Chyna: Cure for the Common Wrestling Promotion?
I can already hear the complaints.
"She's strung out."
"She's a reality show junkie now."
"She couldn't hack it."
Yes, yes, maybe, and yes. The wrestler formerly known as Joanie Laurer is guilty, or conceivably guilty of all these things.
Yes, she's had substance abuse issues. Yes, she's appeared on a ton of reality shows since her departure from WWE. The idea that she couldn't hack it is a matter of opinion; your mileage may vary.
As far as the conditions surrounding her departure, there are two sides: WWE says she quit, Chyna said she was forced out. We as an audience weren't there, and we don't know.
And yes, there are much worse things that could be said about her: sometimes porn star (between two Playboy stints and the ill-advised "1 Night in China"), fame whore, product of a completely broken family, and on and on. Sports entertainment still needs her. Period.
"Why her, and why now?" asks the reader.
First of all, Chyna was and is a talented performer. No goofy Sable-esque hip twirling, or Trish Stratus-style 'doing the boss' storylines for her.
She started as a plausibly scary bodyguard who didn't speak, looked frighteningly tough, and when she did insert herself in others' matches, it was highly physical and it was done right.
If someone was supposed to go down, she made it look like they were going to possibly die at her hand. If the opponent she was sabotaging was supposed to fall, they didn't just do a pratfall, they collapsed.
And they did it because (yes, I'm breaking kayfabe here) they respected her enough to sell it.
The current state of sports entertainment has returned, at least in the inter-gender match way, to the men largely being hands-off toward their female counterparts, and in mixed tag teams, the only way a woman gets the pinfall on a male wrestler is through cheating.
The matches between the females is not much better in WWE, screaming affairs in which there are more vocals than action.
The closest females in WWE to Chyna's skill set are Beth Phoenix and Natalya Neidhart, and only Beth Phoenix gets any kind of time in mixed matches.
The rest of the current women's locker room in WWE is not a real challenge for Beth Phoenix, and there has been no proof of the possible inclusion of more challenging Awesome Kong. So, why not bring back Chyna?
Arguably, there would not be a Beth Phoenix without Chyna. Up to Chyna's introduction to the ring, women who wrestled were at best eye candy, and worst, tough but weird looking. Nicole Bass, anyone?
When Chyna began to wrestle before the cameras, she not only looked good (after dropping the bodyguard gimmick, she got a makeover), but still delivered physical skill, with the physical appearance to back it up.
When Chyna left, there was Lita, who did perform against the men, but always came up short, physically, and needed the intervention of The Hardy Boyz, or later, Edge.
After Lita's departure there was a drought of real gamers in the women's locker room. Then Beth Phoenix showed up, and made short work of the "Divas", which was fun to watch.
So, now that Beth's taken on the "Divas" and some of the men, why not have WWE go back to their "Attitude Era" roots? Let the Ninth Wonder of the World take on the Goddess.
But, the reader suggests that Vince (or actually, Stephanie) might not go for it, given the rocky history between Chyna and the WWE. I don't see why they wouldn't; they live on doing hard left turns on the audience.
This is the company who brought back Sable after she sued them for sexual harassment. This is the company who brought Eric Bischoff on during a live broadcast for the "hug seen 'round the world", after Bischoff had done everything from announce then-WWF results to having Madusa (formerly WWF's Alundra Blayze) toss her belt into the garbage on live TV.
This is a company that has twice led up to suggesting (but never came out and said it) that Stephanie and Vince had an incestuous relationship in different storylines. The ball would mostly be in Chyna's court.
It's been over 10 years; I'm sure she's probably over her real-life relationship with Triple H by now. If not, WWE writers probably wouldn't hesitate to put it in the script.
But we're leaving out the possibility that Chyna might take the TNA route.
In TNA, they have lost the two Knock-Outs that could take a male performer in the ring: Awesome Kong and ODB. Let the Beautiful People and Those Who Aren't the Beautiful People deal with each other while Chyna is brought on without warning.
After Chyna takes on the female competition, there could be storyline changes, with the surviving Knock-Outs could have resulting character changes: Imagine Angelina Love suddenly becoming a tougher gal who isn't worried about an ass-shaking ring entrance.
Mickie James could have a heel turn, determined to prove she's just as tough as Chyna, and cheating her ass off. If only...
Then Chyna could lock up with the men. She's been matched up with Jeff Jarrett in WWE before, so why not put her with Ken Anderson and see who's the bigger asshole?
Maybe she could be the lone female for Immortal, and given her pedigree (pun fully intended), she'd fit right in, having held men's and women's championships.
Personally, I'd love to see her put any dude in TNA on his butt, just for the dim, confused look that would cross their faces. The possibilities are intriguing: Chyna vs. AJ Styles?
Can you imagine her taking on Kurt Angle, who's already having woman trouble? Chyna vs. Sting? Chyna mixed teaming with Beer Money, Inc. or Motor City Machine Guns? I could go on forever.
Yes, I know Chyna needs more seasoning than a bad cut of beef, and more tuning up than a '76 Pinto. She would have to train for a while to get back into fighting shape, and she'd really have to want it.
That's the debatable end of things: she's been out of the game for almost a decade (following a stint in Japan), and given her tendency to fall for her co-workers, namely Triple H and Sean "X-Pac" Waltman, it might be asking the impossible to bring her back.
But, a fan can dream. This fan is not only dreaming, but hinting heavily. Wrestling promotions refer to magazines and sites like these as "dirt sheets", but they do read them.
Call me confident, but I would like to think they'd like to take up this idea.