CHYNA: WWE CHAMPION
Chyna broke new ground for female wrestlers in WWE. Though often the subject of DX’s crude humour, she was the most dominant woman in the company, and someone equally capable of stepping up and battling her male counterparts. This was hammered home during her feuds with Chris Jericho and Jeff Jarrett, and she remains the only woman to ever hold the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
WWE had far bigger plans for her in 1999, however. The company were already smashing preconceptions with Chyna’s run, but for a brief period of time, she was actually set to become WWE Champion. The idea was that she’d overcome Steve Austin at SummerSlam ‘99, but despite becoming number one contender in the event’s build-up, but she lost the spot to Mankind a few weeks before the PPV.
The whole idea was reportedly Vince Russo’s idea, but WWE decided Chyna just wasn’t ready for the shot. It was likely the right decision: Chyna wasn’t the most exciting wrestler in the world, and her two runs with the IC Title aren’t exactly fondly remembered. For all she brought to the business, Chyna was never a top tier performer, and her run as WWE Champion would’ve likely caused the company some major headaches down the line.