CANOE Network SLAM!Sports

 
SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestling
  Dec. 4, 2001



News & Rumours
Bios
Obits
Canadian Hall of Fame
WrestleMania 30
WrestleMania 30 photos
Video
Movie Database
Minority Mat Report
Columnists
Features
Results Archive
PPV Reviews
SLAM! Wrestling store
On Facebook
On Twitter
Send Feedback




Photo Galleries

Ox Baker


BCW Excellence


WWE in Montreal


ROH Unauthorized


Smackdown in Philadelphia


WWE in Toronto


Raw in Chicago







SCOREBOARD
PHOTO GALLERY
VIDEO GALLERY
COMMENT




READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Joanie Laurer sheds Chyna image


By STEVE TILLEY -- Edmonton Sun
Joanie Laurer in Toronto to promote her appearance in Playboy. -- Ernest Doroszuk, Toronto Sun

Forget Chachi. Joanie loves herself.

  Joanie Laurer, that is, whose name still needs to be followed by the clumsy yet mandatory "formerly Chyna of the World Wrestling Federation" - for now, at least.

  Laurer spent six years living the larger-than-life Chyna persona in the squared circle, becoming the first female wrestler to compete (as it were) with the big boys. Having left Vince McMahon's sports entertainment empire this year, she's now trying to reinvent herself as Just Joanie - actress, model and fitness guru. Well, Just Joanie plus whips, chains, slave girls, dungeons, really big dogs ...

  "Putting me in lacy lingerie and panties is not me, it's not my style," Laurer said on the phone yesterday from Toronto, where she was promoting her cover-gracing appearance in the January issue of Playboy. The 10-page leather-heavy pictorial looks like a Frank Frazetta Conan painting come to life, or a particularly interesting lost episode of Xena: Warrior Princess.

  "It's fun, it's fantasy. It's still very, very strong, but it's cool at the same time," she said. "I think it's going to draw a much younger demographic. Even when you look at the cover, it looks like a comic book. A Playboy comic book."

  Got that, moms and dads? It's the second time in just over a year the five-foot-10, muscle-bound, silicone-enhanced uber-woman with the distinctly un-Playboy physique has bared it all for Hugh Hefner's magazine, though this time it's without the vast marketing might of the WWF behind her. And she likes it that way.

  "I have to give kudos to Playboy, because Hef is a 75-year-old man who's done business one way for most of his life," Laurer said. "If you look at his girlfriends now, they're all carbon copies of each other; most of the women in the magazine are carbon copies of each other.

  "I'm not saying they're not beautiful ... but that is not reality out there, and I think we haven't got a taste of reality. There are beautiful women of all shapes and sizes."

  Leaving behind the WWF has meant a lot of changes for the wrestler formerly known as Chyna, aside from the softer (and reportedly surgically assisted) new look.

  Laurer sold her dream house in New Hampshire just weeks after construction was finished and moved to L.A. There she's grappling with the beginnings of an acting career, taking "any job under the sun for no pay" including roles in Tracker and Relic Hunter and an appearance on a celebrity edition of Fear Factor that featured Laurer's head sealed in a box with hundreds of squirming bugs.

  "I was really yelling 'I quit!' but you couldn't hear me because the scorpion was over my mouth," she said.

  The parting of ways with the WWF also followed her parting with former flame (and fellow wrestler) Triple H. Laurer says she's currently dating but hasn't settled on a Mr. Right, and doesn't need a Mr. Right Now.

  "I think before I kind of would have ... I don't want to say gone with anybody, but it was a lot easier for me to just connect with somebody out of loneliness, or wanting to have that security.

  "I'm not looking for that quick fix just to have somebody there. I like that, I miss that, I want to be in love. But it's going to have to be the real deal."

  Laurer says being in Playboy certainly helps with male attention - gee, go figure - but fans and fellow celebs are more or less not an option. Neither are men who are intimidated by Laurer's various assets.

  "The men who are physically intimidated by me don't approach me. They'll talk about me, and they have very big mouths most of the time, but I have more suitors now than I ever did in the past."

  You'd think posing nude in Playboy and laying bare her troubled past in her tell-all biography If They Only Knew would make Laurer easy prey for her critics, but she says the opposite is true.

  "People are cruel and the media are cruel and they're constantly digging at you and picking at you and starting rumours about you," said Laurer, who has freely admitted to breast augmentation (and once even ruptured an implant during a match) but always denied steroid use.

  "What are you going to say about me? Go ahead. It's nothing I haven't already heard or anything I'm ashamed of or won't admit. Once you can put that out there, it kind of sets you free."

RELATED LINKS
  • Chyna story archive


  • Know someone who might be interested in this page? Just type in their e-mail address to send them the URL.

    Destination email address:


    Your email address: