SO sad! Groundbreaking female wrestler Chyna – real name Joanie Laurer – has been found dead at the young age of 45. Her legion of fans are in total shock and expressing their grief on Twitter.
This is so incredibly tragic! Former professional wrestler Chyna has died at just 45-years-old. She was found dead in her southern California home on Apr. 20
Chyna – real name Joanie Laurer – was one of the top WWF stars in the early 2000’s, as the leading female star in the WWF, changing the game by teaming up with Triple H to become a founding member of Degeneration X. She was also the first woman to enter the Royal Rumble. There is no cause of death at this time but Chyna had struggled with substance abuse issues over the years and appeared on Celebrity Rehab back in 2008.
A statement was posted on the icon’s Twitter saying “It is with deep sadness to inform you today that we lost a true icon, a real life superhero. She will live forever in the memories of her millions of fans and all of us that loved her.” After she left the WWF, she moved to Japan to wrestle in that country in 2002. Joanie later went on to a foray in the porn industry, making six popular films from 2004-2013, but she never regained her glory days in the ring.
In a report on ProWrestlingSheet.com, a source close to the situation said that Chyna was on medication for anxiety and sleep deprivation.
One of the most intimidating figures in wrestling during the Attitude Era, she was a former World Wrestling Federation (WWF) Women’s Champion and a two-time Intercontinental Champion.
Chyna last wrestled for the company in 2001, and made sporadic appearances for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and Total Non-stop Action (TNA).
She also posed for Playboy for a number of times before wrapping up her wrestling career and venturing to the adult film industry.
Still, her contribution to the wrestling industry has not gone unnoticed.
WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon tweeted her condolences, saying, “I just heard the tragic news that @ChynaJoanLaurer has passed. She was truly a pioneer in our industry and she will be missed. #RIPChyna.”