Trish’s quest for gold wasn’t forecasted. As we know, she did not enter the WWE as an acclaimed competitor from WCW, ECW, or the indies. Sure, she did have her matches here and there, like this awesome one with Stephanie McMahon at No Way Out 2001, but none involved championship gold. The evolution of Trish Stratus as a true competitor in WWE’s women’s division had to begin somewhere, and it really took off following her very first championship win at Survivor Series 2001.
WWE Women’s Champion Chyna departed from the company, and the title was vacated. After months, the WWE decided to refocus on the women's division and bring the WWE Women's Championship. To kick it off, the title was put on the line at the Survivor Series pay-per-view and it featured all the current female Superstars in the company competing in a 6 Pack Challenge, and one woman would be crowned the new WWE Women's Champion. The competitors included WCW/ECW Alliance members Ivory, Mighty Molly (Holly) and Jazz and WWE members Lita, Jacqueline, and Trish Stratus, who had recently returned from an ankle injury.
As the women made their way to the ring, Jim Ross explained the rules of the match – there would only be 2 women in the ring at once with the remaining 4 in each corner of the ring, tags can be made to anyone at anytime and the first woman to score a pinfall or submission would be the new Women’s Champion. Jazz made her debut in the company as the sixth and final participant, running to the ring and delivering a side slam followed by a suplex to Lita. Stumbling to a corner of the ring, she was tagged out by Jacqueline while Jazz tagged in Molly. After a series of tags were exchanged between the ladies, Jacqueline tagged in Trish, much to the crowd’s delight. She hits a slingshot into the ropes followed by a flapjack on Ivory. The momentum is short-lived when Molly kicks Trish, giving Ivory the advantage, eventually leading to a 3-on-1 beatdown to Trish by the Alliance. Lita and Jacqueline make the save and take out the Alliance, giving us some Hardy Boy tag team move realness in the process. After the melee between all the women, Trish sent Lita and Jazz out of the ring, leaving her and Ivory to face off. Veteran Ivory thought she had it in the bag, but was quickly surprised when Trish busted out her new finisher – the Stratusfaction (which we’ve since come to know and love!) and scored the surprise win.
Going into the match Trish was the clear underdog and the last pick on any ones mind to walk out as Champion. This victory solidified Stratus as a viable competitor in the women’s division and more than eye candy. Also, the match brought on a resurgence in the stagnant women’s division. Trish would go on to feud with newcomer Jazz who put her through the test and elevated her game to match that of the years of experienced Jazz brought. The WWE Universe witnessed the rise of Trish Stratus as she honed her skill in the ring from newbie to one of the most decorated Superstars in WWE history. When it was all set and done, Trish entered the history books as a record-breaking seven time WWE Women's Champion.