Coming full circle

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September 16, 2006

The last time the World Series was in Toronto, the hometown Blue Jays gave the Canadian fans a moment they would never forget. With Toronto ahead 3 games to 2 in the series but behind 6-5 in the game, Joe Carter strode to the plate in the bottom of the 9th inning and crushed a two-strike pitch just over the left field fence, giving the Blue Jays an 8-5 victory and their second consecutive World Series crown in about the most dramatic fashion north of Broadway.

Toronto fans haven't had much to cheer about since then, but when Unforgiven rolls into town on Sunday, the WWE faithful will be looking to another hometown favorite to provide some world class heroics as Trish Stratus strides to the ring in the bottom of the 9th inning of her storied career. Sunday's pay-per-view will be Trish's last match, and if she defeats WWE Women's Champion Lita, she will retire with a record seventh Women's Championship.

"They say that seven is a lucky number," Trish kidded.

Current Women's Champion Lita is not quite as amused. She wants to remind everyone what another Toronto local -- her Rated R partner in crime Edge -- did to John Cena in his hometown at SummerSlam by defeating Trish in her hometown at Unforgiven.

"I know that she's gonna be on her A-game and be there to impress all her fans for the last time, so I better bring it as well -- and I'm ready to," Lita assured WWE.com.

Trish and Lita have had as bitter a rivalry as any in WWE throughout Trish's decorated tenure as a WWE Diva. The two have clashed many times, and it is only fitting that Trish's final match will come against the same opponent that she faced in her first. For Trish, her hometown retirement party at Unforgiven is as much about looking back as it is about moving on.

"I think back to the time when I really got rolling -- when the Women's Championship was brought back in 2001 and I became champion for the first time -- and it seems like it would just be coming full circle if I was to go out with it," Trish reflected.

The fact that the match will occur in Trish's hometown adds an extra special intangible, as every single WWE fan in attendance will likely be pulling for Toronto's favorite daughter. Lita told WWE.com that she expects the fans to be on her side, and that their unwavering support for Trish will not throw her off her game.

"I know that's how it's gonna be, and that's fine. Go for it," she dared the WWE fans.

Trish won't have to worry about going up against those fans, but she is still worried about how they will react. Trish has built her reputation on giving everything she has for the fans that have showed her so much adoration, and Sunday's pay-per-view is still about them for the six-time Women's Champion.

As always, for Trish, the most important thing about Sunday's match is "Leaving my fans Stratus-fied."

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