The official page of former WWE star Joanie “Chyna” Laurer is reporting the former WWE star has passed away at the age of 45. Laurer’s manager has confirmed she was found dead Wednesday at her home in Redondo Beach, California, but the exact cause of death is unknown at this stage. Sources close to the situation claim Chyna had been on medication for anxiety and sleep deprivation and the possibility of an overdose is being investigated.
She became a wrestling star after debuting in 1995, and her close bond with Triple H saw her become one of the original members of D-Generation X — the famous tag team comprised of herself, Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Rick Rude. She was one of the biggest drawcards for WWE, even going on to fight in singles matches against the men. She won several belts, including the Intercontinental championship. Such was her success and popularity she was promoted as the “Ninth Wonder of the World”. Her fame on the wrestling stage helped her branch out into other areas once her career finished.
She appeared on reality TV program The Surreal Life more than a decade ago, then went into the porn industry, releasing six films between 2004-2013. The relationship between Triple H, her former real-life boyfriend, and Stephanie McMahon (with whom Laurer claims he had an affair and then left her for), was a major factor in her dismissal. She left the WWF on November 30, 2001, several months after she had been taken off of television. In 2007, then-WWE employee Jim Ross claimed that she was not fired, but rather chose to leave for personal reasons. Laurer, in a 2015 interview with Vince Russo, stated that after a meeting with Vince McMahon about the Stephanie McMahon situation, she was sent home and was later sent a fax telling her that she was not needed anymore.
In 2002, Laurer joined New Japan Pro Wrestling and made her first appearance at the New Japan Thirtieth Anniversary Show, refereeing a bout between the Steiner Brothers and Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kensuke Sasaki. In September and October 2002, she wrestled several matches for the promotion. During the May 3, 2011, tapings of the May 12 edition of Impact!, Chyna made her TNA debut, introduced by the returning Spike TV network consultant Mick Foley. He introduced her as Kurt Angle’s business associate (she had been previously referred to as his Mistress) and tag team partner at Sacrifice, where they would face Jeff Jarrett and Karen Jarrett. During the taping she also took part in a battle royal, from which she eliminated Jeff.