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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    May 2018

    Unexpected Class Instead Of Gratuitous Ass

    Well. I did not plan on writing anything in regards to Summerslam, or the WWE main roster this month, but here we are. You see, I just managed to catch up on Summerslam Tuesday afternoon, and though I have to admit, it was overall a better show than Takeover : Toronto 2, typically these days the main roster booking is a huge miss for me. So much so that all I often watch of it is fast forwarding through the PPVs until something catches my eyes. This topic did.

    I admit, I fast forwarded through Charlotte Flair versus Trish Stratus initially, as I expected it to go down much like the rest of the returning legends average matches in the past few years- self aggrandizing, shameless wins over current full-timers. As much as I loved Goldberg in his run in WCW, him coming back years later to demolish current guys like Kevin Owens, and Dolph Ziggler with practically zero effort expended, leaves a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth.

    That seems to be par for the course- fans crave nostalgia, and WWE gives it to them at the expense of the new wave of wrestlers. And let's be honest, Trish Stratus wasn't known as a paradigm of technical wrestling ability in her prime- most of her moveset was instead clumsily suggestive, to put it nicely. So I figured this match would be WWE doing what they often do in the past few years- shoot themselves in the foot by making one of their top heels look weak.

    And knowing the person they'd be making look weak, Charlotte Flair- arguably the top women's heel in the company, and also arguably the top women's wrestler as well, and despite the match appealing to my off balanced male hormones (I love boobs, cut me some slack!), the match did not appeal to me even slightly as a fan of pro wrestling. But as I was fast forwarding through, I noticed Charlotte Flair's hand raised in victory, as Trish lay defeated on the mat. And so a bit stunned, I rewound, and watched every single minute.

    Yes, Trish did her typical moveset, though I have to give her props for her conditioning- being out of wrestling for years, living the "sedentary" home life, you'd expect a lot more rust than she showed. And I also was not ready for the display of class she showed by the booking of the finish. Trish did all her normal spots, a nod to the fans- that nostalgia we all apparently crave so badly, but then the unlikely thing actually happened, she lost.

    Not only lost, but tapped out. I was floored. As someone who has watched decades of professional wrestling, I found humility and class in the most unlikely of places. I found it from a woman who spent most of her career being spotlighted for her physical attributes, as WWE cleverly played into it, most notably having her manage Test & Albert in the group known as T & A. Call it a hunch, but I don't think I was the only boy who read into T & A that much when Trish's boobs seemed to be choking her neck in every outfit she wore, and no outfit ever seemed to be able to contain her "A".

    You could say I, as many, were just hormonally driven, reading into it, but yeah right- any of us who watched WWE during the Attitude Era know better. WWE was in the business of selling sex in regards to the female wrestlers back then, and Trish was the featured woman of that generation. She wasn't hired for similar reasons to a Charlotte Flair, or an IO Shirai, Trish was put in groups like T & A, and raunchy segments with good old Vince McMahon to show off her body, and send pubescent boys into sexual overdrive- not a beacon of class, or an inspiration for hard work, or dedication to her craft as a professional athlete. And yet, laying on the mat after tapping out to Charlotte Flair on Sunday night at Summerslam, she was all of those things.

    As she gave everything she had in a fairly solid match with Charlotte after over a decade of retirement, inspiration for hard work. As she tapped out, dedication to her craft. As she struggled to pick herself up off the mat, her mortality and humility shining. As she gingerly acknowledged the crowd, and the fans at home, paired with her humble post match interview, her professionalism and class shined through. Trish Stratus showed me a side of her on Sunday I hadn't seen before, and returning legends like Bill Goldberg, The Rock, Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, e.t.c could all learn a thing or two from her in that regard. Trish could have easily demanded a win, even a decisive one. She could have pouted or insisted on favorable booking like the rest, but instead, she insisted on losing- her only request was one more chance to wrestle in front of a big crowd of fans, and to sell for who she feels embodies the modern progress the women's movement has made since her days of "sleeping with the boss to get ahead" segments.

    I went into Sunday not expecting much, and above all, I left refreshed, with a newfound appreciation for Trish Stratus that goes much deeper than skin. Finally, a returning legend whose ego didn't get the best of them, and instead, only wanted to pay it forward. That's the kind of return I as a fan welcome with open arms. Thank you, Trish Stratus, for showing true class.
    Last edited by Kleckamania; 4 Weeks Ago at 10:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Good stuff Kleck. I came to wrestling in 2008 so didn't get to live the rise of Trish and I would say that her legacy is a tad overstated given that following the middling highs of her work came some of the worst lows women's wrestling has seen. However it is undeniable that for all the reasons you mentioned she has a tremendous following and is remembered very well by fans who saw her rise.

