Chyna’s last words on her Youtube video from Sunday was “Love Y’all and Peace.” As is seen so many times; in death she sadly finally is getting the respect and appreciation that she always longed for in life.
Here is an update of “The Reconstruction of Chyna which will be out in 2017”
Yesterday when it was announced that WWE/WWF 45 year old legend Joanie “Chyna” Laurer died at her place in Redondo Beach from a possible prescription drug overdose, the collective heart of wrestling fans and present and former wrestlers was broken. If there was ever a wrestler who fans felt so much love and sympathy for it was Chyna.
Let’s be real. The lack of acknowledgement over the years from the WWE about Chyna’s career and not burying the hatchet was unacceptable. I’m not stupid. It wasn’t a coincidence that the first WWE voice that talked about her passing was Stephanie McMahon.
From doing a pedigree off of the top rope against Chris Jericho, to gorilla pressing wrestlers like Eddie Guerrero. Chyna was indeed the 9th Wonder of the World.
Chyna’s Big Break; How the N.W.O. Played a Role:
Chyna was trained by Killer Kowalski. Luna Vachon; another wrestling great; tells the story of this big weight lifting woman. “Here was this girl; cute as a button with strawberry blond hair; a weightlifters body and this squeaky little girls voice and you fell in love with her in a minute. She was so adorable with her sweet personality. I remember at times she got screwed out of her pay and I made sure she was paid what they said. At times I even gave her some of my pay because they took advantage of her. She was very naive.”
In 1996 Shawn Michaels and HHH saw her at a wrestling show and loved her immediately. Vince McMahon originally did not want her involved in WWE. He had always liked his women to be the Barbie doll types; (still does); big chests and pretty faces. What changed McMahon’s mind though is their Monday night wars nemesis WCW.
WCW was fresh and exciting. They were signing many of the stars from WWE and they were always edgy and fun the way WWE used to be. One of their angles was to sign Chyna as the only female member of the newly formed N.W.O. which was taking the wrestling world by storm. Killer Kowalski; who trained Chyna; stated that he went to Shane McMahon and told him about the plans that WCW had for Chyna and Shane then signed her. Chyna originally had a verbal agreement with WCW but then went against it to go to the WWE. The rest is history.
Changed The Wrestling World:
Chyna was unlike any female wrestler before or since. At 5’ 10” 180 pounds, she was a physical specimen. She was a weight lifter and a gym rat and her work outs rivaled many of the male stars of the day. She didn’t have the smooth wrestling moves of a Madusa or Wendy Richter, or the amazing wrestling prowess of the Fabulous Moolah, but she did have a physical presence that had never been seen before or since.
She originally gained fame with Degeneration X as the body guard of HHH and Shawn Michaels. She usually just sat back with her arms crossed looking intimidating, while DX did all of their classic bad boy stuff. She would sometimes help them cheat in matches with her famous “low blow” so that they could win and DX became a fan favorite.
Many of the male wrestlers were very leery of letting a female get the best of them in matches thinking it would hurt or ruin their careers. In 1999 however, Chyna became the first female entrant of the Royal Rumble by being chosen #30 to enter the match. She was eliminated by Stone Cold Steve Austin.
The Dark Side of Chyna: How She Changed:
It was obvious she would destroy the likes of Lita, Ivory and Trish Stratus (she beat Trish in 90 seconds) but this is wrestling. Many said she refused to sell other wrestlers moves and that she became mean and seemed very insecure and troubled.
Here is the last video that Chyna ever did on April 17th from her Youtube page. It’s obvious she is in a bad way and possibly under the influence of something. It’s still unclear exactly when she died but this is a sad thing to watch.
Breaking Barriers by Wrestling Men as a Singles Competitor:
No offense to any female wrestler or wrestling fan of today, but I smile wide when fans try to tell me how awesome female wrestlers of the WWE are. With all due respect they could not carry Chyna’s gym bag.
Chyna broke away from HHH in 1999 and became a singles competitor. She became the first woman to ever qualify for the King of the Ring series, and amazingly was the first to be the #1 contender for the men’s WWE World Championship.
Her breakout feud that launched her as a fan favorite was with Jeff Jarrett. Her first match with Intercontinental Champion Jarrett was at Unforgiven which Chyna lost. Jarrett’s contract was up at WWE and he was moving on so he had to give up the belt. Chyna has said in shoot interviews that Jarrett agreed to lose to her straight up if the WWE paid him $300,000.00 dollars. The WWE agreed and Jarrett lost to Chyna at No Mercy. She thus became the one and only female Intercontinental Champion in WWE history!
She wrestled many men, but her most vicious feud was with Chris Jericho. In one segment Jericho went back stage and beat up Chyna splitting her head open with a hair dryer pounding it against her head when she was down. Jericho was great at creating heat and putting people over and it worked. WWE fans were even more passionate about her.
Chyna did beat Chris Jericho at Survivor Series with an amazing pedigree from the top rope cementing her as a true icon of the wrestling world. I’m not the biggest Jericho fan but I give him tons of respect when he put Chyna over. Jericho has also said some glowing things about Chyna. “The only woman to ever knock me down.”
