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Former WWE wrestler Chyna dead at 45

Joan Marie Laurer,  who rose up the wrestling ranks to become the 9th Wonder of the World champion in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as Chyna, was found dead Wednesday in her home at Redondo Beach, California apartment.

The Los Angeles Times reported local police received a call from Laurer’s manager Anthony Anzaldo and the apartment building manager. When police arrived, she was found  in her bed with no life signs.

A cause of death is yet to be determined.

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Laurer was a graduate of the University of Tampa Bay (majoring in Spanish Literature) and was a model, bodybuilder and even co-authored a book If They Only Knew, which reached the New York Times best seller list.

“She showed in the WWE what a money maker it can be mixing it up having women wrestle men,” professional wrestler and Crossfire columnist Melissa Coates said. “Which it’s a shame they don’t do any of that nowadays, as it seemed to be a real favorite at the time.”

The WWE posted a quick statement about Laurer’s death  on their website:

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 talented performer, Chyna was a true sports-entertainment pioneer.

Not only was the Superstar dubbed “The Ninth Wonder of the World” a founding member of the groundbreaking faction D-Generation X, but she also holds the distinction of being the first woman to enter the Royal Rumble Match and the first and only woman to win the Intercontinental Championship – WWE

TMZ Sports is reporting no suicide note was found nor were there any signs of of Chyna intending to die. The last known contact she had with anyone was Sunday evening.

Laurer’s death prompted a number of tributes from other wrestlers on social media.

Lauren’s Twitter page indicates she has recently visited some of her former coworkers.

After wrestling, Laurer branched off into adult films and had a well-documented number of splits with former wrestling boyfriends like Triple H and Sean Waltman.

The investigation continues.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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