Jim Ross has talked about Chyna winning the WWE Women’s Championship at WrestleMania X-7 and says it was a match ‘The Ninth Wonder Of the World’ didn’t even want to be in.
Ross was discussing WrestleMania X-7 on his Grilling JR podcast with co-host Conrad Thompson. At that WrestleMania Chyna faced Ivory for the Women’s Championship. JR discussed the unusual position of a would-be champion not wanting to win the title.
“Sh*t no she didn’t want to win the title, she didn’t want to work with women, because of her look. She was a big advocate of the intergender stuff, and folks that know me know that it’s not my cup of tea.”
“[Chyna] didn’t want to wrestle women, that was not her lot in life. She felt like she was above that, because of her look and her size. People say ‘Now in today’s world…’ it wasn’t in today’s world, it was way back then. It’s 2001, it’s 20 years ago.
“Women’s wrestling has come further in the last 20 years or so than in any other time in history, at least in my lifetime. So the list of talents that are out there now, she could have some matches if she wanted to. She could get in the ring with somebody like Asuka or Thunder Rosa or whomever and get her ass whipped. But she knew she had an in, she was politically connected and she just thought that she was above working with women.”
Jim Ross then went on to say that he had sympathy for Chyna’s opponent that night. Noting that Ivory had helped greatly in the development of women’s wrestling in the company.
“I felt bad for Lisa Moretti [Ivory]. Lisa didn’t do any harm to Chyna, Lisa’s a pro, and a lovely person, I think the world of her. She helped us so much in the development of the Divas back in those days. That was the thing about it is that Chyna did not want to be known as a Diva, but she wanted to look like a Diva, hence getting her jaw done and all those things. So it was a two-way street here, I’m not sure what lane she was in sometimes. But I do know that she did not want to work with women. She would come to me and say ‘How are you going to use me on the next house show run? Who am I gonna work with?’ She saw herself in a different league.”
Ross then discussed Chyna’s financial demands that the company wouldn’t meet:
“That’s why when she ended up leaving, she demanded she was getting paid as much as Austin. That wasn’t even reasonable, that wasn’t even plausible. I said ‘You can make a lot of money but you can’t guarantee that $1 million a year’. So now we know that there are a lot of women in wrestling that are making $1 million a year because the landscape has changed over the last 20 years. We’re talking about 2001.”
As far as the match at WrestleMania X-7, Chyna defeated Ivory in short order with a dominant display. JR was not a fan of the pin that ended that match with the former Intercontinental Champion simply laying back onto Ivory.
“I thought the cover was the sh*ts. Chyna laid on her back, which is lazy sh*t, disrespectful. I’m not on a tirade knocking Joanie, I spent more time with Joanie than probably any other talent on the roster for a period of time there. But she just had a very strange outlook and some very strong anxiety. She didn’t have a lot of self-confidence, she was always wanting to change her body, change her face, change this, change that, get sexier, but not wrestle women.”
“So you want to be a sexy woman, but you don’t want to wrestle women? So I’m supposed to book you with the guys that you can beat? That’s another issue, why would I [Chyna] wrestle and not go over? Hello, this sh*t is showbiz, that’s how you’re cast tonight. So, I don’t know, it got to be a pain in the ass frankly, that whole trying to keep her happy. And of course, her personal life wasn’t doing her any favours.”
Chyna left the WWE at the end of November 2001 while still holding the Women’s Championship. A six-pack challenge was held at the 2001 Survivor Series to crown a new champion. That match was won by Trish Stratus.
Jim Ross also discussed Paul Heyman joining WWE in 2001 as Ross’s new broadcast partner on Raw.
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