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Joan "Chyna" Laurer (1970-2016)

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3 hours ago, Kropotkin's Beard said:

While I'm no Double J apologist, MMA expert who beats up children was incredibly entertaining.

A funny segment or two after 20 or so years in the wrestling business doesn't make up for everything else.

 

14 hours ago, alstein said:

Jarrett had some good early career matches- he had a good series with Eric Embry in World Class- which set up Embry's face turn down there, and his 1st WWF run had plenty of solid to good matches.

If you want underwhelming for the money- look at guys like Kronik. or Stevie Ray, or Kurrgan.

Like I said, dude would have made an excellent Brooklyn Brawler or Barry Horiwitiz that was where his abilities are. He should have been a gate keeper. None of those guys were pushed far up the card, nor turned into the face of the company, or were made world champion - and hell, all four would look more imposing as champions than Jarrett. I'll take 5 minute Harvey Whippleman promos over 20 references to slapnuts in a minute any day.

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Geez, and I thought my current hate for Jericho was over the top.

Jarrett's not exactly the guy that should've been pushed to repeated World title runs, but he's a damn good worker especially in the right environment.  Let's be real here.

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I think the problem with Double J was that he was a way better face than heel. He was much more enjoyable as a face in the Memphis that I've seen, and his "sympathetic widowed father" gimmick in TNA was money for me. I couldn't help but root for him. Which, since I had previously hated the sight of JJ for numerous reasons (WCW run, TNA HHH-style run, stunningly racist IRL) was quite the feat.

Double J MMA and misogynist JJ were both good, but the dude is just way better as a sympathetic babyface and was miscast for most of his career in my view. 

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Chyna's passing is sad on many levels. She never got her due for being a trailblazer for women's wrestling. She went up against the guys and held her own. First and to date only woman to hold the Intercontinental title, first woman to enter the Royal Rumble, one of the founding members of D-Generation-X and as it's been said, behind Austin & Rock, she was a huge part of the Attitude Era. Her story seemed to sadly be one of always looking for acceptance, she entered a male dominated world and managed to succeed against the odds. I remember reading in her book she talked about having to change her appearance to look more feminine as he had some nasty comments about her look and to go from that unnecessary horribleness she sadly had to deal with to then becoming a sex symbol and a Playboy centerfold was another achievement in as much as those who put her down no doubt probably bought the Playboy she was in. How her life unraveled, from being at the top to going into tailspin is especially sad. Not to point fingers or pass any judgement, but if the relationship between Hunter & Steph never happened, I wonder whether Chyna would have continued to go on to even bigger things in the WWE and branch out into action movies. I was sad to hear that her personal life was in turmoil and was happier to read she was getting her life together in Japan and I remember watching her videos and seeing her happy. Whilst I don't think she'd have got another run, somewhere down the line I think they could have mended fences between Stephanie & Trips and we'd have seen her in the Hall of Fame.

 

She paved the way for the likes of Beth Phoenix, Kong has paid tribute to her on Twitter and it changed fans mindsets in the fact that a woman can be just as a tough as any man. Reading Cactus post on Facebook about how she was kind to his daughter and how they met up again was emotionally and it was heartening to see that Jerry, Debra, Vince Russo among others were still cool with her and it's sad that no one could really reach out to her and help her when she was having personal issues again. I'm hoping WWE are respectful of Chyna in terms of not being too overly praiseworthy over her importance because that would come across as wrong for those who know the story behind their fallout. What I'd like to see is guys like Road Dogg, HBK, Cactus, Lawler, Vince, Shane O, even Hunter say a few words in tribute and a nice video package. Chyna should definitely be the next ladies HOF inductee, she truly deserves the accolade. It's sad to talk about anyone in hindsight but her career could have been even more successful and I think reading/hearing stories since, behind the Chyna persona, Joanie Laurer was down to earth, kind & caring and I'm hoping that aspect is focused upon more often instead of somebody who was dealing with deep personal issues and become somebody that was in no way of representative of who she really was. If there's any solace to this story, I really hope she's at peace now. It's such a terrible shame though that like what happened with Warrior before he passed she didn't get closure with what happened with Hunter & Stephanie. Chyna will always be the 9th Wonder of the World and I hope her place in pro-wrestling history will now be documented and a spotlight shone on her which will be rightly deserved. R.I.P. Joanie Laurer :( 

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On Sunday, April 24, 2016 at 2:06 PM, Michael Sweetser said:

Geez, and I thought my current hate for Jericho was over the top.

Jarrett's not exactly the guy that should've been pushed to repeated World title runs, but he's a damn good worker especially in the right environment.  Let's be real here.

