Today in History: Trish Stratus Wins Her First Women’s Championship

On this day in history:

November 18th, 2001 | At Survivor Series 2001, Trish Stratus, Jacqueline, Lita, Ivory, Mighty Molly and the debuting Jazz did battle in a Six-Pack Challenge for the vacant Women’s Title. The title had been unclaimed for months since Chyna retired with the belt. In a moment that shocked many, the underdog Trish hit the Stratusfaction on Ivory to pin her and become the Women’s Champion for the first time in her career.

What are your memories of this moment? Tell us in the comments!

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  • divaindemise

    I remember when Trish won this and being in a slight state of contempt. Who would have known that this would have led to her becoming one of the most decorated and skilled Divas the WWE ever had.

    Trish is the least of my favourite Divas in this match, mind you.

  • charovnica

    I gotta say Trish’s reaction when she won was amazing. It really showed that she cared about it and that she really put an effort to gain it. What is great about her winning the title was that when everyone was at here like “oh,she’s not a good wrestler,she’s not this,she’s not that” she proved them all wrong,she put incredible effort to learn her craft and that’s why people have so much respect for her imo. I really would love to see that sparkle in today’s divas.You don’t need a strong storyline to show that you care.

    • perceval

      The fact that it did mean so much to her really helped get the Championship re-established. At the time, women in that business, at least in North America, had pretty much given up on the idea that women’s wrestling would ever be something beyond, as Wendi Richter recently put it, “a novelty, like the midgets.” Even Lita didn’t want the Championship because she didn’t think it would ever amount to anything, content to be Matt Hardy’s valet who occasionally wrestled, thinking that was the best a woman could do in pro wrestling.

      With Trish, it became a real Division. As Ivory put it, Trish was who “put it together and made it happen.”

      As Paul Heyman put it, she could have made a lot of money in that business just doing enough to get by in the ring, but that wasn’t enough for her. She pushed herself to be better and better, and bring respect to the Championship. Heyman rates only the Fabulous Moolah higher on the list of the greatest women wrestlers of all time.

  • puppies

    This is one of my favorite diva matches ever, honestly. There’s so many great women in this match, each of them are able to hot their finishers, the crowd is so undeniably behind Lita, and you can tell how happily surprised they are by Trish’s performance.

  • AndieMcPhee

    I don’t really remember having any real reaction to Trish’s win. I’d only started watching at the end of 2000/start of 2001 so it wasn’t that apparent to me that she was a rookie, and I hadn’t really any strong feelings for her (although I hated her during the Stephanie stuff cause I was in love with Stephers). I remember pulling for Molly here though. :(

    The big thing that stood out here was Jazz who was scary aggressive here and just seemed like something completely different. When she became number one contender I didn’t think Trish would stand a chance which I suppose was the point of the feud.

  • lucky1now

    this was crazy i believe every1 thought lita or ivory would get the win (mostly lita) then jazz came in strong showing shes tough everyone did their thing in this match one by one women dropped and the underdog won it was great all around

  • Danni

    I remember this like it was yesterday. I was quite young at the time & I was terrified of Jazz lol ..weird to think how she eventually became one of my favorites as I matured.

    No one expected Trish to win, it was out of the blue and I remember the reaction to it being less than great. I’d say 95% of people thought Lita would win, myself included so when she was eliminated it was heartbreaking (at least for 12/13 yr old me!) … mad to think how far Trish would eventually go.

  • Kaledrina

    this week in history also marks when terri and jackie formed PMS.. that was 12 years ago and makes me feel super old LOL.

    • Kaledrina

      actually, make that 14.. i’m so old now i can’t do simple math haha.

      • Lushh

        Aaaah PMS , i loved them. *cues their entrance music.

        • Kaledrina

          hehe =) i spent last night being a sad old weirdo watching endless videos of them! even just the way terri strutted to the ring was amazing lol. and hey, don’t get me started on the using a cigar to burn ivory’s face incident ;P

    • puppies

      I love PMS

  • WweLitafan4ever

    Meh,I wish Lita would have won.

  • ajfan83

    And so it begins…

    I’m not going to rain on the parade for Trish marks, but this is the night she became the prototype of what I like to call the “Cena push”. That’s where Vince pushes his personal favorite regardless of fan reaction. They STILL give her more hype than most of their current divas not named AJ or Eve.

