Wrestling / Chyna

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/chyna2_8051.jpg

Don't treat me like a woman
Don't treat me like a man...

Joan Marie Laurer (December 27, 1970 – April 20, 2016), better-known by her ring name Chyna, was one of the more famous "Divas" in WWE's history. She was a notable character in the Attitude Era, an element of many notable incarnations of D-Generation X, and served as a bodyguard to Hunter Hearst Helmsley. She was trained by Killer Kowalski, a Golden Age heel wrestler. Before joining WWE, Laurer was named 1996 PGWA rookie of the year.

She was one of the founding members of the aforementioned D-Generation X, the first woman to compete in both the Royal Rumble and King of the Ring, and held the Women's and Intercontinental Championship (only woman in history to hold the latter, we may add),note  and the first woman to be crowned as #1 contender for the WWF title.

Her frosty relationship with HHH and the McMahons became a major issue, and she left professional wrestling to pursue work in pornography. After a brief return to wrestling at TNA's Sacrifice PPV in 2011 (as Kurt Angle's mistress), Chyna announced that she was returning to the adult film industry. One of her roles was She-Hulk in both Avengers XXX and a solo movie.

Laurer was found dead in her home on April 20, 2016.

The Other Wiki has a complete rundown of her life and career.


Tropes

  • Alternate Company Equivalent:
  • Amazonian Beauty: While not the traditional example of the kind of woman WWE would push as a Ms. Fanservice character, like Sable or Trish Stratus, she had her fans who saw her as a sex symbol all the same. Fan signs such as "I Like to Eat Chynese" and "Fine Chyna 3:69" prove this.
  • Arch-Enemy
    • Stephanie McMahon, to say the least.
    • Marlena at first, since she debuted during HHH's feud with Goldust in February 1997. From that point on, except for the month or so between her joining the Corporation and HHH joining it and until she went after Jeff Jarrett's IC Title, it was generally whoever HHH and/or DX as a group was/were feuding with at the time. Mark Henry, Chris Jericho and Right to Censor later filled this role.
    • In New Japan Pro Wrestling, Masahiro Chono. She was basically introduced for Antonio Inoki to humiliate Chono, who Wouldn't Hit a Girl at first. The feud got so heated that Chono claimed he would give her his role as GM if he did not get rid of her in their anticipated match. Fortunately, he won, and later reconciled with her as a Worthy Opponent.
  • As Herself: Did her own voice in Celebrity Deathmatch, as did most WWE stars who appeared on the cartoon.
  • Bash Brothers: Triple H, Billy Gunn, X Pac, Kane, Eddie Guerrero, Justin McCully and Glamor Boy Shane.
  • Bastard Girlfriend: For Eddie Guerrero.
  • Big Entrance: She somehow got an Egyptian-themed entrance in NJPW, with her as a queen and chaired by slaves.
  • The Big Guy/The Brute: Certainly the first woman to fill the latter role in WWE history. While there had been larger women, the WWF usually had no idea what to do with them (Monster Ripper) and none of them served as serious body guards for a man.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Towards Triple H back in the day.
  • Brain Bleach: Her 2004 Home Porn Movie, "1 Night in China". Here's a recap of the film. (NSFW warning, although the pics are [thankfully] censored)
    Triple H, at his appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Dec. 15, 2004: It's her with a friend of mine [X-Pac], I've not seen it, and I'm not interested in seeing it. She didn't have pimples on her ass when I was dating her.
  • Brawn Hilda: When she first debuted.
  • Cassandra Truth: A Downer Ending Real Life example, as for a time she was going to any media outlet she could find who would listen to her warnings about her friend Anna Nicole Smith's problems.
  • Censored for Comedy: During her feud with Jeff Jarrett in late 1999, she cut a promo where she said after that night they might be the same sex, because "the balls are in my court," and the words my court were muted out.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: She was recognized as the strongest female wrestler in WWE history.note 
  • Chickification: Many WWE fans consider her run as Eddie Guerrero's valet as such, as well as her demotion into the women's division and feud with Lita.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Disappeared after the Judgment Day PPV on May 20, 2001 with no In-Universe explanation ever offered. This left the WWE Women's Championship she was holding at the time vacant for the next six months.note 
  • Comedic Spanking: Courtesy of Chono.
  • The Comically Serious: As a member of DX.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Her nickname was a big one for the WWF as she was the 9th wonder of the world while André the Giant had been named the 8th.
    • A humorous - and unofficial - example came after her breast surgery, Triple H and Shawn Michaels declared them the 10th and 11th wonders.
  • Dark Action Girl: And one of the few women guys could hit without any one batting an eye, though the WWF had to build up to this point.
  • Defeat by Modesty: She often assaulted Masahiro Chono in NJPW after his matches, but in one of them, Chono got tired and ripped her top to made her run away to cover herself.
