Former WWE Star Chyna made a shock debut in TNA in 2011, but was soon fired after her plans to release a new adult film scuppered any chance of another run in wrestling.
As one of the most famous female wrestlers of all time, Chyna is a huge legend in the WWE. Despite being a woman, she was as big as some of the male superstar, with her muscular physique and fearsome look in her eye making her one of the most dangerous wrestlers on the roster. While her partnerships with the likes of Eddie Guerrero and Triple H helped move her up the card, she did manage to hold her own in the ring with many of the male talents, including some WWE Champions.
She became the first woman to ever win a male championship in WWE history. She defeated Jeff Jarrett at No Mercy 1999 to win the championship, although the match was fraught with backstage controversy – Jarrett was not contracted by the WWE at the time, so held up Vince McMahon for all the money he owed to drop the title. He agreed, but Jarrett was blacklisted by the company for nearly twenty years, with McMahon personally firing Jarrett on air during the final episode of WCW Monday Nitro.
Chyna went on to break many other records in her time with the WWE. She is the only woman to become number one contender for the WWE Championship, the first woman to appear in the Royal Rumble (she even won a rumble match on Smackdown in 1999) and even qualified for the King of the Ring tournament – something no woman has done, before or since. It would be fair to say that, whatever you think of Chyna (Chris Jericho had some choice words to say about working with her) she is a legend in the WWE and a woman who blazed the trail for others after her.
However, she left the company in 2001 after contract talks broke down. Reports are that Chyna demanded a $1 million per year contract – on par with the top, top stars in the company – after balking at the $400,000 per year she was offered by the WWE. Both parties felt like the other’s demands were unacceptable and the two parties parted ways. She would move to Japan the following year for a brief stint wrestling for NJPW, but retired from wrestling for nearly a decade after leaving the company in 2002.
She made a huge controversy in 2004 when she appeared in her first “adult film”, “1 Night In China”, featuring herself and former WWE star Sean Waltman (also known as X-Pac). The video caused a huge stir and had her blacklisted from the WWE and cost her a solo spot in the WWE Hall of Fame when she was alive. Triple H spoke to Steve Austin to reveal that it was impossible to induct her, as they didn’t want children googling and finding out what she had done. However, she later claimed the video was released without her permission, which is disputed by her co-star Waltman.
However, she returned to wrestling in 2011 by signing for TNA. The company, which was led by Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff at the time, had a penchant for signing former WWE talent at the expense of their own wrestlers, and her signing was no different. She was brought in as a “business associate” of Kurt Angle, although was also referred to as his mistress. They feuded with Jeff Jarrett and his wife Karen, who also happened to be Angle’s ex-wife – turning this feud incredibly personal. They wrestled in a mixed tag team match at TNA Sacrifice 2011, with Chyna forcing Karen Jarrett to tap out and win what would turn out to be her last match in wrestling,
This was because Chyna wanted back in the adult movie business! The former WWE Intercontinental Champion was done with her blossoming career, and even without the help of Sean Waltman, wanted to get back in the industry.
Chyna was fired by TNA due to her releasing her second “adult film”, something that went against the companies values and forced them to take action regarding her contract. They had been negotiating with her regarding a long-term contract which could have brought her back into mainstream wrestling and done huge numbers for the company. Sadly, she seemed determined to continue her career elsewhere, and released several movies after being fired from TNA. This spell would be her last in wrestling before she passed away in 2016, aged just 46.
Chyna’s Last Match
Chyna’s last match in wrestling was the mixed tag team match at TNA Sacrifice. She teamed with Kurt Angle to wrestle Karen and Jeff Jarrett. Chyna had been teased for weeks in the build up, during the Angle vs Jarrett feud. Angle had been talking about a mysterious “mistress” who would be coming in to help him get his hands on the duo. He needed a female wrestle to get Karen (his ex-wife) out of the way so he could get his hands on Jarrett and had just the woman to do it – the ninth wonder of the world herself.
On the May 12th episode of TNA Impact, on-screen authority figure Mick Foley (another former WWE star signed to the company by Bischoff and Hogan) revealed the signing of Chyna to TNA, to a huge pop from the crowd. She immediately aligned herself with Angle in her first US appearance in a decade, and set her sights firmly on the Jarrett family.
Chyna and Jeff Jarrett did have history – Chyna defeated Jarrett for the Intercontinental Championship at No Mercy 1999 in his last match in the company for nearly 20 years – so her joining Angle did make some sense. The two teams squared off at TNA Sacrifice 2011, with Angle and Chyna both donning his famous Red, White and Blue attire – the Olympic Gold Medallist paying homage to the colours of the US flag. She took a shot at former boyfriend Triple H by nailing Karen Jarrett with a pedigree, before she and Angle locked in duel Ankle Locks on their opponents, forcing them to tap out and securing the victory.
She clearly still had the passion and the ability to make a difference in TNA, even a decade after her last bout. Sadly, her other career stopped any potential storylines they could have had and she faded back into obscurity. She was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame after her death, as part of a wider induction of D-Generation X – the Triple H and Shawn Michaels led stable which she was a huge part of during the Attitude Era. She never returned to the WWE, so Chyna’s last match was the bout in TNA which promised so much in the future but never got the chance to deliver.