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By Steve Knight
As the wrestling superstars of the WWE gear up for their visit to Tyneside this weekend, one woman has her sights set on giving her fans the ultimate Stratusfaction.
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), formerly the WWF, is heading for the Newcastle Telewest Arena on Saturday, with female wrestler Trish Stratus topping the bill.
And extra tickets for the previously sold-out show are now on sale. They became available when the space needed by the TV production crew filming on the night was less than expected.
All prices of tickets are available on 0870 707 8000, www.telewestarena.co.uk, or in person at the Arena or Virgin megastore in Newcastle, on a first-come-first-served basis.
"I'm so excited to come to Newcastle," said Trish. "I've never been before and I'm definitely looking forward to it."
She admits wrestlers do not get a lot of time to themselves, although given the chance, she'd love to hit the bars of Newcastle.
"I collect shot glasses," she says. "When I visit a new place, I just have to have one."
When Trish first joined WWE in the latter part of 2000, she rarely stepped inside the ring and instead accompanied other male wrestlers down to the squared circle.
However, after a high-profile storyline with the real-life owner of the company, Vince McMahon, she suffered an injury that put her on the shelf for several months.
"Back then, I had a lot of time to relax and watch wrestling on TV again," she says. "I began to see it through the eyes of a fan and gave a lot of thought as to what I would like to see.
"Women are very diverse. We can act as valets or mix it up in the ring, and that is what I wanted to do next."
Trish and her fellow WWE female wrestlers have formed an impressive division which continues to impress the organisation's huge legion of fans.
"The spirit in the women's locker room has never been so high before," she says. "I absolutely love the camaraderie in there. We all get along great."
While the card for the Newcastle event, dubbed Insurrextion, is unknown as yet, Trish is sure that the women involved will pull off a great match.
Some of the superstars scheduled to appear at the extravaganza, which will be screened live on Sky Box Office, include Trish herself as well as other grapplers such as Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Triple H and The Dudley Boyz.
Trish said: "I love all of my fans, and come Insurrextion, I promise to give all of them a taste of Stratusfaction."
Trish Stratus Factfile
* Trish is Canadian and still lives in Toronto, Ontario.
* She has held the WWE Women's Championship a record four times.
* She is best friends with the WWE's ring announcer, Lilian Garcia.
* Her two trademark moves are the Stratusfaction and the Stratusphere
* Trish's entrance music is performed by Lil' Kim, while her arch-rival Victoria is backed by Tatu's number one hit All The Things She Said.
* Other WWE wrestlers in the women's division include Jazz, Ivory, Molly Holly, Jacqueline and Stacy Keibler.
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