Mamacita & Latino Heat:
This is probably people’s most fondest memories of Chyna. Very few performers were as good as Eddie Guerrero and it was a match made in heaven. Chyna became the on screen girlfriend of the latin bad boy who used his Latino Heat charm to steal her heart. Behind that wry smile you knew Eddie was lying, cheating and stealing but he sucked you in every time.
It also showed fans a more feminine, vulnerable and softer side of Chyna that made people love her even more. In one of the funniest scenes I remember, Eddie was found taking a shower with 2 other women on secret video. Chyna was engaged to Eddie and she was crushed. Eddie tried everything to win her back but it was a puppy that finally did it. Their connection was very fun to watch and super entertaining.
Here is Eddie in a rare shoot interview talking about Chyna saying that it was fun to work with her but that at the end it was obvious she was in pain for things that had happened.
Her Abrupt Departure:
Chyna went in depth about her painful breakup with HHH on podcasts and shoot interviews. She said that she heard phone messages from Stephanie on Helmsley’s phone and found a love letter from her. All the while everything was denied. When the cat was out of the bag, she talked about the coldness and lack of remorse that Stephanie and HHH had. “A simple sorry would have helped a lot”. Vince McMahon told her to go home and that they would send a proposal for a new contract. The fax came and it said she was no longer needed. She never entered a WWE ring again.
After that she was a mess. She lost her job, her finances went to pot and then she got into a relationship with HHH’s friend X-Pac who was chasing his own demons. She turned to drugs and did porn movies and sometimes gave crazed interviews or Youtube videos. She did a reality show and went on Howard Stern and the treatment people gave her was just criminal. Instead of helping her or supporting her many used her for target practice.
Why Isn’t She in the Hall of Fame:
Here is another let’s be real moment. The WWE Hall of Fame IS NOT a real hall of fame. It is a made up award for people that are in good standing with WWE and who have made contributions to the company. No offense to some of the recipients but it’s starting to be somewhat of a joke with some of the people that are in it. Bruno Sammartino took forever to get in due to his negative comments about the company. The rumors of Macho Man Randy Savage and Stephanie are said to be why he never got in while he was alive. The great Rick Rude isn’t in but I’m sure he will get in fairly soon. He is just too talented to keep out. I’m sure him surprising WWE by showing up on television and signing with WCW on the same day he was shown on WWE television is the reason. Scott Steiner trashes WWE any time he can so he’s never getting in.
HHH has said Chyna shouldn’t be in because he doesn’t want his kids to do a Google search on Chyna and see what she’s done. Talk about insulting our intelligence. Is he kidding? Do a search on WWE wrestlers; male and female; and look at how many did porn or naked photos to make money. How many sleazy story lines have their been in WWE; how many drug overdoses and wrestlers have been linked to drug scandals?
Vince McMahon has always wanted to do a storyline on incest. He wanted one where he would be the father of Stephanie’s baby. When she said no, Vince suggested Shane. She again said no. He once wanted an angle with Ken Shamrock doing an incest love affair with his “sister” Ryan Shamrock (who he was actually dating). Ken said no way and magically his push ended.
HHH himself cheated to get Stephanie and then lied about it. And just try to find a wrestler over 35 who didn’t take steroids. And while HHH and WWE is shining up their halo’s, they promoted WWE into soft porn by making huge deals with playboy for several years. I’ve never heard ANYONE use HHH, or the McMahon’s in the same sentence that you use the word moral or ethics.
Will Chyna Get Into The HOF:
Yes; just like in anything, death erases barriers. In my opinion in time all will be forgiven and this is now a time to save face and to look gracious. “This went on too long and we need to forgive.” Look for Chyna to get into the HOF and all of the people that had been blocking her getting into the HOF and trashing her in interviews will now have a chance to glowingly speak kindly of her. It’s hard not to be cynical.
Bill Apter interviews Chyna in October of 2015:
Chyna really wanted to be inducted. Three weeks ago she tweeted that she would like for one day to return to WWE so she could thank the fans that supported her so much. “Without them I am nothing.”
NO ONE was ever as physically dominant as Chyna, but I think what people will remember most is her sweet personality during the good times.
Her friends and fans will remember her for her kindness and her good heart. In my limited interactions with her she was a sweet fun person. I loved her interactions with her fans. She loved them and they adored her.
The wrestling business usually leaves few survivors. In this sexist men’s club, she blazed trails and gained the respect and adoration of millions. She was a beacon for many women who weren’t 100 pound blond cheerleaders to be who they were and to be the best and that you can do anything a man can do without selling out.
At worst she was a sad tale of insecure out of control pain that couldn’t find peace while leaving a trail of wreckage behind her. I think all of us could relate to Chyna even a little bit to the times when we are/were lost and felt in pain.
At her best she was the essence of sweetness and kindness and appreciation for whatever she got, making sure a positive and kind message followed her.
Chyna’s last words on her Youtube video from Sunday was “Love Y’all and Peace.” I think I speak for every fan, writer, announcer and wrestler in saying to Chyna that we love you too. Thank you so much for all you did for everyone. And lastly eternal, sweet peace to you too.