  • Designated Girl Fight: In 2000 she won the Intercontinental Championship again but did so by pinning another woman (Trish Stratus) and only held it for eight days.,
  • Determinator: During the mid 90s feud between Triple H and Mankind, one of the continual sources of drama in the feud was that Chyna could not be kept from interfering. Once they went so far as to suspend her in a cage above the ring. She bent the bars and escaped.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Officially changed her name to "Chyna." Appropriate, since she used to date half of the Trope Namers. Though on her appearance on MTV's Cribs, she referred to herself as "Joanie" once or twice.
  • Downer Ending: Her death at the age of 45, still hasn't recovered from her slump (see How the Mighty Have Fallen below) and she never had a chance to patch things up with WWE personally, unlike some, like Ultimate Warrior. The only silver lining, that she won't realize, is that WWE and the McMahons Never Speak Ill of the Dead and is planning to induct her into the Hall of Fame posthumously as the least they can do to recognize her career's high times.
  • The Dreaded: While her life might have fallen apart, that doesn't change the fact that Chyna was, at one point, the most feared female wrestler in televised wrestling and officially the strongest woman in the history of the WWE. Hence, Karen Jarrett had a major Freak Out when she learned she would have to be in the same ring with Chyna in 2011.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Was in the middle of one prior to her abrupt departure. She had previously been acting a lot more cocky and full of herself during matches, seeing the rest of the Divas as no competition to her. In her final match against Lita, although they shook hands afterwards, she acted very heelish before that which seems to suggest she would have turned heel eventually.
  • Fanservice Pack: In 2000 as she received some cosmetic surgery, her ring gear became slightly more sexy. Then she ended up posing for Playboy.
  • Finishing Move: HHH's Pedigree, Press Slam, Powerbomb, Sleeper Slam.
  • Freudian Threat: She taunted Masahiro Chono in many ways: insulting his wife, claiming that she wanted to make him wear a female kimono, that she wanted to break his arms and legs... but especially threatened with castrating him.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Used one in the Good Housekeeping Match with Jeff Jarrett at No Mercy 99.
  • Funbag Airbag: Claims Matthew Broderick accidentally did this to her one time at the Emmys. He was trying to step back out of the way when Joan and Melissa Rivers wanted to interview his wife Sarah Jessica Parker, but didn't look where he was going and wound up with his face right between Chyna's boobs.
  • Gag Boobs: Zig-zagged. According to her autobiography, when she got her first set of implants, she realized that since she's 5'10" with a very muscular frame, it would be somewhat logical for her to go with a larger size. However, they were still fairly underwhelming on her frame, so after one of them ruptured during a match, she went back under the knife to repair them. During this, she apparently became the model for a line of larger implants she called the "Chyna 2000s," which were specifically made for female bodybuilders and large-framed women. They looked fairly proportionate during her time in wrestling; however, since she left, she slimmed down somewhat and her implants started to look oversized.
  • Girliness Upgrade: Around 2000 she started wearing more makeup and was seen in dresses more often. This eventually crossed over into her ring gear in 2001.
  • Godiva Hair: Used for some shots on the 2001 Divas in Hedonism DVD.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: The March 10, 1997 Raw featured Goldust winning a squash. After the match, Chyna and HHH attacked Goldust until Marlena jumped on Chyna's back. As the referees separated the women, Chyna threw one of them, Harvey Wippleman, into the crowd.
  • Groin Attack: Chyna is notorious for doing these.
  • A Handful for an Eye: This is how she escaped Sgt. Slaughter.
  • Hidden Depths
    • In WWE, Chyna was mainly known for kicking, punching people in the crotch and throwing around those smaller than her. In New Japan Pro Wrestling she displayed much more athleticism and dexterity during her matches.
    • She taught English as a foreign language in Japan. In fact, she was bilingual, which Triple H made a joke about on an episode of Raw.
