Classic Match: Lita vs. Trish Stratus, Monday Night RAW

Kimberly Schueler
WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus stands over her challenger, Lita.’s Classic Match series takes a closer look at significant and super cool matches from wrestling history.

The main event of the December 6, 2004 episode of Raw was a moment of satisfying payoff in an intense feud that fans had been invested in for years. But Lita vs. Trish Stratus for the WWE Women’s Championship was important in another way too: It was one of the very rare times the women’s title had main evented an episode of RAW (Lita actually won her first championship in the company by defeating Stephanie McMahon in one of these rare main events, in 2000) and the last time it would do so until 2016. This week, we’ll look at the classic feud between these two wrestlers, as well as this historic match.

Stratus and Lita had been rivals since much earlier in the Attitude Era when the former fitness model managed T & A (Test and Albert) while the punky daredevil played the role of the non-Hardy member of Team Xtreme. By 2004, they had wrestled with and against each other many times. But it was when Lita ended up in a storyline pregnancy that their rivalry arguably
became its most heated.

Lita’s pregnancy angle included a marriage to a demon—the Devil’s favorite demon, Kane—and ended when Snitsky induced a miscarriage by causing Kane to fall on her. Throughout all of this, Stratus verbally degraded Lita, especially making fun of her weight (on top of the original jabs about her promiscuity). Lita finally got her hands on Stratus in a Women’s Championship match at Survivor Series, but she completely snapped at that point, focusing more on beating up Stratus than winning the match. She ended up breaking Stratus’ nose and getting herself disqualified in the process.

Lita and Trish face off backstage before their match.

Before the title match on RAW, Lita looked a lot more focused than she was at the pay-per-view. She approached Stratus backstage while she was warming up, and when Stratus called her “the walking kiss of death,” Lita promised to end the blonde’s career. But she didn’t just end things there: She kissed Stratus aggressively and shoved her to the ground, leaving the champion looking effectively psyched out.

The champion entered the arena wearing a nose-guard, ostensibly to protect her moneymaking model face after that beatdown at Survivor Series. The challenger—looking much more ready for a brawl—entered to huge cheers, both because the show was in her home state of North Carolina and because, as Jim Ross put it on commentary: “We have been waiting a long time for this opportunity, for Lita to finally get her hands on Trish Stratus. And it’s all about the title, but I think it’s about a whole lot more.”

The match started with an aggressive lockup and Stratus gaining an early upper hand that allowed her to shove Lita’s head into the turnbuckle. Lita soon got in some offense of her own with a kick to her opponent’s face and a near fall. But things only got more intense after a scary-looking tope suicida by Lita, after which Trish removed the mask (that she really didn’t need) and used it to pack a more painful a punch to Lita’s face.

Stratus again looked more dominant after she struck Lita while she was down, and she was able to lift her up into a rear naked choke while seated on the top turnbuckle (until she was called off by the ref).  Spurred on by huge cheers from the crowd, Lita turned the match in her favor with a superplex. Eventually, both women hit and countered big moves, both trying to finish the other off but only coming close. Until Lita stopped a Stratusfaction, hit a Twist of Fate, and followed it up with her signature moonsault for the win to become the new WWE Women’s Champion.

A victorious Lita poses with the WWE Women’s Championship.

Lita and the crowd were both elated: The hero got her due, the villain got her comeuppance, and the show closed with an exciting grudge match. And though the amount of time and opportunities allotted to the women’s division would regress later in the decade, female wrestlers and supporters of women’s wrestling would continue to admire Trish and Lita’s work and use it to defend what women could accomplish in pro wrestling when given the opportunity.

You can go back and revisit this match (and the entirety of the December 6, 2004 episode of RAW) on the WWE Network.

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