The Women of the Year 2011: Trish Stratus (#21)

A la TIME’s Person of the Year list, Diva Dirt has compiled a countdown of the women we feel have best embodied the zeitgeist of the year in women’s wrestling. To compile this list, the Diva Dirt team have tracked the headlines here at Diva Dirt over the past 12 months, followed the lively fan debate on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, considered the impact that the women have made within the industry, and taken into account personal achievements as well. More information on the Women of the Year list here.

TRISH STRATUS
Comeback Queen

Few can say that they had a successful comeback in WWE after years of retirement at the grandest stage of them all. As for a woman being able to say that? That’s pretty unthinkable given the way WWE tends to treat its Divas. However, through it all, one woman has stood the test of time and managed to command high respect from not only the WWE fans, but WWE itself. In 2011, Trish Stratus proved that despite being retired for five years, she is still the Diva of all Divas.

This year felt like Trish had never left. From star roles in WrestleMania and the revival of Tough Enough, to multiple magazine covers, the seven-time Women’s Champion didn’t skip a beat. Returning to the WWE for her first storyline feud since retiring in 2006, Trish teamed with Jersey Shore star Snooki and John Morrison in a feud with LayCool, Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero in the lead-up to ‘Mania 27. Trish’s return marked a boom period for popular superstars of the past era, putting her in the same company as the likes of The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, who also returned for ‘Mania. The mainstream buzz surrounding the match due to Snooki’s involvement surely rubbed off on Trish, while she managed to create her own buzz as Internet wrestling fans chattered about friction between herself and John Morrison in the infamous “cold shoulder”-gate.

As the female trainer on Tough Enough, Trish returned to our screens for a further 10 weeks, guiding the wannabe WWE Superstars through challenges, critiquing them and ultimately, helping crown the show’s champion. It was a new role for Trish, who we were so used to seeing in the ring herself, but a welcome new direction and in some ways, a natural evolution of her semi-retired wrestling career.

Though retired, in 2011, Trish was one of the most relevant WWE Divas of the year, and continues to show her crossover success. Trish’s business savvy is second to none when it comes to females in wrestling. She’s built a brand around her name that in 2011 has spawned off a yoga product line, including a DVD and workout essentials, plus she has bagged several magazine covers including Shape and Revive, adding to her already extensive list of credits.

While other female stars fade away or leave wrestling behind, Trish is the shining beacon for longevity and success in and out of the ring. Not only is she inspiring to female wrestlers coming through the ranks, but an inspiring businesswoman also.

This is how a comeback is done.

PREVIOUSLY:
The Women of the Year 2011: Brooke Tessmacher and Tara (#22)

Click here for the full Women of the Year countdown

RELATED:
Exclusive: Trish Stratus Dishes on Tough Enough, Returning to WWE, WrestleMania, Snooki & More

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