    The thing I dislike about the veteran returns is just the gratuitous nature of them, they constantly seem to be patting themselves on the back. I also think they tend to stall and halt natural story progression as they aren't ever part of something ongoing it is generally just a one and done program. That said if they are going to do them (and they are) then this is probably the best way to handle them. Have them come in as a placeholder against someone not doing a whole lot, give them their moments but don't make them terribly competitive against someone who is meant to be a full time wrestler.

  3. #3
    I lived through the rise of Trish, and I rose for her. She was the icon of her generation, and I admit there's times I remained in my seat, being a young man who didn't know to appreciate her influence. But I rose for her. I rose her while sitting.

  4. #4
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    It definitely makes you wonder, what if in Trish's prime the women were actually taken seriously? I think there's a real chance she could have had a much higher number of good to great matches on her resume. Sadly we'll never know, but I'm really glad she brought it when given the chance.

    I think this also touches on an issue I feel strongly about with "part-timers"... I've never objected to the use of legends in wrestling, that goes back decades and it's possible to do it very effectively. This is a good example... Trish comes in, she's actually on TV a bit, she actually has a reason to mix it up with a current star, and she puts her over strong in the end. If WWE could follow that formula more often, I think they'd have a lot less pushback when bringing the legends in!

  5. #5
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Something else I noticed? She actually remembered to sell her injuries, even after the match finished and she was celebrating with the crowd. Considering most guys forget to sell injuries during the match, that shows true professionalism right there.

    You have to respect Trish for her whole career really. Despite the generation she came from, there were still women there who could wrestle. At first, she most certainly was not one of them. She learned on the job and became the best of her generation.

    Then, most importantly, she retired when she was still on top.

    Yes, she's led that sedentary life you mentioned for the past decade (and I hope for your sake no mothers read that you said that!), but despite being away for 10 years she's still only 42. Most of the part time guys you mention were still full time guys at that age. They also wrestled (generally) far more gruelling matches during their careers, which were twice as long as Trish's.

    When they come back a decade later, their bodies are broken. Due to the lower workrate women of her generation were put through and her earlier retirement, SummerSlam proved that Trish still has a lot to give should she choose to give it.

    And I agree, she showed true class in putting over the best of the current generation. Something I wouldn't mind seeing her do again - even if it did mean she has a few TV matches where she beats the female mid-card, so long as she puts over the upper card girls at PPVs she's doing her job properly.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Ty for the feed, everyone!

    Sam- couldnt have said it much better. This is how legends should come back imo. The gratuitous aspect of my column was definitely not just in regards to Trish's blatant sexuality in her first run, but an underlying nod to the guys who come back and wont put over other guys, or just go along with WWE putting them over everyone. She really impressed me at Summerslam.

    Ben- It took me until Summerslam to appreciate her beyond the superficial. I'm not saying she was a bad wrestler back then, but talent wise she would have been like middle of the pack in modern WWE. Her professionalism in this match with Charlotte though really was my biggest take away from the entire night. So much respect for her after that.

    Miz- I think Trish got to this level towards the end of her run. I honestly think she was better at Summerslam than she was when she was full-time. Thats part of what blew me away. That she was out of the business for so long, and got even better. When I look back to greats of that time, I honestly think of Medusa, Jazz, Jacqueline- and even they had to sell sex in order to get spots on a card. It was a very odd time in pro wrestling history when you look back at it from 2019.

    On your other point it isn't a stretch to fans, at all, to believe a returning legend would struggle against the current top full timers. I feel WWE has always believed that it would break a legends appeal, or make them look weak. And WWE only sees in dollars. Part of why Trish blew me away at Summerslam.

    Dynamite- what a great response! I noticed the selling too. She sold real well in a couple spots. I think with Trish, what impressed me most about her was that she wasnt just satisfied with being the sex object, so as her career went on she got better and better at wrestling- by the time she hung it up she was at her best. Then she came back and wrestled even better! My sedentary comment wasnt a shot at moms who live that life by any means. I am alone with my boys as much as my gf is, and parent life is brutally difficult at times. It was more in how she has been out of the wrestle life, sedentary by wrestlings terms- and yet seemed to just come back with practically no rust! Aside from the timing on her Running Bulldogs (which was always one of her downfalls) she looked great wrestle wise.

    The point about the wear on mens bodies is a great one. They do tend to bump harder, though this new generation of lady has caught right up I think. I think, regardless, Trish showed legends how it should be done. She impressed the hell out of me, and I wouldnt mind seeing her work a match with someone like Shayna down the road. Maybe she comes back because of how disrespectful Shayna is. It could work.

    Thanks guys!
    Last edited by Kleckamania; 3 Weeks Ago at 12:08 AM.

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