Jim Ross has confirmed that financial demands ultimately caused Chyna to leave WWE. The former Women’s Champion departed WWE in November 2001 after four-and-a-half years with the company.
Chyna made an instant impact in WWE in 1997 as an ally of Shawn Michaels and Triple H. She went on to win the Intercontinental Championship twice and the Women’s Championship on one occasion.
Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast, Ross reiterated a comment he made earlier this year about Chyna wanting equal pay with Steve Austin. He also revealed that Chyna wanted a $1 million downside guarantee per year.
"Her deal was, ‘No, I don’t want a $400,00 guarantee, I want a million dollar guarantee’ because she wanted exactly what Austin and Undertaker and some of those cats were making," said Ross. "She was never going to be cast in their light or used in their way. It would not have been a good investment for us to make." [H/T WrestlingNewsCo for the transcription]
Ross clarified that Superstars often earned a lot more than their downside guarantee. Chris Jericho, for example, used to have a downside guarantee of $350,000 per year, but he sometimes made up to $3 million.
Chyna’s final WWE year
In April 2001, Chyna defeated Ivory at WrestleMania X-Seven to win the Women’s Championship for the first time.
Although she technically held the title until November 2001, Chyna did not compete in WWE during the last six months of her title reign. Her final WWE match came in May 2001 when she retained the Women’s Championship against Lita at Judgment Day.Published 25 Dec 2020, 17:00 IST