Ashley & Trish Stratus vs. Candice Michelle & Victoria 01/23/06

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This week for Free Match Friday, the Diva-Dirt staff wants to pay tribute to Ashley Massaro.

In this tag team match from early 2006, Trish Stratus was helping out the 2005 Diva Search winner. Stratus chose to team up with her against Candice Michelle and Victoria. Ashley was able to pick up the win for her team. She hit a high cross body off the top turnbuckle and came crashing down on Victoria for the pinfall victory.

This decision by Stratus to team with Ashley made Mickie James jealous and attacked Ashley after the match. James was infatuated with Stratus at the time and didn’t condone the attention Ashley was receiving.

What are your memories of this match and the storytelling surrounding it? What are some of your favorite Ashley matches? Let us know your memories of Ashley Massaro in the comment section!!

33 COMMENTS

  1. She tried. You’ve got to admire her spunk, but WWE shouldn’t have thrown her in there with zero experience. She was frequently injured and she reportedly said that she suffered an injury rehearsing for the Unforgiven match with Torrie and something about Trish telling her to shake it off. Apparently, she was going through depression, which might’ve led to her suicide.

    This makes me so sad. I’m gonna try to remember her as a gutsy, sweet girl, who played a good supporting role in one of the best WWE storylines ever. Farewell Ashley.

    • Well said, Faith. And I agree. She’s tough as nails. A badass, a queen and she’s awesome. I was always rooting for Ashley. I’m one of those who believed in her when no one else would. She wasn’t be able to train properly but she was decent in the ring. Yes, I said it.

      It’s been 24 hours since I found out and a saturday morning here in the Philippines and I’m still heartbroken about the news. I will truly miss Ashley. And to make it even more sadder, she has a daughter who still young and is beautiful as her mother and she was still (STILL) answering letters from fans just before her death.

      • It was a tag team match. Trish and Ashley vs. Torrie and Victoria with Candice at ringside. Trish really came out looking strong against the three skankateers as she called them.

        I remember being so happy for Ashley getting much needed backup. I had also wanted to see her go against Lita since they were both punkish. Unfortunately we only got Ashley throwing her in the ring at Cyber Sunday.

        • i was wondering why ashley/lita never had much or no interaction.
          what injury did ashley get while practising the match and i dont get why trish would just tell someone to shake it off like how unsafe is that to just shake off an injury.

          • She might’ve thought it was something minor and well they are used to shaking things off like that. That’s how they’re trained so she might’ve thought she was helping Ashley toughen up? Not sure, but Ashley didn’t blame anyone except WWE management for this and quite frankly, she was 100% right. Still is. Look no further than CM Punk and how they treated his injuries that contributed to him quitting abruptly.

  2. This marks a period in Trish’s development where she was RELYING on choreography A LOT to have good matches. Trish has never been a great wrestler. She’s not capable of calling her own matches on the fly. She’s the type of wrestler that needs A LOT of assurance from road agents in order to produce good matches.

    • I know a lot of people firmly believe “Trish was only #1 because Lita broke her neck” and I fully understand why, but it was pretty clear Trish was “The Chosen One” back then. She was the one the WWF were going to go with to spear-head the women’s division post-Chyna.

      I know many people point to the infamous Jackie Gayda match in 2002 as living proof Trish had to be carried in the ring, as that match was the first time she was in the ring with a woman less experienced than herself and it was a mess.

      • I agree with you 100% the releases of Jazz,Gail,Nidia and Molly Holly really effected Trish the most because without them Trish wouldn’t be who she was.She only had Victoria at the time and at this point she basically a Jobber,Torrie was solid but she was also in the same lane as Trish and Candice,Ashley and Maria was too green at the time.

        Let’s face it Mickie James saved her if it wasn’t for Mickie Trish really wouldn’t had nothing to do at this time.Mickie in some way made her more relevant again because Trish was Lowkey flopping here.

        • I remember someone here claiming that, after Lita tore her ACL, Trish lobbied to get Molly Holly put into the match at WM 21. IMO, that was NEVER going to happen, as Molly’s career went in the toilet when John “I don’t care as long as they’re hot!” Laurinaitis took over as head of Talent Relations.

          When Molly walked in 2005 (she wasn’t fired, but many people thought she was because Matt Hardy and Rhyno got the axe right before), Victoria inherited her role as “Diva Welcoming Committee”, the one who broke in the new girls. It amuses me when people gripe over Victoria having to put over Maria Kanellis and the Bella Twins, but not over Molly having to do that for Stacy Keibler.

          • I think for Stacy it was ok because it was only roll ups and mostly it was “out of nowhere” type of roll ups it’s not like she was beating her with her finisher.Plus at the end molly did throw Stacy out of that battle royal so she did get some revenge on her.

