When I think about former female wrestlers that worked for the World Wrestling Entertainment, there is one wrestler who stands out to me the most. Known for her intimidating stare, size, strength, she didn’t take any crap from anyone. She did what she wants, when she wants and there wasn’t anyone that could stand in her way of doing so no matter how hard one tried. To many she was looked at as a freak of nature, and the subject of cruel jokes amongst men who act like boys. She’s been called many names over the years but there’s one that always rings true to my ear that will always stand out least in my mind…Chyna: The Ninth Wonder of the World.

 

I can remember how on many Monday nights my best friend and I would watch WWF: Monday Night Raw and would just marvel at the appearance of Chyna. She was everything that we envisioned in a strong woman. She had well defined but large biceps & triceps that could give Hulk Hogan’s 24inch pythons a run for his money any day of the week. She had well defined calves and thick thighs that looked like if she were to use a leg sweep, figure four leg-lock, you would indeed feel pain. The way she commanded the scene every time she stepped in front of the camera made you take notice. It didn’t matter what you were doing as you came to a halt because she was unlike anything or rather anyone that one never saw before. If you grew up watching wrestling in 1980’s or years prior to that, the female wrestlers that existed were of the same quality appearance wise. They were small, very not really well defined, just plain average looking with weave…Lots and lots of weave. They all mostly wore the same type of outfits but just different color scheme and talked the same way and wrestled the same way. Just go back and watch some old footage from AWA, NWA and vintage WWWF and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Fast forward to this point when Chyna came into the picture and talk about shattering standard perception!
Remember at this point WWE Chairman Vince McMahon was very desperate to increase ratings because Ted Turner’s WCW Monday Nitro was beating Monday Night Raw every week. McMahon had to adapt with the times and as result made the content more adult oriented, more risky and taboo. At the time when it came to the women’s division, sex appeal sold and boy did it ever. Surely one can remember drooling at the mouth every time Sable or Sunny were in the ring. If you were a teenager at that time watching those two had put you on a crash course of pre sex 101. Chyna didn’t exactly fit into that picture when she came to the scene. She looked like if you even thought about sneezing or coughing she would pound you to the ground and not blink. When my friend and I saw her we looked at ourselves and devoted any free time we had to work out together because we really wanted to be big and strong. That’s how much of an impact she had on us but more for my friend and for many women as I later learned years later. I use to always fancy the idea of a female wrestler coming into Vince McMahon’s company and just tearing the roster apart and become the first ever female champion. I guess you can say I was a bit influenced by characters such as Wonder Woman, The Bionic Woman, Xenia the Warrior Princess and She-Hulk. For me she was all of those characters rolled into one. Far as I’m concerned anybody that trained at Killer Kowalski’s wrestling school in Malden, Massachusetts has got to be one tough person in my book as not everyone can make it out of his school and go on to be successful.

 

If you were to go back and see Chyna’s rise in the WWE it stated off very slow as you can tell that this breed of female wrestler was something Vince McMahon has never dealt with before as it was new territory and he really wasn’t fond of the idea of her going around beating up the male wrestlers. Luckily Shawn Michaels and Triple H came up with the idea that she could be their silent bodyguard and the rest was history as they would say. Who can’t forget Chyna becoming the first female to participate in the 1999 King of the Ring tournament and also the first female contender for the WWF title, to her feud with Jeff Jarrett. Her feud with Jeff Jarrett was so spot on and white hot classic at that time. Jarrett played his part beautifully as the guy you wanted to hate with his ignorance, as well as degrading comments towards Chyna being in the same ring with him. The winds of change really turned in her favor as she became a crowd favorite resulting in Chyna becoming the first female Intercontinental Champion but not without controversy. It would only be weeks after that infamous No Mercy PPV did we learn that Jarrett’s contract had expired days prior and as result would not go on to perform his match with Chyna unless he was paid what was rightfully owed to him. Still, it was very refreshing to see a change of pace with a female Intercontinental Champion especially when next she started feuding with Chris Jericho. From there she feuded with the late Eddie Gurrerro but only to later team up with up as an onscreen couple. In real-life though her true love was Triple H.

