Playboy.com's WWE Diva Week: Chyna

By Playboy.com Staff

Share

Playboy.com celebrates the 20th anniversary of WWE Raw with a look back at the Diva's who have have appeared in our pages. We kick off WWE Diva week with Chyna.


To celebrate the 20th anniversary of WWE Raw, Playboy.com will be reposting the famous WWE Diva nude photo shoots and interviews that have appeared in our pages through the years. We start today with Chyna’s, which appeared in the November issue in 2000:

You know her as Chyna, the leather-har­nessed former Intercontinental Cham­pion of the World Wrestling Federation, the woman who kicks men’s butts, who has 14-inch biceps, who can bench-press 365 pounds and who says with glee, “I could take a man’s head and squash it between my legs like a pumpkin!” But she’s really Joanie Laurer, a soft-spoken woman who lives in the countryside of New Hampshire. “I love the utmost feminine things,” she says, “like teddy bears, flowers, wearing makeup and jewelry. I like to be romanced.” Joanie always knew her heart was in entertainment  “As a child, I wasn’t necessarily athletic, but I was a ham. I was always dancing and singing and dressing up in costumes - anything to be in the spotlight.”

Her childhood in Rochester, New York wasn’t easy. “I was kicked out of the house when I was 15,” she recalls. “I had to grow up fast, and I started using fitness as my identity. I was doing the Jane Fonda fitness video three times a day. I could see my body developing, and even though my muscles made me seem different on a freakish level to some people, I knew inside it was a cool thing.”

Joanie sculpted her body throughout college (where she earned a degree in Spanish literature) and through such adventures as selling beepers, auditioning for commercials and performing singing telegrams. “I really had stars in my eyes,” she says, “but I knew mainstream entertainment wouldn’t accept me, because I looked too big and strong and strange.”

One night while watching wrestling, she says, “all of sudden I decided that was what I was going to do.” She tracked down wrestling legend Walter “Killer” Kowalski and paid him $2000 to teach her to wrestle. Then she traveled the country to promote herself until she was discovered. “I was a pioneer because I did what few women could ever do.”

Today, Chyna’s a superstar. She has a recurring role on Third Rock From The Sun. She has an autobiography, If They Only Knew (Judith Regan) and a WWF video called Chyna Fitness. But, she says, the pinnacle of her success is appearing in Playboy. “It’s a powerful statement. There haven’t been a lot of women in Playboy who look like I do. I am not the norm for beauty. But this is who I am, and this is beautiful.” She Plans to continue to “give 110 percent” to her career for as long as possible, but she fantasizes about a personal life too. “I want a husband and I would love to have a family one day. But I’m going to be the kind of woman who’s at home with the kids. I’d put my baby on my hip and go do a movie. I’m a go-getter, and that’s what makes my life exciting.”


Share

Categories

Playboy Social