Arnold Furious: Given the WWF’s constant attempts to reach a crossover market, it’s almost a surprise they don’t have a whole line of keep fit video releases. And yet if you type “WWF fitness” into Play.com the only wrestling related entertainment that comes up is Triple H movie The Chaperone. The only exercise you’d get from that movie is quickly rushing to eject the DVD as soon as it starts to save yourself 103 minutes of painfully unfunny Triple H dramedy. So this VHS release is the only attempt to crack the fitness market.
This tape is subtitled “More Than Meets the Eye”, which was also the marketing terminology used for Transformers toys back in the 80s. I’d rather spend the following 45-minutes watching old Transformers cartoons. I’m not entirely sure what they’re getting at there. Chyna, when looked upon, is a muscular bodybuilding woman. So how is she “more than meets the eye”? I guess they must be referring to her personality, but it’s a fitness video!
Host is Chyna, obviously, and she opens by discussing her role in wrestling and how she considers being “the top superstar wrestler that has ever been” a fortunate career. She talks more about how sexy she feels than how talented she is, which is a bit odd. We get a few talking head interviews with WWF superstars who say Chyna works harder in the gym than they do. Hunter gushes about her form, comparing her to a Greek statue and virtually creams his pants in the process. Chyna has a chat with a few wrestlers about their workout, which leads to Big Show doing jumping jacks while Chyna shoots the shit with Stephanie McMahon. This would be before Steph made off with Chyna’s boyfriend, presumably. Show is actually hilarious and makes me wonder where his videotape is. ‘Big Show Fitness’ would be awesome. It’d involve chain-smoking cigarettes and eating cheeseburgers, but he’s a funny guy so it’d be good TV.
In order to do Chyna’s workout you need three sets of weights, a jumping rope. And 40 spare minutes. Chyna promises to work “every single of inch of your body”. So get warmed up folks, get up off your sofa and start punching! Chyna presents her face as a target. Is this the Sean Waltman exercise tape? “Kane, Rock, Triple H” she shouts as if she’s punching out main eventers. Next up is squats. Feeling the burn yet readers? “Rome wasn’t built in a day” she philosophically advises while giving us an eyeful of her cleavage. Next is the jump rope, which she claims can be done anywhere. Anywhere with a high enough ceiling! If I tried to jump rope in front of the office TV, three things would happen: 1. I’d fall over my feet because I’m uncoordinated. 2. The rope would get tangled up in the ceiling fan. 3. James’ black coffee would get knocked over and he would become very grouchy indeed.
ROUND 1! I wasn’t aware we were working a round system, but we head into some strength training as Chyna lies on her back, positioning the camera to look straight down her top for the second time. She goes to the heavy weights first before switching to medium weights for bicep curls. “You need a licence to carry these guns” says Chyna. No wonder they didn’t let her talk for the first year of her WWF run. Third set is light weights lifted out to the shoulder. “Like Val Venis and D’Lo Brown” suggests Chyna, though each weight is tiny. From those reps we go right into the cardio and knee lifts. Just a quick reminder: this tape costs as little as $2 (though more like £6 for UK readers!). After a few vigorous knee lifts we go into recovery, which isn’t the foetal position but rather puffing your chest out, so the viewers at home get a good solid look at your jugs for the third time in 10-minutes.
ROUND 2! Chyna and her massive hooters encourage us into Round 2 where we’ll be blasting our triceps. My triceps need a good blasting, I don’t know about yours. I swear Chyna is advertising her availability as a porn star even here as she moans, grunts, imagines everyone sweating and does a lot of bending over in tight clothing. I do enjoy the various cutaways where Chyna stresses how these exercises help you press various WWF superstars. Two sets of reps take us into cardio #2, which is lunges. I can’t even watch a lunge without thinking of Joey Tribbiani, but thankfully Chyna adds in uppercuts at groin level to show how this exercise has benefitted her wrestling career, interspersed with footage of her nut-shotting dudes on TV. In case everyone is getting too excited, we need to stretch and warm down again.
