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Significant Diva on Diva action
At Unforgiven, Trish Stratus won her record-setting seventh Women’s Championship. It was her last match before retirement, and while it cemented her place in Women’s wrestling history, it also left the championship vacant.
An 8-Diva tournament began Monday on RAW to crown the next Women’s Champion, and the RAW Divas all shared their thoughts on what the revered award means to them.
Besides Trish, such legends as Sheri Martel, Wendy Richter and Fabulous Moolah have all held the Women’s Championship. For many of the Divas, to be held in the same esteem as these women is what being champion is all about.
“All of the top women in the WWE have held the Women’s
Championship,” explained one former champion, Mickie James. “I
think it’s prestigious and honorable to be the Women’s
Champion. I was really honored to hold it when I first won it from Trish at
WrestleMania 22 (before losing it to Lita). It’s a huge honor to be
crowned Women’s Champion and it is an honor I look forward to having
Lita, a three-time champion who lost the gold to Trish at Unforgiven, agreed.
“I think that the championship means a lot not
only for its historical value; within the last five years or so, there
have been more women on the roster in WWE than ever before, so
there’s more competition,” she said. “I think a
tournament is a great opportunity for the Divas to showcase their talent
and to see competition that sometimes gets lost in the entertainment
that the Divas also provide to the show.”
“It’s a big deal,” Melina confessed. “Men have more than one championship, but for women, there’s just one for all of us and it means a lot. It represents the cream of the crop, the top of all the Divas.”
All of the Divas share a respect for the Women’s Championship that transcends their own desire to be champ.
“I’m just starting; I think it’s just the very beginning for me, so there is no comparison between me and those legends,” said a sincere Maria. “I’m going to fight tooth and nail. In the end, if I don’t wind up as champion, I just hope that someone who really and truly deserves it does get it.”
During Trish’s many reigns, it was always important to her that the Women’s Championship represented women’s empowerment. Her example has left an impression, as all of the RAW Divas listed qualities of a Women’s Champion that were in line with Trish’s vision.
“The championship embodies a woman who is strong, independent and all the things that I aspire to be,” beamed Torrie Wilson. “Like the other Divas, I’m a strong and independent woman who isn’t afraid to show my athletic ability and isn’t some weak little girl that’s going to go cry in the corner.”
Another thing the Divas all felt strongly about was that part of being the Women’s Champion was being a role model for other girls and women.
“I think that I show women that they can be everything they want,” boasted Victoria. “They can be tough and strong and sexy because I am all of those things. Plus I have a college background, so I am not just some muscle head.”
Candice Michelle thinks she has an equally personal message to bring to the WWE fans. Not coming from a strong wrestling background, Candice has been training hard since joining WWE to make up for lost time.
“I want to show people that if you believe in something and you have the dedication and you go after your dreams, anything can happen,” said Candice. “If you don’t go after your dreams somebody else will, so you just have to go for it, otherwise it will never happen.”
Monday night marked the beginning of the women’s tournament. It seems like a fitting way to crown the new champ after Trish’s legendary career, by highlighting eight talented, strong, confident, beautiful, competitive women doing what they love best. All the Divas are aware of the large shoes to fill as Women’s Champion, but all are looking forward to the potential challenge.
Unforgiven: Read about Trish's final reign
Title History: Women's Championship