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Cageside Countdown: Chyna's Greatest Moments

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Joanie Laurer is one of the most influential women in wrestling history.

Her strong demeanor and kick-ass attitude made the woman known as Chyna an inspiration to millions of women, girls, men, and boys. There is of course everything that happened from when she left the WWF amid controversy in the summer of 2001 to her death earlier this week, but that's not what this post is for. This post is for celebrating the good times, the Chyna that we should remember, the Chyna that kicked all the ass in the ring.

So what was the greatest Chyna moment ever?

Earlier this week, we asked you, the Cagesiders of the galaxy and you've delivered to us a top ten list. I actually wanted to do a top nine (you know, for Ninth Wonder of the World), but there was a tie for ninth. So... ten.

But first...

Five honorable mentions.

1. In what turned out to be Chyna's final match in a WWF ring, Lita gave the Ninth Wonder of the World all she could handle at Judgment Day 2001, but instead, it would be Chyna that emerged victorious.

2. As if you need a reminder of just how strong Chyna was, on her RAW debut, the still unnamed Chyna ragdolled Marlena until she was on the verge of death. And think about it: she wasn't even trying. This wouldn't be the first time Chyna abused Marlena. We'll get to that.

3. When the suggestion was made that Chyna could be the #1 contender for the WWF Championship in August 1999, most were like... hmmm, okay. Some reacted badly, but Triple H reacted the worst, calling Chyna "just a woman". Chyna's response: "Just a woman? Try me, Triple H." Ouch.

4. After chasing the Intercontinental Championship in late summer and early fall, Chyna defeated Jeff Jarrett in a Good Housekeeping match to become the first female Intercontinental Champion. It was a victory for women wrestling fans everywhere. And anyone who hated Jeff Jarrett.  Also them.

5. Remember when unnamed muscle woman jumped the rail and ragdolled Marlena? Well, one night earlier, unnamed muscle woman reached over the rail and tried to choke out Marlena with her huge arms. This was Chyna's WWF debut, and it was clear that this woman was not to be trifled with.

Now that the preliminaries are done, here the are, as voted by you, the Cagesiders...

The ten best Chyna moments ever.

Remember, you voted for this, so if this list sucks, it's your fault.

10. Chyna smashes Jeff Jarrett with a guitar.

Jeff Jarrett broke six thousand guitars and never drew a dime. There's plenty of evidence to support this, do not fight me on it.

Okay, he did draw a dime once; how much exactly depends on who's telling the story. Jeff was the WWF Intercontinental Champion heading into No Mercy in 1999. He also happened to be a champion without a contract. Someone in the office dropped the ball, and Jeff, to his credit, exploited it. He got Vince McMahon to pay out a huge sum of cash ($300,000 according to Chyna's autobiography If They Only Knew, figures from $150,000 to $750,000 have also been tossed around) to drop the title to Chyna.

The match ended with Chyna being blasted with the Intercontinental Championship belt, and Jeff Jarrett escaping with the title.


Referee Teddy Long says, no can do Jeffrey. The Intercontinental title belt is not considered a common household item, therefore it doesn't count. Restart the match. Chyna recovers, and gives Jeff a taste of his own medicine when he El Kabong's Jeff with a guitar. 1, 2, 3, and Chyna's the first female Intercontinental Champion ever. Never mind a guitar's not exactly a common household item either, but any day "no dimes" Jarrett gets his head bashed in with his own gimmick is a good day in my book.

triple-h-vs-chyna-vs-the-undertaker-wwe-raw... by mirzaking50

9. Chyna becomes #1 contender for the WWF Championship.

So, the August 9, 1999 RAW is WAR. Pretty big deal, right? You may remember that show as the one some guy from Canada debuted. His name escapes me right now.

Early on in the show, a match is made between WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H, and The Undertaker in a triple threat match. Unfortunately, after the opening match, Austin's laid out. Then-commissioner Shawn Michaels smells a rat and suspects Triple H as the man behind the deed. But there will be a match on this show, and it will be under hardcore rules with no time limit. And replacing Austin: Chyna. Triple H was none too pleased about that; after all, Chyna's just a girl. Just a woman? Try me, Triple H.

