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A RAW farewell

On September 17, Trish Stratus will return home to Toronto, Canada, for RAW's Unforgiven pay-per-view, and her final WWE match. On that day, she will challenge her long-time rival Lita for the WWE Women's Championship. But before she makes her final stop at Unforgiven, Trish will return to the home of WWE, Madison Square Garden, to face Mickie James and to bid farewell to Monday Night RAW.

Trish's rivalry with Lita over the years will certainly help to define her incredible legacy, but the saga between the WWE's quintessential Diva and relative newcomer Mickie James will undoubtedly be remembered as the most bizarre, and perhaps the most competitive chapter of Trish's storied career.

It all started in October of last year when an energetic and newly-signed Mickie James made a memorable RAW debut when she stormed the ring and saved her "idol" Trish Stratus from a post-match beating at the hands of fellow Diva Victoria. In the coming weeks, however, we learned that Trish was not just Mickie's "idol", but also the subject of a demented obsession.

In the months that followed, Mickie was exposed as less of a fan, and more of a stalker to the beloved RAW Diva. WWE cameras showed Mickie and Trish in a series of awkward moments. Who could forget when Mickie stole Trish's towel outside of the locker room shower? Or, how about the shocking mistletoe kiss the day after Christmas? And of course, the disturbing homemade shrine that Mickie revealed shortly before WrestleMania 22? The above mentioned were just a few of Mickie's bizarre antics, and were more than enough to drive an ordinary Diva into an extended exile. Trish, however, handled herself with the professionalism of a true WWE Diva, and preferred to settle their differences in the ring.

Their showdown over the Women's Championship at WrestleMania 22 was one of the most memorable women's matches in WWE history. Unfortunately for Trish, that Sunday night in Chicago ended with her shoulders on the mat, and the eccentric celebration of the Diva newcomer over her seizure of the Women's gold.

Looking back, WrestleMania 22 was a symbolic changing of the guard in the WWE Diva landscape. The steady stalwart, leader and champion of the Diva class; Trish Stratus - passing the torch to what may be the future of the Diva division, Mickie James.

Since that day, things have cooled off between Trish and Mickie and the two have continued their relationship in the form of a mild rivalry and even a loose friendship. When Mickie found out that Trish was retiring, she expressed her admiration of the legendary Diva to WWE.com.

"I think Trish has been a wonderful performer and competitor here in WWE," said the emotional Diva. "She is truly someone to be admired by the women in this business, and I'm going to miss her dearly."

On Monday night, Trish will leave RAW with one last memory, and maybe one more victory when she faces her young rival at the Garden. What will happen when Trish and Mickie lock it up one last time? Which Diva will leave the Garden with her hand raised? Watch RAW on Monday, live at 9/8 CT and only on USA to find out.

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