ROUND 3! Chyna teases doing girls push ups before delivering the real deal, adding that you can do a push up anywhere. Well, not on a high wire. Or in the cockpit of a fighter jet. Don’t lie to the viewers, Chyna. After that Chyna goes to town on her abs before mentioning her “nice firm buttocks”. Exercise freaks are just weird people. I’m glad Arnold Schwarzenegger is around to motivate people, because if we were stuck with Richard Simmons, Cher, Mr. Motivator and all those other weirdoes, nobody would work out at all. Chyna moves on to squat thrusts and I almost wish I was doing the workout instead of writing about it as I might actually get something out of the tape. Chyna yells “you can do this” as she continues the routine, as if sensing my curiosity. I really couldn’t! Not without remodelling my office.
ROUND 4! Chyna poses in between rounds, and ahead of Round 4, as if to build it up as the most intense, decides to get her chest bollocks out and pose with one hand across them. Back to the good old bicep curls, sitting down this time and Chyna points out her left arm is weaker than the right. “They don’t call me the 9th Wonder of the World for nothing” says Chyna before encouraging us to become the 10th, 11th and 12th. Is she talking directly to the three writers of this book, I wonder? That Lee Maughan, he’s the 11th Wonder of the World, they’ll be saying. Maybe. More weights lifted and this time it’s behind her head, which apparently helps her to get armdragged by Kurt Angle as that’s the footage that accompanies it. Back to cardio with more squats and standing jumps. “Hard work makes a great body” preaches Chyna. Meh, it sounds too much like hard work.
ROUND 5! Thankfully Chyna doesn’t follow through on the stripping and opts for a “most muscular” pose as a tribute to Ravishing Rick Rude. At least that’s how I’m interpreting it. He is simply ravishing and they were in the same stable. More vertical lifts to the shoulder with the light weights. I’m not the best person to describe all this as I don’t do much working out, unless lifting heavy pint glasses counts. “My butt has to look good” says Chyna before disparaging the rear end of Rikishi. He’s Samoan, it’s genetics. Although putting mayonnaise on everything probably doesn’t help. Back to the cardio with a weird crabwalk thing. I call it the Gran Naniwa. “Woo, I’m pooped” says Chyna before we head into…
ROUND 6! After all that intensity Chyna balances on her elbows and toes and just stays there. My abs hurt just watching. She continues with abdominal exercises, citing that good abs are the basis for everything else. One thing I’ve really liked about this workout is the variety but this 6th round is a vicious assault on the abdominal region, which is a really easy place to do muscle damage if you go in unprepared. If I was doing the workout while watching this I would skip most of Round 6, but then my abs suck. I have one large circular ab, full of beer. The last round focuses entirely on blasting those abs and contains no weights at all. I’m not going to argue with Chyna’s technique as she’s the one with the incredibly muscular body. She says she wanted to be an inspiration to others and that’s the workout done.
Summary: It’s a workout tape and they really trim the fat around it. There is a five minute introduction, which is the most entertaining bit of the tape and then a 40-minute workout. It’s no better or no worse than other workout tapes that are available. A point I made at the start is the lack of fitness tapes and such from the WWF. I can only assume this didn’t sell very well, and the whole ICOPRO deal was a bit of a set back too. Either that or the WWF looked at the audience and thought they didn’t have the capacity for self improvement. I hear ya, WWF, self improvement is hard. As an instructor Chyna comes across okay. I’m not overly keen on fitness instructor types who spend their lives telling genetically inferior people to try harder and being all bouncy and enthused, but Chyna is no worse than the rest. If you’re planning on watching this for the sake of completionism, you really don’t need to. The opening five minutes are good for a laugh, mainly because of Big Show, but the rest is just a workout. I like how they tried to tie it into wrestling, but seeing as the tape is intended as a workout, the cutaways had to be quick and it doesn’t allow for much of a viewing experience. Or you could bust out the jump rope and three sets of weights and burn off some fat, tubby.