Dubbed the “Ninth Wonder of the World”, Chyna is one of the most legendary female wrestlers in WWE history.
As a woman who was just as good as the men, she wrestled in Royal Rumbles, King of the Rings and even won the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Jeff Jarrett. She is remembered as a legend whose hall of fame omission (as a singles star) is one of the biggest travesties in modern wrestling.
In this article, let’s look at Chyna’s first match in the WWE, her final match with the company and where she continued her career up until she passed away in 2016.
Chyna’s WWE Debut
Chyna made her first appearance in the WWE on February 16, 1997, at In Your House 13: Final Four.
She emerged from the crowd during a Triple H vs Goldust match, choking out Goldust’s manager Marlena in order to distract him and help Triple H win the bout. She quickly aligned with “The Game” and was made a key member of D-Generation X going forward.
Her partnership with Triple H made sense, as he was the reason she was signed to the company.
Chyna met both Triple H and Shawn Michaels, the leaders of D-Generation X, at an independent show in 1996. They hit it off immediately and they were impressed by her work, and recommended her signing to Vince McMahon. Whilst she was in negotiations with the WWE to join DX, WCW also offered her a deal – Eric Bischoff wanting her to be the sole female member of the NWO, alongside Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall.
Once part of the WWF (the name changed to WWE in 2001) she was mainly used a bodyguard for DX, interfering in matches to ensure that either Triple H or Shawn Michaels were successful in their matches.
She soon entered into a romance angle with Nation of Domination member Mark Henry – DX’s rival group. The storyline saw Mark Henry forced to kiss her by the Rock (to humilate them both) and their storyline eventually led to her first match in the company.
Chyna’s first match in WWE was a handicap match, teaming with X-Pac against Mark Henry on the September 14th, 1998 episode of Monday Night Raw.
The match saw X-Pac do the majority of the work, bumping around for Henry and doing his best to make him look good. Chyna did get into the ring eventually, hitting a flying cross body from the top rope. Sadly, the move countered into an incredible powerslam by Mark Henry, who pinned Chyna to make her lose her first match in the WWE.
This was the first of only 91 matches for Chyna (real name Joan Laurer) would wrestle for the WWE, with the last of her legendary run coming only two years later.
Her Last WWE Match Was Against Lita
Chyna’s last match in WWE was when she defended the WWE Women’s Championship against Lita at Judgement Day 2001.
This was only two years after she made her debut with the company, making her run which many have considered “hall of fame-worthy” being much shorter than many people would have expected.
She had returned from an injury suffered the year prior to defeat Ivory (who along with Right to Censor had injured Chyna) at Wrestlemania X7 to win the WWE Women’s Championship.
This was the only time she would win the title in her career, having become more famous for winning the men’s Intercontinental Championship during her spell with the WWE. She carried the belt until May 20th, 2001, where she faced off with Lita for the title at Judgement Day 2001.
In her last match, she defeated Lita to defend the belt, but soon left the company. WWE offered her a $400,000 contract to stay with the company, whereas she demanded an eye-watering million dollar deal to keep wrestling with the WWE.
With both sides failing to agree to terms, the Women’s Championship was vacated and Chyna left the company, never to return. However, her wrestling career as a whole did not end there.
She Wrestled For TNA Before She Died
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.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.