  • Home Porn Movie: She and then-boyfriend Sean "X-Pac" Waltman (yes, that one) had one, which even saw an official release under the title 1 Night in China. This probably doesn't need to be said, but it's absolute Nightmare Fuel.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: To say Joanie Laurer fell to pieces after she was released from the WWE would be a severe understatement. Disastrous public appearances, increased drug use, and a self-destructive relationship with Sean Waltman utterly ruined her and her reputation. While she got some of her life back together afterward, for years she was still considered somewhat of a train wreck — most recently, she made news for accusing Triple H of hitting her at one point and then making threats to both him and Stephanie in a YouTube video. Not to mention her appearance at TNA, where it was made clear just what the excessive plastic surgery had done to her, and that she had downright embarrassing ring rust to compensate for it.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: She felt a little self-conscious about it growing up. In her autobiography, she recalls a specific event in a fitness competition. She was 5'10" and around 150 pounds at the time, while the rest of the girls were petite little things all under 5'5" and around 100-120 pounds. She recalls a wide shot they filmed with all the contestants in a row, and said she looked like an adult trying to sneak into a children's matinee.
  • Hypocritical Humor: She and HHH taking part in DX's parody of The Corporation, a faction they would both separately join.
  • "I Am" Song: The lyrics at the top of the page are from her entrance theme, "Who I Am."
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Depends on what period you're talking about. Inverted around the time of her Playboy cover where she was at her finest, and played straight after her excessive plastic surgery.
  • Les Yay: Invoked when she gained the services of Miss Kitty (Stacy Carter) as a valet. Chyna would wear a shirt that said "master" while Kitty wore one that said "slave". Strangely, Chyna's "Master" shirt was dropped very quickly but Miss Kitty continued wearing the "slave" shirt for quite a time after that.
  • One of the Boys: Her feature in the Come Get Some video treats her as such. While the rest of the Divas get more feminine (and Fanservicey) segments, Chyna's focused on her at the gym. It could easily have been a feature on a male wrestler.
  • Pie in the Face: She tossed Masahiro Chono's birthday cake into his face. Naturally, he was not amused.
  • Positive Discrimination: A brilliantly done aversion. Booked on equal enough terms with the male wrestlers so that she could be considered a legitimate competitor in their division, without being a God-Mode Sue. She was also able to play the heel in many of her intergender matches, meaning she controlled a lot of them without being booked as an underdog.
  • Power Stable:
  • Progressively Prettier: Chyna when she debuted in 1997. Compare that to Chyna after the plastic surgery. When she debuted alongside Triple H, lots of viewers were probably thinking, "Who's that big, ugly man?" It should be noted that she's gone both ways with this, she started off somewhat mannish-looking, then refined her looks through plastic surgery, and becoming quite pretty, posing for Playboy and being considered very attractive. Unfortunately, she kept getting plastic surgery, and between that and losing a lot of her muscle tone (making her parts that were surgically enhanced for her muscular physique out of proportion), she's since approached what a few people have called a plastic train-wreck. And then there are some of the things that steroid abuse has done to her body that are somewhat... offputting.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Was known for having long tumbling black hair that reached her waist.
  • Red Baron: "The Ninth Wonder of the World."
  • The Rival
    • Before making it to the big time, one of them was Angel Orsini, who showed up in ECW but never got to wrestle Chyna on National TV. Also, Violet Flame in the International Wrestling Federation.
    • In WWE, Lita was the only woman who came close to giving Chyna any sort of trouble in a straight one on one fight. Not that it ever really looked like Lita could beat Chyna but Lita was able to hang around without cheating. After WWE, there was Nicole Bass, who Chyna did clothesline once in WWE but never had a real program with. Even after WWE, Bass and Chyna's rivalry was more managerial than wrestling.
    • Ultimate Pro Wrestling in California was building up Chyna for a confrontation with Rio Storm and eventually, Erica Porter, but it did not work out.
  • Self-Deprecation: One of her first adult movies is a WWE-styled movie, Chyna is Queen of the Ring. Including a literal example of Chyna's accusations of being Screwed by the Network (site is SFW - it's the first part of a wrestling page's recap of the movie, retelling the scenes as if they were matches)
  • Ship Tease: With Billy Gunn around 2000/2001.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: She first saw signs of this in her 2001 autobiography, Chyna: If They Only Knew, and her ego became even more inflated after her 2001 release. Killer Kowalski, who trained her, slammed her book, calling her "the biggest liar I have ever come across," and suggested that her fame had gone to her head.
  • Spiritual Successor: Beth Phoenix is considered a modern example, the two often being compared. Beth also became the second woman to compete in the Royal Rumble - and even took a (kayfabe) shot at Chyna afterwards.
  • Something Completely Different: The first female wrestler to hold a male-designated championship, and the first to regularly compete against men in a national wrestling promotion.note 
  • Squash Match: Defeated Ivory for the WWE Women's Championship at WrestleMania X-Seven in a mere 2:39. She had several TV matches that were very short as well.
