Chyna was, at one time, the biggest female athlete on the planet. Most recognized, most beloved, and most respected. In this time, she should be remembered as such.
Chyna was born Joan Marie Laurer in 1970. Anyone who read her book can tell you she did not have an easy life. There was a lot of abuse, accidents, bad fate, and tough breaks throughout her early life.
Naturally large and muscular Joanie started to perform in fitness pageants and began training to be a wrestler through Wladek “Killer” Kowalski’s professional wrestling school in 1995/1996. She met up with Triple H (also trained at the Kowalski school) and Shawn Michaels. After nearly signing with WCW, Vince McMahon brought her in to serve as Triple H’s bodyguard.
Chyna became an integral part of the rise of Triple H, Shawn Michaels and DeGeneration X. While a member of one of the most popular groups and times in all of professional wrestling history Chyna herself became historic. She was the first woman – EVER – to do the following:
Compete full time against the men.
First woman in the Royal Rumble.
First woman in the King of the Ring tournament.
First woman to be the Number One Contender.
First woman to hold the Intercontinental title (and held that title twice).
She also held the Women’s title, helped get Eddie Guerrero over to super stardom. Doubt me? Mamacita. That’s what I thought.
She had two of the best selling Playboy issues of all time. A New York Times Best selling author.
Yes. She had numerous and well publicized substance abuse problems. Yes. Her transition from multi millionaire wrestling star to porn star was sad. Lets remember her as that wrestling superstar who we were all entertained by at the height of the WWE Attitude Era.