 

This is where this rise to stardom suddenly begins to go crashing down. Chyna and Triple H traveled a lot together, ate together, worked out together. When you’re constantly on the road (at this time it was 365 days a year), paired up with the same talent of the opposite sex, something is bound to happen sooner or later as was the case for them. Little did Chyna know however that as Triple H was becoming more and more popular a certain McMahon took notice to him…A Stephaine McMahon and she liked what she saw and wanted him to be hers. Later we would learn that the feeling was mutual as they recalled it getting butterflies which is romantic and all but very poisoning at the end as they secretly dated one another for months without letting Chyna know. When she did find out she was heart broken to the point she wanted to leave the company and so she did. Her life has never been the same after that. She worked the independent circuit for a couple of years but really just went under the radar. She got into a relationship with former DX member X-Pac which turned out to be very dysfunctional as he was dealing with alcohol and drugs which had an influence on her and not to mention a certain sex tape that they did which was leaked out to the public. Maybe it was this act alone of the leaked sex tape, and/or the two photo spreads she did with Playboy back in 2000 and 2002 that played a huge impact on how she conducts herself today as now she works as an adult porn star for the company Vivid and also as an escort. If you were to tell me ten years ago that Chyna would be working in the field she’s working in now I would say no, that’s impossible and I would call you a liar. To me she always seemed like the type of person who would maybe have opened her own gym post wrestling career. That and/or being a personal trainer to some of hollywoods most well known actors and singers, sport athletes. Many times when I would watch The Biggest Loser and I’d look at Jillian Michaels yelling at the contestants I use to always say to myself this should be Chyna yelling at these contestants. There was many other avenues her career could have taken without it going to the point of where it is now.

 

So who’s to blame or is there anyone to blame for Chyna’s dimise? Well it depends on who you ask. Some would blame it all on Triple H and Stephaine McMahon but folks that’s just too tacky and easy to point the finger at them. Others would say it’s all her fault and that she’s digging herself a ditch so deep she’s not going to be able to get out of it in time. I can agree with this to a certain extent. I’m going to approach this the best way I know how to approach it and that’s with the brain. How many of you remmeber growing up in school and/or knowing someone that would always get picked on in school because they were diffrent from the other kids? You know the kid I speak of as they probably always smelled funny, looked funny or they weren’t the most popular. The bullying that kid use to go through was so tramtic that when they got older it played a huge impact on their life. All they ever wanted was to be accepted. This is the best way I can sum up  Joan Marie Laurer aka Chyna.  Growing up she wasn’t the prettiest girl, she wasn’t captain of the cheerleading squad, she didn’t have the most handsome guy in high school or at prom night. Constantly she faced rejection. She tried to cope with it the best way she could. One of those avenues was by working out and building a lot of muscle and looking into a lot of bodybuilding. Still she faced ridicules everywhere she went and she tried to cope with it as best as she could. You would think that by joining a wrestling federation like the WWE/WWF she would be accepted because of how much they all rely on one another. In its own way it’s like a family but she faced problems amongst many in the company and ultimately the act of betrayl by her boyfriend, Triple H as he had affairs with Stephaine McMahon and followed it up by dumping Chyna for Stephaine. If that doesn’t push one over the edge I’m not sure what will. Now follow up that ultimate rejection by wanting to be accepted by just anyone, even if it means that the person you are with has serious demons but you don’t care cause you’re accepted and eventually those demons, those bad habits latch on to you as you’re influenced. It’s very hard obtain sunshine when clouded by so much darkness.

 

And so now you’re at that point were you’re desperate for attention, affection and being accepted but now have become tramatized to the point where you don’t want to be hurt again yet you certain needs and wants. They can only be fullfilled by other things but for so long until eventually the void must be filled especially if your cash flow may be running kind of low. This is the point that Chyna has reached right now as she didn’t surround herself by the right people and just being burned so many times from those she devoted herself to in the past. Is there still time for her to get her act together? Yes but by the recent tweets I’ve read from her on Twitter she is a long way off. I can only hope that before it’s too late she can come to some type of self revealtion and seek emotional, spiritual guidance. We’ve lost so many great wrestlers over the years, many of them young and I would hate to see Chyna added to that list. Chyna I respect you for doing what you got to do to pay your bills and make ends meet but you’ve got to find true happiness and the only way you’re going to do that is by seeking psychratic help. Yes it may be a drag to do something like that but if it means you can finally start to make peace with yourself and really get down to the heart of things rather than run away from them or bury them in drugs, booze, sex on camera. Please don’t have us wrestling fans speak your name along side Anna Nicole Smith cause the paths she went down I see in yours if you continue to go down this route. Next time I see this smile:

 

 

It would be nice to know you’ve finally got your smile back for enjoying and living life to its fullest potential.