Trish Stratus is one of the biggest names in WWE history. She is a Hall of Famer and a seven-time champion, but her career did not start out with so much success. Stratus first had to deal with a sexist gimmick, which she recently shaded on social media.
Stratus reflected on the gimmick with a long post on Instagram. She showed herself during her first appearance and then at a much later date. "21 years since I walked out for the first time on a [WWE] stage and said hello to the WWE Universe," Stratus wrote. "Or more precisely to Test and Albert aka T & A. An acronym embodying the position of woman in sports entertainment at the time ...but a starting point nonetheless."
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T&A was a tag-team consisting of Test and Albert. The two men performed on the WWF brand and fought against such names as the Hardy Boyz and the Dudley Boyz. Stratus later joined T&A as their manager and a source of jokes about what the initials actually stood for. Despite the inherent sexism in the gimmick, Stratus explained the importance of this gig.
"Remember that ANY start can be the beginning of a longer sometimes hard fought journey to get to your end point," she wrote. "The takeaway is to seize any chance given and turn it into an opportunity... use any platform given and use it to be heard or be seen. The trick is have the awareness to prepare for these chances in order to maximize the opportunity.
"I saw the potential in being put into a 'T&A' role as a chance to knock down a preconceived notion of what a woman could offer in sports entertainment," Stratus added. "As far as I was concerned, that was my job - to bring the awareness and credibility so your takeaway was that T&A undeniably and with no uncertainty stood for Talent & Ability."
The time with T&A was simply a launching point for Stratus, and she quickly became a fan-favorite performer. She began facing off with bigger names and earned the title of WWE Hardcore Champion. Stratus was also named the "Diva of the Decade."
She ultimately retired from full-time professional wrestling after winning her seventh Women's Championship in 2006. Stratus still made sporadic appearances with the promotion and became a Hall of Famer in 2013. Her final wrestling match took place against Charlotte Flair at SummerSlam 2019. Flair secured the win, but the crowd gave Stratus a standing ovation for her performance.