WWE legend Chyna, real name Joanie Laurer, died Wednesday, her official Twitter page announced. She was 45.
The Los Angeles Times, citing Chyna’s manager and police, reports that she was found dead inside her Redondo Beach home. A cause of death had yet to be determined.
“The Redondo Beach Police received a 911 call from a friend of the apartment unit resident that the female inside was not breathing,” the department said in a statement. “The friend told Redondo Beach Police that the female had not answered her phone in a few days, and went to the location to check on her welfare. Officers arrived on scene and discovered a deceased female inside the location.”
TMZ reports that Chyna’s death is being investigated as a possible overdose.
Affectionately known as “The Ninth Wonder of the World,” Chyna was a game changer for female pro wrestlers during WWE’s “Attitude Era” of the late 1990s and early 2000s. She famously teamed up with Triple H and Shawn Michaels to form the popular stable Degeneration X.
RIP 9th Wonder of the World. Here's hoping WWE inducts you into the HOF. pic.twitter.com/PoqssR7I0M
— Jerry O'Connell (@MrJerryOC) 21 апреля 2016 г.
I had been in contact recently with @ChynaJoanLaurer to guest on The Ross Report.
Unfortunately now that will never happen.
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) 21 апреля 2016 г.
— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) 21 апреля 2016 г.
In June 1999, Chyna became the first woman to compete in the King of the Ring tournament. Later that year she defeated Jeff Jarrett for the Intercontinental championship, becoming the first and only woman to win that belt. After losing the Intercontinental title, Chyna aligned herself with the late Eddie Guerrero to form an on-screen relationship that led to some memorable TV moments from 2000 to 2001.
Chyna officially parted ways with WWE in November of 2001 but not before posing for Playboy while she worked for the company. She went on to star in several adult films, including 2004’s “1 Night in China,” an edited version of a sex tape made with then-boyfriend Sean Waltman (better known as ex-WWE star X-Pac).
Just last year on the Stone Cold Podcast, Triple H, who dated Chyna in real life before marrying WWE executive Stephanie McMahon, addressed the possibility of Chyna being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Chyna wrote an autobiography, “If They Only Knew”, in 2001 that reached No. 1 on the New York Times best sellers list. She also appeared on reality TV shows, most notably VH1’s The Surreal Life in 2005 and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2008 to address her history of substance abuse.
— WWE (@WWE) 21 апреля 2016 г.
#RipChyna all of us on team Chyna love you and will love you forever babe.
— Chyna (@ChynaJoanLaurer) 21 апреля 2016 г.
Reaction to Chyna’s death poured in on Twitter from around the pro wrestling community and beyond.