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Trish Stratus: One year later
Leaning on the deck rail of an Alaskan cruise liner watching melting glaciers fall into Alaska's Disenchantment Bay, Trish Stratus' mind was far from the bumps and bruises of the WWE ring.
Instead of watching fellow Superstars collide on Raw as she celebrated her one-year anniversary of her last WWE match, she saw forces of nature collide as parts of the six-mile long face of the Hubbard Glacier melted into the bay. The cruise with her husband was the first real vacation the two had shared since their wedding nearly a year ago.
"It was really cool," Stratus told WWE.com in a phone interview from her Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, home. "We went whale-watching, did some fishing … a lot of stuff I never got to do before."
Watching nature at its most powerful was a fitting, relaxing way to end a whirlwind year outside the ring for the Diva of the Decade, who's been keeping busy since her departure from WWE.
Sept. 17 marked one year since she laced up her boots for the last time in Toronto at Unforgiven. She defeated Lita to win her record-setting seventh Women's Championship, earning an emotional standing ovation from her hometown crowd.
She walked away a champion -- in the minds of many, the greatest Women's Champion of all time.
But days after her emotion-filled final match, she walked down the aisle of a different kind. She married her high-school sweetheart Ron.
"Me and Ron celebrated 15 years together in August ... we've been together forever," Stratus said. "He's the most supportive guy, and he's the reason why I stuck with the business for that long. He kept my head up, kept me grounded. He's who I'd come home to and take the trash out every week ... Even if I was wearing the title, I still needed to take the trash out."
The wedding was covered by the entertainment media in Canada, showing pictures of Trish in her gorgeous dress. But just as the pair planned a move into their new Toronto-area home and a romantic honeymoon to follow, their plans were delayed by a call from Hollywood.
Months earlier, Paul Heyman had mentioned Stratus' name to CBS for a possible TV series about celebrity police officers. The project got the green light from the network, and Trish was called to rush to Muncie, Ind., to start training.
Armed & Famous featured Stratus and four other celebrities as real-life police officers in the college town of Muncie, Ind. -- home of Ball State University.
"I love tackling new challenges. We went into two weeks of intense training," Stratus recalled. "We did everything that real police officer training would consist of. We were sworn in, got badges, got guns, got uniformed up and went on this crazy schedule."
Working a 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift daily was stressful enough. But throw in producer interviews and recording taped segments, and the reality show became downright tiring.
"It was a crazy grind we were all on. It was funny because everyone was burnt out. I was the only one who sucked it up and wasn't getting sick and run down," Stratus explained. "You see, the WWE schedule did something good for me. After doing [WWE's] schedule, this was nothing."
Handling everything from prostitution, domestic disputes and robbery calls, Stratus comforted and consoled house fire victims, as well as trading verbal barbs with mouthy criminals. But Trish itched for something more physical and action-packed to happen. She finally got to chase down a suspect near the end of the series.
"I show up at the house. There's a guy standing outside the house with a hammer. He sees me, drops the hammer and starts running," Trish recalled. She tackled the man after chasing him several blocks.
Regrettably, Stratus' suspect smackdown never made it to air -- Armed & Famous was canceled after just four episodes.
"Every time I arrested someone, they'd be like, 'Damn, I can't believe I got arrested by Trish Stratus.' Like they were proud of that. Man, that's awful," Stratus recalled.
Second City taps Trish
After Trish turned in her badge in Muncie, she received a call from television producers working with the famed comedy troupe, The Second City.
Stratus had done improv work with the troupe in 2004 while rehabbing a broken thumb, and performed in a show at their Toronto theater.
With performances on Fox's Mad TV and the Montreal Just For Laughs festival also on her resume, producers wanted her to host a series for CBC about Second City's national talent search for Second City's Next Comedy Legend.
Airing over the summer, the new series gave Trish a showcase for her comedic skills, interacting with contestants in a sassy, sarcastic, off-the-cuff way that kept both contestants and judges on their toes.
"They really didn't know what they were going to get from me," Stratus said. "If you just know Trish the wrestler, you really don't know what she's about." Watch the video...
The series helped open new doors for the seven-time Women's Champion, as she's now talking to CBC about future projects. Also in the past year, Trish has appeared as co-host of Entertainment Tonight Canada, a presenter at the National Hockey League Awards Gala and has done numerous signings and charity appearances to keep busy.
But the one thing she enjoys most is watching the fruits of her work surrounded by her husband, friends and family -- enjoying the time at home to the fullest.
"Every Tuesday, everyone comes home and we watch my show together, which is nice because I never got to watch my own wrestling with my friends and family before because I was on it, it was live," Stratus said.
"I can't believe I've been away from wrestling for a year, it's pretty crazy"
Will Trish ever return to WWE to try at an eighth Women's Title reign? She discusses a possible comeback and future plans in Part 3 of her interview with WWE.com, coming soon.
Part 1 of her interview discussing the Women's Championship, Divas and Unforgiven is available here.