Ranking All 24 WWE Debuts & Returns In 2023

17. Trish Stratus

CM Punk Trish Stratus

Similar to her bestie Lita, had it not been for one moment – that steel cage match – Trish Stratus’ 2023 run would have been a case study in damaging legacies.

Stratus inexplicably turned heel on Becky Lynch, costing her the tag titles and kicking off a never-ending feud that disappointed at nearly every turn. Maybe it could have been considered a noble failure, but the writing and booking was abysmal. Trish cut horrendous promos, and her segments were among the most skippable on Raw each week.

It wasn’t until they got to her steel cage match against Lynch at Payback that fans saw an upside to this entire run. To be fair, everyone’s expectations were at an all-time low headed into that match, but Becky and Trish far exceeded even the most optimistic fan’s projections, leaving the promotion on a high note.

In the aftermath, Zoey Stark parlayed her increased TV time into an actual push, to the point where she’s become an integral part of the women’s roster on Raw. Trish deserves some credit for that, further bolstering this otherwise disappointing run.


Scott is a former journalist and longtime wrestling fan who was smart enough to abandon WCW during the Monday Night Wars the same time as the Radicalz. He fortunately became a fan in time for WrestleMania III and came back as a fan after a long high school hiatus before WM XIV. Monday nights in the Carlson household are reserved for viewing Raw -- for better or worse.