Trish Stratus on working as a heel during her WWE return and why Vince McMahon didn’t think it would work, feuding with Becky Lynch

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet) 

The Game Plan podcast with Trish Stratus
Hosts: Giancarlo Aulino and Aaron Zaretsky (@thegameplan_tgp on Instagram)
Interview available via

On her WWE return and feud with Becky Lynch: “It’s been so many years since I was wrestling. I look back, I retired in 2006, like that’s so long ago, right? So the fact that I could go back and have a second run – a second chance at it. And I’ve been back a number of times, I was asked back a number of times to have a mini-run, stuff like that and work with Becky [Lynch]. And I just felt like I wanted to do it differently and I kept saying if I could do it I’d like to go back as a heel. It just felt like for me as a performer, I’d enjoyed the challenge to come back as a mature performer and all the stuff I had learned and I had done from back in the past to now, how would I present heel Trish?

“So that was fun for me to do and created a great dynamic between me and Becky, you know, the beloved babyface of Becky. I just, I loved it and I got to do things that I never got to do back in my day, so we did not have the opportunity to be in a cage match, we did not have the opportunity to go to Saudi Arabia, did not have an opportunity to even stand on the announcers’ table and do a bump you know what I mean? So these little things that I got to go back and do, it was nice because I know me and the golden era girls, we had I’d like to think a little hand in creating the foundation of what the massive and very sturdy structure of the women’s wrestling today. We had a great hand in the structure or the foundation of it all, and so to go back and be able to dip my toes into those waters was pretty special and it’s not lost on me the fact that some of these girls grew up watching me or got into it even because of watching me.

“So, it’s very cool and I got to work with some of the great talent that who would’ve thought that I have ever gone back and been able to get into the ring with Bayley and Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai and all these people that there’s so many generations removed. And we got to have some cool stuff and some interesting moments and create a generational face-off, I mean, who doesn’t love a generational face-off? Fantasy booking live right in front of your face. So, yeah, I thank my lucky stars to be able to have gone back and it was a blast.”

Trish’s thoughts on beloved babyfaces like herself and The Rock returning as heels and the difference between Vince McMahon and Triple H’s booking: “Trying to force you [fans] to change your mind. I think it’s cool. I know Vince [McMahon] like even for the longest time, Vince wasn’t on board with me coming back and being a heel. He’s like, ‘They’ll never boo you’, and then it was Triple H who was like, ‘All right, let’s give this a try’ kind of thing and he enjoyed the idea of Becky [Lynch] and I having a program. But, it is a bit of work. I remember the first time, did the heel turn and came back in that outfit – my first promo – and it was vintage Trish Stratus. And then coming out, like it was audible people were like, ‘Oh yeah, she is.’ But they were quickly to be like, ‘Yeah, I mean, boo.’ I think that we’re all along for the ride. They love to hate me and it’s kind of waking up the audience like, ‘I need you guys to boo me here. This is what I’m doing here,’ and wrestling fans, that’s what we do right? It’s a relationship that we have.

“We all know our roles and I think it’s cool that wrestling fans and characters, and superstars can do that right? Have that relationship and sort of wink at the audience just like I did throughout my time doing all these callback moments and things like that was about winking to my fans, tapping into that nostalgia and like if you know, you know moments. I read this one comment when I made the decision to put the mask on – it was just a fluke – I was in that ladder and I got nicked on the nose – and everyone freaked out, ‘Oh my God broken nose’, and all that stuff and I was like, ‘Broken nose, you say?’ So I busted that out and I literally found that same mask and I wore that, and I remember reading a comment saying, ‘Oh, she’s taking a page out of Cody Rhodes’ book.’ I’m like, ‘I’m pretty sure Cody Rhodes took the page out of my book first, but yeah, okay, sure new fan.'”

On what she has noticed during her ‘Bad Girl Tour’: “I’ll tell you what the cool thing is being able to go back and do that. I’ve been doing the ‘Bad Girl Tour’ and having these one-on-one interactions with my fans and this signing tour has allowed me to see a fan who grew up watching me, which makes me feel old at times but that’s fine. But now they’re with their kid – their daughter or their son is now watching me – and they’re a fan, that’s what’s really cool to me. I’m seeing a whole new generation of fans and they’re loving what we’re doing, they love that we are women dominating, you know, we’re strong women and this is a male-dominated world. Like, there’s a handful of women that can do what we do and they recognize that but it’s not to say that they just see us doing our wrestling job. They are seeing that we are passionate about what we do, we are knocking down barriers, we’re doing stuff that’s really great for women to look after and the young women to look at and I’m just honored to be a part of it still.”


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