BADDEST MOFOS EVER: CHYNA
When it comes to bad mofos, one looks for a couple of things- superlative strength, a complete disregard for social conventions and mores, an outrageous physique, and in most cases, no insignificant amount of mental illness. Though I’ve written about three dozen of these articles, I’ve thus far written about only one woman- not because there aren’t plenty of badasses out there about whom I could write, but chick athletes are often so driven, so focused on proving themselves among their peers and especially male athletes, that they avoid getting up to the sort of “they bit a dude’s nose off in the middle of a barfight for calling wrestling fake” type of shenanigans about which I love to write.
For that reason, I’ve included sick lifters like Jen Thompson and Stefi Cohen (who I have on very good authority is going to announce a WWE signing shortly) in 365 Days of Brutality and Dana Linn Bailey made it into IOI 2 as a Baddest Workout entry, but only the fluent-Klingon-speaking nerdlesque dancer Pillow has as yet received a nod in the BME series, until now. For those of you who are too young to know her name or of the awesomeness of the Attitude Era of the WWE, I present to you the first broad to go toe to toe with dudes in the WWE and believably win- Chyna.
Before you start in with the whole tired “looks like a man” bit that dudes with limp dicks and low T cannot help but to drop into comments about Chyna, don’t bother- she didn’t bang dudes who were smaller and less awesome than she was, so you wouldn’t even have been a blip on her radar. At the end of the day, however, whether you’re sexually attracted to Chyna is completely immaterial to the matter at hand- she was the first chick wrestler to throw down with the men and hold her own. The first female enforcer, only female Intercontinental Champion, and first chick Royal Rumble entrant, Chyna was so jacked she made her WWE debut as Triple H’s enforcer, which makes sense when you discover that she out benched that dick less shit slug despite of the fact he outweighed her by 75-80 pounds. As her insanely inadequate posthumous WWE profile puts it, “The Ninth Wonder of the World,” as she was known,” broke as many gender barriers as she did bodies.”
For those of you who have never met the man, Mark Henry is not human sized- his head was literally the size of my torso when I met him weighing around 180. He’s selling the shit out of this, but to move the man at all you must be insanely strong- it’s like trying to move a stubborn buffalo. He’s literally that big.
JOANIE “CHYNA” LAURER VITAL STATISTICS
Bench Press: 315 x 5; 365 x 1
Deadlift: 420lbs (early on in her career- no idea what it was after a few years of training)
Squat: 405 x 12; 465 x 5
To give you a bit of perspective, this is a woman who competed as a bodybuilder and didn’t lift for strength but who would be firmly in the top ten all time 181lbers had she competed, with an estimated 1348 total, and in the conversation for fifth all time. And I’m aware of the “gym lifts don’t count” bullshit everyone loves bandying about, but the fun thing about bodybuilder maxes is that they’re extremely repeatable. As in, they do those maxes on a regular basis. Hell, in her first workout with Triple H, she out-benched that empty nutsack. In an interview, Triple H said,
“WE’RE IN THE GYM AND JOANIE (CHYNA) AND I ARE READY TO START. I BEGIN BY PUTTING 135 POUNDS ON THE BAR, DO A FEW REPS TO WARM UP. JOANIE PUTS 135 POUNDS UP, DOES THE SAME THING, AND RIGHT OFF, I’M THINKING, WOW. MOST WOMEN TOP OFF AT 135 POUNDS. WHEN SHE’S DONE WITH HER SET OF 135, JOANIE GRABS ANOTHER NINETY, THROWS IT ON. SHE’S 225 NOW.
I’M THINKING, JESUS CHRIST, SHE’S GONNA DO THAT? UH-HUH, SURE, SHE’S TRYING TO GET A JOB, TRYING TO IMPRESS ME. SHE’LL DO A FEW REPS AND PETER OUT. WE BOTH DO THE 225. AND SHE JUST SMACKS IT OUT, TEN REPS, JUST LIKE THAT, NO STRAIN. BEFORE I CAN CATCH MY BREATH, SHE CRANKS IT UP TO 315. NOW, I’M THINKING, NO FUCKING WAY! THIS IS GONNA CUT HER IN HALF. BUT SHE GRABS IT, BOOM, BOOM, TWO REPS. NO SWEAT, LIKE SHE’S PUMPING SPONGE CAKE HERE. IN MY HEAD? I’M THINKING, GOD, I HAVEN’T EVEN HIT THAT!”
THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE NINTH WONDER OF THE WORLD
Like any other jacked, professional weirdo, Chyna had a rough childhood. her parents were true blue, white trash shitbags in the disgusting hovel town of Rochester, NY, a town famous for little other than gang violence, an astonishing crime rate for a backwater town, and having remarkably low wages compared to the cost of housing.
