RF Video Shoot Interview with Joanie “Chyna” Laurer

This was filmed in 2007

The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein

It runs for two hours and thirty-nine minutes long

 

 

 

The interview starts with Chyna being asked if she was a fan of wrestling as a child. She said no but her brother was older and had friends come over and they would wrestle in the backyard with the dog kennels and she made them belts to use when they played.

 

She then talks about how her stepmother was dysfunctional and how she spent a lot of time by herself in the basement playing with toys and would pretend to act. Eventually, a Ballys Fitness Center opened up when she got older and she’d spend several hours a day there instead as she would do aerobics then after that she became friends with the guys and wound up learning how to lift weights.

 

On how she ended up in wrestling, Chyna said she always wanted to be a movie star and wanted to act. She talked about how her physical appearance got in the way because she was so muscular and would go into New York after responding to ads but never really got any roles. One night, she came home and her sister was watching wrestling with her boyfriend, who was a fan. Chyna said she started to watch and she became amused because each person was such a character and the people were reacting to them and decided she wanted to become a wrestler.

 

Chyna said she started to ask around at gyms if they knew of any wrestling schools. Someone mentioned to her that Killer Kowalski had a school in Massachusetts so she picked up a phone book and found a Kowalski listened and called at 11pm and it ended up being Kowalski, who had her show up to Tewksbury, MA and to bring $2,000. Chyna said she saved her money by babysitting and doing rolling telegrams until she had the money.

 

She talks about walking in for the first time and saw six guys messing around then finally saw Kowalski, who saw her look and was pleasantly surprised as he thought he could make money off of her. Chyna then talks about how Kowalski might say that she got her in the business but she wound up making videos and watching everything she could and booked herself in all sorts of small matches on the Independent circuit. From that, she wound up meeting people in the business that could help her get into bigger companies.

 

Chyna tells one story of how someone brought her to a show and told her someone from the WWF office would be meeting with her. So, she drove two hours to the show but no one did end up meeting with her and she was in tears when Dave Hebner saw her crying. Hebner told her to go to the hotel as you could catch guys in the lobby. Chyna said she went there and called them up and went off on them. When asked, Chyna would not give the office worker’s name but said she grew to like him later on while in the WWF. Then, Shawn Michaels and Triple H among other wrestlers came down to the bar to talk to this office person as Chyna remembered that Triple H went to Kowalski’s school and brought up that fact to start up a conversation. Chyna then said Shawn recognized her talents at first and thought she could be the bodyguard for DX. After their conversation, Shawn took the idea to Vince McMahon as Chyna talked about developing a friendship with Triple H. At first, Chyna said there was no romantic involvement but that they shared the same interests and started training together and after that they developed a relationship.

 

She talks more about Triple H and how she would see him at shows but one day after Triple H called she told him about feeling like a groupie and would meet for dinner after the show. Triple H then told her to call Kevin Nash for a role as the new girl in the nWo because Vince and Pat Patterson did not like the idea of her as a bodyguard. Chyna said she was going to get hired by WCW and all ready to fly down to Florida but Shane McMahon called her up and told her not to go to WCW because she is meant to be with the WWF and will be a star, even though Vince is not on board at the moment. Chyna then questions why wouldnt they hire her then but ended up turning down the WCW job. Chyna said she kept calling Shane weekly for six months and got pissed then came home to play her answering machine as Triple H told her she was going to get hired and to go to the arena. Chyna went down and at first was not let in by security then while there, Shawn Michaels told them if they want him to drop the belt, they had to hire her.

 

Chyna is asked about the guys giving her a hard time and not selling for her, she said that was the case but much worse while over in Japan. She talks about how your career is based off of your appearance and how no one would buy anything she did unless she was picking up guys and physically imposing them. Chyna also said she was teased constantly and the victim of pranks.

 

On her program with Goldust and Marlena, Chyna talked about really liking working with Goldust, who was one of the first guys who volunteered to work with her.

 

She is asked about developing a romantic relationship with Triple H. Chyna talks about a first they kept it hidden and during the road when groupies would show up, Chyna would sit there and stay quiet. She talks about how it got to a point where she gave Triple H an ultimatum to either split up or act as a couple even while at work so he agreed. Chyna talks about how going public probably helped her career.

 

When asked, Chyna believed the rumor that Triple H was against the New Age Outlaws joining D-X at first. She then hinted that Billy Gunn’s singles push was squashed by Triple H himself.

 

Chyna is asked about several other people in the WWF. She believes that Sable is a beautiful woman who was good at what she did but ended up causing a lot of problems and said the wrestling business was not for her. Chyna respects Jeff Jarrett and knew it was a business issue and not something personal when he refused to drop the IC Title to her, despite thinking he is not necessarily the best wrestler while talented. She also said they gave Jarrett crappy storylines and that he was more than willing to work with her. Chyna likes Chris Jericho as a person but found him difficult to work with as he seemed more into what he was doing and it became a contrast of styles. Chyna said its still hard to talk about Eddie Guerrero because she loves him so much as she put him over for taking care of her during their program.

