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Chyna: If They Only Knew
     

Chyna: If They Only Knew

4.7 32
by Chyna, Joanie Laurer, Michael Angeli (With)
 

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Part feminist, part superhero, Chyna has blazed a trail where no woman had gone before. She has gained the respect of the men inside the World Wrestling Federation, and the world at large. She was the first woman to wear the Intercontinental Championship belt, yet these were not her most significant battles.

She has battled her entire life: against a

Overview

Part feminist, part superhero, Chyna has blazed a trail where no woman had gone before. She has gained the respect of the men inside the World Wrestling Federation, and the world at large. She was the first woman to wear the Intercontinental Championship belt, yet these were not her most significant battles.

She has battled her entire life: against a controlling mother; against a scheming father; and against a world with a predetermined view of what beauty and success should be. She has battled and won her entire life.

If they only knew offers a rare glimpse behind the scenes of the World Wrestling Federation, and a rarer glimpse of what it takes just to get there — the hurdles that must be overcome... and the broken hearts and broken body parts that are suffered along the way.

Chyna — a.k.a. Joanie Laurer — lets us in what it's like to live your dream and overcome your nightmares. Complete with insights from other WWF Superstars, this is a must read for any fan of the WWF and for anyone who wants to see how a real-life hero overcame adversity.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With its beguiling blend of swagger and vulnerability, anger and poise, largesse and disgust, Laurer's tell-all tragicomedy will not disappoint her many fans. Sharp-tongued, idiom-slinging and wry, the voice encountered in these pages is both more and less than the Chyna who appears in the wrestling ring. Laurer's painful childhood and adolescence were characterized by her sense of her difference from her peers (taller, more muscular) and punctuated by the antics of her divorced mother and father. She leads us through the tribulations and joys of searching for her niche (belly dancing, selling pagers in inner-city neighborhoods); of getting the proper breast implant size; of changing the role of women in the WWF; of intra-WWF romance; of celebrity. In one memorable scene, while she is fighting for a spot in the WWF, she outdoes pro-wrestler Hunter (who later becomes her boyfriend) in the weight room. In another, terrible moment, her mother and stepfather burst in on her at the doctor's office, livid because her con-artist father had already used their insurance to cover thousands of dollars of his medical bills. As Laurer eloquently demonstrates, her chosen profession makes a fine metaphor for her life. The book successfully maintains Chyna's awe-inspiring, larger-than-life image at the same time that it imparts deeply personal, poignant and inspirational insight into Joanie Laurer. B&w photos. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
VOYA
In professional wrestling, the classic story line finds the good guy (the baby face) getting beaten up by the bad guy (the heel), setting up the revenge match. Laurer, professional wrestler Chyna of the World Wrestling Federation, brings that same psychology to her autobiography. From her perspective, most people are heels, and she is the baby face using the book to get her revenge. Anyone who wronged her, from her parents to her wrestling teacher, gets his or hers in this fast-and-furious read. There are many mistakes, from misspellings of wrestlers' names to details about certain matches. Noteworthy events in the wrestling world, such as the death of Owen Hart, are not mentioned, but there is an endless anecdote about the Drew Carey Show. The details many readers might be interested in, such as her on-again-off-again relationship with the wrestler Triple H, her best-selling Playboy photo shoot, and the allegations of steroid use, are mostly missing. The language is vulgar, without the purpose or humor that is found in Mick Foley's Have a Nice Day (Regan, 1999/VOYA February 2000), and a date rape incident is described in graphic detail. The book will be popular with the slowly shrinking population of WWF fans, but without the crossover appeal of Foley's book. Laurer has a fascinating story to tell, but unfortunately, it is swallowed under a sea of swearing and score settling. This book is not really a biography but a series of anecdotes and insults with photos, wrapped in hardcover. Photos. VOYA CODES: 1Q 2P S A/YA (Hard to understand how it got published; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2001,Regan/Random House, 325p, $26. Ages 16 to Adult. Reviewer: Patrick Jones SOURCE: VOYA, August 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 3)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060393298
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/30/2001
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Everything Is Preordained

