Retro Rewind: Chyna in today’s WWE
Would Chyna work in today’s WWE?
Chyna was without a doubt one of WWE’s most influential female wrestlers of all time. Gender aside, she was also one of the most notable figures in the WWE’s attitude era. Her unique presence, coupled with tenacity and skill inspired many female wrestlers after her to blaze their trail. With countless memorable matches including winning the WWE Intercontinental Championship two times, Chyna deserved every ounce of success gained in her fifteen-year wrestling career. All of those achievements led to a Hall of Fame induction last year. But… would Chyna’s character work in today’s WWE?
Chyna exploded onto the scene in 1997. Her first role on televised broadcasts was that of an enforcer for D-Generation X, one of the most popular wrestling stables of all time.
Chyna became famous for her trademark black leather attire and delivering powerful low blows to the groins to the opponents of Triple H to help him win. The look was something that pro wrestling never saw before. Even so, that Jerry Lawler shouted: “Is that a woman?” during her debut, due to her shredded physique.
Beyond the enforcer role, the character evolved into a force of nature as a solo act. So much so, that the moniker given to Chyna was the “ninth wonder of the world.”
She went on to break barriers by becoming the first woman to ever enter the Royal Rumble and King of the Ring tournament. Still, to this day, Chyna is the only woman to ever win the Intercontinental title, winning it on two separate occasions.
Although Chyna accomplished everything there is to accomplish in a wrestling career, she also faced a lot of controversies. Her short stint in the adult film industry is well documented. While WWE once had a TV-14 rating, since 2008 the company changed its product to reflect PG viewership.
How would the company react in today’s time if Chyna were to repeat those steps?
It’s very difficult to determine. Chyna left WWE in 2001 and the reasons remain unclear.
WWE Hall of Fame commentator Jim Ross stated that both Chyna and WWE respectively decided to cut ties. However, Chyna revealed in the shoot interview above that after Triple H and Chyna ended their relationship, Vince McMahon told her that her services were no longer needed. This was due to Triple H starting a new relationship with McMahon’s daughter Stephanie.
While the company in today’s climate would frown upon one of their biggest stars being involved in adult entertainment, it is challenging to conclude that Chyna would indeed take that route. After all, when she chose to pursue adult film, it was after her WWE departure.
In conjunction, Chyna admitted herself that she only went into the industry to make the best out of a bad situation.
She stated that a leaked video of her and Sean Waltman was released without her permission. She further stated that she had zero intention of going into the adult film industry had that incident never occurred.
Would Chyna Work Today?
The way Chyna’s character evolved overtime would certainly work in today’s WWE climate.
Although it was difficult back then for ‘the E’ to get Chyna to work with women, the current crop of talent would be enough to change her mind. The likes of Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and more would all be able to put on quality performances against Chyna. A feud with Nia Jax in today’s time would certainly be enough to main event a pay per view if promoted correctly.
The addition of women’s tag titles would also greatly benefit Chyna in today’s climate. She would easily be able to continue as an enforcer for talented female superstars that are smaller in stature. Names like Alexa Bliss and Dana Brooke come to mind as talents who would greatly benefit from having Chyna in their corner.
Not only would Chyna be able to work with all of the female talents, but also the male talent.
Even though WWE currently doesn’t allow intergender matchups, Chyna could still have storylines with men in the promotion. Her versatile skill set could easily position her to win the new 24/7 title from male superstars and creating viral moments in the process.
Personally, I believe that that adult film controversy surrounding Chyna most likely would not have occurred if she was still employed at that time by the company. There have been numerous cases where present female superstars have been caught up in some leaked drama of their own. In most of those cases, the superstar in question apologized for what happened. Afterward, WWE slowly but surely continued with them.
Not only would Chyna work in today’s WWE, but she would also be accepted on social media for her personality. She was a strong woman who always preached the message of female empowerment. The rise of female empowerment and feminism is also at an all-time high in today’s era with organizations such as the Me Too Movement, Women’s Global Empowerment Fund, and the National Organization for Women leading the way.
Her interesting personality would also provide WWE with hours upon hours of content for the WWE Network. With the expansion of the network with documentaries and even WWE films, Chyna could easily make the transition into Hollywood.
Projects like The Expendables come to mind while thinking of ways she could make her way onto the big screen. Also, Chyna wasn’t just a brute force. She also had a feminine side that could easily be explored in the many reality show platforms that WWE has on major network television, thus increasing her stardom.
Without a doubt, Chyna would work in WWE today. She was too good of a character and too connected with the people to fail. Her unique look is still something that the WWE has yet to see again. While others like Beth Phoenix and Nia Jax appear to have her strength, her wow factor sets her apart from any female to ever grace the squared circle.
The unfortunate passing of Chyna in 2016 left a void in the wrestling world that may never be filled. Us at The Scrap offer condolences to the Laurer family and Chyna’s legacy will continue to live on forever.