Former professional wrestling star Joanie “Chyna” Laurer has passed away at the age of 45.
On April 20th, a friend of Laurer had went to her apartment in Redondo Beach, CA to check on her welfare after not hearing from her in days. The friend placed a call to police after finding Laurer in her apartment and unresponsive. An investigation is currently underway by the Redondo Beach Police Department with a possible overdose suspected at this time. Laurer apparently had a history with drugs and despite no illegal ones being found, several prescription bottles have been. Laurer, openly talked about her drug issues on Howard Sterns radio show in 2000 then again when she appeared on celebrity rehab in 2008 on MTV. For anyone who has had the experience of dealing with someone who abused a substance before, may get the impression that something certainly seems off in her latest YouTube video.
WWE has also released a statement regarding the death of Joanie Laurer,
WWE is saddened to learn of reports that Joanie Laurer, best known for competing in WWE as Chyna, has passed away.
A physically striking and wildly talented performer, Chyna was a true sports-entertainment pioneer. Not only did the Superstar dubbed “The Ninth Wonder of the World” help found the groundbreaking faction D-Generation X, but she also holds the distinction of being the first and only female to win the Intercontinental Championship.
WWE extends its condolences to Laurer’s family, friends and fans.
#RipChyna ??? all of us on team Chyna love you and will love you forever babe.
— Chyna (@ChynaJoanLaurer) April 21, 2016
Chyna made her debut in the WWE in February of 1997, was one of the original members of Degeneration X and was also the first woman ever to compete in the Royal Rumble. Chyna left the WWE amidst controversy that her then-boyfriend Triple H was involved with Stephanie McMahon. She wrestled for several other promotions such as New Japan and TNA but made headlines again after appearing in a porno film titled 1 Night in Chyna with X-Pac Sean Waltman. She later went on to star in five more films and she also received AVN awards on two separate occasions for her performances.