          • If WWE really wanted to build up Stacy for a run as champion, they would have been better off having her beat a variety of opponents. Instead, she just beat Molly, a woman who had been on a losing streak for months. Losing to the queen of the eye candy managers THREE weeks in a row killed her credibility beyond repair (imagine Sherri Martel repeatedly losing clean to Miss Elizabeth), and it still didn’t change the perception that Stacy was “just a manager”.

          • to stacy’s credit she turned down the title and didn’t even want to beat molly in those matches lol.

          • The story I’ve always read was Stacy didn’t speak up until the day she was supposed to win the title. I’ve always said she made the right call to turn down being champion, as I fear a lot of the fandom would have considered her “unworthy”, like when Kelly Kelly became Divas Champion in 2011.

            However, if what you’re saying is true, then it may confirm my suspicion that John Laurinaitis was actively trying to bury Molly due to her unwillingness to “follow the Diva playbook”, in the hopes that she’d either quit or do something that would give him an excuse to fire her.

          • stacy actually stated that she never wanted to win the title because they were actual wrestlers that deserved it so i think thats big of her. stacy wasn’t built for wrestling so thats another reason she didn’t want the title either since she wasn’t trained enough for it plus she didn’t need the title anyway.
            molly was just in the wrong era and john was trying to force her out because of it.

  3. Turns out that her death was an apparent suicide. Like Molly Holly, she seemed like such a sincere and genuine person. If only they gave her proper training she would’ve probably been the greatest success for a Diva Search winner.

      • I have respect for not revealing the actual answer but I think the truth is a major message/detail that people need to know. From close sources I learned that had she had actually hung herself. Called 911, after regretting doing so, and died otw to the hospital. Like many former WWE wrestlers that deal with major depression, WWE throwing her to the curb is what, I think, pushed her to do so. One day your on top of the world, then you are nothing. They need to not treat their stars as if they are interchangeable. It is fuucking up a lot of people’s lives. Wake the fuuck up WWE.

        • I get that, but she hasn’t been the only person to lose it all from one day to the next. People have successfully moved on. As far as her story goes, didn’t she ask for her release on her own?

          I hate to speculate, but it looks to me like she was a lost soul just trekking along. From what I’ve seen, she was hanging out with the wrong people in my humble opinion. Some of them give me bad vibes.

          I wish Ashley would’ve stuck to doing conventions with her group of women from WWE and done something different. That party model lifestyle is depressing to me just looking at it. It’s like a rockstar lifestyle without the musicians. Toxic. She seemed like such a nice girl who got lost. I wish she had a friend with her to talk her out of that.

          I hate to believe she hung herself btw. Also, how would she hang herself and then undo it and call 911? My guess is overdose like Chyna, Anna Nicole, Luna, etc…I don’t think anyone else has confirmed that. That just makes it all the more tragic. Her family is in my prayers.

    • If it’s any consolation, after Ashley, WWE didn’t fast-track later DS winners and try to make them instant stars. Layla and Eve were able to train first, then wrestle when they were ready.

  4. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/de3fc25f4f1b43dbedf5f8297c96d7add78314ded1dfd913124924c300c8903b.jpg

    “The Hybrid” Lita and Trish……… Ashley had such a cool, yet commanding, sassy aura about her that was intriguing. The wrestling aspect of it was honestly too much too soon for her. I WISHED she was given a full year or 2 in OVW to develop more and perfect her skills. However, she still managed to get out there and gave it her best efforts. Her bump taking and selling was always impressive for a rookie.

    Honestly, I still don’t know how to feel. It’s like one minute am holding back tears. The next, am angry because I believed her passing could’ve been preventable. Like someone had to see some signs??? She honestly should still be here. And lastly, I’m secretly praying that this is all a hoax, and that will all wake up for this nightmare.

    Despite her personal setbacks, this young woman was still making great strides in her life after WWE. She got married, put her daughter in college, getting her coins from appearances/cons/photoshoots, becoming a radio personality, and started retraining for a comeback to wrestling. And she did all of that with gracious humility and a vibrant smile on her face.

    Even though her wrestling career was brief and whether personally or through television. Ashley Massaro leaves behind an ever lasting impression on those she touched during her existence. And that’s one thing that can’t be learned………one is born with that ability.

  5. Ashley was one of those girls that genuinely loved the business and wanted to become better but was fast tracked too soon. she did have an impressive arsenal of high flying moves and meljna always made ashley’s spears look devastating. I also always loved how she was so comfortable with the mic. I dont think shes ever botched a promo. I heard she emailed wwe saying she regret being a part of the concussion lawsuit. Its still so sad thats gone. I will treasure the wwe magazine cover and poster i have of her.

  6. Ashley looked good here but i still dont know why they rushed her into ring competition like this when she could tell at this point her problem was transiting between moves. trish was calling spots WAY too loud to candice in this match.