By Liam Byrne @tvtimelimit
Jeff Jarrett © vs Chyna 10/17/99
Good Housekeeping Intercontinental Title Match
The Intercontinental Title Match between Jeff Jarrett and Chyna is a perfect example of a match that is best known for its ramifications outside the ring than it necessarily is remembered for the action within it. As with a lot of stories that go on behind the scenes in wrestling, there is a lot of hearsay attached to what apparently happened before, during and after the match, but nothing is completely set in stone as to the extent to which Jarrett ‘held up’ the WWF or even if it actually happened.
The story goes that Jarrett’s contract was due to run out the day before No Mercy and with Vince Russo having left for the greener pastures of WCW, Jarrett had decided to leave and perhaps get a more significant push. Having seen the WWF Women’s Title thrown into the trashcan on a WCW programme before, the fear that Jarrett might do something similar with the Intercontinental Title led to Vince McMahon offering the wantaway champion…something.
This is where stories are divided. Some report (including Chyna) that Jarrett’s decision to hang around for another day and drop the belt in the ring netted him $300,000 for a single match. Jarrett has always flatly denied this, saying he had only received stock options alongside money that was owed to him. Jarrett’s belief that things were conducted in a cordial fashion feels somewhat undermined by McMahon’s very public firing of him when WCW was purchased by the WWF – not the type of action you might expect from someone who had left with an apparently positive relationship still in play.
What the extracurricular activities surrounding the match eclipse is the ending to what had been a well implemented bullying storyline that had seen Jarrett slap around several of the women on the WWF roster. Depending on your mileage on male on female violence in wrestling, the angle had built to the point where the intervention of Chyna, the only woman presented as Jarrett’s equal, was necessary and the natural end to the storyline. The misogynistic Jarrett was going to be put in his place; Chyna was going to show him what a woman was capable of. That she would do it in a Jarrett-stipulated ‘Good Housekeeping Match’, a further slap in the face on the champion’s end of things, was all the more sweet.
The match was a fun brawl from start to finish with the weapons that could be utilised all items that one might find in a house. Brooms, trash cans and the kitchen sink were all up for use, with Jarrett’s head caving in a bin as Chyna was the first to grab a weapon and swing for the fences. A stick of salami, a frying pan and a toilet seat were the next three things that Jarrett was blasted with – a clear indication of the randomness of what was on hand for the wrestlers to use.
It would be a much more conventional wrestling table that had Chyna finally relinquish the advantage, crashing through the table with an elbow off of the apron as Jarrett moved at the last second. Having already had several eggs thrown at him earlier, Jarrett and Miss Kitty sought to mix an omelette to gain some measure of revenge. As with all wrestling angles involving food, the heels were undone: Chyna knocked the flour into Jarrett’s eyes and poured the mixture over Miss Kitty to rapturous applause from the fans.
The distraction of pouring the eggs and milk over Jarrett’s valet allowed the champion to attack Chyna’s knee and slap on the figure four leglock. On his way out of the promotion, his finisher was halted as Chyna grabbed onto the bottom rope. Jarrett jumped off of the second turnbuckle into a low blow before having his testicles twisted with a pair of tongs. The use of the kitchen sink earned Chyna a two count, yet a false finished followed as a ref bump saw Jarrett use the Intercontinental Title to gain a three count.
Realising the error of his ways, Teddy Long restarted the match. An enraged Jarrett would go for a figure four on the referee, turning into a guitar shot from Chyna which was enough for the three count. Chyna had made history by becoming the first woman to win the Intercontinental Title; Jarrett had done the proper thing by doing the job on his way out.
Lost in the mire of all the problems that surrounded the contest is how fun it actually was. It is a pure slice of Attitude Era WWF that stands up a hell of a lot better than most of the rest.