WWE has been the only home for Trish Stratus during her career in professional wrestling. But when she was just starting to break into the business in 1999, she says she also had contract offers from WCW and ECW. Following her retirement from WWE in 2006, Stratus says she also had talks with TNA Wrestling as the company was preparing to introduce its Knockouts Championship.
“Like there was a point where, you know, TNA had reached out to me and they wanted — it happened to be around the time when there was a new women’s championship was being introduced,” Stratus told AND Canada. “It was around that time and it was a storyline pitch like that because it was like, ‘Hey, women are a viable part of the show and we would like you to be a part of it.’
“Back then, [in 1999], it was kind of like, I don’t know, ‘We use women on the show, would you like to be a part of it?’” Stratus continued. “That’s what it was, right? I knew what I could do. I knew the training I’d done and what I could offer as an athlete to the world of sports entertainment. But I don’t know if they necessarily knew, right? And like, the fact that I know, I’ve been — not to say I was seasoned, but I had a two-year career already as a fitness model and I’d worked intentionally. I’ve done interviews. I’ve done media. So I had that aspect as well as I could bring in.”
Trish Stratus named Fit Finlay as a key person in helping her develop as a pro wrestler. Finlay is frequently praised by women from Stratus’ era in WWE.
“There would be no Trish Stratus without Fit Finlay,” Stratus explained. “I can tell you that. Like, he really, also like, you know, no changing of the guard. There wasn’t, he was an invested interest in the women and helping, like for me, my MO at one point had become like, and seeing, you know, what I knew I could do, but seeing what I was only able to do in the ring, my MO was like, I want to change the perception of what a woman could do in the ring and in sports entertainment. And so he was on board for that and it took someone to be on board to be like, ‘Yes, I see’. And to see it too, I see it too. Because like, some of the old school people didn’t see that. They didn’t see that the women could do this other side of things.
“So him for sure, and he’s not an unsung, he is a sung hero,” Stratus continued. “But Brian Gewirtz is someone that, he’s a writer for WWE and he was a huge, you know, part of my really good juicy work that I did and working, you know, with my promos and he was really good. I mean, obviously, he worked with The Rock a lot. That was kind of his guy and I got the chance to work with him. He’s really good about tapping into who you are and then just way over, and flying your personality out there and keeping it real. Because I think that’s like, the real, the authentic superstars are the ones that people really resonate with them, because they feel that. And so, just obviously you take it, you amp it up, you know, a few decibels when you’re out there. But, yeah, he was really fun to work with and had a good impact on my career.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit ET Canada with ah/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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