Match Spotlight: Trish Stratus vs. Lita
Trish and Lita were not always the dynamic duo known as Team Bestie. And we already know this, because we talked about it here and here. However, we didn’t really talk about Unforgiven 2006, which is a pretty important night. As we reach the 10 year anniversary of Trish’s retirement from WWE, we take a look back at the final showdown between the two adversaries.
In the summer of 2006, Trish had begun tagging with Carlito, while the meddlesome Rated-R couple of Edge and Lita continued to cause havoc in the main event scene. Having seemed like Lita was the last of her worries, the 6-time Women’s Champion was in complete shock when her new tag partner questioned her regarding retirement rumors. The source of the rumors? You guessed it – Lita. Needless to say, Trish was not too happy about the news being spilled without her consent, but she confirmed it to be true. The following week, Trish went on to confront Lita, the Women’s Champion at the time, proposing that they go one last time in Trish’s hometown in a title match. With confidence, Lita agreed to the bout. We watched Trish and Lita grow – both together and separately – from the start of there careers until now, so there was no doubt that this match would be one to watch.
Once the match started, both women locked up before Trish gained control of the match, sending Lita to the outside of the ring. Trish stepped outside the ropes and executed an Air Canada from the apron, followed by a modified Stratusphere, tossing Lita from the top of the ring steps to the floor. They both re-enter the ring while Jim Ross reminds us that these two were actually tag team partners at Unforgiven 2003 against Gail Kim and Molly Holly. The back and forth between the future Hall of Famers went to the corner, onto the turnbuckle and to the top ropes until Lita knocked Trish back into the ring. Lita continues to work the midsection on a visibly worn Trish following a failed Stratusfaction. Focusing on Lita’s surgically repaired neck, Trish comes back with a neck breaker to even the playing field. As both ladies make it to their feet, they trade blows until Trish hits two of her signature moves (Stratusphere and Chick Kick) back-to-back. Lita was prepared though and she kicked out to everyone’s shock (and some’s dismay)! Giving the Stratusfaction another shot (or so we thought), Trish reversed her signature move into a roll-up pin. Lita attempted to stop the pin by grabbing the ropes, but Trish fully connected. Before the ref made it to the 3-count, Trish stood and locked in the Sharpshooter on her enemy, paying homage to Canadian Superstar Bret "Hitman" Hart. The bell rung as Lita submitted to the Sharpshooter and Trish won her retirement match. Not only that, but she made history as the only 7-time Women’s Champion.
The final chapter of Trish Stratus vs. Lita had been written, as the fans in Toronto cheered on the hometown hero in her victory. Shortly following Trish’s retirement, Lita also finished her in-ring career in November at Survivor Series, marking the end of an era. In the following years, the likes of Natalya, Beth Phoenix, Michelle McCool, Mickie James, Layla and Melina all carried on the legacy of the women’s division, helping make it what it is today. More recently, following the surge of the Women’s Evolution, we have 2 Women’s Championships, which is pretty remarkable. But as they say, there is nothing like the original. And while that story has ended, I don’t think I’m the only person waiting for the sequel.
• Exclusive: Team Bestie HOF diary
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