Chyna, a former WWE Women’s and Intercontinental Champion, has passed away according to a post on her official Twitter account. Her real name was Joanie Laurer.
#RipChyna 😢😢😢 all of us on team Chyna love you and will love you forever babe.
— Chyna (@ChynaJoanLaurer) April 21, 2016
ABC 7’s Entertainment Analyst George Pennacchio in Los Angeles noted via Twitter that she was found in her bed. He listed her age as 46, even though she turned 45 last December:
— George Pennacchio (@abc7george) April 21, 2016
The City of Rendondo Beach Police Department also issued a statement regarding the death of Joanie “Chyna” Laurer, saying that they discovered her body late on Wednesday night. They are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding her passing. You can see the full statement below:
— ABC News (@ABC) April 21, 2016
Many celebrities and members of the wrestling community have taken to Twitter to show their heartfelt comments and disbelief. A selection of tweets are below:
Chyna was fearless to no man & a huge part of #womenswrestling her impact will never be forgotten. thoughts & prayers are with her family 💜
— Charlotte Flair (@MsCharlotteWWE) April 21, 2016
— John Layfield (@JCLayfield) April 21, 2016
Joanie, I'm so sorry. I will always treasure our friendship and will never forget your kindness to my children. RIP https://t.co/pVV0KjbkFt
— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) April 21, 2016
Chyna. Rest in peace.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) April 21, 2016
A life can not be summed up in 140 characters. Chyna broke barriers and made people look at women in wrestling a whole new way.#RIPChyna
— David Lagana (@Lagana) April 21, 2016
Chyna broke barriers in wrestling that I never knew could be broken. #RIP
— Leva Bates (@wrestlingleva) April 21, 2016
I'm tired of my friends dying………
— Brian Heffron aka The Blue Meanie (@BlueMeanieBWO) April 21, 2016
— Chavo Guerrero jr. (@mexwarrior) April 21, 2016
Such a sad day. I will be staying off social media for a few days. This news broke my heart
— Lisa Marie Varon (@REALLiSAMARiE) April 21, 2016
The WWE and in particular Stephanie McMahon, who had a very public falling out and difficult relationship with Chyna, tweeted the following about her passing:
— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) April 21, 2016
Here are comments from Triple H, who dated Chyna for many years.
Someone who wasn't afraid to blaze her own trail & create a path for those who would follow. A pioneer whose star shined bright. #RIPChyna
— Triple H (@TripleH) April 21, 2016
WWE posted this onto their site a few hours ago:
Chyna passes away
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.
All of us here at TJRWrestling also send our condolences to Joanie “Chyna” Laurer’s family and friends.
Ski’s Take – It must be huge news when my mobile phone blows up at 5am UK time. What horrible horrible news to wake up to. It seems that not a month goes by when another member of our beloved industry gets taken from us.
This woman broke down so many barriers in the wrestling industry. A founding member of Degeneration-X, the first woman to participate in the Royal Rumble, being the only female in WWE history to hold and defend the Intercontinental Championship against men and making the fans accept that she and possibly other women wrestlers too can hold their own against their male counterparts. The walls she broke down made it easier for other women to enter a male dominated industry.
There will never again be a pioneer (albeit she didn’t know she was at the time) like her for women’s wrestling.
RIP Joanie “Chyna” Laurer