I get that talent like working with him. Nash has talked about it, but that doesn't equate to him being a draw. Besides his match with HBK and the ladder match with Benoit, does he have anything else that's debated as a 4* affair? I honestly don't know of any. And if you can't have good matches with those guys well....Where is the argument he's ever been good come from? He got pushed in WCW and TNA above guys who have proven to draw significantly more money elsewhere. That's some serious bull. He was perfect jobber material, but anything beyond that, I can't understand how anyone thinks he is worthy.

And to boot, New Days been on TV what, less than 3 years, and they've already gotten more over than Jeff ever has in 20 years and probably sold more in merch to boot.

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Are his matches w Lawler vs the Moondogs considered good for that style of plunder match ?

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It's a sad story.

You know she was an intelligent woman. People forget that. Didn't she know, like, four languages or something? She had a lot going for her, if she could have only kept herself together. Triple H used to talk about how driven and ambitious she was when he first met her and how that hugely impressed him. That was what he saw in her. 

I'm not sure what happened to her. (Well, yeah, drugs, but I think there's probably more to it than that.)

 You see clips and documentaries from the '90s and she honestly comes off as so nice and normal. It's stunning considering the trainwreck she ended up.  

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15 minutes ago, Reed said:

It's a sad story.

You know she was an intelligent woman. People forget that. Didn't she know, like, four languages or something? She had a lot going for her, if she could have only kept herself together. Triple H used to talk about how driven and ambitious she was when he first met her and how that hugely impressed him. That was what he saw in her. 

I'm not sure what happened to her. (Well, yeah, drugs, but I think there's probably more to it than that.)

 You see clips and documentaries from the '90s and she honestly comes off as so nice and normal. It's stunning considering the trainwreck she ended up.  

Having her long time boyfriend leave her for the boss's daughter who then turned around and fired her might have fucked her up a bit. If Triple H had started dating Stephanie and they just kept booking Chyna as they had been, she likely would have been fine.

Her relationship with Sean Waltman probably didn't help matters either.

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Maybe, but it's not fair to blame Trips and Stephanie. (Not saying you were doing that, but I've seen that in other places.)

Look: Her boyfriend left her because he wanted to be with someone else. Politically, she ended up getting forced out.  It's sad. But it's life. Lots of people in wrestling get screwed over. . 

It's really too bad she couldn't ever get over it, if that's what happened. 

 

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23 minutes ago, The Nature Boy said:

Having her long time boyfriend leave her for the boss's daughter who then turned around and fired her might have fucked her up a bit. If Triple H had started dating Stephanie and they just kept booking Chyna as they had been, she likely would have been fine.

Her relationship with Sean Waltman probably didn't help matters either.

Its an interesting situation. Now I don't blame her at all in that situation as emotionally that would have been incredibly difficult, but it sounds like even from some of the Interviews she did, that she was the one that found the situation too awkward. And she gave an interview before saying she threatened Stephanie which obviously would have been an issue. The problem with wrestling is that Vince has a monopoly, most people in her situation would have just quit and found a new job, probably happens to some degree across the country all the time, but there wasn't really something comparable to WWF. But it does sound like they weren't going to fire her and even had a storyline planned with Lita, but the dynamic was too tense/difficult which would have been mostly on her end.

Again, not blaming her for being emotional and upset about her boyfriend leaving her for the boss' daughter, but I can't really blame WWE solely for that situation, if one employee threatened physical harm on another employee and the situation didn't cool down then that would have been awkward (and it wouldn't have been Stephanie that fired her anyway, she wasn't ranked that high in 2001). And it isn't HHH"s fault that he fell in love with someone else, that's just life. Just an unfortunate situation all the way around, and things just spiraled out of control from there.

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Just now, Kevin Wilson said:

Its an interesting situation. Now I don't blame her at all in that situation as emotionally that would have been incredibly difficult, but it sounds like even from some of the Interviews she did, that she was the one that found the situation too awkward. And she gave an interview before saying she threatened Stephanie which obviously would have been an issue. The problem with wrestling is that Vince has a monopoly, most people in her situation would have just quit and found a new job, probably happens to some degree across the country all the time, but there wasn't really something comparable to WWF. But it does sound like they weren't going to fire her and even had a storyline planned with Lita, but the dynamic was too tense/difficult which would have been mostly on her end.

Again, not blaming her for being emotional and upset about her boyfriend leaving her for the boss' daughter, but I can't really blame WWE solely for that situation, if one employee threatened physical harm on another employee and the situation didn't cool down then that would have been awkward (and it wouldn't have been Stephanie that fired her anyway, she wasn't ranked that high in 2001). And it isn't HHH"s fault that he fell in love with someone else, that's just life. Just an unfortunate situation all the way around, and things just spiraled out of control from there.