Most people start from the beginning: Miss A was born in the city of B, raised by hardworking, middle-class parents who only wanted the best for Miss A, spent wonderful Indian summers with loving grandparents, graduated with honors, saw the world, settled down, married C, had little D's and E's. Most people embrace a history of themselves for the very reason that it is embraceable — in wrestling it's called playing to somebody's strength. Certainly, I have a past — that I'll get to in due time'and some of it is even embraceable. Hey, I went to a prestigious high school, didn't I? My grandparents had a boat, right? And fathers? I had three, possibly four, if you count the boyfriend in between who never married my mom. What I have then, more than fond memories, are acknowledgments. Look, I was always a big, different . . . visible girl. Heads turned in the third-grade cafeteria (I lived with it), heads turned at the Emmys (I gave them the finger). My life is roughly (ha ha) divided into three parts: Being different and hating it. Being different and accepting it. Being different and, well, embracing it. And the embracing began with a kiss.

Independence Day 1995�God, I look great in a uniform! Standing in front of the closet-door mirror, I am a beaming approximation of a prim and professional flight attendant — tight skirt cut at mid-thigh, wrinkle-free blue blazer, white blouse, looking a little underinflated, frankly (the miracle of the saline baggie would come later), but I make up for it in legs, tensed by two-inch pumps. And, be honest, now — can anybody otherthan a teamster resist my seductive Prince Valiant 'do? �Knock them dead, Joanie Laurer, knock them dead!� my neighbor, Maxine, shouts as I'm climbing into my car. �Hope you get the belt!� she called out, doing the pantomime of some freaky housewife superhero, her hands raised over her head, joining them together as if she were plugging in all the juice needed to light the Florida Keys into an extension cord. Yeah, the belt. Back in flight school everyone wanted to do the belt thing, that little preflight demonstration where you show everybody on the plane how the seat belts buckle. I had just completed a six-week class, training to become a flight attendant'a class of about thirty bubbly hopefuls of both sexes. Most of them were my age, early to mid-twenties, with a couple of divorcées sprinkled in, hiding their forties behind face putty and Jackie O glasses — I actually liked the older ones the most because they knew shame. The ones my age had that typical sense of entitlement, that slacker, world-weary thing going on, as if saying, �Gimme the damn job already, so I can get on with the hating of everything about it.� When graduation time comes (if you're conscious, you graduate), everyone's forgotten everything about safety, inflatable life jackets, where to blow, the psychology of handling some drunken rock star who wants to crap in the coffee service cart — but not the belt, not the demonstration. Even the most jaded, bullshit — slinging, bored, Tetris-playing, tanning losers sat up when the belt was mentioned. And that first time when you're chosen? Wow. You're the point man. Everyone on the freaking plane immediately knows there's something extra-special about you.

They may not pay attention, but believe me, they know you're not just some run-of-the-mill pillow fluffer, right? Of course, I'd be lucky if the planes even had seat belts. My new job was with some outfit now out of business whose name we will withhold anyway. I mean, these guys were way below ValuJet, we're talking bottom of the barrel here. And I couldn't have cared less. Because I've had a lot of jobs. I was a cocktail waitress in a stripper bar and still have bruises on my ass from the pinches of slumming Cuban nationals. I sang in a bar band (when the drummer showed up) and never made a penny. This was before I got clotheslined in the throat so many times that I lost my voice. I fell asleep manning a 900-number chat line, where one guy paid $2.99 a minute to have me listen to him blow his nose into his ex-wife's underpants. (And what a nose. He stayed on the line for a half-hour.) I had more bad jobs than Manpower. But this? Finally I was going in the right direction — in a brand-new ride, I might add. Yeah, I bought a new car, trading in the Jeep Cherokee that said, �Mountain climber, into campfires, hiking, looking for enduring relationship w/clean, hetero male,� for a Ford Probe that spoke of futons, sushi, self-actualization, the piercing-the-tiger position, and take me to your leader! The sky was the limit! Exciting places to go to, people to meet'maybe a marriage proposal from some high-powered commodities broker? Okay, so I was probably selling myself a little short. I knew the job wasn't nearly as glamorous as I wanted it to be, but I could do worse. Hey — a steady paycheck. Benefits. Money. The belt . . .