 

On working as a solo act away from D-X, Chyna said she was petrified at first, thinking she would fail. However, she reverted back to wanting to be an address and had a lot of fun. She then puts over Billy Gunn and Eddie Guerrero for being complimentary of her work and supportive.

 

When she became the Intercontinental Champion, Chyna said she never heard any of the guys being towards her winning the belt.

 

Chyna said she got into Playboy Magazine after calling up asking for a tour of the Playboy Mansion after hearing a bunch of the wrestlers in the WWF got a tour. So, Chyna had a friend go with her and rented a limo as her friend pretended to be her assistant. From that, she got a call from one of the editors if she wanted to do a photo spread. Chyna then went to Vince to see if she could do it as felt Vince thought she was going behind his back but he did say yes. Chyna said she brokered her own deal and that caused issues between her and Vince going forward. When asked, Chyna said that Triple H made that experience miserable for her because he was rude during the shoot and felt he was jealous of her getting attention.

 

Chyna then said at the time, she didn’t notice Triple H being jealous of others getting attention but looking back she sees this was the case. She also adds that this is the case with many professions.

 

On the Triple H and Stephanie McMahon relationship, Chyna said she suffered for about a year while that happened. She also talks about Triple H would be meeting with the McMahons late at night and Triple H would get mad at her then one day, broke into his Halliburton and found a love-letter Stephanie wrote to him from when the storyline started. Chyna then talks about how honesty is detrimental in people’s life and that Triple H should have been honest with her as she talks about this taking a large toll on her. Chyna talks about some of the guys standing up for her but that also hurt their careers and that said tried to speak to Stephanie, who was belligerent towards her and said she did not owe her any explanation. Chyna said she never spoke to Triple H again and the last time she saw him was when he picked up Sean Waltman to bring him to rehab. Chyna said she was notified via fax that she would not be needed and her contract would not be renewed.

 

Chyna talks about how she lost her job and then her home so she decided to go to Los Angeles and look for work. She ended up getting an apartment and could not even afford electricity as she did not have any money.

 

She then goes into using drugs, as she does not consider herself an addict, as stated that she did not abuse anything while in the WWE but started going to clubs and getting drunk once she was away from wrestling. Chyna also brought up how she had suicidal thoughts but did not act on them.

 

Chyna talks about being tanked on Howard Stern and how at that point, she did not care as she was feeling like a “media freak” and felt used and abused and that was the result. Chyna then talked about being a cast member on the “Surreal Life” and how she was a mess and did not even have a home to go to when the show ended. Chyna got along with everyone on the show.

 

On her relationship with Sean Waltman, Chyna puts over how he was the only one to come down to Los Angeles and meet her then said Sean told her how much he cared about her before saying he gave her a ring then a week later clotheslined her over a glass coffee table and they went out on-and-off for two years. Chyna talks about how there were a lot of drug issues there and the relationship itself was highly dysfunctional. She talks about showing up to work or places all beat up and disheveled and it was due to the abuse she suffered from Sean.

 

Chyna is asked about her “One Night in Chyna” porn video. She talks about not making a dime off of that and also claims it is Sean’s tape and considers it an embarrassment after a few minutes of rambling.

 

When asked about her match against Masahiro Chono in Japan, Chyna said she learned some humility and calls the whole experience was life-changing.

 

She talks about TNA advertising a match of her’s against Johnny Fairplay that she knew nothing about and never ended up going to the company.

 

On the biggest misconception of her, Chyna talks about people thinking that she has tons of money and is just crazy and on drugs.

 

 

Final Thoughts: This interview, while long, did not have much substance. And that was due to Chyna herself. I do not think she is a malicious or mean person but she clearly has her own demons. Chyna talked a lot about the questions being asked but danced around some stuff, especially regarding her substance abuse issues, and I felt there were a lot of holes in some of her explanations.

One thing was abundantly clear here and that was her breakup with Triple H really hurt her a lot. Once that happened and her getting fired from the WWF, she really hit a downward spiral. I think someone like that needed structure because without it and struggling to get work, she turned to drugs. Even as a kid, she spent hours at the gym each day and always had that structure back then. I will say that here, she appeared to be sober and in good spirits.

Overall, I cannot really recommend this interview as it was over 2.5 hours and failed to contain much information. I actually felt that Feinstein had a lot more chemistry with Chyna than most non-ECW subjects but it still wasnt enough to save the interview.

 

You can purchase this DVD for $20. Or, go over and join the Highspots Wrestling Network and get one month free by using the code NATION and watch it there, along with hundreds of other shoot interviews and over a thousand hours of various classic and Independent wrestling.

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

 

Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 8/13/88

Saturday: Ring of Honor The Conclusion 11/28/03

Sunday: WWF Los Angeles Sports Arena 8/13/88

Monday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/14/88

Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 8/20/88

Wednesday: EVOLVE 61 5/7/16

Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD

 

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