  • Statuesque Stunner: She is about the ideal super model height. If that means nothing to you professional wrestling fans, then let us put it this way. She's the exact same height and weight as Mr Tall, Dark and Handsome Prince Devitt!
  • The Stoic: In D-Generation X, though she did have her Not So Stoic moments in DX; on one occasion, Triple H was cutting a promo while Shawn Michaels kept staring at Chyna's enhanced bust, only to look away quickly when Chyna tried to catch him in the act. After a few times, she had a small but visible grin on her face.
  • Stripperiffic: Par the course for professional wrestling, but Chyna's outfits became a late-night comedian joke as her career went on.
  • Take That: WWE still allows X-Pac to show up for DX stuff every so often, and for years they profited off of gimmick women's matches that were essentially softcore pornography. It's not just the sextape, it is the one porn she made that was a parody of the WWE: Where she as Chyna molested the Stephanie McMahon character and the Vince character.
  • Temporary Blindness: Caused by Kane, after he accidentally hit her with a fireball.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: In-Universe, at least. Triple H challenged The Rock for the WWF Championship in an "I Quit" match on the January 25, 1999 Raw. Triple H had Rock set up for a Pedigree on the English announce table when The Corporation ran out. Kane had Chyna set up for a chokeslam and the Big Bossman threatened that they'll break her neck unless he gives up the match. Triple H agreed, and Kane let her go. Triple H turned toward Kane and it looked like they were going to fight...until Chyna lowblowed Triple H instead, thus turning heel and joining the Corporation.
  • Unperson: Keep waiting for her induction into the Hall of Fame. ("NO CHANCE IN HELL.") The WWE HOF is based on who still has a good relationship with the WWE and Chyna definitely didn't. Plus they won't induct her because she has done porn and they don't want children searching her name to find out about her career and finding that. Remember that they didn't even give Umaga a memorial because he died of an overdose. Then again, the real issue may not have been the porn career, it would've been giving her a live mic at the Hall of Fame. That would not be pretty. For whatever is worth, WWE did eventually release an statement regarding her death, and Stephanie McMahon herself was the first WWE official to make an statement regarding her death.
  • Villainous Cheekbones: When she debuted as the bodyguard to Shawn Michaels and Triple H, less so after getting plastic surgery and leaving D-Generation X.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Considering her size, strength, and toughness, her rather high, soft, nasal voice can be a little surprising. She also had a slight lisp which makes her almost a Distaff Counterpart to Mike Tyson.
  • Wild Card/Face Heel Revolving Door:
    • Towards the end of 1999. She was still allied with Triple H and technically a heel but had begun feuding with Straw Misogynist Jeff Jarrett - which caused crowds to cheer for her. Especially egregious at the Rebellion PPV note  where she was the face in her match against Jarrett but was at ringside for Triple H's match against The Rock and helped Triple H cheat quite a bit.
    • She got booed during her match with Jericho at Survivor Series 99, when she was going in as the face.
  • Woman in Black: Hey, see the page image? She was evil back then.
  • Woman Scorned:
    • To Triple H, which caused her to side with Vince McMahon and Kane.
    • Chyna was so bitter, she based an entire porno on her experiences in WWE 15 years ago just so she could vent some more.
  • Worked Shoot: She had a shoot fight in Japan, defeating female boxing champion Chika Nakamura, but it is considered a work.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Superstars were reluctant at first but she credits "Stone Cold" Steve Austin for kickstarting her career by making it ok for men to hit her. Even in Japan, Masahiro Chono at first refused to fight her, and Yuji Nagata was downright embarrassed with the idea.
  • Writing Around Trademarks
    • After leaving the WWF in 2001, she changed her name to Chynna Doll, as the WWF owned the Chyna name at the time. After WWE's trademark on "Chyna" expired, Laurer legally changed her name to "Chyna" in 2009.
    • Also, the title of her porno film, "1 Night in China", a play on Paris Hilton's sex tape, "1 Night in Paris" (also produced by the same studio as Chyna's sex tape). To help get away with it, the producers flew X-Pac out to the Great Wall of China and interviewed him there.
  • You Go, Girl!: Several weeks saw the airing of her beating up the WWE champion Bret Hart so fans would not mind when someone finally hit her back, then show she could take it so they would mind even less. Once her ability to hang with the boys was firmly established, she competed regularly in intergender competition for about two years and won many of her matches, including holding the Intercontinental Championship, competing in the King of the Ring tournament and briefly becoming #1 contender to the WWF Championship.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Wrestling/Chyna