Lisa Marie Varon, better known as Victoria, has announced her impending retirement from wrestling. She will contest her final bout before 2019 ends. That will bring to an end a near two decade in-ring career.
Victoria first began wrestling in 2000 and made her first appearance on WWE television as one of The Godfather's Ho's. However, her impact in WWE was first truly felt when she debuted as a full time performer and immediately began feuding with Trish Stratus in the fall of 2002.
After coming up short in a title challenge to Stratus at No Mercy 2002, Victoria claimed her first Women's Championship at the 2002 Survivor Series when she beat Stratus in the first-ever female Hardcore match in WWE history. She retained that strap until Wrestlemania XIX, when she dropped it back to Stratus in a Triple Threat bout also featuring Jazz.
At an imposing five feet nine inches, with immense upper body strength and a devastating finishing maneuver called "The Widow's Peak", Victoria was one of the most dominant female performers in WWE throughout the 2000s. Adding to the superstar package was Victoria's theme music, t.A.t.u's "All The Things She Said," which was number one the world over following its release in October 2002.
She won a second Women's Championship in 2004, successfully defending it in a memorable Hair vs. Hair battle with Molly Holly at Wrestlemania XX before she ultimately dropped the strap to her persistent foe, Stratus, in a four way match at Bad Blood 2004.
Victoria continued to contest high profile feuds with the likes of Maria, Christy Hemme and Mickie James later in the decade. In early 2009, with her status reduced, namely due to her advancing age (then 39, which was much older than other female WWE performers at the time), Victoria departed WWE.
Victoria showed up in TNA in May 2009 rechristened as "Tara" and became the center-piece of TNA's Women's division (The Knockouts). She won an astonishing five Knockout titles during her four-year tenure in the then-number two company in the United States.
Her fifth title reign ended in January 2013. At the time of that defeat, she was the most honoured female champion in TNA history, until her record was surpassed by Gail Kim in 2016.
Since 2013, Victoria has been a semi-regular competitor on the independent circuit. Now, at the age of 48, she has decided her wrestling career is nearing its end.
Without a shadow of a doubt, despite the lack of focus on Victoria's legacy from WWE (she has long been overshadowed by peers, Stratus and Lita), she is one of the most consistent and reliable, talented performers in Western wrestling history. It can be argued that she is exactly the type of female wrestler that the Women's Revolution was modeled after.
For these reasons and with retirement beckoning, Victoria should be a sure-fire future Hall of Famer. Perhaps, it will occur in 2020 and give her a truly memorable farewell.