Vice TV announced the premiere of Vice Versa: Chyna, the first authorized documentary about the iconic women’s wrestler.
The film comes from director Marah Strauch (Sunshine Superman), and traces the life of Joanie “Chyna” Laurer, who rose to stardom in pro wrestling in the late 1990s, only to have her career and life slowly fall apart after being fired by the WWE. Struggling with drugs, she appeared on reality shows like The Surreal Life and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, made adult films, taught English in Japan, and joined the Mormon church, before dying of a drug overdose in 2016.
The film will premiere on Vice TV on June 17. The new doc expands the wrestling content on Vice, which recently launched the third season of its successful Dark Side of the Ring documentary series. It’s also part of Vice’s ‘Vice Versa’ series of independent documentary specials.
Vice Versa: Chyna also features exclusive footage from an abandoned documentary project that people in Laurer’s circle were working on when she died. The doc also features interviews with her mother Jan LaQue and her sister Kathy Hamilton, as well as former wrestling stars like Sean Waltman (Laurer’s former fiancé), Mick Foley and Billy Gunn, as well as Celebrity Rehab host Dr. Drew Pinsky.
“With the critical acclaim and success of our hit series, Dark Side of the Ring, we wanted to expand our wrestling content through this installment of ‘Vice Versa’,” said Catherine Whyte, executive vice president & head of production for Vice TV in a release.
“Chyna’s story is so powerful — she was a disruptor and an icon. While some may have preferred Chyna’s last days remain in the past, Vice TV will continue to shine a light on stories others are afraid to tell.”
Vice Versa: Chyna is produced by Citizen Skull and Rock Salt Releasing. It was executive produced by Daisy Hamilton and Mark Myers and co-produced by Eric Bruggemann.