Trish Stratus on WrestleMania 39 match, Lita, Bayley, WWE future

Trish Stratus saw too many boxes checked not to come out of retirement one more time for another match at WrestleMania.

The WWE Hall of Famer will tag with her best friend Lita along with Becky Lynch against Bayley, Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai of Damage CTL in a six-woman tag at WrestleMania 39 at Sofi Stadium on April 1 or 2.

It will be the 47-year-old Stratus’ first match since she lost to Charlotte Flair at SummerSlam in 2019.

A number of things drew her back, from finally getting a WrestleMania match with Lita after their 2005 program was derailed by her then-rival’s knee injury and getting to give back to the current generation of women in WWE.

“I want to be able to get in the ring with them and have the fantasy booking play out, that sort of thing,” Stratus said in a Zoom interview. “Like me and Charlotte. That accomplished that. For me, it’s this multi-generational thing. It’s the past, present and future. You have the past in me and Lita, the present with Becky any Bayley, and then you have the future in Dakota and Iyo. I thought, ‘God what a unique dynamic to bring to WrestleMania.”

Stratus, whose rivalry with Lita will be explored on A&E’s “WWE Rivals” on Sunday night, said the roots for this match goes back to her hosting WWE Live events in Canada over the past two years.

Lita (l. to r.), Trish Stratus and Becky Lynch will team at WrestleMania 39.

In March 2021 in Toronto she slapped a then-heel Becky Lynch and last August she confronted Bayley, Sky and Kai.

Both received a strong fan reaction in the ring and on social media.

Last week Bayley, a longtime fan of Lita, revealed a letter she wrote to her in high school and posted of photo of her and Stratus talking in the hallway of their hotel at 2 a.m. after she and Sasha Banks lost the WWE women’s tag team championships at WrestleMania 35.

“We did some live events in Toronto and there was this neat thing that we [Bayley and I] touched on and it’s fun for us to go down that path together,” Stratus said. “Now we are letting it play out. It’s been super fun and I think fans are totally digging it.”

Stratus officially returned during “Monday Night Raw” on Feb. 27 to even the odds and help Lynch and Lita defeat Sky and Kai for the women’s tag titles.

She first retired in 2006 with her mom battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma, came back for a mixed-tag match program at WrestleMania 27 in 20011 that included “Jersey Shore” star Snookie, then from 2018-19 for the first women’s Royal Rumble match, the all-women’s Evolution pay-per-view and then to face Flair.

The going-and-coming isn’t something she is concerned about.

“No, apparently not,” she said. “It’s always opportunity. I dabbled here and there, but when I came back and worked with Charlotte it was an opportunity to be at SummerSlam in my hometown of Toronto, have the generational [match] ….

“A lot of it 1679145882 was Lita and I going back and doing this moment together so fans can have their Trish and Lita moment is super cool. I love that and then the multi-generational aspect of it. It’s really cool to me. So what, Bayley unretired me. You get that. Bayley you can keep that.”

Lita and Trish Stratus

Stratus said before agreeing to the match she got in the ring and made sure she could still go at 100 percent and was happy with what she saw.

“Let’s just say, Trish is ready,” she said.

Stratus added she has been training regularly for he match from nine to midnight after putting her kids to bed.  

She didn’t definitely rule out wrestling again after WrestleMania 39 when asked if she thought this story might need a few more chapters.

“I’m hoping to conclude this at WrestleMania” Stratus said. “I think the mission is to shut up and stop Damage CTL and if I can accomplish that at WrestleMania, we’re good. As long as I can close the chapter. So we will have to see what happens at WrestleMania.”

The match will also mark another important moment for Stratus as it will be the first time her kids, 9-year-old son Maximus and 6-year-old daughter Madison-Patricia, will see her wrestle live.

She said they are finally getting into wrestling now, have watched some of her past matches on TV and were in attendance when she hosted live events, but this will be different because “they haven’t really seen me get beat up.”

Stratus said when she leaves for WWE events now she doesn’t have to tell them: “‘I have a speaking engagement about the importance of women in sport.’”

“To see me wrestle is a pretty unique opportunity for sure and now they get it,” she said. “They’re at the right age where they get it and they’re excited to watch wrestling now.”

She is however waiting to show them some of her more extreme matches from the past.

“When they’re ready to see their mom’s face getting smashed in I’ll show them my feud with Jazz,” Stratus said. “I’ll show them Victoria and how I got hit with a steel chair and important getting hit with a steel chair was for a woman back then.”

Trish Stratus and Lita
Craig Ambrosio/WWE

When asked if doing a heel run of her own was of any interest to her despite her beloved status with fans, Stratus didn’t rule it out but noted her on-screen persona wouldn’t change much.

“I’m the same character nowadays if I’m a good guy or a bad guy,” she said. “I’m still gonna talk s—t like a heel would, but I’m a good guy. I can still say what I want to say. I’m gonna take the jabs like a bad guy traditionally does. I’m Trish Stratus. This is how Trish Stratus comes back and talks.”

For now, she is going to enjoy the opportunity in front of her, reuniting with Lita and getting at least one more moment wrestling together.

“We both debuted 23 years ago, it’s pretty insane, right?” Stratus said. “To come back and share that moment with her. As friends, we’re traveling together. We’re enjoying the moment. We’re enjoying the road together and having fun while we’re doing it.  We feel privileged and honored to be doing this at this point in our career.”