Billy Cullen is an internet reporter at 4w-wrestling.com. He knows a lot about the business, and he's a good friend of mine. Here, he shares his thoughts on the woman formerly known as Chyna.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of Joanie's Joint or its webmaster, Robb Michael. Sorry, but I'm bound by law to say this under penalty of watching a tape of Billy Gunn's best matches :-)
E-mail him your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
I've never been a fan of Joanie Laurer. Okay I'm lying......I was when she first broke into the business (as Chyna). I has respected her for awhile, but then different reports from people had said that her ego was out of control and that pretty much did it for me. As a long time wrestling fan and journalist, I'm not a fan of egos in this business. This was said about Joanie by different writers, reporters, wrestlers and fans. Actually the only superstar I can actually say that I know for a fact said that she has an ego was Lita. I took that as the gospel and bashed Joanie before using my better judgment. I like Lita and all, but jealousy is also something that is a big part of the pro wrestling business.
I actually became a fan when I read of her trials and tribulations in a special Pro Wrestling Illustrated issue about wrestlers true life stories. I was truly intrigued with the fact that at one time she was a stand up comedian and nearly joined the F.B.I.. I remember reading that and laughing and thinking "Chyna, a stand up comedian? NO WAY!". As the years would pass, I watched everything this extraordinary women did. Things that most male wrestlers can only dream of happening. She is by far the most successful women in the history of pro wrestling and weather your a fan or not......that cannot be denied.
In her last days with the WWF, I began to tire of her a little bit. I honestly think even her biggest fans did too. Her success in Playboy was great, she was a former I.C. champ. What else could she do? From there it seems that out of nowhere.....Chyna was gone. Was it her ego getting in the way or was Vince McMahon not paying her what she deserved because he felt (now that he owned WCW) she had nowhere else to go? I honestly can't say. I did start to resent her terribly and it showed in my columns too.
When I wrote my column "bashing" Chyna, one of the first letters I received was from a fan named Robb. Boy did he stick it to me! The first exchanges I had with Robb were pretty heated. They stayed that way until I actually told him that I wasn't such a bad guy and took the time out to actually understand his point of view. Needless to say, Robb has become one of my favorite readers and we write just about everyday. He truly his a loyal fan of Ms. Laurers and a stand up guy.
I just felt the need to give an "outsiders" point of view. I do wish Joanie the best of luck and hopefully we'll see her in a WWF ring again real soon. Thanks for reading.
Read more of Billy's work at 4w-wrestling.com!