Article #25


Would You Believe, Chyna Syndrome II?


It’s really interesting, when you think about it, how much wrestling owes to the comic book industry (or is that vice versa?).  Up to the 1950s wrestling was looked upon as a legitimate tough guy competition, and while the guys were still tough, it was around this time that the gimmicky nature of the business really started to flourish.  There were pretty boys, Indians and the like, larger than life heroes and villains battling it out in the squared circle.  And there were storylines that made the fans come back again and again.  And where else do larger than life, oddly garbed figures battle frequently – why the comic books of course.  I’m not saying that comics were the reason for wrestling’s metamorphosis from sport to entertainment, rather it was one of the many wells wrestlers and promoters may have tapped along the way for inspiration.


And then there’s the direct correlation as comic books often were a showcase for wrestling.  I can recall an old Lois Lane issue where the storyline focused on wrestling, with Lois trying to figure out how one wrestler could constantly beat all comers.  Turns out a sniper was using drug tipped darts to turn the outcomes in his favor (and here I thought all matches were decided beforehand).  Later on, wrestling companies would join forces with comic companies to churn out some merchandise – some really, really bad merchandise.  Like the following:




Back in the day the WWF (World Wrestling Federation, not World Wildlife Fund) had a deal with CHAOS! Comics, they of Lady Death fame, to produce a series of comics based on current superstars.  Nowadays the WWF is known as World Wrestling Entertainment or WWE, though it’s not really called wrestling anymore as the company prefers Sports Entertainment (which would have turned their brand name to WSE – or if you’re hooked on phonics Woo-Sie/wussy and, huh, no wonder they stuck with the WWE instead of WSE).  But I digress.


You know what?  CHAOS! was primarily publishing horror comics and I don’t know about you, but that cover gives me the heebie-jeebies.  It just really creeps me out, and I’m being dead serious here.  Chyna was the “9th wonder of the world” during 2001, and had the WWE machine push her into releasing her own biography, comics and other merchandise that most people wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole – especially the Playboy issue.  Seriously, look at the photo above, now think Playboy.  You can’t – it’s just impossible to put the two together, yet it actually happened.  So what happened to Chyna since then?  Well, true story, her then current boyfriend, wrestler (or is that sports entertainer?) HHH dumped her then dated and married the WWE owner’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon.  And Chyna, well, she’s seen better days.  Feel free to surf the web for her current whereabouts, and what she’s done after the WWE and her parted ways.  In short, Surreal Life, porn, really bad B-movie(s) and, uhm, that’s about it.  A great website is that features a lot of “Chynacapades” along with many other wacky wrestling moments.  It’s hilarious!


It’s incredible that the book we’ll be looking at is actually a sequel!  That means, somehow, the first volume sold enough copies to warrant a second book.  It boggles the mind.  Let’s have a look see inside, shall we?  Oh, and keep an eye out for a special guest surprise appearance!




Point one, believe it or not, this issue is actually illustrated by one Humberto Ramos, whose other credit to fame includes drawing Wonder Woman in that brief run where she was replaced by Artemis.  So you’ve got to figure if anyone knows Amazons, he would.  Yet something about Chyna in a full length evening gown doesn’t seem quite right…




Ah yes, that’s… well, I can’t honestly say better.  More likely seems apt.  The storyline, in case you don’t want to read the comic page (and I really can’t blame you if you don’t want to read it), is that professional bodyguard Chyna must protect and deliver the young lady to the attorney general in one piece.  The cops can’t be trusted to do it because, as the detective says, the cops in the town are really crooked.  My first impression would be, given that the bodyguard being hired looks like a ‘roided up dominatrix, would be thanks but no thanks, I’ll take my chances.  Ah well, maybe Xena, I mean Chyna, has a good plan…




Two things – 1) Looks like Chyna will be matching wits with Rambo… sorry, I mean Rambeau.  That would be Rambo’s lesser known Cajun half-brother.  Scary.

2) I’ve never thought about it before, but a hang-glider would be an effective way to solve the problem of urban congestion.  Just imagine gliding into the office, laughing at those suckers below – until you realize that no one bothered to open the office window…




Okay, so the witness is scared witless, screams, and get remonstrated for it as “the idea is to avoid detection.”  Yet they hop on a very loud motorcycle in the nice, quiet park.  Okay.  Fun fact – neither of them are wearing helmets.  So, first bump they hit, the town’s star witness is street pizza… brilliant!




Lucky for our witness gal that she landed in a muddy bog.  Okay boys and girls, quick question.  How many of you are tired of paying too much for your cell phone plan?




Two things – 1) Either Chyna is a) from Krypton, or b) she’s had the help of a “special friend” that congress and baseball know all too well, OR c) that “cell phone” was made thin plastic and was filled with candy.  Select your answer now.

2) Given that Chyna and her leather two-piece decide it’s best to go against a well armed helicopter, I’d opt for answer b).




One bullet in the gas tank, and it’s Chyna 1 – Helicopter 0!  Don’t worry kids, her leather two-piece is ample protection from the explosion.  But wait, Rambo – I mean Rambeau is here!  Gasp!  What could this mean?  Well, let’s skip a few pages ahead – trust me, you won’t be missing anything… and actually, for those of you who are squeamish or prone to nausea, avert your eyes from the last panel of the following page…




Egad, in true wrestling style it’s a swerve!  The good little witness is actually working for the bad guys!  But why Shelley, why?  No, seriously, why bother with the elaborate hoopla?  Just have Shell delivered to the attorney general and let her do her thing and blow the attorney away.  It makes no sense… speaking of which…




She was able to push over about a dozen metal beams!  Are you f***ing kidding me!?!  One of those beams weighs what, about a ton?  And how the hell did Rambeau survive anyway?


Okay, once again, please avert your eyes from the final panel of the following page…




I told you to avert your eyes, but did you listen?  The guy in the green suit didn’t listen either, and look at him now.  Petrified.  That’s the exact same pose the ambulance team found him in 20 minutes later.  Man that’s a nasty angle – for the love of all things decent and right in the world, scroll down!  Scroll down now!!!




So, Shelley gets to shoot the attorney general in the back of the chair, only to discover that it wasn’t her, but Chyna instead!  And that attorney general chairs are apparently bullet proof.  And Chyna is able to tear apart a steel handgun with her BARE HANDS!  Why not, after all she can push over about 12 tons and take on helicopters…


AND that this book actually has 2 swerves!  Shelley was being set up all the time that she thought Chyna was being set up.  All this to save the attorney general, Betty White!  Way to go Betty!




And in typical wrestling fashion, someone who should have suffered enough punishment to be dead (good ol’ Rambeau), miraculously finds his second wind, only to be slammed through a table (okay, it’s a desk, not a table, whatever – they’re both made out of wood).  Now Chyna can be off to, I don’t know, adjust her codpiece by the looks of the last panel above.  Ugh.  Okay, enough of this.  I feel all dirty now – man I really need a shower...



Be warned – what’s below is more blue humor than this site usually delivers.




Periodically we’ll find panels that make us pause and wonder, what the hell were they thinking?  Sort of like what Dr. Wertham was doing in the 1950s, here’s a moment he would have cited in Seduction of the Innocent were he to publish it today.  Taken from Wonder Woman Volume 2 #97 and illustrated by Humberto Ramos (gee, that name’s familiar) here are a few panels for your perusal.  And no, that’s not Chyna below, that’s Wonder Woman:






Now I understand why the heavily censored 1950s and onwards comics dealt with crazy purple knock-out gas instead of things like the Joker’s “special facial cream”.


Till next time…