In the main event, Undertaker takes out both Triple H and Chyna late in the bout, but here comes Stone Cold Steve Austin, because you don't take out Stone Cold and not expect retaliation. Austin swings for the fences and nails Triple H. A laid out Chyna covers a laid out Triple H, and Chyna's the first woman to be the #1 contender for the WWF Championship. Unfortunately, it didn't stick, as she would lose it the following Monday to Mankind (who would go on to win the title at Summerslam), but a woman being the #2 ranked wrestler in the WWF made for a cool story, even if it did come from the mind of one Vincent James Russo.

New Age Outlaws vs. Midnight Express by sir-roddick

8. Chyna low blows Jim Cornette.

Onto everyone's favorite bemoaner of all things fun in wrestling, Jim Cornette. At the 1998 King of the Ring (you remember that one, don't you? The one where the Undertaker did that one thing to that one guy), The New Age Outlaws defended the WWF tag titles against NWA tag team champions the New Midnight Express, which consisted of Bob Holly and Bart Gunn. The less said about that, the better. Late in the match, Billy Gunn tries to put it away with a piledriver, but a belt shot from Jim Cornette puts a stop to it. The Express don't sew it up yet. Cornette had a second belt shot in mind, but everyone's favorite Attitude Era equalizer, Chyna, puts the kibosh on that with a low blow. For the many people who wanted the Louisville Loudmouth to sing an even higher falsetto, well, there ya go.

7. Chyna enters the Royal Rumble.

I know what you're probably thinking: Beth Phoenix did it. So did Kharma. But neither of them would be possible if it weren't for the Ninth Wonder of the World. In 1999, Chyna became the first woman to enter the Royal Rumble match, entering at the coveted #30. Ok, that Rumble did stink on ice, but Chyna in her 35 seconds in the match does record one elimination: Mark Henry (CONTINUITY!).

But neither Beth nor Kharma did what Chyna did: enter the Rumble twice. She appeared in the Rumble match the next year. She bettered her stay by all of two seconds, but she did once again score an elimination: Chris Jericho as payback for him defeating her for the Intercontinental title (CONTINUITY!). Chyna's two Rumble appearances are the most by a woman, and is a feat that will likely never be replicated.

6. Chyna's bazooka.

I mean her entrance, get your heads out of the gutter, people. No idea on the origins (if you know, feel free to comment), but come on. It's Chyna. With a pyro bazooka. Even in late 1999, by which point we've seen just about everything... IT'S A GODDAMN BAZOOKA! IT'S MENTAL!  With all due respect to The Rock and his flamethrower, it's not a bazooka. It just isn't.

5. Chyna crushes Ivory at Wrestlemania X-Seven.

Ivory was the female voice of the Parents Television Council parody group Right to Censor. The group was trying to clean up the WWF of its more salacious gimmicks, and among them for some reason was Chyna. Might have something to do with her posing for Playboy that one time, but that's a different story. Anyway, at the 2001 Royal Rumble, Chyna appeared to have suffered a neck injury during her bout with the then-women's champion.

Chyna eventually returns, which is bad news for Ivory because Ivory knows Chyna's gonna kill her...which is pretty much what happened at Wrestlemania X-Seven. It might as well have been a match on the old WWF Superstars. Ivory got in minimal offense, but when it became clear Chyna was not as hurt as Ivory thought, the conservative Ivory was squished like a bug. It had to have been the longest two minutes of her life.

Chyna cruises to victory and her only WWF Women's Championship. Paul Heyman and Jim Ross suggest that Chyna would make a dominate Women's Champion, but we would never get to truly find out. Less than two months after the bout, Chyna was gone from the company, never to return.

4. Chyna wins the Corporate Royal Rumble.

In early 1999, the war between the Corporation and D-Generation X, WWF's top two stables, was seriously thick. One week earlier, the two stables were supporting players in what is still one of the biggest moments in RAW history, Mankind winning the WWF Championship title.

With the title out of the Corporation's grasp, The Corporation decided the best way to get the title back in their camp was to win the Royal Rumble, which by itself was complicated with Vince McMahon being the #2 entrant. Remember this; we'll come back to it. Anyway, a "Corporate Royal Rumble" was commissioned, with the winner getting to enter the Rumble match last.

