Match Spotlight: Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James
Throughout Trish’s career, she’s feuded with the high-flying Lita, daddy’s little girl Stephanie McMahon, the maniacal Victoria, and powerhouse Jazz. Towards the end of her career, Trish met one of her biggest adversaries, who was once known as her biggest fan.
In October 2005, Trish was facing Victoria when a mystery woman ran to the ring and attacked Victoria causing a DQ. Following the match, the woman introduced herself to a confused Trish as Mickie James, Trish’s number one fan. Mickie’s obsession with Trish in the following months went from a fun loving super fan to an overprotective stalker. Trish made it clear to Mickie that she needed space because her affection was becoming a little too much. This triggered a vengeful side of Mickie and she turned on Trish with a vicious attack. A few days later, Mickie abducted Trish’s friend Ashley and challenged Trish to a match at WrestleMania 22 for her Women’s Championship. Trish accepted, and the mind games continued in the coming weeks leading up to the match.
On April 2, 2006, Trish faced off against Mickie at WrestleMania in front of a fiery crowd at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois The two women started off with a vicious lockup before Trish took control of the situation and hit Mickie with a Lou Thesz Press, followed by some kicks in the corner and a few hearty chops. The bout spilled to the outside of the ring, where Trish's attempted Chick Kick is adverted by Mickie causing Trish's leg to smash against ring post. This proved to be a turning point for Mickie who took advantage of the injured knee of Trish. Mickie continued to work over the knee with various strikes and holds. After a few minutes, Trish is able to counter the attacks into a whirlybird followed by some punches but Trish’s comeback is short lived when Mickie counters a Stratusphere by jumping off the top rope onto the floor, further injuring Trish’s knee! After a failed pin attempt, Trish rolls Mickie up for a 2 count, throwing her off balance. Trish makes a brief comeback after reversing a corner hurricanrana into a power bomb, but it wasn’t enough as Mickie kicks out at 2. Trish tries for her signature Stratusfaction but is halted by a shocking gesture from Mickie which stuns not only Trish, but the entire Allstate Arena! Mickie proceeds to knee Trish in the face and hits her with her own signature Chick Kick (later dubbed the Mick Kick by James). Mickie then scores the pinfall to win her very first Women’s Championship in her debut WrestleMania match.
This match, a win against the veteran and then six-time Champion Trish Stratus, essentially helped launch the career of Mickie James. A few months later when Trish retired, she faced Mickie James one last time in her final Raw match. A handshake at the end of the match from Trish was seen as a sort of passing of the torch. Once Trish retired, it was Mickie who continued to cement the legacy of the women’s division. She become an overall 5-time Women’s Champion and 1-time Divas Champion throughout her career. It all comes full circle for James 11 years later after her infamous showdown with Trish, when she will challenge for the SmackDown Women’s Championship Sunday night at WrestleMania 33.