Trish Stratus: The Rock Said I Could Be The Female ‘Great One’
It's safe to say that Stratus took the ball and ran with it
Trish Stratus is regarded by many as one of the finest women’s competitors in WWE history. The former WWE Women’s Champion was at the forefront of the division in ‘pre-Divas’ days, and has shared how The Rock himself believed that Stratus could be the female equivalent of The Great One himself.
Speaking on Renée Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast, Stratus said:
“I guess I knew I wanted to be the best at what I was doing, but also you have to remember this was a time where there wasn’t really women doing it. So you wouldn’t be like ‘that’s what I want to do.’ I maybe could look to The Rock and say ‘that’s what I want to do. And is that realistic? I’m not sure, because it seems like it’s never really been done so far.’
Then I remember The Rock said to me one day ‘you know, you can be the female Rock.’ And I was like ‘oh my god. Okay, I’m going to do that. Yes.’ So I just knew that it was my job then to be the best that I could be. And that would entail training and performing at my peak every time and outdoing my last performance.”
The Rock’s words clearly motivated Stratus, who after a slow start to life in WWE, became an enduring icon:
“I think it was a slow rise,” Stratus said. “Because everything was sort of, everything was happening under the radar. I’ll never forget, we were doing these live events and Jazz and I were absolutely killing it. Like having these matches and people were like, they were there for it. And so they used to do these things where they went around the first couple of rows and they would poll them. They’d tell them to tell them their top five or whatever it was, ‘list your favourite matches.’ And they were using that feedback to bring that back to Vince and therefore it would reflect on TV all that sort of thing. I remember Vince pulled me aside and said ‘so it’s you and Jazz. We’ve been hearing you and Jazz. People are like that’s the constant and all these reports.’ And I was like ‘wow.’ I just couldn’t believe it.
“But it was all these little things, like ‘okay, you know what? We’re making a difference, people are going to sit up and notice.’ It took awhile, of course. We had to almost, I want to say re-educate the fans, because they were used to just being cheering for us and being for us and chanting for our puppies. So they didn’t expect it. They expected us to go out, and when the girls went out they’d be like ‘oh the girls are going to hair pull and they’re going to throw each other around and slap and that’s what they’re going to do.’ And I remember Fit [Finlay] and I made the conscious decision. Every time we got the opportunity to say ‘okay let’s just give them a little something different, but we’ll slip it in there.’ So they’re not like ‘who, what is happening?!’ And it wasn’t just the fans. It was like, we couldn’t let the office go ‘that’s what the boys do.’ A lot of times it was like ‘why are you doing that chop? That’s what Ric Flair does.’ I’m like ‘he wasn’t even in the company at the time. And guess what? I can do it too!'”
H/T: Wrestling Inc.