Trish reaches milestone in championship reign

On Jan. 9, 2005, Trish Stratus blasted Lita with a Chick Kick on pay-per-view and won the Women's Championship for an unprecedented sixth time. Now, more than one full year later, Stratus has reached elite company as one of the longest-reigning champions of all time. Her 376 consecutive days as champion is all the more impressive considering the strength of the Women's Division compared to past years. caught up with Trish to commemorate the anniversary of her record-breaking championship victory and get her thoughts on the challenges this new year brings. What does the length and success of this reign mean to you?

Trish Stratus: Hard work pays off. I worked my butt off to be the best at what I do out there. I want to be remembered at the best Women's Champion ever. I've faced a lot of challenges during the past year, and in a sense, every match is a new challenge. They come from either a new opponent or the circumstances going into the match, but I thrive on new challenges. I try to go out there and each time and outshine my last performance; I want to leave a memorable impression with the fans -- and with my opponent -- every time. By doing that, I can maintain a championship level of performance, do the very best that I can, and keep this lengthy reign alive. You said you want to be remembered as the greatest Women's Champion ever. Many feel this current reign has put you over the top as the best ever. How does it feel to be considered perhaps the Women's Champion for the ages?

Stratus: It's a huge honor to hear such praise. There's a strong focus on the Women's Division right now, and there are so many women who have the ability to challenge me. It really allows us to go out there and charter new territory, and it provides entertaining and exciting matches for the fans. It's great for the championship and for the Women's Division. How have you been able to hold the championship for so very long?

Stratus: I've tried to constantly evolve as a performer and a champion. I'm always trying to incorporate new styles of wrestling. The key is that I thrive on challenges, and by putting new tactics and moves into play, I'm able to cope with those obstacles with success. Few Superstars have succeeded in holding an active championship as long as you. "Ravishing" Rick Rude held the United States Championship for more than a year, as did Demolition with the World Tag Team Championship. Also, "Macho Man" Randy Savage held the WWE Championship from March 27, 1988 until April 2, 1989. Now, your Women's Championship reign will be beside those listings as the longest in sports-entertainment history. What are your thoughts about that?

Stratus: It's amazing when put it into context. I grew up a huge fan of Randy Savage. The fact that he was able to sustain his status and level of performance for that long -- and the fact that I'm doing something comparable, and hopefully as memorable, is a real honor.

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