Candice reflects on sweet Unforgiven victory

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September 18, 2007

The Tortoise trouncing the Hare. David downing Goliath. Appalachian State's monumental upset victory over Michigan. Add to this list of surprising outcomes, Candice Michelle's victory over Beth Phoenix at Unforgiven to retain the Women's Championship.

Beth, who some critics considered the odds-on favorite in the Women's Championship Match at Unforgiven, boasted an overwhelming size and strength advantage and dominated almost the entire match. But Candice somehow managed to defeat Phoenix and retain her title. Which begs the question, just how did the Candy-coated Diva manage to knock the Glamazon down to size?

The Women's Champion credits determination and heart with putting her over the top.

"I'm not giving up. I'm not going anywhere," insisted Candice, who maintained that she's more determined than ever to convince her critics that she deserves the gold. "If I have to do more to earn people's respect, that's exactly what I'm gonna do."

One person who doesn't need convincing is retired seven-time Women's Champion Trish Stratus. Having helped train Candice, Stratus says the Diva has improved immensely, and the Women's Champion will only continue to evolve.

"The Candice I see now has changed a lot," Stratus told WWE.com. "She has more confidence and obviously more experience."

For her part, Candice credits Stratus with helping her to perfect her moves and hone her in-ring abilities.

"When I was first at WWE, Trish always taught me something valuable," recalled Candice. "At the time I didn't realize how much I was learning, but now when I look back, it was amazing."

Candice hopes to mimic the dominance of Stratus, but she may have to decisively get past the challenge of Beth Phoenix first. The Glamazon suggested Monday night on Raw that she may not be finished challenging for Candice's title.

But if Candice's resolve is any indication, she welcomes Beth's challenge, and may have the stamina to hold on to the Women's Championship for some time.

"I'm still the Women's Champ," she said, staring down at the gold in her lap. "And I'm gonna defend this title with everything I have."

Vote: Will Candice's luck eventually run out against Beth Phoenix?

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