Iconic female wrestler Chyna aka Joanie Laurer died last night, leaving her fans stunned and saddened.
From The Independent:
From becoming the first female wrestler to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship to defeating multiple-world champion male wrestlers to being the first woman to enter the Royal Rumble match, the New York native’s career was punctuated by a long succession of firsts. A wrestling pioneer, she ultimately proved it was possible for a woman to be accepted into the traditionally machismo domain of wrestling.
But this isn’t to say Chyna’s life wasn’t without its fair share of difficulties and controversies. From her tumultuous relationship with Triple H to being barred from the WWE hall of fame to her much-publicised substance addiction to her difficult childhood, Chyna overcame a great deal of adversity.
The cause of her death is still under investigation…
Here is a selection quotes which offer a glimpse into Chyna’s life:
On the porn industry:
“If it were my choice to work with Vivid [adult entertainment group], I would ask what was wrong with that choice? I didn’t do anything illegal, I didn’t hurt anyone, it was a great experience for me. I’ve got nothing but positivity out of it. It makes me feel like I’m beautiful”.
“Although I had a very dysfunctional childhood the great thing that came out of that was exercise and travel because I got some of my best education travelling the world and meeting people”.
On not being inducted into the Hall of fame:
“Everyone deserves to be in the Hall of Fame for their contributions, so why shouldn’t I?”
On breaking into wrestling as a woman:
“I was the only the female on the road – that was when we were setting up folding chairs in high school cafeterias – through the time starting out with these men and being on the road with them to being accepted. From them basically hating me and trying to like hurt me”.
“There’s nothing PG about wrestling if you ask me. It’s a contact sport, it’s storyline, people are throwing each other around, and having personal issues”.
On her clean new lifestyle:
“I’ve been teaching corporate English in Tokyo for four years. I’ve been doing yoga. I’m a vegan. My entire lifestyle, on top of what I’ve accomplished in the ring. I want to show that stuff”.
On her documentary which never came to fruition:
“We’re trying to show how the perception of pop culture and the media can be shown through my own personal experience as I do all these interviews. Here I am 15 years later trying to show all of these things I’m doing. There’s an evolution that perhaps the media perception has not been favourable of. I’m going to change that”.
“Because of the Kickstarter we’re doing, this movie is by the fans, for the fans. None of us are getting paid to do this. It’s a labour of love and all of the fans are included”.
(Photos: Pacific Coast News)