The Great Fall of Chyna
September 20, 2016 11:33 PM   Subscribe

How WWE's Greatest Female Wrestler Disappeared by Jason King

Previously on Metafilter: Chyna's obituary post from this past April.
posted by The Gooch (14 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Oh jesus. Heartbreaking. Fuuuuuuuck.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:55 PM on September 20, 2016 [4 favorites]

posted by solotoro at 5:12 AM on September 21, 2016

posted by Roentgen at 5:55 AM on September 21, 2016

Really sad
posted by glaucon at 6:22 AM on September 21, 2016

Chyna's story is just so unbelievably sad from every angle; how many times had people who could have helped failed her, how many opportunities were there for her to turn things around? Sean Waltman has spoken candidly, since her death, about his time with her, and he's not kind to himself about it. He's a carny, certainly, but I do get the sense that he feels genuine remorse about the things they did together -- the sex tape, he suggests, is the biggest mistake in his life, and one that probably harmed Chyna irreparably -- and the fact that he didn't try harder to help her after their breakup.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:43 AM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

“All I kept thinking after she died,” her sister says, “was that poor girl. She wanted so badly to be loved and accepted, but she never had a loving, connective relationship with anyone. People just used her and sucked her dry.”

Kathy pauses.

“At least many of those around her, who knew it’d “end this way”, who checked the internet to see if she’s dead, who used her for their own personal gain, are all at peace now,” she says. “At least they’re at peace.”

Made my own edits to the end of this article, because I doubt Chyna found any more peace in Death, than she did in Life. I know next to nothing about her or her story, but assuming this article has truth, or at least truthiness, her very beginnings in life represented a shit-show and I regret that society doesn't demand more from parents or prosecute those unfit to hold the title.

Chyna, and and millions like her, should invoke more than just pity. Her story should represent a bodyslam on the table of conversation about upbringing and abuse, with resulting addiction and mental instability.

Gooch, thank you for posting this article. I had no plans to read it in its entirety but I welcome the sobriety it brings.
posted by Conway at 6:45 AM on September 21, 2016 [3 favorites]

But you know, #YOLO...

Jesus what a perfect crossection of the monster we've become. This story made me cry. This is exactly what's wrong with our culture and society, this toxic mess of celebrity-chasing, exploitation, family dysfunction, personal empowerment culture, resentment, cheap thrills, and indifference. I don't know how anybody could read this story without shedding tears not only for Chyna but for the travesty we've made of the best hopes of so many others like her, because we're petty and shallow and always looking for an opportunistic angle and just plain don't care enough about each other to provide real emotional support--even worse, our culture leaves people so broken they mistrust genuine emotional connection and intimacy and turn away from the people who care most. It's disgraceful.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:43 AM on September 21, 2016 [7 favorites]

Two months after her death, no family members travelled to Redondo Beach for Laurer’s public memorial service on June 22 or her burial the next morning. Instead, as the ashes of the most famous female pro wrestler in history danced away into the Pacific, her mourners included the manager and his four children, an ex-boyfriend she hadn’t seen in 11 years, a rented preacher reciting a prayer off a wrinkled notecard and two members of Laurer’s social media team she had never met.

No one deserves this kind of ending. Such a tragedy. Thanks for sharing this, well worth a read.
posted by Fizz at 9:35 AM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

It was well known in the Rochester area that she hated the place and never wanted to return but I don't think the reasons behind that were as well known.

So much could have been done, so little was.
posted by tommasz at 11:17 AM on September 21, 2016

Thanks for sharing this, though it'll still be a while before I can actually read it.

Chyna's death hit me really hard -- as a child I held her as one third of a holy trinity of tough women surrounded by masculine tropes: Chyna, Xena: Warrior Princess, and Sonia from Mortal Kombat.

Literally my first experiences with feminism (though I didn't know what to call it yet) included cheering on Chyna to be the first (and only) woman to win the Intercontinental Championship against the awful awful Jeff Jarrett. (The bout was based on an absurd weapons-match stipulation that all weapons had to be household-cleaning items.) Or insisting on using Sonia to beat my older brother's friends at the Mortal Kombat II machine at the 7-11.

I couldn't articulate it at the time but that feeling of standing up for "the only girl in the room" was so, so important. To say nothing of how seeing Chyna defy gender expectations (especially in the bra-and-panties-match era of the WWF) helped me find comfort in my own nebulous nonbinary/transmasculine/AFABwhatever gender identity.

...and dammit, now I'm crying at work.

Losing Chyna hurts -- it's going to hurt for a long time. And as I said in her obit thread, I'm bracing for her inevitable posthumous Hall of Fame induction (because it's so much easier to induct someone who can't badmouth the company) and watch Stephanie McMahon whitewash the WWE's own history with her into some generic inspirational #divasrevolution nonsense that blithely ignores how badly they treated her for years and years.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 11:39 AM on September 21, 2016 [15 favorites]

Offside with the title. Boo.

A welcome, though tragic, post otherwise.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 4:01 PM on September 21, 2016

The NFL gets more publicity lately, but it's really hard to watch professional wrestling anymore knowing what a toll it takes on everyone in the business. Drugs, life on the road every night, injuries, more drugs to come back from injury, maladaptive personalities drawn to that life and compounded by it, go back and watch old Pay-Per-Views from even like 2002, and then check to see how many of those guys (and girls) are still with us. It's not pretty.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:16 PM on September 21, 2016

It's a sad story but I think, judging by some of the comments, that people are too quick to demonize everyone in her life that failed to save her. It goes without saying that entally ill and addicted people can be every bit as exploitive and self centered as the rest of us. Bridges get burned.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:18 PM on September 21, 2016

That was harrowing.
posted by OmieWise at 3:20 AM on September 23, 2016

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