Joanie Laurer (formerly WWE’s Chyna) has been named in connection with a battery investigation being conducted by the Los Angeles Police Department, according to celebrity gossip site TMZ.com. The alleged victim, Gabriela Targos, reportedly felt her life was in danger during an violent incident at an LA-area motel recently.
Reports TMZ: “Chyna called her up to hang out at the motel Saturday–but when Gabriela arrived, she claims Chyna immediately snapped and began attacking her for no reason. Targos, who claims she’s been friends with Chyna for years, says the former wrestler punched her in the face, dragged her by the hair, beat her with a wire hanger and threatened to kill her. Gabriela claims she somehow managed to run out of the motel room, booked it down the street, and approached some cops who were eating dinner–who then took a police report.”
Since leaving WWE, Laurer has gradually been spinning out of control in a desperate attempt to stay in the spotlight. Rumors of alcoholism and drug use have plagued her. I cannot say for sure, but something in her life has certainly eroded her once-chiseled body, along with her mental state.
Some say, however, that they could see the writing on the locker-room wall for Laurer during the height of her popularity with WWE. Reportedly, more times than not, the former Chyna was aloof, even downright rude, backstage. When her demands for more money were not met by WWE in 2001, she was released. (Admittedly, the fact that Triple H, her ex, was seeing Steph McMahon probably hastened her departure.)
Some females in wrestling, Laurer and Sable in particular, seem to forget that wrestling is what made them–without it, they don’t offer much to mainstream entertainment. They receive offers for Playboy shoots and TV guest-starring roles solely based on their popularity in the business. Even the stunning Torrie Wilson, perhaps the prettiest of the WWE women (until Maria) to appear in Hef’s mag, is nothing special compared to a Playboy Playmate; however, at the time of her initial shoot, she was the most beautiful woman in wrestling.
When women use wrestling as a springboard to a bigger payday elsewhere (Hollywood, music industry, etc.), the end result is usually disappointing. That’s probably what alarmed me most about the conversation I had with Stacy Keibler few years ago at a club in LA. When Stacy told me of her desire to take acting classes and leave life on the road in wrestling behind, I understood but wondered if she could really tolerate being out of the spotlight while devoting the amount of patience and time required for an acting career in Los Angeles. Though not wildly successful as actress today, Keibler has at least adjusted well; Chyna…not so much.