Chyna’s parents were the type of red-blooded Muricans who only shopped at Sears (Walmart hadn’t made it to New York by that point, so imagine a far more disgusting version of Wally World and you get the picture), beat the dogshit out of each other to country music while drunk, and who begged for money from their parents and neighbors for groceries because drinking Steel Reserve apparently is not a paying gig. After kicking Chyna out of the house at 16 over a bit of weed discovered in Chyna’s room, her dirty water garbage mom never saw her again, though she maintains to this day she was mother of the year every year Chyna was alive these days on Facebook.
Her home life wasn’t the only misfortune in her life, however- like Dave Chappelle did when growing up, Chyna only owned three outfits per year and had a jawline that made Jay Leno look weak chinned as hell by comparison. Fun fact, Redditors- not only do steroids do nothing whatsoever for your jawline (that’s GH, dipshits), but bigass jawlines are often the reason chicks compete in sports anyway, not the result of gear use- their bodies produce more GH and testosterone naturally than the femme chicks. In any event, she had it rough from every conceivable angle, yet she still managed not to shoot up her high school or commit suicide.
After moving in with her biological father, she finished high school basically friendless, finished her undergrad in two years at the University of Tampa, and started working as a waitress in a Tampa strip club after a short stint in the Peace Corps. After ditching Florida for a state not solely populated by felons and meth-addicted mutants, Chyna ended up in Londonderry, NH to lift with her sister at a gym with the hilariously uninspired name The Workout Club. Bouncing around other gigs ranging from delivering singing telegrams to selling cars to selling beepers to teaching aerobics, Chyna trained like a goddamn maniac.
In spite of the fact that her life is essentially a national tour of the least desirable trailer parks on the planet, Chyna found a home in Londonderry and started dating her personal trainer, Gerry Blais, which put her lifetime decision making skills rating at around the rating for Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star– not just bad enough to justify suicide, but possibly bad enough to justify genocide. Not just because she started dating her trainer- she started dating a trainer in a backwater shithole who looks like a Jersey Shore reject with a serious love of Synthol. Irrespective of his own inability or unwillingness to train hard, Blais did set Chyna onto a path to greatness, however, so whenever he commits seppuku that single saving grace might keep people from pissing on his grave.
It was around this time that Chyna and her sister Kathy started training at wrestling god Killer Kowalski’s wrestling school, and in 1995 they began working the indie circuit together. Previously, they’d tried their hand at figure competition, though likely due in part to the jawline fellow competitors suggested they hit the wrestling circuit instead. Whoever those people were making the suggestions were on the money, though, because shortly after they started in the indies, Chyna met Triple H and Shawn Michaels, who then watched tapes of her matches and pushed Vince to bring her on in the WWE as Triple H’s bodyguard.
None of the big names of the time, like Eddie Guerrero, Stone Cold, Jeff Jarrett, or Mick Foley had a problem with Chyna taking them out in matches. In their minds, there was nothing to sell, because she was legit as hell and one of the hardest workers in the business. When everyone else went out for beer, Chyna was in the gym chugging shakes and getting in a second or third lift for the day. When they were taking time off, she was practicing her craft- wrestling had finally given her something she loved that loved her back, and she was all in.
Of course, just like the low T crowd now drives Star Wars actors into hiding with commentary borne of the self-hatred spawned by being a shut in whose mom makes all his meals, the trolls shattered what one would think would be unassailable self-confidence in Chyna. The little white trash girl whose mom abandoned her after a childhood of abuse and ridicule didn’t have enough hate to overcome shit like Howard Stern saying to her, “You’re a man! Do you have a penis?” and endless commentary in person and on the early internet about her masculine appearance, because despite her hardass appearance she was apparently an incredibly sensitive person.
Basically, a psychological wreck from the endless shit talking, Chyna took part of 1999 off to get her tits and nose done, and then later to have her jaw broken and shaved down because she couldn’t handle the incessant abuse. This made life a hell of a lot easier from a shit-from-the-bitch made-public standpoint, and she fully immersed herself into the world of wrestling, making it officially her family. She started treating other wrestler’s kids like her own, acting as sort of a backstage surrogate mom to them after beating their dad’s asses in the ring, which meant she was then the most bizarrely awesome jack-of-all-trades in the industry- the biggest badass-slash-hottest-chick-slash-nicest-backstage-personality in the business… and then they screwed her over, blacklisted her, and destroyed her sanity completely, because the McMahons are on par with Pol Pot, Joseph Stalin, Amelia Dyer, and Dick Cheney for evil- people so indisputably soulless, conniving, narcissistic, and malevolent that anyone who associates with them is likewise tainted with an evil that cannot be cleansed, but could use a white phosphorous bath just in case.
