Sunday, August 5, 2012

Trish Stratus

Patricia Anne Stratigias (born December 18, 1975), better known by her ring name Trish Stratus, is a Canadian semi-retired professional wrestler, actress and television personality currently signed with WWE. She is also a former fitness model.

After beginning her career as a fitness model, Stratus began working for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), which was later renamed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Early in her career, she was involved in sexually themed storylines, such as managing the team T & A and an affair with Vince McMahon. As Stratus spent more time in the ring, her wrestling skills and popularity strengthened. Because of this, she was a one-time WWE Hardcore Champion, three-time "WWE Babe of the Year" and was proclaimed "Diva of the Decade". After nearly seven years in the business, Stratus retired from professional wrestling at WWE Unforgiven on September 17, 2006, after winning her seventh WWE Women's Championship, the most in WWE history. Since retiring, Stratus has occasionally come out of retirement to compete in one-off matches.


 

Aside from professional wrestling, Stratus appeared on a number of magazine covers and has been involved in charity work. She has also hosted several award and television shows, Stratigias grew up in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada where she attended Bayview Secondary School. She enrolled at York University, where she studied biology and kinesiology and played soccer and field hockey. Due to a faculty strike in 1997, she was forced to change her plans. She was working as a receptionist at a local gym when she was approached by the publisher of MuscleMag International to do a test shoot for the magazine. She later appeared on the cover of the May 1998 issue and was signed to a two year contract. For the next six months, she worked on her body and appeared on numerous magazine covers. During this time, she joined Big Daddy Donnie & Jeff Marek as the third host of Live Audio Wrestling on Toronto Sports Radio, The FAN 590.

Stratigias had been a fan of wrestling since childhood and her modeling work caught the attention of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). In November 1999, she was signed to a multi-year contract with the company, who sent her to Sully's Gym where she was trained by Ron Hutchinson.

Stratigias made her debut as a heel on the March 19, 2000 episode of Sunday Night Heat, under the ring name Trish Stratus. She appeared on stage to scout WWF Superstars, in particular Test and Prince Albert. The next night on Raw Stratus began her first role in the company, managing Test and Albert in the tag team T & A. It was during her stint managing T & A that Stratus took her first major bump in the ring, being driven through a table by the Dudley Boyz at Backlash after she had been taunting Bubba Ray Dudley for several weeks. Then on the June 5 taping of Raw she was given the Stink Face by Rikishi after she slapped him at the end of the match. She also began managing then-heel, Val Venis to win the Intercontinental Championship but their partnership ended at SummerSlam after Venis lost the title.

 

Stratus made her in-ring debut on the June 22 taping of SmackDown!, winning a tag team match with T & A against the Hardy Boyz and Lita. A storyline feud between Stratus and Lita developed after the match with Stratus attacking Lita on episodes of Raw and SmackDown!, leading to an Indian Strap match on the July 24 edition of Raw which Stratus won with help from Stephanie McMahon. She finished the year competing unsuccessfully for the WWF Women's Championship numerous times, and leaving Test and Albert when the team disbanded.


 In early 2001, Stratus became involved in an angle with WWF Chairman Vince McMahon, during a time when Vince's wife Linda was kayfabe institutionalized following a demand Vince had made for a divorce during an episode of SmackDown! on December 7, 2000. Vince and Stratus' relationship increasingly angered the boss' daughter, then-heel, Stephanie McMahon. At No Way Out on February 25, Stratus and Stephanie squared off, with Stephanie scoring the victory after a run-in by William Regal. In the midst of a tag team match that pitted Vince and Stratus against Regal and Stephanie the next night on Raw, Stratus was the victim of a set-up by Vince, Stephanie and Regal. Regal executed his finisher, the Regal Cutter, on Stratus and Stephanie then dumped sewage over Stratus' body. Vince stood over Stratus, and he told her she was a toy with which he had grown tired of playing and that it was over. The angle continued the next week on Raw with Vince forcing Stratus to strip down to her black underwear in the ring and bark like a dog. The storyline came to an end at WrestleMania X-Seven when Stratus slapped Vince during his match against his son Shane, becoming a fan favorite in the process.

