Take your mind back, if you can, to the March 19, 2000 edition of WWE Sunday Night Heat. It was a fairly lackluster show, aside from a stunning woman who made her debut that night.
Trish Stratus first appeared on the stage, scouting superstars Test and Albert, a team she would later manage. Yes, she was beautiful, but most fans likely saw her as nothing more than a valet who would be some nice eye candy on the show. As her career progressed, that couldn't have been further from the truth.
Trish took great pride in her look and as a former fitness model, it was what brought her into the business. But she soon made everyone recognize her for what she could do as a complete performer.
After she was put in the ring in WWE, she was still considered a part-time wrestler at first, having matches against Stephanie McMahon and being placed in the occasional bra and panties match. Again, most fans probably figured this would be about as much as Trish could accomplish.
In the summer of 2001, Trish suffered a serious ankle injury that kept her out of action for several months. It was during this layoff that she transformed herself. Returning at the Survivor Series event, she competed in a Six Pack Challenge for the women's title, winning the match and claiming the gold. From that moment on, Trish was the top diva in the company. She would go on to hold an unprecedented seven Women's Championships.
Trish went above and beyond the call of being a diva, especially compared to what we see today. She could be shooting a great pictorial one day and taking stiff bumps the next. She even competed in a hardcore match with Victoria
Relationship With Lita
Whether they were friends or enemies, Trish and Lita always gave the fans exactly what they wanted to see, making them arguably the two most popular divas of this era. On the December 6, 2004 edition of Monday Night Raw, the two were given the main event spot, something that is unheard of nowadays. What resulted was one of the best diva matches in WWE history.
What separated Trish from Lita, and all of the other divas, was her love for the business and her desire to be the best. No offense to the other girls, but Trish just wanted it more... and it showed.
Where Does Trish Rank?
Whether you compare her to women of the past like The Fabulous Moolah, divas from her era such as Lita or Mickie James or the ladies of today, Trish is the ultimate package. Yes, Moolah held the title for around 30 years, but that was a much different era. Every diva in this business aspires to reach the level of Trish, as evidenced by these quotes (via Diva Dirt) including one from current Divas champion Kaitlyn.
In her last match, Trish couldn't have written a better script. She was challenging for the women's title in her hometown of Toronto. Her opponent was Lita. Trish was able to defeat Lita to win her seventh title, leading to one of the best sendoffs we have ever witnessed in WWE.
Last Monday, Trish was named to the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2013, making her the youngest inductee ever. This is a great way for Trish to cap off what was an excellent career, one in which she defied the odds, broke the stereotypes and, of course, always delivered 100 percent "Stratusfaction".