If you live in the Florida Keys, there's literally only one way to get to Miami and beyond. Route 1, which eventually becomes Interstate 1, runs on the spine of the Florida Keys, then swings northwest, up a stretch of causeway not much wider than The Rock's cocked eyebrow. I'd driven the stretch hundreds of times, and the worst part of it'for me'was driving at night in frog-spawning season.

Thousands of them, crossing the causeway. They pop when you run over them. So it's two lanes, running north and south, at one point narrowing to two hundred yards between Blackwater Sound to the west and Barnes Sound to the east. Other places it gets wide enough to accommodate a gas station or a hamburger joint.

And that's where the trouble starts. Water on both sides of you, fog, desolation, it's easy to get disoriented. We call them ghost riders — people who pull off for something, get all turned around, and pull back onto the wrong side of the causeway...

Meet the Author

Chyna made history in 1999 by becoming the first female to win the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship belt. She has appeared on 3rd Rock from the Sun and Mad TV, and recently encouraged young to "Smackdown the Vote" at the Democratic National Convention. This is her first book.

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Chyna: If They Only Knew 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book and I think it is worth reading. It has a lot of insight into the WWF/WWE and I loved that part that Hunter told! A nice easy read but worth while if you care at all about the industry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Chyna really describes her life. Even though I am rather young this book to me does not conain any language children have not already heard. The things she did is amazing. I am big fan of Chyna but since I read this book I look up to her more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I hadn't really liked Chyna at first, I found her ridiculous and annoying. And I hated how the WWF was making Jericho lose to her, but after I read the book I enjoyed watching her matches a lot more. And it was great watching her beat on the RTC. Well, the book may not be as honest, funny, and interesting as Mankind: Have a Nice Day and Foley is Good, or as thrilling and cool as The Rock Says, but it was a wonderful book and I enjoyed it
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book well it was how can i put it? How about tacky..tacky...and well tacky!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down, and for me to read a book until 5'o clock in the morning , it must be a good.In this book, Chyna really explains herself, and after reading this book, I like her even more than I did before,
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has everything.It lets you knew whats behind the superstar.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think Chyna's If They Only Knew deserves five stars. My attention was caught as soon as I started reading. It only took about four days to read the whole book. She's really descriptive, and gives tons of information of her childhood that I never knew about. I'm huge fan of WWF and Chyna is one of the superstars whose road to fame I have always been curious about. The book, by all means, is very interesting and something I could read over and over again. I always thought I knew a lot about Chyna's life, but I was wrong. You discover her hardships with her family and her struggles to fit in a male-dominated business. Joanie, a.k.a. Chyna, is denied many things growing up because people don't see her as a 'regular female,' because of her extremely huge muscles and physical fitness. I really admire her as a person and she can be looked up to as a role model for children. The only problem I have with this book is, young kids can't read the book because its language is intended for an older audience. Other than that, it's a great book, and I can't wait for a sequel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Chyna has lived a rough life and I am glad that she has shared it with us. She shows us that her life was not all fun for wrestlers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thi sbook is definetly worth more than 5 stars!! I have been anticipating the release of this book since April '00..and it was well worth th wait!! Once I started reading it, I coulnd't put it down. I have been a huge fan since '97, and I thought I knew a lot about her childhood and present life, but in fact..I didn't. Chyna tells you about her childhood..what it was like to live with her parents, and all the hardships she was faced with. The book is a truly inspirational piece of work, and she truly is a role model. I know she is mine!! This is a must read for everyone..except for some of the language usage..
