Chyna is perhaps one of the most unique and special females in wrestling history. Her name was a play on China Silverware being fragile and breakable, and Chyna being the farthest from fragile. She started as a very scary and imposing woman, who stood silent in the corner of Triple H, but when she moved it meant something. She was quickly dubbed The 9th Wonder of the World, and for good reason, as she was quite a sight to behold.
The character and her appearance on screen evolved as time went on , she become more attractive and even lost weight. Chyna started WWE weighing 250 pounds, when she returned after restructuring her jaw, she had lost a significant amount of weight. Her role quickly evolved from a ringside bodyguard to in ring competitor and she quickly began breaking barriers for women.
After she broke off from DX, she was given singles matches against men and she actually went over quite a few times. She a believable threat to the male roster and she enjoyed some great feuds/storylines with guys like Chris Jericho and Eddie Guerrero. Eventually she was let go from the WWE in 2001 for reasons that are still debated to this day.
This list will go over the other sides to Chyna, things that were never the most public pieces of information. Despite how she appeared in WWE, and how she sometimes appears in public, Chyna is a very smart and well educated woman, who has all the ability to be the best in anything. This list is all the facts that you need to know.
15. She was almost a member of the nWo
When Triple H and HBK pitched DX to Vince he was hesitant, and when they both met Chyna and asked Vince to make her part of DX, he resisted more, feeling like nobody wanted a woman beating them up on TV. While Vince hesitated, WCW offered Chyna a contract, and planned to make her the first female nWo member. It was only when Shane McMahon called her and showed interest that she turned down WCW. The nWo would have been interesting, had Chyna accepted WCWs offer. Hogan, Hall, Nash, Syxx, The Giant … and Chyna … it would have been an even more formidable team.
14. She had implants named after her, ‘The Chyna 2000s’
Chyna was injured during a Monday Night Raw, and had to leave to have a broken jaw repaired (and restructured). During that time she also had implants and lost weight, in order to return with a more feminine appearance. The fun fact here is there were implants named after Chyna, ‘The Chyna 2000s’ , due to her asking for a size that was not available at the time. Following her return, Chyna would soon be portrayed in a different way.
13. Chyna was trained by Killer Kowalski
She was trained by one of the most well known and popular men in wrestling. She attended his Malden, Massachusetts wrestling school in 1995. From there she would go on to do many independent shows, wrestling as Joanie Lee. Kowalksi played a large part in Joanie being hired by WWE, and it would seem that Triple H and HBK also played a part, as they thought she was perfect for DX. Hunter himself was also trained by Kowalski.
12. Her first match was against a man in drag
Details are vague to say the least, but the story goes that Joanie Laurer’s first ever professional wrestling match was in 1995 and actually against a man in drag dressed to look like a woman. Then billed as Joanie Lee, it’s unknown who the performer she went up against actually was. Using the Joanie Lee name, Laurer would then go on to work the independent circuit, including some matches arranged by the legendary Fabulous Moolah.
11. She Was Estranged From Her Parents
Chyna long had a strained relationship with her parents, which began to form shortly before and during her college years. She says she last saw her mother at age 16. Following her college studies in Spanish Literature, while also studying German and French. Her original plans were to pursue a career with the FBI or the DEA, but she joined the Peace Corps instead, which didn’t sit well with her father. Last year, Chyna said she has since reconciled with her mother, while her father passed away in 2014.
10. She was drugged and violated in college
She has gone through a lot in her life, but one incident was by far the worst, while attending the University of Tampa, she was drugged and violated at a party. She says in her autobiography that the writing of the book was a sort of therapy for her, in dealing with such a traumatic event. She has talked about it in interviews, but for obvious reasons, it is not an easy thing to talk about.
9. She was the first woman to compete in Royal Rumble and KOTR
One of the things that makes Chyna a legendary figure among WWE fans is what she accomplished in the ring. In 1999 she entered the Royal Rumble at no.30 after winning Vince McMahon’s Corporate Rumble on Raw, making her the first woman to ever compete in the Rumble. Later in 1999, she had entered the King of the Ring tournament, becoming the first woman to do that as well. She ended up being beaten by Road Dogg in the quarterfinals, a former DX ally of hers. These two achievments are part of many reasons Chyna is a trailblazer in wrestling.