    • Jillfan1

      SO TRUE what Vinny says and whats goes

      • ajfan83

        Yup. I won’t say much more, since I’m not looking to start yet another debate, but if people doubt Trish was the annoited diva, all you have to do is compare her sendoff to every other woman to ever work for them. Or the way the still promote her all the time, year after year, while pretending 95% of their former divas never existed.

      • perceval

        Sorry, but you’re incorrect. Trish & Lita were always getting de-pushed by Management for one reason or another. In Trish’s case, her first title run ended before it was initially planned to as punishment for refusing to do a bikini lesbian make-out session with Torrie.

        In June of 2003, Trish was removed from the title picture, entirely. Gail Kim, then a favorite of Johnny Ace according to Ivory, was anointed the Face of the Division and brand, handed the Championship in her debut match. Problem was, Gail was, by her own admission, still very green, and her matches quickly became botch fests. The fans rebelled, so Victoria was the next one anointed as the Face of the Divas.

        Trish & Lita, as well as Stacy, had turned down Playboy, and Trish was very public with her reasons when asked about it in interviews. This went against the idea that both WWE and Bunnymag had promoted, that it was every woman’s dream and this huge honor to pose naked for the magazine. And here, their top Diva refused to do what was, from a marketing viewpoint, a huge crossover promotion.

        Victoria, meanwhile, publicly expressed her willingness to pose for Playboy. Now, I don’t know that that was the reason for Trish’s sudden de-push and Victoria’s big push as THE Diva, but the timing is certainly suspect.

        Problem for Vince was that, while the fans loved Psycho Heel Victoria, they didn’t take to Smiling Dancing Babyface Victoria. DESPITE Management’s efforts, the fans responded most to whatever Trish & Lita were doing, even though that meant, in Trish’s case, valeting for a midcard jobber, and in Lita’s case, being stuck in a lame pregnancy angle with Kane.

        So, Vince finally gave in to what the customers were demanding. Trish & Lita were hotshot back into the title picture in time for the Bad Blood PPV, roughly a year after Trish had been removed from ever seeing the Championship, again.

        So, if “Vince pushes his personal favorite regardless of the reaction,” then why did he eventually go with Trish & Lita instead of his chosen ones, Gail & Victoria? That’s proof that he goes with the fan choices over his own, though it may take him a year to give in and do it.

        • ajfan83

          Here we go with your lectures again. Look, I could buy that Trish got punished for turning down angles. I don’t buy that they ever tried pushing Victoria or Gail as the faces of the division. Gail got depushed almost immediately and Victoria’s reign was always treated as filler. Even if Trish had phases where she wasn’t dominating early on, it’s very clear that at a certain point Vince became obsessed with pushing her as the greatest woman that ever lived. And I can back that up very easily. Her holding the title for a year when she missed half the time due to injury. Being allowed to “retire” with the title when tradition says you go out on your back. All the interviews they have done with her since leaving. All the stupid lists they do where they constanly place her near the top, alongside some of their top male stars (who are far more popular than her). Rigging fan polls she doesn’t win. Saying she is the most popular diva ever, when that wasn’t true in her prime and damn sure isn’t true when she shows up now. Need I say more?

          I’ll put it to you this way. You can microanalyze Trish’s push when she was an active wrestler all you want. But you’ll have a hard time disputing how obsessed they have been with her since she left. That, to me, is why she is overrated. It’s not about her in-ring skill, or mic skills, or even crowd pops. It’s the company’s portrayal of her AFTER she had already left that has led to the online backlash.

    • 09DHK

      I feel as though had Sable not left WWE during the Attitude Era (and of course actually WANTED to train to be a credible wrestler), Trish wouldn’t have been as big as she became. I always thought that they only pushed Trish in an effort to re-make Sable’s babyface persona with the whole “model turned wrestler” gimmick. Not gonna deny the fact that she’s worked hard, but for a large portion of her career, like Sable, she completely buried the women who were far more talented and seasoned than she was. Women who carried her in the ring and made her look half as good as WWE hypes her up to be. No one will ever be able to tell me that she’d stand a chance against the likes of Jackie Moore, Jazz, and Molly Holly; all of whom can, and have out-wrestled most MEN.

