Patricia Anne Stratigeas, better known by her ring name Trish Stratus, is a retired professional wrestler, former fitness model, fitness master, actress, and television personality from Canada. She is widely considered the greatest female sports entertainer of all time and a trailblazer for women in sports in general. Stratigeas began her career as a fitness model, appearing on the covers of numerous magazines. Having been a wrestling enthusiast since childhood, she eagerly accepted when World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) came calling. Signing a multi-year contract with the promotion, she debuted in 2000 at the height of the Attitude Era. Over the course of her career, she proved herself to be equally gifted inside the ring and with a microphone, playing both heel and face with the same amount of charisma and finesse. She won the WWF/E Women's Championship seven times, Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine’s Woman of the Year recognition four times as well as the Woman of the Decade accolade. Since her retirement in 2006, she has made sporadic appearances in WWE events and runs a Yoga studio in the suburbs of Toronto, Canada. In 2013, Stratus was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Childhood & Early Life
Patricia Anne Stratigeas was born on December 18, 1975, in Flemingdon Park, Ontario, Canada to parents Alice and John Stratigeas and raised in Richmond Hill, Ontario alongside her two sisters, Christie and Melissa. Her father was a real estate agent of Greek ancestry while her mother was an educator of Polish descent. Stratus lost her father on March 16, 2015.
She studied at Bayview Secondary School and later attended York University to pursue a degree in biology and kinesiology. She also participated in the university’s various sports programs, particularly soccer and field hockey. She was planning to enrol at a medical school but her education came to a sudden halt due to a professors’ strike.
She got a job as a receptionist at a local gym where she met the publisher of MuscleMag International and was asked to do a test shoot for the magazine. This eventually led to her signing a two-year contract and appearing on the cover of the May 1998 issue. For the next couple of years, Stratigeas would enjoy a successful modelling career.
She grew up watching professional wrestling, admiring the likes of Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. While she was working as a fitness model, she landed the job of co-hosting Live Audio Wrestling with Big Daddy Donnie and Jeff Marek on Toronto Sports Radio, The FAN 590.
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Stratigeas signed a contract with WWF in November 1999 and debuted as a heel on the March 19, 2000 episode of Sunday Night Heat using the ring-name Trish Stratus.
In the Initial years of her career, she served as the storyline manager, first for Test and Albert, members of the tag team T & A, and later for Val Venis. In her first major storyline, she worked with WWF Chairman Vince McMahon and the rest of the McMahon family in early 2001, which ultimately led to her WrestleMania X-Seven appearance where she aided Shane McMahon in the match with his father, signalling a face turn for her.
While she had participated in matches in the past, following her first face turn, she started doing so with more purpose, effectively revitalising her character. In the summer of 2001, she suffered an ankle injury and took a break for the next three months to heal and recuperate.
When she returned, she was more than sure of her decision to become a professional wrestler. In her first WWF Women’s Championship win, she successfully competed in a six-pack challenge at the 2001 Survivor Series.
Between 2003 and 2005, she and Lita (Amy Dumas) were involved in one of most memorable scripted rivalries in the history of professional wrestling. The title went back and forth between them, as did the roles of face and heel. She also had major feuds with Stephanie McMahon, Jazz, Victoria, Gail Kim, Molly Holly, and Mickie James.
Stratus revealed in mid-2006 that she would retire after the 2007 Unforgiven pay-per-view event. On September 11, she had her last match on Raw against James. A week later, on September 17, at ‘Unforgiven’, Stratus wrestled Lita in front of her hometown Toronto and defeated her by applying the Sharpshooter, the submission manoeuvre of fellow Canadian wrestler Bret “The Hitman” Hart, earning the championship from her greatest rival and friend one last time.
In her first post-retirement outing, she teamed up with Lita to attack Jillian Hall on December 10, 2007 during Raw's 15th Anniversary special. She also teamed up with John Cena in December 2008 for her first wrestling match in two years against Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix.
Stratus served as one of the trainers in the season five of WWE Tough Enough. In August 2016, she made an appearance on WWE Network special WWE 24: Women's Evolution where she talked about her experience in WWE and the history of women in professional wrestling.
She has lent voice to her character in 20 WWE video games. Her in-game debut came about in ‘WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role’ in November 2000. Stratus made her film debut in the 2011 release ‘Bail Enforcers’, playing the female lead Jules, the bounty hunter. In 2015, she co-starred with Dominic Purcell and Danny Glover in the action flick ‘Gridlocked’.
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In a career full of excellent storylines and well-scripted bouts, Stratus’ own personal favourite is her match against Mickie James at WrestleMania 22. She and James set up the story for the previous six months and it all culminated in a tremendous show of calibre and talents from two wrestlers at the top of their games. Stratus would go on to lose the match and the Women’s Championship to James, passing the figurative torch in true professional wrestling fashion.
Awards & Achievements
Trish Stratus is a seven-time WWF/E Champion (November 18, 2001; May 13, 2002; September 22, 2002; March 30, 2003; June 13, 2004; January 9, 2005; and September 17, 2006). She is also a one-time WWE Hardcore Champion (May 6, 2002).
She was the WWF/E Babe of the Year from year 2001 to 2003.
She was also named the WWE Diva of the Decade of 2000s.
Stephanie McMahon inducted Stratus into the WWE Hall of Fame (Class of 2013). Stratus, in turn, inducted Lita into the Hall of Fame (Class of 2014).
Trish Stratus married her high school sweetheart, professional bodybuilder and gym trainer Ron Fisico, on September 30, 2006 in a private ceremony in Toronto, Canada. She gave birth to their son Maximus Stratus Fisico on September 30, 2013 and daughter Madison-Patricia Fisico on January 14, 2017.
Considered to be a sex symbol, Stratus’ in-ring abilities and confidence on microphone made her an influential figure in the industry during the time she was active. Along with Lita and Chyna (Joan Marie Laurer), she redefined women’s role in wrestling.
She is often hailed as WWE’s greatest woman champion ever and has been mentioned as the inspiration for many women wrestlers who came after her, including Bayley, Kelly Kelly, Natalya, Rosa Mendes, and Alexa Bliss.
She is also actively involved in social work. Ronald McDonald House, Dreams Take Flight, and the Special Olympics are some of charities she has worked with. She became a spokesperson for the World Natural Sports Association in 2001.
Stratus has a hobby of collecting shot glasses for every city / town she visits.