Finally… just like the lyrics in her theme song Trish Stratus now holds a key to the city.
The 2013 Hall of Famer was presented with the key to the City of Niagara Falls, Ontario, by mayor Jim Diodati today. The key itself was designed and painted by local artist Skye Hicks.
“I’m honoured,” Stratus told Slam Wrestling after the presentation. “To see the connections…going back to WWE Niagara Falls, knowing that my family’s had their roots here, that we have this as a gathering place and then this is the next chapter in my career, my life…I really hope I have this job until I’m 95! It’s our home here. So, it feels apropos. It feels right.”
Stratus is currently one of the judges of Canada’s Got Talent which is filmed at The Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls.
“We were thrilled to highlight some of Trish’s accomplishments in the sports and entertainment world and to present her with the Key to the City,” Diodati said.
Since officially announcing her retirement from WWE in 2006 Stratus has made occasional appearances for the company. It was a recent spot as a guest host that inspired the seven-time women’s champion’s current run and transition to a more full-time schedule earlier this year.
Stratus couldn’t help but comment on her current feud with heated rival Becky Lynch.
“I ask you this. Does she have a key to the city? No. And will she be given one? No. But they’ll probably lock her out of the city after I’m done with her,” she laughed.
“I’m a huge fan of Becky Lynch – I used to be anyway. (Wink. Wink.) I think she’s a tremendous athlete. She’s obviously done so much for the business…Sometimes, you get in the ring with some people – not to say we were in the ring for more than a slap’s worth but sometimes you just mesh well with another performer and when you find that that’s a really special thing. Obviously coming back as my new persona was key for me. It was something new, different – for the fans different, for me different – and a challenge for me to come back and push my limits as a performer as well,” she continued.
Stratus says she’s been excited by the reaction to her heel work against Lynch but after 18 years as a fan favourite it’s been an adjustment for at least one member of her family.
“My mom was like, ‘They’re booing you!’ I’m like, ‘It’s the decibels of sound, Mom! I don’t listen to what they’re saying.’ It’s just hard for her to see her baby being booed, you know?” she said. “I’ve been a babyface for so long too and a lot of people didn’t think that they would boo me. Like, they’re never going to boo you. It’s Trish Stratus, Hall of Famer. I’ll make them boo me, trust me! That’s been the challenge too. I love just proving people wrong…I like the challenge. I want to rise to the occasion every time I step through the ropes.”
Aside from her personal goals Stratus says she’s eager for the return of more character work to the women’s division.
“I’m always very storyline-driven, character-driven, because initially that’s how I got my attention or got noticed,” she said. “It was more about the character work and less about the wrestling at the time but now it’s more about the wrestling work and perhaps less about the character work. We don’t see as much of it. So, it’s time to bring that character work back. I want to see storylines! I want to see depth! I want to see an evolution of a character! I want to see ebbs and flows! I want to see story arc! I think that’s what we’re bringing. We’ve seen some interesting things and people are buzzing about it and when you see people talking about it, and throwing their catchphrases back out there, I think that’s what was missing from the ladies a little bit. So, I hope you’re enjoying it. You’re welcome!”
Stratus recently participated in her first WrestleMania match in more than a decade teaming with Lita and Becky Lynch in a six-woman contest against Damage CTRL (Bayley, Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky). With the 40th anniversary of WWE’s biggest annual event taking place next year in Philadelphia, the Canadian was asked if she had contemplated having another WrestleMania moment.
“Oh, I don’t know! I guess we’ll have to see if I’m still doing my thing. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be defending my women’s championship title. Who knows?” she said.