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In the world of professional wrestling, few names shine as brightly as Trish Stratus. Her legendary career has cemented her status as one of the most iconic female wrestlers of all time. However, her journey to becoming a respected in-ring performer was not an easy one, especially during an era when women were predominantly relegated to eye-candy roles in WWE. It was during this period that Stephanie McMahon, the daughter of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, played a pivotal role in changing the trajectory of Trish Stratus' career. From their on-screen feud to behind-the-scenes efforts, Stephanie McMahon proved to be a significant factor in Trish's transformation from a mere model to a bona fide wrestling superstar.

Trish Stratus' Journey In WWE Led To The Women's Evolution

When Trish Stratus first stepped foot into the WWE, she was cast in a typical "diva" role that was prevalent during that era. Women in wrestling were often showcased for their looks, and their wrestling skills took a backseat. Despite being a fitness model with limited wrestling experience, Trish was simply used as nothing more than eye candy. Trish's early days in WWE were marked by being involved in storylines that leaned heavily on her looks, and she was often portrayed as a valet for male wrestlers. However, it became clear that she possessed a natural talent for connecting with the audience and creating memorable moments. Even during these storylines, she showed glimpses of her wrestling skills, occasionally engaging in physical altercations that hinted at her potential. As her experience in the ring grew, so did her fan base.


The turning point in Trish Stratus' career came with her initial retirement from WWE in 2006. During her time away from the ring, the landscape of women's wrestling underwent a profound transformation. The "Divas" era was gradually giving way to a new era that valued female athletes for their wrestling skills, charisma, and contributions to storytelling. This shift set the stage for what would later be known as the Women's Evolution in WWE. Trish's occasional returns for big matches during this transformative period showcased her growth as a wrestler. Fast-forward to the present day and Trish Stratus is back in WWE, engaging in a heated feud with current top star Becky Lynch. But none of this happens without Stephanie McMahon.

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Stephanie McMahon's Influence On Trish Stratus

Stephanie McMahon, as the Chief Brand Officer of WWE and a prominent figure backstage, played a crucial role in redefining the narrative surrounding women's wrestling. Her commitment to empowering female talent and giving them the opportunities they deserved was a game-changer. However, before the Women's Evolution even gained momentum, Stephanie had already left an indelible mark on Trish Stratus' career. Their on-screen feud, stemming from Stephanie's babyface role as Vince McMahon's daughter, put Trish at the center of a highly engaging storyline. This feud allowed Trish to prove herself beyond being a mere model and eye candy, granting her a chance to demonstrate her in-ring capabilities.


The feud escalated to a climactic one-on-one match between Trish Stratus and Stephanie McMahon at No Way Out in 2001. This bout was groundbreaking as it showcased the women in a way that had rarely been seen before. Both competitors brought their A-game, and the intensity and drama of the match rivaled any other male-dominated encounter. Fans witnessed the potential of women's wrestling, and Trish's performance proved that female athletes could deliver captivating matches on par with their male counterparts. The match between Trish and Stephanie was more than just a wrestling contest; it was a statement as it changed the perspective of fans of who Trish Stratus could be. After this feud, Trish eventually betrayed Vince McMahon and started her singles career. While still being involved in tasteless matches, she was able to become a star, and none of that would happen without her rivalry with Stephanie.

RELATED: 9 Weird Trish Stratus WWE Moments We Completely Forgot About

Stephanie McMahon Inducted Trish Stratus Into The WWE Hall Of Fame

Years later, when Trish Stratus was announced as an inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame, she made a special request. She asked Stephanie McMahon to do the honors of inducting her into the prestigious Hall of Fame. Fans saw this request as not just a formality; it was a sincere acknowledgment of the impact Stephanie had on her career. In an interview with Diva Dirt, Trish explained her choice. “Getting a nod to be in the WWE Hall of Fame, it’s a look back at your career, and at the end of the day, there would have been no career, no opportunity, no revamping of the women’s division if Stephanie wasn’t behind it all."


She added "When we feuded, there’s something about when you have an experience with someone that you bond with them. When we had our feud, we bonded then, and we remained close ever since. She’s just always supportive of showcasing a strong, powerful woman. There would be no division and none of the women would have gotten the push that we needed or the encouragement we needed. She and I have remained friends. I’ve watched her evolve into a businesswoman. We were at the same level — green workers having fun wrestling, and then she really just got behind the scenes and became a businesswoman. It’s very empowering to see the position she has now. I retired and went into the business world and with all my endeavors, it’s a tough world for a woman. I admire her greatly and respect her greatly.”

Hence, maybe fans shouldn't say, "Thank you, Trish", rather they should chant, "Thank you, Stephanie".