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September 25, 2016

The Great Fall of Chyna: How WWE’s Greatest Female Wrestler Disappeared

In an interview with Bleacher Report, Kathy Hamilton, Chyna's sister comments on her sister's relationship with Triple and what ultimately lead to her split with WWE:

Shortly after signing with WWE, Chyna broke up with Gerry Blais, her personal trainer, and began dating Paul Levesque, who had blossomed into one of the company’s top stars as Triple H. The couple lived together for more than three years and were inseparable on the road.

In an industry where wrestlers often become addicted to alcohol and painkillers, Laurer and Levesque practiced a clean lifestyle and spent most of their free time in the gym.

But around 2000 the relationship began to fizzle. Friends say Levesque wanted children; Laurer did not. She was also jealous of the time Levesque spent with his parents and siblings during the rare days the WWE wasn’t on the road.

When she sensed Levesque was growing closer with Stephanie McMahon—the boss’ daughter, whom he later married in 2003—Laurer was crushed, telling numerous friends she’d searched Levesque’s briefcase and discovered a love letter from Stephanie.

“They wouldn’t have lasted whether Stephanie came into the picture or not,” Kathy says. “I have no animosity toward Paul. He was very good to Joanie. He cared about her deeply, but she just had too many issues.

“Still, I really do think Paul was the only man she ever truly loved. She was devastated.”

Not long after strutting onto that Good Morning America set in 2001, Laurer’s WWE career came to an end. For years she told friends and reporters that the company dumped her because of backstage tension with Levesque and McMahon, but that wasn’t true.

Hamilton says the WWE offered her sister a new contract in the fall of 2001 for $400,000 per year, but she opted not to sign it. Ross confirmed that story, adding that the figure was merely a “downside guarantee” and she could’ve earned significantly more—maybe more than double that amount—from merchandise sales, pay-per-view appearances and other revenue streams.

Still, Laurer wouldn’t accept an offer with a base salary of less than $1 million.

“It was an outrageous demand that wasn’t even realistic,” says Ross, who was hesitant to negotiate with Laurer. But he said Vince McMahon wanted Chyna to remain with the company and was confident her issues with his daughter and Levesque wouldn’t last.

Hamilton can’t help but wonder how different her sister’s life might’ve been had she signed that contract.

“Joanie told me a few years later that she regretted it,” Hamilton says. “The WWE was the only place where she was ever accepted. Once she lost that, she fell into a hole.

“And she never could climb out of it.”

You can read the full article here.

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