The world was introduced to a woman from Toronto, Ontario, Canada that would go on to change a profession forever. Her real name is Patricia Anne Stratigias, but the world knows her better as Trish Stratus.
|March 19, 2000...the night Trish Stratus graced us with her presence|
Photo credit: WWE.com
Before WWE came a-knocking on her door, she was a renowned fitness model that was featured on many magazines, including American Muscle, MuscleMag International, and Oxygen Magazine. With her blonde hair, Hollywood looks, and toned figure, she had a look that emulated comic book heroines and in some ways put many comic book heroines to shame. In fact, Trish mentioned in various interviews that she was aiming for the comic book look during her days as a fitness model. Needless to say, she succeeded. Her look was attainable to many women, especially those who thought lifting would make them look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, her fitness career might have never happened if it wasn't for a strike at York University, where she studied biology and kinesiology and played soccer and field hockey. Because of the strike, she had to do something else, so she ended up working as a receptionist at a local gym. It was then when she was approached to do a test shoot for MuscleMag International. They liked it so much that she ended up on the cover of their May 1998 issue and was signed to a two-year contract. For the next six months, she worked on her body and transformed it into a literal work of art, showcasing an athletic, strong yet feminine body, landing her numerous magazine covers in the process. Even before joining WWE, she wasn't all just looks as she joined Big Daddy Donnie & Jeff Marek as the third host of Live Audio Wrestling on Toronto Sports Radio, The FAN 590. This was right up her alley being a wrestling fan evern since childhood, idolizing Hulk Hogan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage among others. Her modeling work caught the attention of WWE (then known as the WWF). In November 1999, she was signed to a multi-year contract with WWE. She trained with Ron Huchison at Sully's Gym, long before there was such a thing as the WWE Performance Center. Four months after signing her contract, she made her official television debut on Sunday Night Heat, scouting Test and Prince Albert and would form the stable known at T & A the following night on Raw.
|If she's not in your top five "best bodies in WWE history" list, you need to reevaluate your life. Just saying.|
Photo credit: WWE.com
While many saw this woman with a perfect body, very few knew that she wanted to be more than just that. While she spent most of 2000 and some of 2001 as a manager to Test, Albert, and Val Venus, she would eventually leave the manageral spotlight and begin to carve her name as a wrestler. During that time, women's wrestling was NOT taken as serious by the fans yet Trish didn't give up. She worked her ass off to show the fans that women could kick ass just as well as the guys could, and be sexy when they HAD to be and when they WANTED to be. It took some time, but eventually folks started to appreciate Trish for what she could do in the ring. However, the various photoshoots WWE had outside the ring definitely made sure people knew that Trish could bring the sexyness outside the ring just as well as she could bring the skills IN the ring. At Survivor Series 2001, Trish would go on to win the then-vacant WWE Women's Championship in a Six-Pack Challenge, which featured Jazz, Might Molly and fellow Hall-of-Famers Ivory, Jacqueline, and her bestie Lita. When Trish got done in WWE, she would go on to become a 7x WWE Women's Champion (a record that would stand for years until Charlotte Flair came around) and a one-time WWE Hardcore champion. She would acquired more accolades in her career, including Diva of the Decade, being the youngest female WWE Hall-of-Fame ever, being the first female Cauliflower Alley Club Iron Mike Award winner, and this summer will be inducted into the George/Lou Threz Professional Wrestling Hall-of-Famer by becoming the first female wrestler to receive the Lou Thesz Award.
Trish could have had a very good career with her looks alone and no one would have thought differently of her. Instead, she challenged the status quo and ushered her own STRATUS QUO and helped changed so much about the world: from how female athletes are viewed, how women's wrestling is looked at, how women with muscles are viewed...and all three for the better. Now, is there work to be done in all three? Definitely. But we have come so far from where we were back in Trish's arrival and we are still moving in the right direction. While her wrestling days are behind her, we know that Trish will continue to set an example for so many people around the world as a mother and a fitness icon. How much of an guarantee are we giving this?! How about 100% STRATUSFACTION GUARANTEED? Doesn't get any better than that.
Photo credit: WWE.com
For more on Trish, make sure to follow her on her social media accounts:
And make sure to check out her website at https://www.trishstratus.com