Joanie 'Chyna' Laurer Interview: Talks about leaving WWE, HHH & more
Reported by Adam Martin
On Friday, April 21, 2006 at 5:30 PM EST
Steve Gerweck of gerweck.net sent in the following recap:
Interview with Joanie Laurer
Interview conducted: April 16, 2006
SG> Steve Gerweck
JL> Joanie Laurer
SG> What projects are you currently involved in?
JL> I am working on several big projects at this time that I am very passionate about. I have just finished production for a VH1 series, Fame Games which was done in Vegas and was a lot of fun for me because I got to do a lot of physical stunts and I love working out and being physical. I am also one of the leading ladies in a comedy film Illegal Aliens. Last month I was at a hugely successful screening for the movie and I am told it got picked up for a theater release. I believe a movie called Romantic Wrestling Comedy which I co-starred in is also coming out soon as well. In addition I plan on doing many promotional appearances and autographs signings very soon. I have many great projects on the table.
SG> Talk about working with Anna Nicole Smith?
JL> Anna is a great friend. She was a true professional and a very funny lady. Despite what you read about her in magazines she is not crazy. She is very intelligent and very talented.
SG> What do you take away from your experience doing the "Surreal Life."
JL> I took away some great friendships and beautiful experiences. These people really became my family and helped me through some very tough times in my life and helped me realize that I had to get my life together and I couldn't thank them enough for that.
SG> Do you keep in contact with Sean Waltman?
JL> I do not. I have not spoke with Sean since last January. I have nothing negative to say about him, I have said everything I had to say, our relationship was the worst thing I had ever been through and I hope Sean is able to find happiness in his life.
SG> Are you benefiting financially from the release of your video with Waltman?
JL> No, I did the video with Sean for our enjoyment, but when he let it get into the hands of an outside party I decided to release it before the other party did, but Sean went and did a deal with the Red light District behind my back and I was not given any money for the video. Now that I look back on it I would have never even made the video but it all happened at a time in my life when my life was spinning out of control and I lost sight of who I was.
SG> There were rumors that you went into rehab after your appearance on the Howard Stern TV show. True or false?
JL> False, I did not go to rehab. I actually went to a place that specializes in helping people who have battles with depression, after about a week I decided to stop drinking and these people were able to help me deal with the drinking problems, then I got great professional representatives who deal with people that have addictions so they have been able to help me stay on the right path and I owe a lot to them.
SG> What is your reaction to the finished DVD - 101 Reasons not to be a pro wrestler?
JL> I actually had not seen it until recently. I thought it was very well done and I am very glad I did it to get my views on wrestling out there.
SG> What do you miss most from not being in the wrestling business?
JL> The instant gratification from 20 thousand fans, there is nothing like the reaction of thousands of screaming fans, it is a complete adrenaline rush.
SG> Have you had any contact with Vince McMahon in recent times? Any chance you'll return to WWE?
JL> Never say never, I am an actress, a model and a wrestler. At this time I have a lot going for me and do not wish to return. I went through too much to return at this point but I am forever indebted to the WWE for their help in making me a star. I had many good memories with them and the good will always out shine the bad ones.
SG> Why did your relationship with WWE end?
JL> I was up for contract renewals and after I found out that Triple H had cheated on me and confronted him about it. Then I was put in the women's division and had to take a pay cut. I tried to remain professional about the whole thing but the WWE wanted to make it personal. Many people thought that I had gotten the big head and asked for a billion dollars but that was not true. The contract which they presented me did not let me do other things and I would have gone backwards in my career and I didn't want to do that to myself or my fans who had watched me for many years.
SG> Do you have any regrets looking back to your WWF days?
JL> No regrets, I enjoyed my time there and now look forward to the future.
SG> Do you have a favorite WWF match or memory?
JL> Probably winning the Intercontinental Championship. I worked very hard for it and felt honored to hold a title that so many greats before my time had done.
SG> Talk about working with Eddie Guerrero. Thoughts on his untimely passing.
JL> Eddie was a great guy. He was always cracking jokes, I would always go out to the ring with a smile on my face when working with him. That smile was not an act, he was a good friend and always made me smile. When I heard he died my heart was broken. God Bless you Eddie.
SG> Are you still in contact with anyone currently in wrestling? Last time you spoke to Triple H?
JL> I do keep in contact with some of the old New Japan gang since I am always working out at the LA Dojo, but I live a very busy life, as do the wrestlers so I do not get to see much of my old friends. The last time I spoke with Triple H was in 2004 when he went to get Sean at a hotel to take him to rehab. Despite breaking my heart I do wish Triple H all the success in the world.
SG> Do you keep up with the WWE product? TNA? If so, what is your opinion of the product?
JL> I do not keep up wrestling, as I said I have been very busy so I don't really find the time. If I am not on the set, I am at a production meeting, or an opening, or working out. To me wrestling is not what it use to be. There are a lot of politics. When I began my career we did not have all of that, everyone looked out for everyone else, now everyone is in it for themselves.
SG> At one time, TNA expressed an interest in working with you. Did you strongly consider it?
JL> Yes I did, but at that time I got sick with phenomena and was unable to make it. I called them to let them know this. Right now I don't have a desire to work with them at this point.
SG> Any chance we'll see you return to pro wrestling in the future?
JL> Possibly, but not right now I am happy with where I am at. I did a lot in wrestling and loved my time there, but there comes a time when everyone needs to move on. I do NOT feel I am better than wrestling, as many have speculated. Wrestling made me famous and I can't thank the people who helped me enough, but I just felt I had to move on. In the right place and at the right time I might return.
SG> Why did your relationship with New Japan and Antonio Inoki end?
JL> I really felt like I had done all I could do in wrestling at the time. I loved being in Japan. I was doing something no one had ever done before and making history. It was the biggest thing in that country. I really didn't know what I had gotten myself into, but I am glad I did it. My match with Chono was featured on the cover of every magazine and newspaper. I have no idea what any said but to have people scream your name in a totally different part of the world is just amazing. And to be able to influence so many people on such a big level is something I am very proud of.
SG> What is the biggest misconception do you think people have of you?
JL> That I'm stupid. I am a college graduate, I speak four different languages and have a major in foreign language. I love to read and write and plan on releasing another book in the future.
SG> Any last words for your fans?
JL> I love all of you. I can't tell you how much your support has mete me. You were all there with me through the good times and the bad times and when I was at my lowest it was my fans who helped pick me up and I thank you all for that. You will all be seeing a lot more of me and will always be special to me.
Give me your initial reaction or a short statement about the following:
SG> Linda McMahon
SG> Stephanie McMahon
SG> Shane McMahon
SG> Shawn Michaels
SG> Triple H
SG> Sean Waltman
JL> bad news
SG> Road Dogg
SG> Billy Gunn
SG> Eddy Guerrero
SG> Killer Kowalski
SG> Antonio Inoki
JL> father figure
SG> Steve Austin
SG> Jeff Jarrett
SG> Miss Kitty/Stacy Carter
JL> The Kat
SG> Chris Jericho
SG> Scott Steiner
SG> Hugh Hefner
JL> Sweet Heart
SG> Joanie Laurer