 

I wonder what would've happened if Chyna had joined TNA on day one.  didn't know about Chyna threatening Stephanie. It's pretty clear that Chyna had strong feelings for Triple H and didn't handle the situation well at all. 

Chyna's background and ultimate fate so fascinating though. She was a college graduate who spoke multiple languages and joined the Peace Corps. Just wow. 

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1 minute ago, The Nature Boy said:

 

I wonder what would've happened if Chyna had joined TNA on day one.  didn't know about Chyna threatening Stephanie. It's pretty clear that Chyna had strong feelings for Triple H and didn't handle the situation well at all. 

Chyna's background and ultimate fate so fascinating though. She was a college graduate who spoke multiple languages and joined the Peace Corps. Just wow. 

She said that in an interview... but she gave a lot of conflicting interviews. Everyone seems to agree that Chyna, Vince, and Stephanie had a sit down, she went home after that and then was released. Probably the exact details of that meeting will never be known since I don't see Vince or Stephanie ever discussing it. Its just really sad how that just sent her right down a path of destruction, a few years ago she seemed to be doing a whole lot better, unfortunate it took a another turn downward.

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10 minutes ago, The Nature Boy said:

Chyna's background and ultimate fate so fascinating though. She was a college graduate who spoke multiple languages and joined the Peace Corps. Just wow. 

She applied to join the FBI in her early 20s too (the Feds, not the wrestling stable).

Yeah, to even apply there and get taken seriously you have to be pretty damn intelligent.

It's sad because you can easily see her life taking another direction and her ending up as some accomplished career woman.  

 

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9 minutes ago, Reed said:

She applied to join the FBI in her early 20s too (the Feds, not the wrestling stable).

Yeah, to even apply there and get taken seriously you have to be pretty damn intelligent.

It's sad because you can easily see her life taking another direction and her ending up as some accomplished career woman.  

 

Chyna's death is incredibly sad because of that. She had so many options and could have succeeded outside of the business. It's a really sad story. 

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The power play situation of Steph going after a subordinate who was in a relationship speaks volumes about how shitty of a human being she truly is.

I did some research on Chyna's later career and props to whoever figured out how to make a body paint that can stay on during sex. The WWE guys need to use that stuff.

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3 hours ago, DTTW said:

The power play situation of Steph going after a subordinate who was in a relationship speaks volumes about how shitty of a human being she truly is.

Uh....wow.  I'm no fan of Stephanie at all but this is just...come on. 

Is there some definitive source that states Stephanie pursued HHH like you say here?  Why does it even matter?  Both are adults who can make their own decisions.  Saying something like that puts a lot of assumptions on two people you don't even know.

I mean, I guess you can talk about workplace propriety and how a higher-up really shouldn't pursue a relationship with a subordinate (yeah, I took that seminar at my job), but this is pro wrestling and the rules of this business have never mirrored those of the real world.  

 

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22 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

Uh....wow.  I'm no fan of Stephanie at all but this is just...come on. 

Is there some definitive source that states Stephanie pursued HHH like you say here?  Why does it even matter?  Both are adults who can make their own decisions.  Saying something like that puts a lot of assumptions on two people you don't even know.

I mean, I guess you can talk about workplace propriety and how a higher-up really shouldn't pursue a relationship with a subordinate (yeah, I took that seminar at my job), but this is pro wrestling and the rules of this business have never mirrored those of the real world.  

 

Stephanie was also 23-24 when all of that went down. It's not as if she was some predatory boss lady coming after a lowly subordinate. Triple H was already in his early 30s, he should've known better.

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9 minutes ago, The Nature Boy said:

Stephanie was also 23-24 when all of that went down. It's not as if she was some predatory boss lady coming after a lowly subordinate. Triple H was already in his early 30s, he should've known better.

Exactly.  So either:

Stephanie was an evil predator pursuing a guy who couldn't say no for fear of his job

or

HHH was a schemer going after a vulnerable girl as the ultimate career move

or

Something else entirely that none of us will ever be privy to so why assume the worst about people we don't know?  Let's reserve that for Bill Belichik and Tom Brady.  :P

 

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The long-running story they've told on shows is that when they did the angle with Test and then her going heel they spent so much time together that they fell in love for real.  It's possible it's some revisionist history to cover for something else, but I was never aware about one going after the other like that.  Assuming they're telling the truth, if not for that angle it might have been possible HHH/Chyna would have still been a thing.

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Well, history has shown people put together often in angles become couples and couples that split in angles often split in real life.

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I was listening to the MSL and Sullivan podcast when someone wrote in asking about that issue.  MSL cluelessly asked if Sullivan had any first-hand experience of a worked relationship turning into a real one. Facepalm so hard.

 

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