We Need to Talk About Chyna

Chyna reclines against an opponent in the ring

Chyna was billed as The Ninth Wonder Of The World, and rightly so. A trailblazer for Women’s Wrestling in an era when all it took to be hired by the WWE was to have huge boobs and be willing to flash them whenever Vince McMahon needed to get his jolly’s off, Chyna pathed the way for the next generation, headlined by Trish Stratus and Lita. Yet, even though she has been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of DX, a solo induction hasn’t happened. But why? The fact is that there are as many reasons as to why she should be there by herself as there are why she shouldn’t. So that’s why I think that we need to talk about Chyna.


Why Chyna Should Be In The HOF

Chyna was a phenomenon unlike any other we had seen before, or since, in the WWE. When she initially appeared alongside Triple H and then DX, her job was to stand around and look intimidating and she did that to perfection. She was built like the proverbial outhouse and—at least at first—didn’t utter a word. Then as the DX phenomenon took off, she became more active in what was happening with the group. She was never going to take any of the shine away from Triple H and HBK, but she showed she had a sense of humour that could match them—some of her greatest moments, in my mind at least, were when she’d simply roll her eyes as “her boys” did something unbelievably childish—and on more than one occasion she could be seen visibly struggling to hold it together as the antics of the H and K threatened to get out of control.

She could hold her own when it came down to it as well. How many times did she lay a beating on Mark Henry when he tried to force himself upon her in the storyline between DX and The Nation of Domination? Or how about when she entered the 1999 Royal Rumble at #30—becoming the first-ever woman to compete in that match—before slapping The World’s Strongest Man around for a bit and then dumping him over the top rope? Sure, she didn’t last much longer after that, but she’d already set herself up as a force to be reckoned with, in both the male and female divisions.

It comes as somewhat of a surprise that Chyna only ever held the Women’s Championship once, but what does that matter when she held the Intercontinental Championship twice? A lot of people look down on her Good Housekeeping Match with Jeff Jarret, which saw her claim her first reign as IC Champion, but I love it. Let’s not forget, this was a time when Double J was hated both on-screen and off, so to watch Chyna wail on him with everything—including the kitchen sink—and taking the gold belt while Jarrett skulked off to WCW was a joy to behold. And let us not forget, she would go on to feud with Chris Jericho over the strap and beat him at Survivor Series that same year.

Sure, there would be plenty of more shenanigans along the way to her finally losing the title for good—including a Triple Threat Match with Y2J and Hardcore Holly that is, if nothing else, a curiosity to watch on the WWE Network—but from her debut in the company in 1997 to her leaving in 2001 under a cloud, Chyna was the women within the WWE and would inspire a generation of young girls and women to try their hand at pro-wrestling.

Why Chyna Isn’t In The HOF

Porn. It’s really that simple. I’ve heard a lot of people say that the reasons that Chyna isn’t in the WWE HOF range from her relationship with Triple H deteriorating because of his relationship behind her back with Stephanie McMahon to the drug use that led to her untimely death in 2016, but those don’t stand up under scrutiny.

There have been enough wrestlers who have been involved with each other and it then ended acrimoniously, yet have still found their way into the HOF for that to not play a part here, and there sure as hell are enough of them in there who have had substance abuse problems that they’ve either defeated or been defeated by for that explanation to hold no water. The fact is that when Chyna finally quit wrestling and either gave up on her acting career or couldn’t find work anymore, she turned to the adult industry and that is a huge no-no for a public trading company.

Yes, we all know that Sunny did a few movies, but that was after her induction. Unfortunately for Chyna, she chose to go that route before she’d even been mentioned as being part of the HOF and that choice has to this day put a permanent black mark against her name. After all, if she had been inducted while she was alive, it would be almost impossible to explain to “the kids” what Chyna had been doing since she’d hung up her boots for good.

So Should Chyna Be In The HOF

Yes, of course she should. No matter what happened to Chyna after she left the WWE—and no matter how tragic the last few years of her life were—she did more to revolutionize Women’s Wrestling in four short years than anyone else had done since the WWE decided tits and ass was more important than in-ring ability. Don’t believe me? Here’s a story I always like to share when Chyna’s name is brought up.

When I met my partner 13 years ago, she had zero interest in wrestling. One afternoon, I was watching old clips of Chyna on YouTube. She asked me who that Amazonian in the ring was and I proceeded to tell her all about her, and after another three hours of sitting down and playing every clip I could find, the new woman in my life had become the newest convert to Chyna’s cause. So much so, in fact, that when Chyna died in 2016, she was more devastated by the news than I was. And I was pretty damn devastated.

So that leads to another question. Will Chyna ever be inducted into the HOF? If you’d asked me before 2019, then I would’ve said no, but the fact that Chyna is already in there as part of DX means that it’s only a matter of time before the WWE does the right thing and allows her to stand alone as an inductee.

If Triple H wants to prove to the world that the WWE really is under new management, then what better way than to announce the first entrant into the Class of 2023 is his one-time partner both on and off screen, The Ninth Wonder Of The World: Chyna.

The fans want it. The wrestlers want it. Make it happen HHH. It truly is what’s best for business.

Written by Neil Gray

The Grandmaster of Asian Cinema.

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