Details surrounding what exactly happened are still a bit fuzzy, but what has been made public is that she was found at around 7:30 PM last night. A friend went to check on her and reportedly discovered the body and immediately phoned police. According to TMZ, some pill bottles were found at the scene, and authorities are investigating the matter as a possible overdose, given her history with substance abuse problems.
Long before any of those issues, Chyna, real name Joanie Laurer, was a bodybuilder and wannabe professional wrestler. With the help of beloved wrestler HHH and executive Shane McMahon, she joined the WWE in 1997 and quickly became a fan favorite, thanks to her impressive feats of strength and ability to convincingly wrestle alongside the male competitors. In real life, she soon began dating HHH, and for a time, it seemed as if the two would steadily climb the ranks together. Unfortunately, the relationship didn’t work out. HHH later started dating WWE chairman Vince McMahon’s daughter Stephanie, and Chyna was either forced out or left, depending on whose version of the story you believe.
Following her wrestling career, Chyna mostly worked in the reality television and entertainment business. She modeled for Playboy. She appeared on numerous reality shows, and she even filmed several pornographic movies, most famously one with her fellow former wrestler X-Pac. The two dated on and off for awhile, but sadly, the relationship soon devolved into a series of messy headlines involving substance abuse and alleged assaults.
It’s unclear exactly how bad Laurer’s issues with pills and alcohol were during the last few years of her life, but she was hospitalized on a few occasions for various related issues. She cleaned up for a bit and went to Japan to teach English, but the new career never really stuck.
Chyna was, in many ways, the perfect wrestler who came along at the perfect time. She was a very obvious symbol that all of the conventional norms about the wrestling industry were being broken down. She was rude. She was vicious. She fought alongside all of the guys, and she was utterly perfect for her role. It’s a real shame things didn’t work out for the better with WWE because she should have been one of the all time greats.
Cinema Blend’s sincerest thoughts go out to those who loved Chyna and those who appreciated everything she did in the squared circle. She will never be completely replaced.
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