Facts about Chyna

Chyna died at 45 years old
Died: April 20, 2016
Best known as: Burly former female champion of the WWF

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Chyna Biography

Name at birth: Joan Marie Laurer

Under the nom-de-grapple of Chyna, Joanie Laurer became a female star of professional wrestling at the end of the 1990s. She followed closely in the footsteps of Sable, another female World Wrestling Federation trailblazer.

Chyna got her start in 1997 as a “valet” (or bodyguard) in the WWF, a scripted pro wrestling company, and then moved up to full wrassler status. She made a name for herself as a scowling and extra-buxom powerhouse, winning the nickname “The Ninth Wonder of the World.” She upped her profile by appearing on cover of Playboy magazine in November of 2000. Her autobiography, If They Only Knew, made the New York Times best-seller list in 2001.

Chyna’s career took a nosedive after she left the WWF in 2001, intent on becoming a star on her own. She didn’t become a star, but stayed sporadically in the public eye. In 2004 she appeared in the VH1 reality series for former celebrities, The Surreal Life, and in 2007 she popped up to talk about her struggles with substance abuse in the reality show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.  She wrestled one last time in the TNA Sacrifice pay-per-view match in 2011, and then starred in a series of adult films.

Chyna was found dead at her apartment in Redondo Beach, California on April 20th, 2016. Later that year a coroner’s report identified the cause of death as alcohol mixed with the a variety of prescription drugs, including the opioid pain killers Oxycodone and Oxymorphone, a sleeping pill called Temazepam, the anti-anxiety medication Valium, and the muscle relaxant Nordazepam.

Extra credit

Since the name Chyna was owned by the WWF itself, Joanie Laurer sometimes appeared under the name Chynna Doll after striking out on her own.


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