Intercontinental divide

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November 15, 2010

Chris Jericho liked to call himself "the best in the world at what he does," but in 1999, Chyna was out to prove him all kinds of wrong. Yet as the pair battled back and forth, circumstances would force them to onto uneasy common ground - a marriage of inconvenience that drops in at the No. 8 spot of WWE.com's "List This: Heated Pursuits in WWE History."

At Survivor Series 1999, then-Intercontinental Champion Chyna had successfully fended off an arduous challenge from the upstart Jericho. Y2J would subsequently lay claim to the title at Armageddon, but The Ninth Wonder of the World wouldn't be conquered quite so easily.

On the Dec. 30, 1999 edition of SmackDown, Chyna told the WWE Universe that she had been pulling Jericho's butt out of the fire for weeks, " … And it's not because of admiration … or mutual respect … we're going to see who the true champion is." However, neither competitor was prepared for what happened next.

In a grueling match that saw punishing maneuvers and numerous near-pinfalls, Chyna had seemingly laid out Jericho with a Pedigree on her way to victory. Unfortunately, she had just kayoed the referee moments before. The "Ayatollah of Rock and Roll-a" barely managed to kick out of what seemed like a 10-count. One devastating slam onto a steel chair in the middle of the ring later, and both he and Chyna found themselves with their backs to the canvas - and each receiving a three-count by an official.

Two separate referees had differing opinions about who was champion, one in favor of Chyna, the other raising the arm of Jericho. Each Superstar laid claim to the gold, hoisting the title in the air one after the other. And as the WWE Universe tried to wrap their heads around what happened - the final say on who would bear the prestigious title would be in the hands of one "billion-dollar princess."

Stephanie McMahon declared the odd pairing "Co-Intercontinental Champions." Although not actually married, what followed was an unholy matrimony of sorts. Jericho and Chyna were required to defend the championship together and separately -- with the ongoing stipulation that if one lost the title, the other lost it, too.

For the next several weeks, both Jericho and Chyna bickered over being forced to save each other's respective hide against Hardcore Holly, who was steaming for his chance at the Intercontinental Title. Jericho made the save for Chyna, punching Holly in the face to allow his "co-champion" the pin. The Ninth Wonder of the World held up her end of the tenuous union as well, pedigreeing Hardcore Holly onto a steel chair weeks later to help Jericho secure the 1-2-3.

Jericho finally earned his independence at Royal Rumble 2000 by winning the title outright in a Triple Threat Match against Chyna and Hardcore Holly. Later that night, however, Chyna settled the pair's "irreconcilable differences" once and for all by eliminating her former partner in an over-the-top rope melee. Consider that a divorce!

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