It's always sad to see anyone die at a young age. Seeing pictures of Chyna and me are especially sad though.
Chyna (Joanie Laurer) died way too young. She rose quickly in the world of wrestling. Unfortunately, she also fell too quickly. Once out of the wrestling spotlight, things occasionally got ugly, too.
It's a shame. Importance is placed on the wrong things at times. Politics and other such games too often get mixed in to produce damaging results.
Chyna wasn't clear of her rewsponsibility in the mess, but she deserved better than what she got. At times, it seemed like Chyna was against the world. Nobody was in her corner (except maybe Howard Stern, ionically).
Recently, Chyna started making more punlic appearances. She seemed to be doing well. She was totally friendly and we actually forged a bit of a "fan friendship" from seeing each other several tmes in a short time span.
I thanked her fopr helping me with a literacy program many years ago. She remembered and thanked me for including her. We had some nice moments.
When I heard of her deth, it didn't shock me, unfortunately. Although she seemed to be in a better place, we have seen too many wrestling personalities ride the roller coaster with bad endings.
Her death did sadden me a bit more than usual. She just seemed like a lost soul. I'm sure she'll eventually get inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame 9and rightly so), but I just wish it ocurred during her lifetime. I don't fault the WWE for her passing, but a healing of sorts between the two parties might have gone a long way in helping Chyna to find peace.
Joanie Laurer and me in Schaumburg, IL-November 2015.