While some may be frustrated by the sporadic pace of WWE's Women's Revolution, the progression of women's wrestling cannot be overstated—it's been a long time since anyone wrestled in their underwear.
The thought of Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair competitively stripping one another feels laughably distant in 2018. But in WWE's Attitude Era, it was expected for top female stars to partake in such carnal demonstrations.
WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus took part in more underwear bouts than she'd like to remember but in an interview with the Niagra Falls Review, she explained the challenges behind that kind of booking.
"It kind of went with the territory. It was the product at the time. I look back, and I know that every time I did roll my eyes, I was one step closer to moving away from it. I was like, 'I don't think I can take another bra and panties match because I know I can do more than that. I think I can hold their attention and not be in my bra and panties, let's try that.' Everything was a stepping stone towards the changing of the tide," she said.
While sexuality will always be an essential element for both male and female Superstar, bra and panties matches have aged poorly. However, despite coming up in one of WWE's tougher eras for women, Stratus had a lucrative WWE career. In the same way that Hulk Hogan begot John Cena, women like Stratus and Lita have given us the likes of Sasha Banks.
Stratus hasn't been a full-time WWE Superstar since the mid-2000's, but she's made a few cameos since. Her most recent coming at the 2018 Royal Rumble.
Given that this would be the first ever Women's Rumble, Stratus participation was near mandatory. But when she got the invite, she was still surprised.
"I got the word on Dec. 26 … I was eating a chocolate peanut butter ball. I was like, 'Oh my God!' I put the peanut butter ball down and said, 'OK, let me talk to my family," she recalled.
"I called a friend of mine in Toronto — whenever there's a TV show or production that needs a ring, he's the guy — and I said, 'Can we get a ring set up? I might have an opportunity, and before I say yes to them, I have to make sure I can still do this.'"
Stratus entered a shotgun campaign to get back into ring shape but admits things came back with relative ease/
"Wrestling is like riding a bike, it really came quicker than I thought. My body definitely knows what to do. Was I little sore? Yes, absolutely. My body was like, 'Why did you just throw yourself down from five feet up?' My body was reminding me that's not normal."