8. Former Intercontinental Champion & #1 Contender for WWE Championship
Chyna defeated Jeff Jarrett in a ‘Good Housekeeping’ match to win the Intercontinental Title. She would go on to win this title twice which is an amazing feat for a woman in wrestling. She was also at one point the no.1 Contender to the WWE Championship, beating Triple H in a #1 Contenders match, although she would later lose that spot to Mankind within a couple of weeks (this is the Attitude Era, remember?). For a moment however, the main event of SummerSlam that year was Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Chyna for WWE Championship …. Interesting.
7. Her Relationship with Triple H was Real
Many think that they were merely on screen partners, but it was due to that time together that they fell in love. In a WWE Home Video, titled ‘Our Time’, they both explained that their relationship happened naturally, and made storylines on TV more interesting and it made it easier for them to trust each other in the ring. The relationship ended when Triple H fell for Stephanie McMahon. This was around the time that Chyna left the WWE. The reasoning has been disputed by both sides, as Chyna claims WWE released her, while Jim Ross, then head of talent relations, had stated back in 2007 that Chyna chose to leave.
6. She had a career in New Japan Pro Wrestling
When her WWE career ended in 2001, having a final match with Lita at Judgement Day, Chyna had a career in New Japan, feuding often with Masahiro Chono, who was a major star in Japan for a long period. The matches with Chono are described as some of Chyna’s best, as Japan treats its wrestling as more sport than entertainment. Chono himself has also expressed his support of Chyna and her abilities. This was once again Chyna proving her ability to make her mark anywhere she goes.
5. She briefly appeared for TNA Wrestling in 2011
In 2010, TNA wrestling made an attempt to recreate the ratings war with WWE, much like WCW did in the 90s, TNA began acquiring any and all free former WWE talents, and one of those talents for a brief time was Chyna. In May of 2011, she was introduced by Mick Foley as the mystery partner of Kurt Angle to face Jeff and Karen Jarrett. The stint in TNA did not last for Chyna, but fans got to see her wrestle for perhaps the last time ever, at Sacrifice as her and Angle beat The Jarretts. For the fans of the 90s, this was a cool throwback to the Attitude Era, and a nice way for Chyna to go out.
4. She was almost in T3 Rise of the Machines & Wonder Woman
The role ended up going to another actress in the end, and the facts on this are vague on which role Chyna would have played, but it is presumed it would have been the female terminator that battled Arnolds T-800. Chyna later said in interviews that WWE blackmailed her to all companies in Hollywood and prevented her from getting any big roles. Chyna has claimed that WWE cost her this and many other roles. Chyna was also close to being cast as Wonder Woman in a DC Comics film many years ago, but that film never got close to being made.
3. She was on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew
She has undoubtedly had her fair share of ups and downs, and not everyone agrees with things she has done, but there was a point when Chyna appeared on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Drew at the time was a well known TV Doctor who often helped celebrities get back out from under the use of drugs and alcohol. Chyna’s life has been a roller coaster since WWE back in 2001 and has had several stints in rehab.
2. She moved to Japan to teach English
When she finally regained herself and was back to being sober. Chyna decided to use her education and background and do something good. She moved to Japan and taught English. Most would not know it to look at her, but Chyna is well educated and very intelligent person. Sometimes she does not comes across that way, due to her past drug problems, but the intelligence is undeniable. It seems she is close to being back to the Chyna everyone loved in WWE.
1. She held many jobs before wrestling
Chyna was assigned to Guatemala after joining the Peace Corps and upon her return, she held several jobs before turning to wrestling. Her jobs included being a cocktail waitress at a strip club, a singer in a band and a 900-number chatline worker. She also took a six week class training to be a flight attendant. On her way to her first flight, Chyna was in a car accident, sending her to the hospital and putting her job on hiatus. She would then get a job selling beepers.
She eventually began entering bodybuilding competitions, which is where she would eventually be discovered.
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