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Trish Stratus Talks Possible WWE Return, Movie Career and NXT

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistJune 13, 2016

Photo courtesy of WWE.com

WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus is one of the most celebrated women’s wrestlers in history, and she is still so over with the crowds that she could return at any point and be one of the most popular Superstars on the roster in the blink of an eye.

Not only is Stratus one of the greatest women’s performers ever, but she is also one of the most popular Superstars—regardless of gender—in recent wrestling history. As one of the most beloved wrestlers of the early 2000s, she was instrumental in the success of the WWE during her time with the company.

Even 16 years after her debut, WWE Universe still holds Stratus in high regard .

Now, Stratus has turned her focus on being a mother and jumping head first into acting. During a promotional tour for her first major movie, Gridlocked, Stratus sat down with Ring Rust Radio to discuss her thoughts on a possible return to in-ring action for WWE, her blossoming acting career, what it would have been like if NXT was around when she joined the business and much more.

The first question most pose to a wrestler who is still young and keeps in shape is about whether they would ever consider another run as a performer. With a short in-ring career and ample opportunities now for women to shine in WWE, the possibility of a return for Stratus remains on the mind of the WWE Universe.

Stratus answered honestly when asked about the chances of a return for one more match:

The line I have always given people for the past ten years is, "Who would you guys like to see me fight?" For a while, people really didn’t know who they would want to see me fight and make it worthwhile. Would it make sense for me to come back and fight Sasha? I will never close the door if there is something that will challenge me. It would have to be a challenge to me, it would have to elevate someone else on the show and it would need to be something exciting for the fans. What do they want to see? They always ask who I would go back to work for and one person is Nattie. She isn’t one of the top current girls, but I never got a chance to work with her and it would be kind of dream to be able to. If I could return and have some challenging and good matches, I would have no doubt in coming back. Just as long as I could keep up in the ring, I think I would be OK.

One of the main differences between today’s wrestling product and how it was when Stratus debuted in 2000 is the opportunity women are getting to shine, due in part to the company’s developmental brand, NXT.

Stratus came into WWE without wrestling experience and was forced to learn on the fly. When asked about how she thinks her career would have been different if she had the chance to go through NXT, she spoke about how her character was built on the struggles to make it and how she received the training she needed on the job:

I might not have had so many crappy matches in the beginning like I did. The fact that these girls come in to the performance center and it’s a different feeling being in there compared to a live audience. I remember my first promo ever I was like a deer in headlights. I would have come in more polished for sure if they had that when I came in. The story of me though is my underdog story. The reason I feel I have that connection with the crowd was because they saw me fall down and get back up, brush myself off and try again. They saw me come out and try to be better than what I was last week and not mess up the move I did the week before. They got it and they understood I was given this position and I was trying to do my best to maximize what I had been given. I was given a unique opportunity because I was a newbie and had very limited experience considering the girls around me. It was the people around me that elevated my game like Jackie, Molly and Jazz. My NXT was kind of like working with these girls and going in week by week. Working with the guys behind the scenes and in the ring while also taking extra promo classes helped me out tremendously. They would put the camera on me in back and say let’s just try some stuff. I had my own NXT camp, kind of. It made a big difference just doing a show that night compared to going that extra mile and doing that promo work backstage and rolling around the ring with the boys. Going the extra mile and just finding room to work really made a difference.

It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who watched WWE wrestling during Stratus’ run with the company that she is making the successful jump into acting. As a physically superior athlete who performed in front of live crowds for many years, the leap into the movie industry is one many WWE Superstars have made.

In her first major movie as one of the star characters in Gridlocked, Stratus was able to showcase her acting skills while still incorporating the physicality that helped her reach prominence. When asked about her comfort level when stepping into a new field like acting, Stratus spoke about having a cast of characters around her to make it easier:

My confidence was definitely helped by having someone like Dominic Purcell in my corner. You have seen him in Legends of Tomorrow and Prison Break. I think he looked at me when I first walked on set and thought, “Oh some wrestling chick that’s going to be in a movie, how cute.” Kind of liked when I walked into my first wrestling arena and I got the look like, “Oh some fitness chick thinks she’s going to be a wrestler.” I felt like I had to prove myself and work hard on this. I think Dominic saw how much care I took in my craft and he really took me under his wing and really helped me out. He helped me out with my lines, gave me a lot of tips and a few cinematic secrets. I always say I never could have done what I did in the wrestling world if I didn’t have people like The Rock or Fit Finlay in my corner and helping me. Having that on set really helped me out and boosted my confidence. Each time I got more comfortable on set and more confidence going into every day.

After seeing Stratus in Gridlocked, it’s clear that she has acting talent and should continue pursuing the career. With the ability to look the role and still get physical with the best of them, she has the potential to become a staple of action movies.

Using the lessons she learned in the wrestling business and adapting them to the lessons she has picked up from talented actors around her, Stratus is proving that she can make it in the dog-eat-dog business of acting.

As well as her acting career has started, the WWE Universe wants to see Stratus back in the ring against one of the many talented women on the roster today. Whether it’s Sasha Banks, Bayley, Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Nattie or another talented female Superstar, most fans believe Stratus has at least one more marquee WrestleMania match left.

Whatever the future holds for Stratus, an induction into the WWE Hall of Fame and the unwavering support from the WWE Universe proves she is already one of the biggest stars of her generation.

Selfishly, most wrestling fans want the current generation to feel the same Stratusfaction we did.

For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player above (some language NSFW).

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