September 16, 2006
With Trishís pending retirement I thought it would be cool to look at her career and do a tribute commentary of sorts for quite possibly the most influential and successful female wrestler/Diva of all time.
I have a bit of a soft spot when it comes to Trish because I played a small role in her career and progression as a worker, and during our time together in WWE we became friends. I first met Trish when I debuted in WWE with my WCW Invasion run in (she was part of the mixed tag match I ran in on), and we hit it off right away.
Itís fairly common knowledge that Fit Finlay was a big part of the womenís division boom in 2001-2003. He was the agent assigned the womenís matches at that time and Trish and the girls wanted to learn and have better matches and Fit showed them the respect they deserved and actually taught them and took them seriously. What isnít so common knowledge is that at that time I too worked with the girls and frequently assisted Fit with his teaching. Fit and I go way back (We worked together in Europe in 1993 & 1995 as well as WCW) and he often asked me to help demonstrate moves for the girls and I became some what of an unofficial assistant agent to the girls. I respected the fact that Trish and the others were trying to improve and become respected workers, so I offered them whatever help I could.
There were countless days at TV where the girls would put a match together with Fit, and then after when her opponent was busy doing something else, I would step in and run through the matches with Trish playing the part of her opponent. I remember how amazed she was the first time we ran through a match and I actually called some of her spots back to her. I love to teach and love working with people who want to learn so this was a very fun time in my career.
Trish had an absolute amazing run in this business. I canít recall one scandal or incident she was involved in her entire career (a rarity in this business). She started as a Valet, learned to wrestle and became the most dominant female performer in I donít know how long, perhaps ever. She spearheaded the only real legitimate womenís division in WWE history. I Ďm not slighting all the other women who busted their ass as well during that time period, but it was Trish that the office saw and pushed as the focal point, and it was her and Fit Finlay who pushed the division to the credibility it achieved. The offices faith in Trish enabled the creation of the whole division, which allowed other great women to showcase their talents as well. At one point the depths of the womenís division was amazing, with great workers like, Victoria, Molly Holly, Jazz, and Gayle Kim to name a few. These girls got a chance to shine in part due to Trishís work ethic, determination and the offices faith in her.
Trish took womenís wrestling from being not much more than glorified T&A and made it a legitimate competitive division you could be proud of. I would go so far as to say Trish Stratus did for womenís wrestling what Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and Rey Mysterio did for Cruiser Weight Wrestling in the late 90ís. No small feat.
It is because of my fondness and respect for Trish that I was thrilled to hear of her retirement. So many people over stay their welcome in this business, or simply get eaten up by it. Wrestling tragedies are far to common itís nice to here a success story for a change. Trish is getting out on top, on her own terms. Trish entered this business, succeeded at it, and managed to get out, with both herself and the business better off for her having been a part of it.
I wish Trish nothing but the best, in her future life. Part of me hopes she comes back at some point because of the fun it would bring both her and the fans, but part of me hopes that she doesnít. Itís nice to see someone leave their mark on this business and get out with their head held high.
Congratulations Trish on an amazing career, you should be very proud of what you have achieved.