Saturday, April 23, 2016
In Memory of Chyna and Her Place in the Hall of Fame
The pro wrestling geek in me is weeping. Actually a decent part of me is weeping to be honest. Joanie Laurer, better known as Chyna, has sadly passed away. Yes I know that Prince died too, but I'm not here to talk about Prince, I'm here to talk about Chyna.
Making her debut in WWF in early 1997, Chyna was a true pioneer for women wrestlers. Billed as the bodyguard for Triple H (who would become her off-screen boyfriend), no WWF fan had ever seen a woman like Chyna. With her harsh demeanor and rippling biceps, she looked like a force to be reckoned with, and that's exactly what she was. During the WWF's "Attitude" era, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock are usually seen as the faces of this era, and so is Chyna. She played an integral role in many storylines as well as being a founding member of the loveable faction DX, and was incredibly over with the crowd as well.
She was the first female entrant to the Royal Rumble as well as the King of the Ring tournament, is the only female to hold the Intercontinental Championship (twice), and was even the number one contender for the Heavyweight Title as well. That is fucking unheard of now when you think about it. While all the other women performers in WWF at the time were mostly eye candy (and booked as such), Chyna was something else. She was flat out legit, and truly gifted as well.
Her time in WWF ended badly, as she was seemingly given a raw deal when Triple H started porking the bosses' daughter Stephanie McMahon and Chyna found herself jobless. Things took a bit of a downturn for her personally, but I'm not judging her one bit. We all know she performed in some porn, but so fucking what? She never had anything negative to say about that industry and she seemed to enjoy her time there, so stop shitting on her already about that yeah?
Now, one thing that has always bothered me is that Chyna has never been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Reasons for this range from her time in porn to the fact that the WWE brass didn't trust her enough to get up on stage and accept her award without verbally trashing the company in some way. Can't have that now can we. That being said, and as terrible as it sounds, now that she's passed, she will most certainly get in. The sad part is she should have been put in a long time ago. Anyone who says different is a moron. "She did porn!" So what? Look at who's in the Hall of Fame right now:
Ultimate Warrior: a known homophobe and bigot
Randy Savage: probably boned Stephanie McMahon when she was underage (true)
Sunny: she's done porn and is a flat-out nutcase in real life
Scott Hall: killed a guy and had way worse drug problems than Chyna ever did
Jake Roberts: see above (though replace killing a guy with killing his snake)
Jimmy Snuka: possibly murdered his girlfriend
So yeah, Chyna belongs in the Hall of Fame, and she will more than likely get in there very, very soon. It's just a damn shame that she didn't live to see it happen.
Rest in peace Chyna. We love you.