answering diplomatically at first, Trish couldn’t help but question why Morrison had publicly brushed her off. Looking back on the match, it’s clear to see that the man is far from pleased about his role on the show. He doesn’t look comfortable teaming with Stratus, and Trish remarked she was embarrassed by the situation.
7. Awkwardly Kissing Jeff Hardy
When WWE started the ‘Brand Extension’ in 2002, they seemed interested in pushing Jeff Hardy as a singles star. That continued on into early-2003, but any talk of a push abruptly halted when Hardy’s personal life started to affect his professional one. Jeff was released in April, ’03, but not before engaging in a strange storyline with Trish Stratus.
Saving Trish from a beatdown by Victoria and Stevie Richards on Raw was fair enough. Hardy was a babyface, and someone had to come to her rescue. That said, it was pretty random when Jeff hauled Trish to her feet and planted a kiss on her. Even worse, the situation seemed to escalate from nowhere. The pair had earlier been involved in a similar situation years prior, but that was never even acknowledged.
From there, Stratus and Hardy were shown holding hands, spending time together and kissing. This lasted almost right up until Jeff’s departure from the company. The pair looked thoroughly awkward during their interactions, and the whole ‘relationship’ came across as less-than-natural. This isn’t a storyline Trish will look back on fondly, because it came across as unrealistic and awkward.
6. Badmouthed By Chyna Shortly After Joining Company
When the WWF signed Trish Stratus in 2000, she paved the way for the host of fitness models who later entered the company. It’s been argued that had Stratus not been a success, the likes of Kelly Kelly, Maryse and Eve Torres would have never made a splash. Trish was a pioneer, working hard to eventually become an excellent in-ring performer.
Shortly after joining the promotion, Stratus was on the receiving end of some strong words from Joanie ‘Chyna’ Laurer. Speaking on national television, Chyna said that Trish Stratus was everything that was wrong with the WWF’s female recruitment policy. Not stopping there, she said Trish was hired solely for her looks, and didn’t pay her dues to get to the top.
These harsh words of course reverberated back to Stratus. Chyna would leave the company shortly afterwards, and Trish would go on to become the biggest female star under contract. In later years, Stratus has said she was embarrassed, not only by Chyna’s comments, but because they were on TV. It’s likely that Chyna simply felt threatened by her place on the roster, and hit out at the newest target.
5. Making Out With Vince In Front Of Comatose Linda
Over the years, Vince McMahon has been blamed for using his authority to associate himself with beautiful women on-screen. Trish Stratus isn’t a unique case. The likes of Candice Michelle, Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler have all treated Vince like he’s James Bond. One of the most shocking displays of this power was evident during the entire angle when Trish played Vince’s mistress.
In late-2000, Vince had requested a kayfabe divorce from his wife, Linda. Due to this, Linda ended up institutionalised and confined to a wheelchair. Frozen in time, she was completely passive, and the story was that Vince used this to his advantage. This is where Stratus came in, and Vince flaunted his new play thing in front of his wife.
On one episode of Smackdown, Trish and Vince kissed directly in front of a helpless Linda. The angle wasn’t out of place during the ‘Attitude’ Era, but it must be something Stratus would rather people forgot about her WWF/WWE run. Making out with your boss on national television, in front of his wife, is definitely a ballsy moment. The entire storyline has received backlash ever since.
4. Lilian Garcia Lesbian Rumors Surface
Several years ago, rumours started to appear online that Trish Stratus and Lilian Garcia had a fleeting romance behind the scenes. It’s unclear whether or not such accusations are true, but the whole ordeal must have caused at least some embarrassment for Stratus. Obviously, what people do in their own private time is their business, but many have guessed this story has to come from somewhere
Neither Trish nor Garcia have ever really addressed the rumours. There’s a good chance both are frosty towards the tale, regardless of any truth. If it is true, it’s likely neither woman would want the story going public. If it’s completely false, it’s unwanted nonsense dreamed up by someone online.
Nonetheless, the story occasionally still pops up in conversation online. Browse any number of internet forums related to pro wrestling, and this is a common story when fans discuss urban myths. There’s ample opportunity for people to simply make up these things, but that doesn’t mean they don’t cause embarrassment, accurate or not.
3. Botched WrestleMania 22 Finish With Mickie James
According to Mickie James, Vince McMahon was furious with her after the conclusion of her match with Trish at WrestleMania 22. The stalker storyline that had outlined their feud was one thing, but James made a cunnilingus gesture with her fingers and tongue on camera. That infuriated the boss, who didn’t think it was suitable.
Making matters worse, the ending to the Women’s Title bout was badly botched. As the ultimate insult to her opponent, Mickie was supposed to perform Trish’s finishing move, ‘Stratusfaction’. The move called for her to spring off the ropes into a Bulldog, but both women messed up the execution. Instead of trying again, they simply flopped to the mat, and James visibly laughed.
On commentary, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler tried to cover up for the incident by claiming Trish had blocked the move. It looked horrendous however, and badly hurt the bout. As a substitute finish, Mickie flunked a kick in the direction of Stratus, and pinned her. Botching a finish is bad enough at the best of times, but doing so at WrestleMania is a nightmare moment.
2. The Jackie Gayda Debacle
Undoubtedly one of the most embarrassing moments of Trish’s career came during a tag-team match on Raw in 2002. Teaming with Bradshaw, Stratus faced both Christopher Nowinski and Jackie Gayda. For her part, Gayda had been part of the second season of ‘Tough Enough’. She’d won the competition, but appeared badly prepared to work a match on WWE television.
As soon as Gayda entered the ring, she looked completely confused. Waving her arms around awkwardly, she didn’t have a clue how to work even the most basic of spots with Trish. Absolutely everything the women tried looked disjointed and far from smooth. An attempted Bulldog from the turnbuckle to end the match turned into a Clothesline, and Gayda’s delayed response made it look terrible.
Pinning her opponent, Trish looked mortified as her music played. She couldn’t take her eyes off a prone Gayda, who had attempted to kick out during the pinfall attempt. Trish Stratus was the more experienced woman in this match, and would have been expected to help lead Jackie Gayda through things. Unfortunately, she was helpless, and couldn’t make up for Gayda’s shortcomings.
1. Stripped and Humiliated By Vince McMahon
No list looking at some of the most embarrassing moments from the career of Trish Stratus would be complete without this one. Shortly before WrestleMania X-Seven, Trish was forced to strip down to her underwear and bark like a dog in front of Vince McMahon. The segment was part of an evolving story during which McMahon was growing tired of his mistress.
Immediately, the WWF were festooned with complaints from viewers who felt the skit was in bad taste. The clip has become infamous, and opposition to Linda McMahon’s run for U.S Senate even used video from the segment against her. Defending the promo, Vince has said that it wasn’t based on reality, but it nonetheless upset a lot of people.
There’s absolutely no way that Trish Stratus looks back fondly on the entire incident. It cannot be denied that it was degrading. The only positive to come out of the ordeal was that Stratus slapped McMahon at WrestleMania, ending her association with him. From there, she went on to carve a career for herself as an actual pro wrestler. Even so, this one segment from an episode of Raw is something Stratus is constantly asked about and reminded of.