Last December, GLCW, probably the largest wrestling promotion in Wisconsin, ran their annual Blizzard Brawl show. Every year, promoter Dave Herro spares no expense in making the event the most memorable of the year. From outstanding wrestling featuring the best of the Milwaukee scene, to beloved WWE Superstars, Blizzard Brawl is always the highlight of the Christmas Holiday Season.
And December, 2015 would be no exception to the rule. A surprise announcement was made that former D-Generation X member Chyna was joining the line-up. True to Dave's word, Chyna appeared to the delight of wrestling fans young and old, and from all accounts, was a class act.
She made a few more, occasional appearances at wrestling shows and the usual entertainment related shows. Not so much as a tour but in a series of surprise appearances. Not long ago, she made an appearance in Kentucky, which prompted the following dialogue.
At the time, my work schedule did not allow me the chance to make the trek north for the show. But I know a few wrestling fans around here, so I asked them if they were interested in going to the appearance. The response I got back was cold at best, and down right bitter and mean at worst.
One fan prattled on and on about Chyna's ill-fated reality show career, pointing out every alcohol soaked segment of VH1's The Surreal Life. Another threw slut-shaming slurs into the air and pointed out every botch and miscue from dozens of episodes of Monday Night Raw. Yet another pointed out her “Dominatrix-Xena” wardrobe, making fun of how out of place the garb looked with the more casual wear of D-X. And then a Holy Roller used this as a platform to beat his chest, misquote the Bible and prattle off a long list of lies and untruths about the porn industry, in relation to Chyna's movie career, which prompted another to give away details about the adult films I never asked for.
I sighed, and simply changed the subject. The angst-ridden comments led me to believe that even for Kentucky, this topic was too far gone to be salvaged by even the loudest “Bless your Heart”.
Well April 20th arrived, and I braced myself for a flood of marijuana talks, both pro and anti.
And you know, between the sudden announcement of Chyna's passing and the news of Harriet Tubman sharing the $20 bill with pro-slavery President Andrew Jackson, I don't think I even heard anything about the medicinal weed that entire day.
Instead, I saw those very same anti-Chyna naysayers, plastering Facebook with long-winded tributes and YouTube videos of her time in the ring. Only three guys mentioned her pornography career in still mean-spirited jest. As for the rest? I bet you've memorized the comments by now.
Oh Chyna was my childhood hero! #RIPChyna
Chyna was an inspiration to women everywhere. #BestInTheWorld
Chyna was my first crush growing up. #Heartbroken
Chyna was a brave soul and a pioneer to women. #ThankYouChyna
Chyna paved the way for women so they wouldn't be ashamed of sex or their bodies. #Empowering
Chyna was the best Women's champ ever!! #Chyna
Hey @WWE!! Induct Chyna already! #ChynaHOF
The very same people who a week earlier had been chiding Chyna on Twitter and making fun of her, were now praying for her soul to return, mourning her loss and sharing fond memories.
Have we become so spineless as a country that we think this is normal?
So-called “fans” of Chyna spent year after year, harassing this woman, wishing death upon her, slut-shaming her and even going so far as to heckle her at appearances and on social media.
The non-stop harassment was considered “normal” because she was a woman and based on her gender, “deserved” it.
The death threats? Also normal. You enjoy sex? You can wrestle? How dare you! Only MEN can enjoy those things. Now accept our unwarranted dick pics and like this abuse, like it right now, whore!
Be grateful to me for gracing you with my un-asked-for harassment. I bootlegged your matches via Justin.tv, that means I know more about wrestling than you ever did in your five plus years as an active competitor. I will armchair book and you will worship me for it!
Oh, you're dead now? You were my idol, my crush and my muse. I shall now flood the internet with my hatred of death for taking you so young. RIP in hashtags, Chyna-chan. I must now curse the WWE for not granting you co-ownership of the company, the heavyweight title and the main event spot at WrestleMania. Truthfully it was you who should have ended the Undertaker's streak, for now you are dead, which is erasing all of the harassment I bombarded your page with in life. Now people will know I was your number one fan, for I have hashtagged that match I said you botched with adornments of praise. Rest in power, my angel.
Unless I'm a jerk, trapped in 2010, who still thinks suicide-bating is funny, peaked in middle school and still live in my parents' basement. In which case I will now paste poorly photo-shopped pictures and dick pics all over the Facebook walls of your loved ones while I update your hate page. Your loved ones had better worship me and then kill themselves, or I will lie and tell people I exist on the Autism spectrum, so you can't sue me for harassing you into the ground. Worship my hashtag, my fake pictures are the “REAL truth” about you. And don't you dare tell me to stop! Your job is to like my harassment as me “expressing myself”. Your insistence that I stop is the REAL harassment, now I must report your Facebook! You are the one who needs to suck it up, while I post naked photos pf Chyna in an effort to demean her because she was a porn star. Don't be weak.
This is the psychotic, nonsensical treatment of celebrities male and female, is only highlighted in ignorance once death has reared it's unwelcome head. The insensitive monsters we are when a celebrity is alive, become simpering, crocodile criers when that same celebrity we tortured dies.
So I say we stop being fake.
If you don't like a celebrity, fine. But don't act like you were their biggest fan when they die.
If you were too cheap to pony up the $10 general admission ticket to see them when they were alive, don't act like your house is plastered in their posters when they die.
It's as sad and pathetic to watch as the dithered, misspelled, poorly photo-shopped “joke” you spammed on her Facebook memorial.
Koriander Bullard is an author, cartoonist and human rights advocate. Keep up with her on Facebook!