Chyna to WWE Hall of Fame?
Given the tragic news that former WWE Intercontinental Champion, Joanie Laurer aka The Ninth Wonder of the World Chyna has tragically passed away at the age of 45. In a death marred in controversy much like how she lived her life, there has being an out pouring of grief and tributes from the wrestling world including Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. But this has once again bought up a long-standing question – should the induction of Chyna to WWE Hall of Fame finally happen?
Joanie Laurer made her WWE debut in 1997 at IYH 13: Final Four as the bodyguard of Hunter Hearst Helmsley where she choked out Marlena into a state of unconsciousness. She later became a prominent figure in the early days of D-Generation X alongside Helmsley and Shawn Michaels, but her true pioneering days happened at the height of the Attitude Era when she became the first female to enter the Royal Rumble 1999 (albeit a quick elimination from Stone Cold). She is also notable for becoming the first female contender in the King of the Ring 1999 Tournament but also Number One contender for the WWE Championship.
Not long after, she entered the WWE Intercontinental Championship contention and became the first female to hold a male championship when she defeated Jeff Jarrett in a Good Housekeeping match at No Mercy 1999. She continued her success through 2000, whilst becoming a prominent figure off-screen when she covered Playboy in November 2000. However, at the end of 2000 she slowly transitioned into the women’s division capturing the WWE Women’s Championship at WrestleMania X-Seven. She wrestled her final match for the WWE at Judgment Day 2001 when she successfully defended the championship against Lita. She later departed from the company in a cloud of controversy, with the title vacated and the reasons never fully understood.
After her departure from the WWE, she had two brief wrestling stints with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) in 2002 and Total Non Stop Wrestling Action (TNA) in 2011 but became prominent for forging an adult film career. A domineering figure, Chyna was visually intimidating to the WWE Superstars and the Universe. But there is no doubt to her achievements throughout her short time with us.
When interviewed on the Stone Cold Podcast in February 2015, Paul “Triple H” Levesque revealed that whilst she may deserve entry into the WWE Hall of Fame, internet searching of her name by children would ultimately prevent it. But with the induction of The Godfather at this years WWE Hall of Fame, surely this contradicts this statement. There is utterly no doubt that she deserves this honor and the WWE should do the right thing, and place her where she belongs. She was a true trail blazer and set the standard throughout the Attitude Era that all women are compared to her even now. She may be gone, but the memories deserve to live on…
~ R.I.P Joanie “Chyna” Laurer ~
~ 1969 – 2016 ~
Image Credit: WrestlingRumors.net