 
Trish teamed up with Lita against then-heels, Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson at InVasion. After suffering an ankle injury in the summer, however, she was sidelined for the following three months. This interrupted not only her recent venture into wrestling, but also an on-screen romance with Jeff Hardy and budding storyline with Team Xtreme. As she rehabilitated, she kept herself visible by co-hosting Excess on TNN. After returning in autumn, Stratus appeared at Survivor Series where she won the WWF Women's Championship for the first time in a six-pack challenge. Stratus was next involved in a feud with Jazz over the Women's Championship, where she was booked to retain the title at the Royal Rumble but being booked to lose the belt to Jazz two weeks later on the February 4, 2002 edition of Raw. Stratus then went after the title for several months, even competing in a Triple Threat match at WrestleMania X8 against Lita and Jazz in her hometown of Toronto, Canada but failed to win the match. While chasing after the Women's title, Stratus won the WWE Hardcore Championship on May 6, pinning Crash Holly after Bubba Ray Dudley hit him over the head with a trash can. She, however, lost the title to then-heel, Steven Richards soon afterward due to the stipulation that the belt was defended 24/7 as long as there was a referee present. One week later, she regained the Women's Title in a tag team match with Bubba Ray Dudley. During this time, Stratus began wrestling solely on the Raw brand after being drafted in the WWF Brand Extension.

Stratus' second reign as champion came to an end on June 23 when she was defeated at King of the Ring by the heel gimmick of Molly Holly. The two Divas continued their storyline feud for the next three months. After a failed attempt to win the title in July, Stratus won back the championship at Unforgiven. While feuding with Holly, Stratus was also involved in an angle with new Diva the heel gimmick of Victoria who held a storyline grudge against Stratus, claiming she was betrayed by Stratus when they worked as fitness models. The two competed in several title matches, with Stratus retaining until Survivor Series where Victoria won the belt in a Hardcore match. On March 17, 2003, Victoria and Steven Richards defeated Jazz and Stratus in tag team competition when Jazz walked out on Stratus. After the match, Jeff Hardy saved Stratus from an attack by Victoria and Richards and then kissed her. Stratus would become Hardy's on-screen girlfriend once more. The two would talk and kiss backstage, compete as an intergender tag team, and come to each other's aid when in danger during single's competition. At no point was their previous relationship acknowledged. The storyline was suddenly dropped when WWE released Hardy in April. This marked the second time in two years that a romance between Stratus and Hardy was abruptly scrapped due to a setback in one of their personal lives. In neither instance did the angle fully play out or reach a conclusion.

At WrestleMania XIX Stratus defeated Victoria and then-heel, Jazz to capture her fourth Women's Championship, equaling the record previously set by The Fabulous Moolah, only to lose the title to Jazz at the following pay-per-view, Backlash. In the following months, Stratus was placed into an alliance with Gail Kim. It was short-lived, though, as Kim turned on Stratus and teamed with Molly Holly, putting the women in a storyline feud. The duo defeated Stratus and several tag team partners until Stratus began to partner with a returning Lita. The team defeated Kim and Holly in several matches, including a match at Unforgiven. Subsequently, they participated in an intergender tag team match as partners on December 1. After the match, Stratus overheard Jericho talking to then-heel, Christian, who was involved in an on-screen romance with the face gimmick of Lita at the time, about who could sleep with their respective woman first. One week later, Stratus and Lita confronted the men about their actions, leading to a feud between the two men and women which resulted in a "Battle of the Sexes" match at Armageddon, which the women lost. A rematch the next night ended in a no contest. Her relationship with Jericho continued into the next year with a new angle of Jericho developing feelings for Stratus. Christian would also briefly turn face once again, but would quickly turn heel once more by doing a one night betrayal on Stratus and starting a feud with Jericho. During a match at WrestleMania XX, however, Stratus became a heel for the first time since her debut by betraying Jericho and siding with Christian, Stratus claimed her reasons for siding with Christian were that he was a real man and Jericho was a love sick puppy. The duo feuded with Jericho for several months and competed in a Handicap match at Backlash. The team of Stratus and Christian were joined by "problem solver" Tyson Tomko the next night on Raw.