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an awsome book. As a woman, I can relate to the situations Chyna has been though during her life. It was surprisingly humurous, but really in dept and honest. Even the guys would enjoy this book for the content...not just the pics.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent read, i could not put it down until i was done. A look into a truely magnificant woman's life and struggle in a male dominated industry. She is a Beautiful and talented woman, a must read for any wrestling fan and even non wrestling fans.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What can I say? A true role model for any woman trying to make it in a male oriented industry. I've red both Mankind and the Rock's books, but neither kept me glued to the pages like Joanie's did. Hurry up, and start wrestling again soon; it's not the same without you, Chyna!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was good reading. it was a hard book to put down once you started to read it. Miss Lauer has risen above some real tuff obsticales to get where she is today. I feel it would be a must read book for any federation fan.
Guest More than 1 year ago
unbelievably inspiring, I now have so much respect for Joanie. She is a true winner in life as well as the WWF. A must read for the product of a dysfunctional family. You have to read this book. I agree with other reviews... it is the best book out since the Rock says..
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought the book and read it in one sitting due to the amount of interest I had. I have to give Chyna a lot of Credit for being as strong as she is. The book is wonderfully written and easy to understand. No I know why they call her the ninth wonder of the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Chyna's book helps you understand what she went through she explains it to you so that you know. you can see she isn't out for pity and she just loves what she does. When i bought the book I started reading it in the car on the way home it was about 11 am and i finished the book before wrestling came on that night i was so into it. i was getting up and reading funny parts to my mother and a few sad parts. now i wouldnt let my younger sister read this book due to language content but it is a good book. i dont think a younger child would understand some of the things Joanie went through. but the book is the best i have read since the Rock's book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book reallys give insight to the lives of the wrestlers that we see on TV daily. Not only did Chyna/Joanie have to battle with her own life, but then had to fight her way into the WWF, but that was when the battle really began. Not only did she have to fight her way but had to prove to herself and to the men that she belonged in a male oriented business. We take so much for granted on the wrestlers and how much they make but Chyna puts the light on the true issues of the backstage scenes that we as viewers do not see or read about. Chyna tells it like it is and holds no punch's. At times it seems like it poor Chyna but when you look back at what she was dealt with as a child/teenage you understand why. The only problem that I saw with her book was the language factor. Chyna has fans out there of all ages and for a young person to read this book--well I would advise against it. For the older more mature teens out there, they would be able to connect with Joanie/Chyna as there are many teens out there going through what Joanie did and maybe thru her book they will find the hope that they too can succeed in life if you truly put your best effort into it. Chyna is a very interesting person of whom I would love to meet and talk with someday face to face and really get to know more about this 9th Wonder of the World.
Guest More than 1 year ago
once i bought the book i could not put it down. I read it in less than a day and i still wanted to read more i cannot wait for another book by the wwf or chyna. until then i'll just keep reading the book that has them all wonder why chyna is and has become the ninth wonder of the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that this was a good book. I give her alot of credit for not taking the woe-is-me way out but I do feel that she needs to tone down her attitude and cockiness. (don't get me wrong I am a Chyna fan but didn't like her attitude one bit!!!!!).
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is excellent. It tells you how hard it was for Chyna growing up and being so muscular. It tells you about all the strugles she had made since entering the bussness. And beleve me when she steps into the ring with men she casn definetley hold her own.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book tells how hard it was for the ninth wonder on the world Chyna. This is a true life story I will never forget. Chyna along with Michael Angeli write a book worth more than five stars. This is a must read book. Chyna allows her life to be published for all men and woman! Wrestling fan or not you would love this life story!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great it tells us more about Chyna the person.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book...it was so interesting to see what Chyna had too go through as a little kid and how she became what she is today...and he spread in playboy was amazing!