Thursday, April 21, 2016

The revolution began with Chyna

I suspect I have read almost a dozen memorials for Chyna today. For a woman whose career consisted of five years work and a few sporadic appearances in the fifteen years since, people still seem to see her importance. Her legacy looms large. Long before Sasha Banks, Charlotte, Paige and the current WWE female superstars started their revolution, Chyna was changing the face of what women could do in wrestling.

From her start as the muscle for Triple H and Shawn Michaels to her two reigns as Intercontinental champion, she did things in WWE no woman has done before or since. That influence can be felt all around the wrestling world, from Chikara's current Grand Champion Kimber Lee to Lucha Underground's focus on intergender wrestling in their pushes of talents like Sexy Star and Ivelisse.

Drugs, abusive relationships and porn cloud the picture, but Chyna was an innovator whether she ever meant to be or not. Her legacy within WWE storytelling disappeared when her boyfriend Triple H left her for Stephanie McMahon, and her place in the Hall of Fame was thrown away by a shallow excuse about her adult film career, but fans of professional wrestling know few women can match the accomplishments of The Ninth Wonder of the World.

However she died doesn't really matter. What matters is everything she did to pave the way for the future of women's wrestling for decades to come.

No matter what anyone does or says, no one and nothing can ever erase that. Goodbye, Joanie, and thank you.

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