Stratus was booked to win the Women's Championship for a fifth time at Bad Blood on June 13. She defended the title until she suffered a legitimate broken hand in July that caused her to be out of action for approximately a month. Upon her return, she continued to defend the title against numerous challengers before losing the championship to Lita on December 6 when both women wrestled in the main event of Raw for the championship. Stratus recaptured the gold a month later at New Year's Revolution after Lita suffered a legitimate injury during the match. A new angle was then developed between Stratus and 2004 Raw Diva Search winner Christy Hemme over jealousy of Hemme's Playboy magazine exposure, with Stratus attacking Hemme and spray painting the word "slut" across her back. Stratus was challenged by Hemme, who later revealed she was being trained by Lita, for a title match at WrestleMania 21 and was successful in retaining the title.

In May 2005 Stratus was sidelined with the Women's Championship after suffering a herniated disc, with the storyline explanation that Viscera had injured her with a big splash move at Backlash after she berated him for losing to Lita's then-husband Kane. She returned to Raw on September 12, 2005 once again portraying her face persona by siding with Ashley Massaro against Vince's Devils. The feud also involved the debuting Diva Mickie James who introduced herself as Stratus' biggest fan. On the Eddie Guerrero Tribute Show, Stratus took part in an interpromotional Diva battle royal that was won by SmackDown! Diva Melina. The next week, MNM kidnapped Stratus for Melina, who challenged a tied up and gagged Stratus to a match for the Women's Championship. The two fought at Survivor Series, with Stratus defeating Melina. Stratus and James continued teaming together in late 2005 while James became increasingly obsessed with Stratus. On the December 26 episode of Raw, the storyline between Stratus and James developed into a lesbian one when James initiated an intimate kiss with Stratus under a sprig of mistletoe, causing a surprised Stratus to flee the locker room.

 

The odd relationship between Stratus and James continued into 2006, with the two Divas competing against each other in a title match at New Year's Revolution, where Stratus emerged victorious. Despite the defeat, James continued to be enamored of Stratus which made her feel uncomfortable.[67] On March 6, 2006 Stratus confronted James, telling her that she needed space. The duo briefly reconciled on the March 18 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, teaming together to defeat Candice Michelle and Victoria. James, however, turned on Stratus after the match and began to attack her. A match at WrestleMania 22 saw Stratus lose the Women's Championship to James. During a rematch at Backlash Stratus suffered a legitimate dislocated shoulder after taking a bump to the outside of the ring.

Stratus returned to the ring on June 26 and started a romantic angle with Carlito after he saved her from a double team attack by Melina and Johnny Nitro. They competed as a team and won a mixed tag team match against Melina and Nitro at Saturday Night's Main Event on July 15. As a couple, Stratus and Carlito briefly feuded with WWE Champion Edge and Lita after the pair interrupted Stratus' title match with Mickie James. The two couples competed in several tag team matches, including a six-person tag team match where Edge, Lita and Randy Orton defeated Stratus, Carlito and John Cena after Orton RKO'd Stratus and Lita followed up with the pin. Stratus' last match on Raw occurred on September 11, 2006 where she defeated Mickie James. In late August, Lita stated that Stratus would retire following Unforgiven, which was later confirmed by Stratus. At the pay-per-view Unforgiven on September 17, in her hometown of Toronto, Stratus won against Lita with fellow Canadian Bret Hart's signature submission maneuver, the Sharpshooter.

Stratus made a special appearance on December 10, 2007 during Raw's 15th Anniversary special along with Lita, interrupting Jillian Hall as she sang by attacking her and then celebrating with Lita. Stratus made another special appearance on the May 5, 2008 episode of Raw, as the event took place from her hometown, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She took part in a backstage segment involving Ron Simmons and Trevor Murdoch. Stratus wrestled her first match in over two years on the December 22, 2008 episode of Raw. She and John Cena defeated Santino Marella and her former on-screen protégé Beth Phoenix in a mixed tag team match. Stratus also served as the guest hostess of the September 14, 2009 edition Raw in her home town of Toronto. After a confrontation backstage with Phoenix and former character beau Chris Jericho, she participated in what would be a six-person tag team match with Montel Vontavious Porter and Mark Henry to defeat Phoenix, Jericho, and The Big Show.

