Release Date: June 17th, 2021
Directed by: Marah Strauch, Erik Angra (segment director)
Written by: Marah Strauch
Music by: Ceiri Torjussen
Cast: Chyna, Mick Foley, Triple H, Kevin Nash, Drew Pinsky, various
Rock Skull, Rock Salt Releasing, Citizen Skull Productions, Vice, 90 Minutes
I’m not a big fan of Vice, overall. However, I really like Dark Side of the Ring quite a lot. I attribute that more to the showrunners and not the network, itself.
However, since they recently put out a documentary on Chyna, I figured I’d give it a watch, as their professional wrestling related content, thus far, has been exceptional.
While this didn’t captivate me on the same level of Dark Side of the Ring, it still pulled me in and held my attention. I think a lot of that has to do with Chyna’s story, though, as she lived an interesting but very sad and fucked up life. And I don’t say that lightly or to be disrespectful, it just is what it is and she was a nice person that deserved much more from life than her demons winning in the end.
This goes deep into her backstory before she entered the world of professional wrestling and it was cool finally getting to know her from that perspective.
Beyond that, it discusses her career and how it truly impacted the wrestling business. There are a lot of talking head interviews with several of her former co-workers and friends, as well as those she was most intimate with.
After the wrestling part of her life, things got really dark and I appreciate that this doesn’t gloss over it or try to play it down. This puts it all out there but at the same time, it lets Chyna talk about it and reveal why she did certain things and how having the rug pulled out from under her, professionally and romantically, really destroyed her spirit.
This starts to show you Chyna, in Japan as a teacher, where she started to get her life together and turn things around. However, after returning to the United States, probably too early, she picked up bad habits again and well, the rest is sadly history.
I always liked Chyna but I never felt like she had the right avenue to tell her story until now. Frankly, I like her even more and this is truly a heartbreaking and tragic story and it sucks that she couldn’t overcome the issues that plagued her for so long.
So this is a pretty depressing documentary but I think it’s also good in that it let her speak about this stuff and it also shows people who she was beyond the WWE’s glamor and glitz.