The day before her interview with La Presse, Trish Stratus’ name went viral on social media. The cause: a selfie she posted. What’s special about the photo: You can see almost every color in the spectrum on Stratus’ nose.

Caption below photo: This is the face of the women’s division.

And what caused that bruise? “Becky and the ladder. »

“Becky” is Becky Lynch, a mainstay of WWE women’s wrestling, who wrestled with Stratus last Saturday at the Money in the Bank event in London. And the scale? It’s that the fight in question was a ladder match, featuring six female wrestlers.

“But that’s part of the job, that’s okay!” “, she assures.

Strange as it may seem, Stratus was partly happy to have suffered this “accident”. The 47-year-old came to WWE around the turn of the millennium, when the company was churning out its most irreverent stories.

“Women’s wrestling, you almost had to remove the word ‘wrestling’ from the expression, illustrates Pat Laprade, wrestling historian. It was more the physique and the look of the women than their athletic abilities. Trish arrives and we exploit her physical attributes. In one script, Vince McMahon had Trish get down on her knees and yelp. It wasn’t very glorious, and Trish worked hard to give credibility to those with athletic ability. »

The women’s division still saw some progress in the 2000s, thanks in particular to Stratus, Lita and a handful of wrestlers. But Stratus walked away from wrestling in 2006, and has since made a few sporadic comebacks for a few fights.

In the meantime, WWE has taken to giving love to its women’s division, to the point where more spectacular fights like those involving a ladder are becoming more common. According to the specialized site Cagematch, it was the 18th women’s ladder fight in WWE. But from the first by Trish Stratus!

“We were told. Like, we wanted to plan a chair shot, and we were like, ‘No, no, no, that’s for the guys. “Today is much more egalitarian, we can explore. People don’t realize how difficult it was back then. Even the names have changed. Back then, women were the divas, and guys were the superstars. Now we’re all superstars. »

The recent evolution of women’s wrestling hasn’t come out of the blue either. WWE now trains its wrestlers, like its wrestlers, at its Florida training facility. There too, the present generation of wrestlers is entitled to a chance that Stratus did not have, she who had first landed in WWE as a big wrestling fan, but without much experience between the cables.

“The performance center is crucial, the girls come out ready,” she says. Me, I learned on the job, I had never wrestled in front of an audience, and there, I had to do it live on television. It hasn’t always been pretty! »

“Today, the biggest difference is that we favor athleticism over looks,” adds Pat Laprade. And we allow them to have the same opportunities in the ring. Now there’s a women’s Royal Rumble, they’re making finals at WrestleMania, and they’re getting good minutes for their fights. Trish had to fight for it, but for today’s generation, it’s a given. »

Stratus will be making his second appearance at Montreal Comiccon. She also participated in a few WWE shows at the Bell Center. His best memory in town? One evening in May 2004, when she had just passed into the camp of the villains.

“Behind the scenes, I was told, ‘We’re in Canada, people are going to applaud you. “So I took it easy, I made jokes about frogs and about French. It worked, the crowd booed me! »

Fans who meet her will certainly be able to talk hockey with her. His nephews, twins Paul and Alex Christopoulos, have played the past three seasons in the OHL. And she is an avowed Maple Leafs fan. “Mats Sundin was my favorite player when I was younger, he was our captain for a great time. And I don’t know if that’s the fighter in me, but I’ve always loved Tie Domi. »

Stratus will also be able to surprise fans with a few words of French, which she drops here and there during the interview. There are currently three Quebecers in WWE, namely Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Maryse Ouellet. “Kevin always jokes that my accent is not as bad as Sami’s!” »