Late in the bout, Triple H and Big Boss Man were the final two entrants... until the buzzer went off and Vince McMahon enters. Bossman and H are both tossed by McMahon, and Vince McMahon, who was #2 in the Rumble, is now #30.


As Vince McMahon goes full Hulk Hogan, the buzzer goes off again and A NEW CHALLENGER ENTERS. Enter Chyna. Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco get in the way and they get crushed. And Vince McMahon is probably crapping his pants because Chyna is about to wreck Vince McMahon's world.

Glass breaks.

Enter Stone Cold Steve Austin. With McMahon fully focused on Austin, Chyna- who is in the match, remember- slips in and dumps McMahon over the top rope. Chyna wins the Corporate Royal Rumble, ensuring her as the first female Royal Rumble entrant ever.

3. Chyna's feud with Chris Jericho.

It was the feud that nearly got Chris Jericho fired. No, seriously.

Jericho entered the WWF in August 1999, just as Chyna was about to break into a singles career. Jericho was a bit on the stiff side compared to his WWF counterparts. By the time he got to his feud with Chyna in late 1999, Y2J had nuclear heat on him. His early performances were not up to snuff for a feud with The Rock, so he was relegated to a feud with Chyna.

A feud Chris Jericho described in his book Undisputed as miserable. He hated working with Chyna, and he was not exactly comfortable working with a woman. Vince McMahon told her in no uncertain terms to not take it easy on her because she's a woman.

Jericho, ever the good soldier, did not take it easy on her. The two created some magic on television together, producing a pair of good PPV bouts to close out the year. But during one bout, Chris accidentally gave Chyna a black eye. That got him in serious heat with McMahon, even being told he wasn't worth the paper his contract was printed on.

In the end, Chyna's feud with Jericho, which could have (and should have) been an utter disaster established both of them as featured singles players in the WWF.

2. Mamacita & Latino Heat.

This here is what the kids call "relationship goals".

Shortly after Eddie Guerrero came into WWE in early 2000, Eddie tried to romance Triple H's ex-girlfriend. Or... something. Chyna rebuffed Eddie's advances; hell, the two were on opposite teams at Wrestlemania 2000 (you may remember that as the show EVERYBODY was on).

But the night after Wrestlemania, Eddie Guerrero challenged Chris Jericho for the European Championship. Chyna, seemingly helping her one-time ally Jericho, stuck the knife in Y2J one last time (tie her up and smash her thumb, will ya?), helping Guerrero win the match and the title. And in the case of Eddie, Chyna's heart.

The pairing, which probably wasn't long for this world, would become one of the most memorable not just in the Attitude Era, but in WWE history. Unfortunately, just as they got popular, the cracks began to form. Chyna was upset at Eddie's success, Eddie was upset at Chyna's success, Chyna posed for Playboy, Eddie backdoored his way into the Intercontinental title, and cheated like hell to keep it. After being busted with two of the Godfather's hos on camera (one of them being a young Lisa Marie Varon), the couple broke up.

We thought the crazy kids would make it in this crazy world of sports entertainment, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. Here's hoping they are living it up in that big low rider in the sky.

1. The Great Wall of Chyna.

Shortly after Chyna cut her ties with D-Generation X, the Ninth Wonder of the World served as the bodyguard for the little McMahon, Shane, who at the time was the WWF European Champion.

On the February 21, 1999 edition of Sunday Night Heat, Shane issued an open challenge title defense. Answering the call: Gillberg. Yup, the Goldberg parody himself who rarely won a match. The Attitude Era, everyone.

Gillberg to his amazement speared Shane, but thanks to a Chyna distraction, Shane recovered, title shotted Gillberg, and quickly defeated him to retain the European title. Post-match, an infuriated Gillberg recovered and set his sights on Chyna. And...

Yeah. It did not work out quite as well. Gillberg ran into a brick wall. It's a damn miracle he didn't compress his spine. One Pedigree later, and thanks for coming, please drive through.

As silly as it may sounds, that little Chyna-Gillberg bit may be the best description of her in-ring career. Gillberg didn't take her seriously, and he got squished like a grape. Anyone who didn't take Chyna seriously ultimately ended up with the same fate. Squished like grape. Probably not with a compressed spine. And that went for the gals and the guys. I'm guessing this is why you voted it the best Chyna moment ever.

Either that or you just wanted to see Gillberg fail over and over again.

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