CHYNA’S TRAINING AND DIET
Before I get into the horrifying end to what should have been the most prolific and groundbreaking career in the history of sports, I might as well cover what little we know about Chyna’s diet and training, since they built one of the most impressive female athletic physiques of all time.
Chyna trained relentlessly from the time she met the Jersey Shore Synthol ass bag through the end of her WWE run. She approached the gym year-round with the type of dedication that Tara Reid has for finding speedballs and professional bodybuilders display recontests. Her entire day was structured around training and eating. When wrestling, her sessions were wedged in around performing and travel, but she was consistently in the gym six days a week.
Following the typical bodybuilding body part split of that era, Chyna hit everything twice a week, then added an additional half hour of abject misery on the Stair mill with an 80lb backpack on days she didn’t wrestle. Like Goldberg, Chyna also used boxing for conditioning, throwing in an afternoon session of boxing work when she could. Those two were cut from the same cloth in that their work ethic in the gym translated to immense physicality in the ring, though Chyna was arguably a far better in ring worker than Goldberg.
Her meals almost always consisted of fish or chicken, protein powder and vitamins. She was compulsive as shit about her eating and training, and whereas her coworkers were off drinking and partying on the road, Chyna was hitting the gym hard and long as a horse cock on Viagra, then going directly to bed after chugging a shake. She was essentially straightedge- so goddamned driven and focused on her job that she let nothing stand in the path of her physique. That said, she did have Sundays as a cheat day, and she ate anything and everything she wanted on those days, usually in the form of sweet, delicious carbs like blueberry pancakes, pizza, and apple pie with ice cream.
Though she was killing it professionally, Chyna was apparently a rough go behind closed doors- her grip on her sanity was a tenuous thing. Though she and Triple H lived together for years, Stephanie McMahon had no idea they were a couple- she thought Triple H was the boyfriend of the Heartbreak Kid, making their eventual romance even stranger. In any event, an on-screen romance set up by Vince McMahon between Stephanie and Triple H was apparently obviously a real relationship to just about anyone with a set or working eyeballs, which left Chyna in hysterics every night in the locker room because she and Triple H were still living together.
Knowing Vince was the one who set the entire thing up, Chyna clearly was not on good terms with the owner of the WWE. Though he repeatedly assured her she was going to keep her job, they gradually withdrew the Ninth Wonder of the World from the spotlight, then fired her after she posed for Playboy. Righteously pissed, Chyna started banging X-Pac, Triple H’s best friend and tag team partner, as she fell completely off the rails and started doing a shitload of drinking and drugs, as people often do when their relationships go sideways. After a year in New Japan Pro Wrestling, Chyna and X-Pac started making porn together, which eventually culminated in a dumpster fire of a relationship in which Chyna picked up a domestic battery charge for tuning up X-Pac, and that man lost whatever dignity he had left.
After bouncing from rehab-to-rehab reality show and back, Chyna was an utter train wreck. Her mental state was shattered, she was coked up and drunk nonstop, and after repeated attempts to kill herself, she moved to Japan to teach English and inexplicably become a Mormon. Now, with Mormonism, a domestic battery charge, numerous public meltdowns and essentially no prospects for a future, having lost the ability to do the only thing that made her in any way happy, she dropped dead of an accidental overdose at age 46… having at the end not only become a Mormon but a vegetarian as well.
Tragically, most people seem to only know of Chyna’s meltdown, rather than the badass she was prior to that. The first woman who could go toe to toe and believably win against the men, even in the super-jacked late 90s Attitude Era, Chyna was an inspiration to plenty of chicks who needed a reason to hit the gym, and to the guys who wanted to have a shot at taking her on a date without being laughed out of the building. Her legacy also included a custom set of fake tits specifically designed for lifters and bodybuilders, called the Chyna 2000s, and her story should stand as a reminder to people that maybe go easy on the ultra-jacked chicks at the gym. If you don’t find them hot, keep it to yourself- it’s not like they’re pointing and laughing at your little dick when you waddle past them to get to the baby dumbbells, and it’s highly likely when you pop off about them that all of the real lifters in that place immediately have it in their heads that you’re gonna have a godcdamn accident if they see you at the bar.
Perhaps I have not put a fine enough point on it, but this really is the crux of the article- with the return of the Ms. Olympia to the Olympia weekend next year, a lot of you are likely going to want to say something about something when it comes to chicks who are bigger and stronger than you. And if you do, remember that doing so might just get a seriously cool person to shuffle off their mortal coil, leaving us stuck with your worthless, skinny-fat ass and down a badass broad, which sucks. So, consider a course of action that doesn’t give real lifters a reason to arrange your death- we have better things to do than worrying about how to make you fall down an elevator shaft onto some bullets.
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