      • divaindemise

        I don’t believe Trish and Lita were de-pushed or deemphasised during their tenures; I think, in fact, management deemed them to be bigger than the Women’s division, hence their storyline involvement outside of title hunts. I think the relative failure of other women in leading roles is what contributed to Trish’s multiple reigns. Which isn’t much of a knock, because Trish carried herself well and by 2004 had developed one hell of a bitch character. A mistake, however, was the title being kept on her during her injury in 2005: Vince Devil’s could have been made a lot more credible by having one, preferably Victoria or a newly bolstered Torrie Wilson, as the champion centrepiece. They could have even loaned the title to Melina on Smackdown during Trish’s downtime.

        In short, I think Trish was a credible foundation for the division. An equally good posterchild and a reliable go-to girl when things went ass from elbow — come to think of it, Mickie James also spring to mind there.

        • ajfan83


          I agree, she was a Sable replacement. Trish was a better talent and probably would have been more popular than Sable if she had debuted a couple of years earlier. But Trish’s peak came after the wrestling boom ended, and so never reached Sable’s heights.

          @ Divaindemise

          They were bigger than the division, or at least, it’s two marquee names. I think Trish was always meant to be the centerpiece, though. You can see that by how much WWE continues to hype her up. I still say the Cena comparison is pretty dead on.

          And what happened to Perceval? Do you only respond to people that agree with you? I guess you hate someone pointing out that your opinions are just that. Opinions.

        • fahkyooh

          At the end of the day, Trish was the first ever hot ass girl that was EAGER to learn and be taken seriously as a wrestler, so she evolved and got major opportunities. A lot of the majorly hot girls in the WWE were either arrogant, bitchy or had no desire to want to wrestle or make anything out of a women’s division.

          Trish is the best, and she always will be… There couldn’t have been a better, hotter or more receptive babyface to take her lead. Stop hating, get over it and bow down.

        • ajfan83

          Trish was the first model that improved. I never denied that. But that’s pretty much her entire legacy in a nutshell, and it’s overrated. She was popular during her stint in WWE. Keyword: WAS. She’s irrelevant now and WWE’s continued hype of her is a waste of time. So either accept that, or bow down yourself and kiss my ass.

  • Lushh

    I’m in tears. That match was absolutely AMAZING. All 6 women gel’d so well together and carried their own part of the match. I hate being one of those people who are going to compare then to now , but geeesh it can’t be that hard to get some momentum behind todays girls. The crowd was going crazy!

  • Ryan

    This survivor series was pretty awful… the matches were a drag I still remember.. THIS one however was probably one of the best ones!!
    Awesome match with the best in the ring! Lita’s abs look sick and Trish mouth watering Trish haha I miss how hot she used to look

    BTW I totally digged Trish as a rookie champion because her matches were always on edge, you never knew who was gonna win. specially after Jazz began to jump her and brutally beat on her. Trish is one tough chick. Not over rated but awesome!

  • art

    Lita & torrie wilson have the best abs ive ever seen on a woman…i loved this match every diva had her spot & till it came down to trish & ivory….

  • StratusXtreme

    This is one of my favourite matches from the Divas, ever. It had so many great qualities to it, including the debut of the amazing Jazz. I remember watching this live in the UK, I had school the next day and it was on at 1am! I loved the backstage area where Lita bumped into Trish (who looked tanned as hell and with her new whiter hair lol). I had a gut feeling that Trish was going to win the match because I believe the Heat before she had a match with Ivory and beat her with the new Stratusfaction Bulldog, and I thought ‘Wow, Trish is really on a roll as of late.. I see Champion!!’. When she actually won, it was literally amazing, I had goosebumps, I even screamed when she flipped back over Ivory and then hit the finisher. I knew from that moment she was going to win. No other Divas in the ring, a bit of deja vu from Heat… PERFECT!
    I’m so pleased that Trish worked her way up the WWE ladder and became an opponant that people were talking about, that people were interested in, that had great character development and was just an all round great person. Trish has made me laugh more times than I can remember, she’s got a gift. She isn’t a one trick pony, she has it all. If any ‘fan’ of womens wrestling was to hate on her, it’s purely jealousy, or that they prefered Lita.
    I don’t understand the whole Lita/Trish rivalry with the fans. Both ladies left their mark on the company and both ladies worked hard to make it. I think both are amazing and they are the ones I remember most out of any of the Divas, period.
    P.s.. I really miss all the girls in this match :(