The Most Confusing Things About Chyna's Career

Across her WWE tenure, Chyna was billed as the "Ninth Wonder of the World," and this came as no surprise to anyone who saw her in action. She towered over the female wrestlers of the time, and almost exclusively wrestled men. Her time as a member of D-Generation X and as Eddie Guerrero's love interest are potentially the moments most fans think of when recalling the late WWE Hall of Famer, but her booking was noticeably uneven across her career.

Outside of her various pairings with stars besides DX and Guerrero, Chyna also captured gold a number of times while signed to WWE. Unfortunately, a number of controversies before her exit from the company somewhat tarnished her run with the promotion, but either way, fans of the powerhouse former Intercontinental Champion still fondly recall her exploits.

Tragically, her sudden death has similarly overshadowed her achievements in wrestling, especially after even more controversial things happened following her departure from WWE, such as a brief stint in the adult entertainment industry. Despite this, even today, many of her former peers still only have good things to say about her, and often share their experiences working alongside her, describing Chyna as a "trailblazer."

Chyna's run as Number One Contender for the WWE Championship went nowhere

Chyna would ultimately capture the WWE Intercontinental and Women's Championships across her career, but at one stage she was poised to have a shot at the illustrious WWE Championship. Back in 1999, ahead of that year's SummerSlam, the promotion held a series of Number One Contender's matches to determine a new challenger for then-WWE Champion, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Chyna would end up beating both Triple H and The Undertaker in a Triple Threat Match during an episode of "Raw," earning her spot against Austin.

Unfortunately for Chyna, Austin wasn't willing to face her and there was no way that she would realistically beat "The Rattlesnake," who was the biggest star of the Attitude Era. Chyna ended up losing her spot to Mankind, who would go on to dethrone Austin at SummerSlam. Unfortunately, this meant that time was wasted on giving Chyna a massive win over 'Taker and HHH.

According to Jim Ross, Chyna wasn't keen on wrestling other women and was very adamantly against it, so much so that Vince McMahon and Ross had to convince her that she had to ultimately go toe-to-toe with other female performers. Ross even revealed that Chyna was upset when she won the WWE Women's Championship, claiming it was the "saddest" day of her career.

Chyna's run as Co-Intercontinental Champion with Chris Jericho

Other than Eddie Guerrero and DX, Chyna also briefly partnered with Chris Jericho, and the two had a convoluted run as "Co-Intercontinental Champions" in 1999. Before they teamed up, Chyna and Jericho had a feud for the title, which even led to a match during Survivor Series where she defeated him and became the champion. However, she lost the belt to him during that same year's Armageddon pay-per-view. Their feud didn't end there, as they clashed again during an episode of "WWE SmackDown" leading to their controversial shared championship run, after they pinned each other simultaneously. 

Stephanie McMahon then declared the two as "Co-Champions," with the pair even defending the title against Hardcore Holly in a Triple Threat at the Royal Rumble. Jericho would ultimately win the match, and the "Co-Championship" reign has since been stricken from the record. In hindsight, the dual reign did nothing for the legacy of the championship, or for Chyna or Jericho.

During an episode of his "Talk is Jericho" podcast, Jericho looked back at working with Chyna, and while he called her a very special talent, he pointed out that she was hard to work with. Jericho explained that her quick rise alongside Triple H did her no favors, meaning she was still quite "green" at the time. Additionally, due to her relationship with "The Game," she was hard to deal with outside of the ring too. Jericho also ultimately felt like the "co-reign" diminished his run as Intercontinental Champion.

Chyna refused to drop the Women's Championship to Lita

While she might not have been too happy the night she won the WWE Women's Championship, according to Jim Ross, Chyna wasn't too keen on losing her title to Lita. "The Ninth Wonder of the World's" final feud before leaving WWE was against Lita, culminating at Judgment Day 2001. The match notably saw Chyna pushed to her limits by Lita, resulting in a highly praised bout that some credit as being one of the best women's matches of the period.

In an interview not too long ago, Lita recalled working with Chyna around this time, and she too noted how the late WWE Hall of Famer was irked to have to work with women after competing against men for so long — this is something that many believe factored into why she didn't want to lose the title to Lita. She also said that she was close to Chyna, and that led to her being okay with working with women, if at the very least she'd be working with Lita.

Lita recalled how the two of them put their all into the match, as they wanted to exceed audience expectations, and make the most out of the opportunity. Unfortunately though, the Judgment Day match was planned to kick off a trilogy, which then never happened due to Chyna's abrupt WWE exit.

Chyna believed she should be paid on par with Steve Austin and The Rock

While many agree that Chyna was undoubtedly a once-in-a-lifetime superstar, it would be far-fetched to put her on the same level during the Attitude Era as The Rock or "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. However, Chyna believed that she was.

According to Jim Ross, who was Head of Talent Relations at the time and did Chyna's contract negotiations, the WWE Hall of Famer demanded that she be paid the same money as Austin. While Ross naturally thought this was out of the question, this led to her refusing the contract, as she didn't understand why she couldn't get a $1 million guaranteed deal. Ross continued, claiming that Chyna actually believed she was a bigger star than Austin, considering that she was female and a unique talent. Sadly, Chyna would never return to WWE following their failure to negotiate an agreement.

Chyna's relationship with Triple H ended sometime before her contract negotiations, which Ross believes led to her downward spiral and made her become unstable and difficult to negotiate with. Sadly, as is well-known by now, Chyna dealt with the loss of her relationship with Triple H in very antagonistic ways, which further damaged her relationship with WWE.

Chyna has yet to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as an individual talent

In 2019, Chyna was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame alongside the rest of D-Generation X, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, X-Pac, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn. This furthermore led to her being officially included in the WWE 2K video games since then, but many — including the team that runs her official social media accounts — say that a solo HOF induction was one of her final wishes.

Chyna's run alongside DX was undoubtedly iconic, and her inclusion in many of the early segments of the faction is something many still fondly recall. However, due to the induction only highlighting her DX run, the rest of her career doesn't fall under this accolade. While she might not have been the best worker, been involved in many incoherent booking decisions, and burned bridges on her way out of WWE, her status as a trailblazer and the "Ninth Wonder of the World" arguably justifies a solo induction.

Many current day women wrestlers have cited Chyna as an inspiration to get into the industry, such as KiLynn King. In an interview with "Ten Count," King recalled being taller than most girls and even boys growing up, and that her weightlifting and athletic inclination led to her peers looking at her differently. Because of this, King could relate to Chyna, who ultimately inspired her into entry into wrestling. While she has yet to be inducted as a solo act into the WWE Hall of Fame, Chyna clearly has many devoted fans to this day.