Diva’s Championship Match
Eve Torres (c) vs. Trish Stratus
TRISH STRATUS: Hall of Fame, 7-time Women’s Champion, Hardcore Champion, Diva of the Decade (1993-2003), 3-time Babe of the Year
EVE TORRES: 3-time Diva’s Champion, Assistant General Manager of Smackdown!, Diva Search 2007 winner
Ideally, this feud would have been booked to carry summer 2012. Eve Torres was a heel at that time and Layla El was the reigning Diva’s Champion (defeating Nikki Bella at Extreme Rules on April 29, 2012). By the time summer came around, Layla’s title reign had faltered and was irrelevant.
Eve would use her power to book (and stack) a match against Layla and steal her title (which she ended up doing on September 16) the same night she won it, then tout herself as WWE’s greatest diva ever. Enter Trish Stratus. This is where it would get tricky. Trish, being a veteran, wouldn’t be a credible babyface/underdog against Eve – so she’d have to come in as a heel – perhaps interfering in, and ultimately costing Layla her rematch for the Diva’s Championship at No Way Out (June’s 2012 PPV).
This would set up the feud – Trish Stratus (heel) vs. Eve Torres (heel). The next night on RAW, Eve denounces Trish for interfering in the match. Trish comes out to deliver a promo (like the one she delivered against Christy Hemme in 2005) about how she’s back and going to take what rightfully belongs to her (the Diva’s Championship).
I can’t recall WWE ever letting two heels carry a title program in the summer, let alone Divas, so this would have made for some interesting television. When you consider how strong Eve was as a heel, and how career changing Trish’s heel turn was, this would make for an insanely intense and captivating feud. The women would run through the Diva’s Division weekly, trying to one-up each other by defeating the face Divas every week. In the weeks leading up to SummerSlam, Trish and Eve would engage in short backstage brawls, allowing momentum to shift from one woman to the other. SummerSlam is upon us.
Technically speaking, Eve’s Jiu-Jitsu and in-ring repertoire has her evenly matched with Trish. However, for this match to work, the match would need a high-risk stunt and some outside of the ring antics. The two walk around the ring, each sizing up the other. The bell sounds and the two Divas collide. Eve’s height give her a slight advantage and she overpowers Trish to the mat. With a string of submission holds (the Fujiwara armbar into the triangle choke), Eve takes the early advantage.
The fight in Trish emerges and she reaches the bottom rope, breaking Eve’s hold. On the offensive, Eve charges and Trish sidesteps, sending Eve tumbling to the arena floor. Trish aggressively lands a series of kicks to the Eve’s abdomen, grabs her hair and slams her face into the barricade. Wanting to administer more punishment, Trish drags Eve to the ring steps and attempts to slam her face again – Eve counters, leaving Trish reeling on the outside.
The referee’s nearing the ten-count when both women find themselves back in the ring, Eve first. Eve has a slight advantage over Trish. She mounts a series of kicks on Trish and nails an early Heartbreaker (snap swinging neckbreaker). She drags Trish to the center of the ring – and instead of covering her, goes for a top rope moonsault. Eve climbs the turnbuckle and steadies herself on the top rope. Out of nowhere, Trish charges Eve, shoving her off the turnbuckle, sending her flying face first into the barricade. As Eve writhes in pain, Trish jumps out of the ring and withdraws a trash can. She sets the trash can up by the announcers’ booth and rolls Eve back into the ring, just to break the ref’s count. Trish exits the ring again.
Eve is groggy and crawling toward the bottom rope. Trish searches under the ring again, this time finding her Women’s Championship. Trish grabs a mic. and says, “Honey, take a look. Here’s a piece of gold you’re never going to have. I left as Women’s Champion, and I’m coming home as the Women’s Champion…” She sets the title on the announce table. Trish grabs the Diva’s Championship, holds it in the air and continues, “Who the hell wants this garbage anyway? This is what I worked so hard for? For my title to be retired and for girls like you carry around a bedazzled butterfly? You’re kidding me.” Trish drops the Diva’s Championship into the garbage can (shades of Madusa on Nitro)!!!
Eve finally begins to stand, Trish jumps up on the apron. She graps Eve by the hair and runs her face-first into the turnbuckle. Trish is now dominating the match. Eve stands, Trish is waiting – Chick Kick connects! Trish goes for the cover. Just before the ref. counts three, Trish pulls Eve’s shoulder up off the mat. She stands Eve up, then unceremoniously tosses Eve out of “her” ring. Trish screams, “Count it ref.”
The ref. gets to eight and Trish jumps out of the ring, to break his count. She disregards Eve and confronts and badmouths a fan. When Trish turns around, she’s met with a surprise knee to the gut from Eve. Eve slams Trish’s face into the mat and rolls her back into the ring. Eve drags Trish to the bottom rope and chokes her. The ref. separates the women and Trish rolls out of the ring for a breather.
Eve pursues. Trish evades. Trish rolls into the ring and goes on the offensive when Eve attempts to come back in. Trish mounts Eve and lands a series of forearms. She dismounts, grabs Eve’s hair and sets her up for the Stratusfaction. Trish leaps for the top rope and Eve counters, sending Trish flying back to the arena floor. Eve is in control.
Eve leaves the ring and tosses Trish back first into the steel steps, before rolling her back into the ring. Eve grabs Trish’s hair, pulls her up to the turnbuckle and hoists Trish into the air for a Hangman’s Choke. Eve breaks the hold before the ref’s five count. Then she does it again. This time, Trish manages to grab a handful of Eve’s hair and yanks her from the turnbuckle. Trish attempts another Chick Kick, but Eve ducks and nails Trish with a second Heartbreaker in the center of the ring. Eve climbs the ropes and jumps off, nailing her signature moonsault. The referee’s hand is just about to slam the mat for a third time when Eve returns the favor and pulls Trish’s shoulder off the mat.
Eve jumps out of the ring, grabs the Women’s Championship and mockingly poses for photos with the title beside Trish. Trish rolls over and the camera captures her look of disgust. The ref takes the title from Eve, she argues with him. When she turns around, Trish nails a spinebuster! Trish takes a knee and Eve stands and stumbles backwards to the turnbuckle. Trish charges, Eve counters, sending Trish to the mat. Eve climbs the turnbuckle and Trish nails the Stratusphere! Eve stands, and another Chick Kick connects! 1-2-3.
Trish tosses Eve from the ring and holds the Women’s Championship high in the air. Eve can’t believe she’s been defeated and digs her Diva’s Championship out of the trash. For these two, it’s just beginning.
Winner: TRISH STRATUS
Likelihood: Not Likely
Missed Opportunity?: Trish Stratus retired from full-time professional wrestling in September 2006. Eve Torres was under contract from 2007-2013. Since then, Stratus has returned to the WWE on only a handful of occasions as a competitor. Unfortunately for Torres, she didn’t hit her main event stride until 2012, during which time Stratus was competitively inactive. Torres left WWE in early 2013, and at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Stratus revealed she was expecting her first child.
If WWE could have worked out a summer-fall deal with Stratus to return in 2012, this match may have been possible. But was this a missed opportunity? Not really – was just a matter of timing and one woman left, while another was just starting.