Jim Cornette has revealed why he had heat with Chyna and Triple H when he was working backstage with WWE in the late 1990’s.
Speaking on the latest edition of his podcast, The Jim Cornette Experience, Cornette explained that a mix-up over why Chyna had to miss some appearances, led to the issue.
During the late 1990’s, Jim Cornette was working behind the scenes with WWE as well as being an occasional on-screen presence. Cornette initially explained how his backstage role saw him booking 3rd party appearances for WWE Superstars.
“In 97 or 98, somewhere in that time frame, when I was working in the office in Stamford. And one of the things that I was doing, was I would work with the 3rd party and independent promotors. The guys that weren’t booked all the time, that wanted to wrestle outside shots, could still do that at that point, if it was approved by the office. So I would deal with the promotors, you know work with JR find out who wasn’t booked, and this also went to personal appearances at malls with some of the top guys that weren’t wrestling.”
The legendary manager then detailed how on one occasion, Chyna was unable to attend an appearance due to what he was told was a dentist appointment.
“On one particular afternoon, Bruce [Prichard] calls me and says ‘Hey Chyna has 3rd party appearances on Saturday and Sunday doing a signing at ‘X’ mall or whatever, she needs to cancel those.’ I said ok why? ‘She’s got some dental work she’s going to have done.’ Ok, when you have booked a major television wrestling star for a promotor, who’s advertised and who’s got a location and got people coming and they’re either gonna get autographs or brought a ticket, when you say ‘So and so ain’t coming.’ What’s the first question they ask? Why?
So I had to call one or two of these promotors and say that Chyna can’t make it, she’s having some dental work done.”
Cornette went on to reveal that the incident then led to a phone call from Bruce Prichard, saying that he had heat with Chyna and Triple H. The real reason for her missing the appearance was that she was having cosmetic surgery on her jaw, but she didn’t want people to know.
“I remember about a week later Bruce calls me again, ‘Well you got heat with Triple H and Chyna.’ So what did I do? ‘Well you told some promotor about her dental work.’ And he put a period on it, but I’m still waiting for the rest of the explanation cause’ that didn’t do it for me…
I said I’ve heard of guys kayfabing rehab but a root canal?! That’s when he told me the rest of the story, she wasn’t going to have a root canal of a God damn crown put on or whatever, that was part of her [jaw] restructuring.
“What was I supposed to say? She just didn’t want to f***ing come?
[Bruce] ‘Well, you could have made something up.’
“Well you didn’t tell me to make anything up!?”
The long-time podcaster closed by saying that the incident got their relationship off to a bad start, concluding:
“So they didn’t like me from the start, and I weren’t too warm on them either.”
While Chyna only appeared for WWE from 1997 to 2001, she made a huge impact. The ‘9th Wonder of the World’ was the first woman to appear in the Royal Rumble Match and became the first and only woman to date to win the Intercontinental Title. Appearing on the latest ‘WWE Icons’ epsiode about her life and career, Beth Phoenix recalled how Chyna had a huge influence on her career. Commenting that she was “enamoured” with the star from the first moment she saw her.
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