Joan Laurer, who went by the stage name Chyna in the WWF and WWE (not to be confused with Black Chyna), was found deceased in her home last night. Police were called to her Redondo Beach home after a concerned friend went to check on her and found her unresponsive. She was 46 years old. Foul play is not being considered in the investigation.
Chyna was a true pioneer for women’s wrestling. After coming on the scene in 1997 during the golden era of the WWF, she was billed as the “Ninth Wonder of the World” (Andre the Giant was already marketed as the "eighth wonder") and went on to defeat numerous male competitors like Triple H, Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho.
After leaving the WWE in 2001, she appeared in a few pornographic films and then made her way to the reality television circuit. According to her longtime boyfriend Sean Waltman, during the time she got into porn she was also struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. She appeared on “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” in 2008. Two years later, she was hospitalized for a sleeping medication overdose.
TMZ has reported that police did not find any illegal drugs in Chyna’s home, although there were prescription drugs present. Her social media profiles do not show any signs of distress, although that doesn’t mean she wasn’t struggling.