On a recent episode of her Cigars, Scars and Superstars podcast, former WWE superstar Terri Runnels discussed some of her past WrestleMania experiences. Runnels gave her opinion on whether the late Chyna should be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Joanie “Chyna” Laurer passed away in 2016 due to a drug overdose. She was a pioneer of women’s wrestling and is the only woman ever to win the Intercontinental Championship, but the WWE has distanced itself from her because of her public battle with addiction and her time as an adult film actress. Runnels said she thinks she deserves to be in the Hall of Fame because of all her accomplishments. She also commended her ex-husband Goldust for working with Chyna early in her career.
“Without a doubt. Absolutely. Why wouldn’t she be? I can’t really give you that answer. I’m not in the office and I can’t give you that answer, but I know that there is a lot of emotions that are tied in with her, and we know the story of the different relationships and how they ended up happening, but you know, I think Joanie is one of those people, no matter where you live in the world, she is one of the women in the world you have heard of,” Runnels said. “I know that Dustin Rhodes was very good with working with her. In the beginning, I know some of the guys didn’t want to work with her because they thought it would look bad if they worked with a female, but I’m proud of Dustin for being front and center and was willing to work with her immediately.”
Runnels also discussed her Cat Fight with The Kat at WrestleMania 16. She said she was disappointed with being booked in that type of match, but looking back on it she wishes she enjoyed the moment more. She said even though she wasn’t the most skilled wrestler, she did her best to perform well in the match.
“I think we were the only females that were in that show if I’m not mistaken. I remember being frustrated and disappointed that I was going to do this Cat Fight. I thought to me it was low rent, low class, and at the time I wasn’t thinking, hey, hello, Terri, you are in WrestleMania as one of the matches, and so because I was always wanting and trying to have my character be better than, and a step above, it disappointed me that type of match I was in, which probably me expressing that disappointed both Vince’s, Vince McMahon and Vince Russo. I’m sure my disappointment disappointed that. I am honored to have been in that match. I am honored to have been part of WrestleMania 16 and be one of the main matches on the show,” Runnels said. “It’s one of those things where it’s like, we need to use your body. That was basically what me and Stacy [The Kat] were there for. There was humor in it, and a lot of times I was in a match there was humor. I was not a properly trained wrestler. While I did the best I could, and always gave it my absolute best, we all know that Terri Runnels was not the best wrestler so I gave it the old college try no matter how sick to my stomach I was all day long, worrying about what it was going to look like, and if I was going to do okay just being so nervous, I tried as best as I could. The moment I walked through the curtain where Gorilla Position is, the moment I walked through I tried looking like I was confident and happier than a pig in poop to be there and do what I was doing. I am thankful that a lot of people helped me out a long the way, but that was a very interesting thing. I was very happy to have Val Venis, especially with our history. I thought it was very cool to have Val Venis around.”
WWE Hall of Famers Mae Young and The Fabulous Moolah were involved in the match as valets for Runnels and The Kat. Runnels said she didn’t get any feedback from either of the women’s wrestling legends, but she believes they were happy to be a part of that match.
“No, I think anytime Mae and Fabulous Moolah were part of something they were happy to be there,” she said. “I don’t want to get this wrong, but the last thing I want people to think is that I was not proud to be part of WrestleMania. I felt that it was twisted and turned a little bit with the Raw 25 Anniversary. I was so proud to be part of it, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have thoughts and feelings to of wished it would have gone a certain way or if it had this certain thing or that certain thing, but the overall feeling that I had for both things were massive pride and appreciation to be part of it. I think that Mae Young and Moolah were happy to be on WrestleMania and be part of it, and any time they were incorporated in a match and the main story in any of the shows they were really happy and proud to do that. I didn’t get any bad feedback for that from any of them.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Cigars, Scars and Superstars with Terri Runnels with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.