Jim Ross Praises Chyna for Breaking Ground, Talks About Her Downward Spiral

Dec 30, 2020 - by James Walsh

In a recent edition of Grilling JR, Jim Ross discussed Chyna’s success in WWE, her struggles after the breakup with Triple H, and much more. You can read his comments below.

Jim Ross on Chyna’s success in WWE: “She accomplished a lot of things. They were significant. She was a big part of the Attitude Era, without a doubt. She made a lot of money, and I’m not sure of this, but I’d be willing to bet a case of barbecue sauce that she was probably the first woman wrestler to make seven figures. In other words, to make a million dollars or more. And I know that to be fact because I was in charge of doing that and in charge of payroll. So, she got paid real well for being booked with Triple H, who was paid real well for being a main event guy and still evolving his game. She did accomplish so much, but she never accomplished finding true happiness. That’s the sad part of this whole story.”

On how Chyna was hired by WWE: “She came in through [Killer] Kowalski’s recommendation. Vince is gonna put more credence in Kowalski’s recommendation than Triple H, at that time. I understand that. When you get Shawn Michaels in that group and Steve Austin in that group, they all said the same thing. She was unique. She was a novelty. She was an attraction. She was like Andre the Giant. She was abnormal size-wise and so forth. That was how that went down. And then when Shane saw her, he had the same reaction that Triple H did about Joanie’s uniqueness. Consequently, we all discussed it. I know Kowalski was so passionate about the wrestling business that he didn’t put up with talents that were lazy or not fundamentally sound or not respecting the business. That’s kind of how the process went.”

On Chyna’s exit from WWE and the decision not to renew her contract: “We decided not to renew her contract. We wanted her to save face. We wanted her to leave without having to die on her sword. Consequently, I decided that it would be a mutually agreed parting of the way. It left her with some credibility. It didn’t make her seem so much as a victim, which I’m not so sure she didn’t want to be. She may have wanted to be a victim and garner the sympathy that a babyface would if he was against a big heel and insurmountable odds overcoming them. She had a meeting with Vince and then he stopped meeting with her. She still came to TV thinking she might get booked or might be used. I don’t know why we kept bringing her to television. I nipped that in the bud because it was a waste of money and a waste of her time, wear and tear. And we made her a real good offer, I thought.”

On Chyna’s struggles after the breakup with Triple H and whether WWE ever considered bringing her back: “It was a situation that was built for failure. No one could convince me that she would eventually be OK. If you had sat in those meetings with she and I, you would see exactly what I’m talking about. Her heart was broken, and I don’t know how you mend a broken heart. I really don’t. I think we made the right call. I tried to end it with no hard feelings. Look, if we saw going forward down the road that we could’ve brought her back on even keel or level footing because of the Hunter and Stephanie thing, if it would draw money, Vince would bring her back. But I never thought she’d get to a place in her life where she’d be comfortable walking the halls and thinking people were staring at her and getting back in the same scenario as what they did when she was 13 or 16. They stared at her. They belittled her. She created this monster around herself that was gonna be recreated in the afterlife of this post-WWE run. If she came back, she was gonna think everybody is looking at her and you’re being stared at. That happened to her her whole life for the wrong reasons. I just never thought we could put all the pieces back together and make it whole.”

On Chyna’s legacy: “Trailblazer. She did things on a global level that no other female had ever done. These ladies – no matter what company they work in and the money they’re earning – they can look over their shoulder back at the legend of Chyna and say, ‘Thanks.’ She broke the ground that they’re now walking on.”

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