The Unpopular Opinion: The Top 10 Wrestlers of the 2000’s (Part 4)

No.10: Trish Stratus

WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus at the 2018 Raleigh Supercon. (Supercon Conventions / Wikimedia Commons)

Who would have thought someone with no wrestling experience entering 2000 would become one of the greatest women in professional wrestling history?  Trish Stratus was a fitness model that caught the eye of the WWF/E.

Trish Stratus came into the WWF/E and was introduced as a manager of the team of Test & Albert. She was successful as being the manager for the team, but Trish wanted more.

The introduction of the Tag Team faction “T & A” (Test and Albert).

Trish began training behind the scenes and was impressively picking up the talent. She eventually entered the ring and being new did not get off to the best of starts. Like all new beginners, there is still technique and miscues that needed work.

Trish did not stop however. Trish continued to push herself to get better and train harder to be the best. Her determination and drive led her to Survivor Series 2001.

Trish Stratus won the then vacated Women’s Championship for the first time in her career. From that moment, she would become the face of the WWF/E women’s division for years to come.

The night Trish Stratus won the Women’s Championship.

Trish revolutionized women’s wrestling by showing that women can be athletic and entertain in the ring without showing their bodies. The way she was able to show this was with her biggest rival Lita.

WWE Hall of Famer Amy Dumas, better known as “Lita.” (GabboT / Flickr)

The two tore the house down each time they faced off head to head. They left nothing behind, driving each other to revolutionize women’s wrestling. Ultimately culminating in the first-ever women’s main event match in Monday Night Raw history. The two put everything on the line showing why women deserve to be shown in the same light as men.

Even though Trish did not come out the winner, the message was still impactful for women’s wrestling. Trish showcased the talented women of professional wrestling like: Molly Holly, Victoria, Jazz and Mickie James.

The first-ever Raw main event featuring WWE Divas Trish Status and Lita is one of the most heralded moments in the company’s history.

Trish accomplished nearly everything a woman could achieve. She was the Diva of the Decade and she became a 7 time Women’s Champion, winning her 7th in her last singles match in her career.

Trish has done it all in the WWF/E and could arguably deserves the title as greatest women’s wrestler of all time.

No.9: The Dudley Boyz

What a way to start the countdown than with arguably the greatest tag team in professional wrestling history. The Dudley Boyz made a name for themselves through the world of ECW. Their path led the duo from Dudleyville to the big time in the WWF/E. They debuted with the WWF in late 1999. Since their debut, made sure to leave every opponent laying through a table.

The Dudley Boyz (Source: wwe.com)

The Dudleys did not wait on reaching success, becoming Tag Team Champions in a short amount of time. They would go on to make history at WrestleMania 2000 and defend the Tag Team Championships in the first ever Triangle Ladder Match against the Hardy Boyz and Edge & Christian. A hellacious and momentus match to stake their claim as the future of the WWF.

WrestleMania 2000’s infamous “TLC” (Tables, Ladders and Chairs) match between The Dudley Boyz, The Hardy Boyz and Edge and Christian.

Those three teams each and every time they squared off against one another. These teams faced each other at that same year SummerSlam. This time in the first Tag Team Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match. Yet another damaging and barbaric match that left the crowd in awe. The trio fought tooth and nail for the richest prize in tag team wrestling.  Which led to their third encounter at WrestleMania 17 in a much anticipated rematch. Another TLC match to determine who was the best tag team in the WWF. Being apart of arguably the greatest WrestleMania, these three teams stole the show and left everything in the ring. These three teams submitted their legacies as one of, if not the greatest tag team rivalry in wrestling history.

The SummerSlam TLC bout.

Once one story ends, another had to begin. The Dudleys would continue teaming until they go their separate ways due to the first WWF/E Draft in 2002. Each strived trying to find success. However, their time separated did not last long as the duo reunited at that year’s Survivor Series.

After reuniting, the Dudleys would go on to compete on the Raw brand and would go on to win the Raw Tag Team Championships on a numerous amount of occasions. They would continue tag teaming through the next couple of years until their time with WWE came to an end.

Their story needed a new chapter. Which led them to TNA Wrestling. They debuted with the promotion in 2005 as the now Team 3D, and from that instant, created shockwaves across the wrestling world. They would go on to win tag team gold in TNA a combined 3 times. They would also wrestle in Japan while in TNA, where they would become IWGP Tag Team Champions on two separate occasions.

While in TNA, Team 3D would face a variety of legendary tag teams like the Steiners. But, the Dudleys would also face the multiple teams that would eventually become legendary like: LAX, Beer Money and the Motor City Machine Guns.

If you want to call them the Dudley Boyz or Team 3D, Bubba Ray and DVon revolutionized tag team wrestling throughout the first decade of the new millennium. The Dudleys are the winningest tag team in professional wrestling history and have become standard of tag team wrestling. No team can say they have won the ECW, WCW, WWF/E, TNA, NWA,  and IWGP Team Championships. Being a team that no one can compare to, makes the Dudley Boyz easily the tag team of the decade.

For the Dudley Boyz’ opponents, getting splinters was the least of their concerns.

David Jacobus
Contributing Writer

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