If Hulk Hogan Is Going Back in the WWE Hall of Fame, It’s Time to Cut the Bullshit and Induct Chyna
Hulk Hogan’s sex tape and the fallout that come from it is something that literally changed a whole industry with the wrestling star’s lawsuit against Gawker. The sex tape not only depicted Hogan (real name Terry Gene Bollea) during the act, but more damaging were recordings of him saying the N-word multiple times. Now, as someone who grew up loving wrestling and loving Hulk Hogan, him saying the N-word in that tape was really upsetting, and the fact that after three years of suspension and “good behavior” he is being reinstated into the WWE Hall of Fame leaves me feeling irritated. However, the thing that upsets me the most about this is the fact that Hogan is being reinstated and Chyna has still not been inducted at all.
Joan Marie Laurer, known by the wrestling name Chyna, was one of the most iconic female wrestlers of my generation. She won victories over male wrestlers like Triple H, Kurt Angle, and Chris Jericho. I remember watching her suplex Triple H on television and feeling like Xena had just come to life on my television screen. Chyna was a huge part of the “Attitude era” of the WWE, was one the roster’s first female enforcers, held multiple titles, and was the first woman to compete in the Royal Rumble and King of the Ring tournaments.
Chyna left one of the most lasting legacies for women in the WWE for wrestlers like Ivory, Trish Stratus, Lita, Molly Holly, Victoria, Beth Phoenix … the list goes on and on. Along with Jacqueline and Trish, Chyna was one of the wrestlers who really transcended the idea of what a woman in wrestling could do. Yet, she is not in in the Hall of Fame because she did porn.
In 2004, along with her then-boyfriend Sean Waltman, she released a sex tape called 1 Night in China. She went on to make six adult films in total, including an Avengers parody where she played She-Hulk, which is perfect casting, to be honest.
It’s Chyna’s history in adult entertainment that has kept her out of the WWE Hall of Fame. In 2014, Triple H spoke out that the reason Chyna has yet to be put into the Hall of Fame was what would happen when younger fans Googled her. That being said, Triple H has also been one of Chyna’s biggest defenders, speaking out after her overdose death and saying that “[she was] just a great person, an amazing talent, a groundbreaking pioneer that was never afraid to go out on a limb and blaze her own trail through life.”
After her death, a lot of people thought Chyna would have been inducted. Stephanie McMahon even told TMZ sports at one point that it was a “matter of time,” yet it’s been two years since her death, and she has yet to be inducted.
What Chyna brought to wrestling wasn’t just about her prowess as an athlete—and at 6’7″ with 200 pounds of pure muscle, she was without a doubt an athlete—but being part of an era that brought wrestling back into popularity. Triple H, Chyna, Shawn Michaels, The Rock, and Stone Cold Steve Austen all came out of this Attitude Era that made wrestling not just cool, but financially successful again.
So if the WWE can ignore Hogan’s racist comments and celebrate his legacy to wrestling, then they can also ignore Chyna doing adult films and celebrate her legacy as a performer, an athlete, and one of the most important female wrestlers of all fucking time.
Chyna was spat out by an industry she helped build, shamed for doing adult films, and then died alone. Those of us who grew up with her legacy do not forget her, and when you Google Chyna, yeah, you might see porn, but you might also see this:
(image: Chris Weeks/Liaison)
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