Chyna Doll, Former WWE Wrestler, Has Passed Away

By McCarton Ackerman 04/21/16
Chyna Doll, Former WWE Wrestler, Has Passed Away
Photo viaShutterstock/TinselTown

Former WWE champion Chyna was found dead in her Redondo Beach home on Wednesday evening. She was 46 years old.

CNN reports that Chyna, born Joan Laurer, was in her bedroom and unresponsive when a friend discovered her body. Given her history of substance abuse, her death is being investigated as a possible drug overdose. Although prescription bottles were found in her home, there were no illegal substances or any sign of foul play, according to TMZ.

Chyna joined the WWE in 1997 (back when it was the WWF) and quickly broke ground with her bodybuilder physique and strength, earning the nickname "The Ninth Wonder of the World." She was also the first female wrestler to regularly square off against men, and the first and only woman to win the Intercontinental Championship in 1999. She left the WWE in November 2001 while still holding the Women’s Championship title.

The former champion struggled professionally after leaving the WWE. Her career was reduced to occasional reality show appearances and small parts in B movies. She released her first pornographic film in 2004, 1 Night in Chyna, and starred in five others over the next decade. 

Chyna's issues with substance abuse reportedly started after leaving the WWE. Her issues became apparent when she slurred her words during a 2005 interview with Howard Stern. She told the radio host she wanted to get sober, but at the same time said she would do a line of cocaine if it was in front of her. Chyna appeared on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2008, but denied she was an addict. In December of that year, she was rushed to the hospital after friends found her passed out on her birthday with cuts on her arms. Chyna was hospitalized again in 2010 after overdosing on sleeping pills.

Chyna ended her adult film career in 2013 and moved to Japan to teach English. She appeared happy and refreshed upon returning to the states in 2015, but appeared to have struggled with drugs since then. Earlier this week, Chyna posted a YouTube video of herself walking around her apartment and making a smoothie.

Fans are now demanding that Chyna be inducted posthumously into the WWE Hall of Fame. Her ex-boyfriend Paul Levesque, formerly known as the wrestler Triple H who is now a WWE executive, told the Daily Mirror this week that she deserved it. "You know it’s not my decision, but I definitely think, as I have said before, that what she did in her life certainly warrants it," he said. "There was never anybody like her before her, and there will never be anybody like her after." 

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.