|Your guide to stratusfaction on WWE Network
It's probably safe to assume Trish Stratus is happy to be back in the ring. Which means it's okay to skip the fluffy questions and get straight to the good stuff.
In our first one-on-one edition, we ask Ms. Stratus about being a bitch, paying attention to the Wrestling Observer, and whether Ashley Massaro will find bodily fluids in her gym bag as part of her WWE welcome.
Everybody wants to know...
Trish, you got your start in the business on a "smart" wrestling radio show. Coming from that background, is it a big deal when your in-ring work is praised by the LAW guys or Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer?
"Oh my God, absolutely. When I heard they were praising me, I thought 'Wow, that means so much.' They're the truest fans of wrestling, and for them to say those type of things really meant a lot. I have friends who listen to the LAW every single week and I get updates on what they all said.
"I think the fact that I was a real wrestling fan also made a huge difference for me in the ring. That's why it's not going to work out for some of these girls that come along that aren't fans of the business"
Wrestling is notorious for the hazing tactics on newcomers. Should Ashley Massaro be worried right about now, or does that type of initiation even happen to the girls?
"Sometimes it does, although I certainly would never be part of that sort of behavior (laughs). In Ashley's case, I'm sure she got her hazing when I was away and I didn't have to be involved. Hopefully, anyway.
"Although I did scare her before our first tag match, I winked at the other girls and then warned her it's going to start when she goes to the ring."
Trish, let's face it, you're a really nice person. And a lot of people thought you could never properly transition into a heel. But you did it so well that the question has to be asked: Were you surprised at how good you were at being a bitch?
"I was surprised. You never know when you're going into that kind of territory, but it worked because there's a realness to my character. Not to the bitch degree, but the witty comments and the sarcasm. So many people who know me watched it and said 'that was totally you.'
"It's like John Cena, the fans know they're getting the real him. I mean, I wasn't just playing the role of a bitch. I was true to what I did before, and had the same attitude, and it just happened to be bitchy because of who I was positioned against."
What were you thinking, sitting at home with an injury, watching the women's division being decimated?
"I thought about how there was a belt sitting upstairs that nobody had called me about. Which means I must be the best women's champ ever, right?"
Will you admit to being unimpressed with the new direction of the women's division? All the firings, the lack of actual wrestling, the Diva Search...
"You know, I frankly wasn't too interested in any of the women's stuff over those few months I was out. There just wasn't anything interesting, except for the Lita stuff. Obviously, she's done a tremendous character change, but she had no interaction with any other females.
"But now, just the fact that there's a change in landscape is exciting to me. What's interesting is the development of new characters. You see Victoria come back to the heel role she's so good at, and fans love to hate her.
"I think there's potential in Ashley, and there's obviously Alexis Laree being brought up too.
"Torrie Wilson is an interesting addition to Raw because we were fitness models together. We came up the same way and we've never interacted, apart from one invasion angle where we were in a tag match or a bra and panties mach or something.
"She's obviously going through a much needed character change, and now it's like having Batista and Brock Lesnar. You've never had these guys in the ring. It's crazy to even think about it.
"So no, I'm never discouraged because I just want to be entertaining, and that's exactly what I get to do."
Trish Stratus can be seen Monday nights on WWE Raw, and will compete in a Diva battle royal at Taboo Tuesday, Nov. 1 on pay-per-view.
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