Stratus made a surprise appearance at the 2011 Elimination Chamber pay per view to announce that she would be a trainer on the revival WWE Tough Enough. At the same event, she stopped LayCool's attack on Kelly Kelly. Kelly and Stratus both celebrated the victory shortly after. Stratus wrestled her first singles match since 2006 on the March 14, 2011 edition of Raw against Vickie Guerrero in a losing effort, due to interference from LayCool and Dolph Ziggler. After the match, John Morrison and Raw guest star of the night Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi (from the MTV series Jersey Shore) came to her aid. Guerrero then challenged Stratus, Morrison and Snooki to a match at WrestleMania XXVII against the team of LayCool and Ziggler. On the March 21 edition of Raw, Stratus teamed with Morrison in a losing effort to LayCool, Guerrero, and Ziggler. At WrestleMania XXVII, Stratus and her team of Snooki and Morrison beat the team of Ziggler and LayCool. The night after WrestleMania, on Raw, Stratus and Morrison once again defeated Guerrero and Ziggler in a rematch. She appeared on the June 6 episode of Raw, in a backstage segment with fellow "Tough Enough" trainer, Booker T before being interrupted by Jack Swagger. She appeared on the September 16, 2011 episode of SmackDown, in her hometown of Toronto. In this episode, she was seen backstage with fellow Torontonians Edge and Christian, with Edge stating that Christian needs to stop whining and be a man.

On 23 July, Trish appeared on WWE Raw's 1000 episode in a backstage segment with D-Generation X.

From 2001, Stratus was a spokesperson for the World Natural Sports Association. On June 3, 2006, she hosted the Canada's Walk of Fame induction ceremony and performed a song and dance number inspired by the soundtrack from the film Chicago at the event. During the show, Stratus ad libbed a kiss with fellow Canadian actress Pamela Anderson.

From late November 2006 to mid-January 2007, Stratus temporarily moved to Muncie, Indiana for the CBS reality show Armed & Famous. She was given a spot in the series after Paul Heyman had mentioned her name to CBS. The concept was that she was one of five celebrities who trained as volunteer officers with the Muncie Police Department. After finishing her training, Stratus and her real life officer partner were followed around by a camera crew while going on legitimate police calls. Although the show was scheduled to broadcast seven episodes starting on January 10, 2007, CBS canceled the series after just four of the episodes were aired.


After the cancellation of Armed & Famous, Stratus hosted The Second City's Next Comedy Legend. The contest was similar to the style of America's Next Top Model, with Stratus portraying the "Tyra Banks" role as contact between the contestants and judges. Stratus also guest-starred in the Canadian show Da Kink in My Hair's new season, which started on February 12, 2009.

In September 2007, Stratus announced that she would be opening a yoga studio in Vaughan, Ontario called Stratusphere Yoga in 2008. Also in 2008, she hosted her own travel show also called Stratusphere. She has an appearance in Smackdown vs. Raw 2010 as an unlockable character. Trish is also a downloadable character in WWE '12 the video game. Trish will be starring in the upcoming Canadian independent movie Bounty Hunters, playing bounty hunter Jules Taylor, scheduled for release in 2011, premiering at ActionFest 2011
.

Stratigias is of Greek descent and is the eldest daughter of John and Alice Stratigias. Her sisters are named Christie and Melissa. Stratigias married her high school sweetheart and boyfriend of fourteen years, Ron Fisico, on September 30, 2006. Guests in attendance at her wedding included current WWE Divas Lilian Garcia, and former WWE Divas Lita, Ivory, Molly Holly, Torrie Wilson, Victoria, Maria Kanellis, Ashley Massaro, and Mickie James. Her bridal gown was featured on a cover of Today's Bride magazine. Shortly after the wedding, Stratus got the call to be a part of Armed & Famous, so she filmed the show instead of going on her honeymoon. Stratigias has also been involved with numerous charities such as Ronald McDonald House, Dreams Take Flight and the Special Olympics. On March 29, 2008, she participated in the Island Triathlon Series as part of a celebrity relay team to help raise money for Dignitas International.


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