Welcome to a brand new weekly series here at Rope Break! Each week a different member of the Rope Break team will be selecting a WWE match from any point in history that we think deserves a spotlight for its greatness. So without further ado I give you this weeks WWE spotlight match of the week…
Trish Stratus vs Mickie James: Wrestlemania 22
Given we’ve not long celebrated women’s history month, I thought this would be a good opportunity to take a look at one of my favourite wrestling matches from the ladies of the squared circle, a match that at the time was highly regarded as one of the best women’s wrestling matches but maybe got lost in the shuffle due to the current ongoing “women’s revolution”. This week I’m going to be “spotlighting” Trish Stratus defending her WWE Women’s Championship against Mickie James at Wrestlemania 22.
Some backstory for anybody who might not have been watching at the time. Mickie James arrived on the scene during an episode of Raw in October 2005, simply with the gimmick as Trish Stratus’ biggest fan. Not phased by this and even somewhat flattered, Trish took Mickie under her wing so to speak, even tagging up a couple of times, it should be mentioned that Mickie even started dressing and imitating Trish inside the ring. Mickie soon showed her true colours when in March 2006, Mickie turned on Trish by hitting her with both Trish’s own Chick Kick and Stratusfaction finishing moves. A few days later things got stranger when Mickie revealed she had a present for Trish in the ring. The present turned out to be Trish’s best friend Ashley Massaro tied to a chair. When Trish came to make the save Mickie laid the champion out with a DDT, even planting a kiss on the unconscious Trish, setting up their showdown for Wrestlemania.
Wrestlemania rolled around and this match proved to be one if not the best women’s match there had ever been on the biggest event of the wrestling calendar year. Both women working extremely hard and getting the story of their feud told through the action in the ring, even as a heel Mickie was getting quite a few cheers from the Chicago crowd. Personal favourite part of this match is the ending as Mickie gets the victory after catching Trish with a move which was very similar to Trish’s own Chick Kick, which I thought was the perfect ending for a match with this kind of build-up. Something I feel slips under the radar at the end of this match is JR’s great line of “the nutjob has won the title”.
While Trish and Mickie would continue to feud for a few weeks after this, I don’t think they comes close to what they were able to do between October 2005-Wrestlemania 22, which isn’t a knock on either Trish or Mickie, they just set the bar so high during their Wrestlemania bout that it was always going to be hard to reach that level again. This match was a great example of what happens when you give the women a good story with plenty of layers and time to tell a story in the ring, something I don’t think we seen again until the four horsewomen arrived in NXT.