Former WWE Star Chyna (Joanie Laurer) has died at the age of 45. The news first broke via a post on Chyna’s official Twitter account:
Multiple outlets are reporting that Chyna was found in her home.
Chyna rose to stardom in the WWE during the Attitude Era. She started her career as the bodyguard/manager of Triple H. Her role grew as D-Generation X became more popular. Once the group disbanded, she became a singles start in the company. Chyna became the first woman to compete in the Royal Rumble. She also qualified for the 1999 King of the Ring Tournament and was also at one time the #1 Contender for the WWF Championship (although she never had a match for it).
Chyna’s biggest claim to fame in the company would be winning the Intercontinental Championship from Jeff Jarrett in October 1999. She would go on to have a feud with Chris Jericho over the Title. Chyna would go on to pose for Playboy in 2000. This lead to a feud with the Right to Censor, which ended with her winning the Women’s Championship from Ivory at Wrestlemania 17. Chyna would end up leaving the company in 2001.
After leaving the WWE, Chyna’s personal life became a roller coaster. She would go on to perform in 6 porn movies. She also seemed to be constantly battling a drug problem and personal demons in her life.
Despite the problems in recent years, no one can take away the impact Chyna had on the WWE during the Attitude Era. In many ways, she broke barriers for women in the company. Her star power during this time period, while not at a level of The Rock or Steve Austin, was still very high.
We at HTCWrestling send our condolences to the friends and family of Chyna.