In a previous article, I wrote about the greatest women in WWE history. In many of the 67 comments left it appears I left one lady out: Trish Stratus.
Trish Stratus was only in the WWE for a relatively short time of seven years, but in that time, she had many firsts: She headlined the first women’s main event on Monday Night Raw, she was in the first ever women’s Chicago Street Fight, she was the first and only woman to win seven world titles.
She is also one of only four female hardcore champions.
While she had many moments outside the ring that are quite memorable, her biggest accomplishments were between the ropes.
Whether she was fighting for the title or fighting for respect, Trish always gave the fans everything she had and then some.
But there are five matches that stand out among the others. Five matches that are a must-see for any long-time fan or newcomer to the sport.
This was the match where Trish Stratus tied The Fabulous Moolah for championship reigns by winning her fourth.
Victoria and Trish were already in the middle of their long-running feud when the returning Jazz was added to the mix. The combination of the three women was explosive.
Victoria entered the match as the champion and all three women were stellar from start to finish.
But it was Trish Stratus who took the most punishment in this bout, being beat from corner to corner by her two opponents.
In the end, Trish won her record-tying champion with a chick kick to long-time rival Victoria.
This match was one of the best ever held at WrestleMania and was the first time a woman won the title in her debut on the grandest stage of them all.
The heat between these two had been building for months and finally reached a boil when Trish had enough of Mickie James's unwanted advances.
The match itself was an explosion of action that carried on for over 10 minutes. Mickie and Trish traded moves, punches and falls in a match that saw Mickie take control over the legendary diva.
The encounter between these two included a very risqué move by Mickie that would never make it on a WWE broadcast today.
The bout was intense and was one of the few times that a baby-faced Trish was actually booed.
Trish Stratus's “last” match in the WWE before retiring was also one of her best.
It was also fitting that in this match she fought same woman she fought in her debut and who was easily her biggest rival, Lita.
Unforgiven was held in Stratus’s hometown of Toronto, and the match was an emotional and engrossing one, with the fans literally on their feet. It was chock full of incredible action and clocked in a whopping 11 minutes.
In a beautiful homage to another Canadian legend, Bret Hart, Trish used the sharpshooter to make Lita tap out.
Trish was able to retire with the belt and received a standing ovation from the crowd.
The feud between Victoria and Trish started on Monday Night Raw in 2002 when Victoria attacked Trish backstage with a steel chair.
The feud culminated with this match in January of 2003, also on Raw: The first ever women’s Chicago Street Fight.
The match started off with a bang, with champion Victoria striking Trish from behind with a kendo stick while she was still coming down the ramp.
What followed was nearly six minutes of bone crushing action that included a conchairto with two trashcan lids, a face plant into a trashcan and a fire extinguisher.
Even though the two had fought in a Hardcore Match at Survivor Series in 2002, this match had more heat and history to it. Trish showed what she was made of in this instant classic.
One word describes this match:
Lita and Trish were the two biggest wrestlers in the women's division and a possible feud between the two had been hinted at for quite some time. Lita had been out with a broken neck and while she was gone Trish had grown in popularity.
The WWE smartly continued to tease a match between the two with a series of events, including Trish interrupting Lita’s wedding to Kane and Lita breaking Trish’s nose at Survivor Series with a chair.
The two finally wrestled for the women's championship on Monday Night Raw.
And it was the main event.
In fact, it was and still is, the only women’s match to main event Monday Night Raw. The two women held the crowd captive with their every move, and the crowd was solidly behind Lita.
Trish may have lost the match and the title to Lita, but the women’s division won because of this match.