The professional wrestling world is in mourning today, after news broke last night that Joanie Laurer, best known as WWE Superstar Chyna, passed away at the age of 45. We showed you a number of social media posts that came in last night, from pro wrestlers past and present, paying tribute to this squared circle icon. As the news continued to spread, even more wrestlers paid their respects through social media, as you can see in the several tweets we've gathered below.
The former wrestler's manager told E! News last night that "she was found peacefully," and police couldn't find any signs of foul play. Authorities were called to Chyna's apartment in Redondo Beach, California on Wednesday afternoon, after a friend discovered she was not breathing. She was pronounced dead on the scene, and the cause of death is currently unknown.
Ever since debuting in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), before the name was changed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Chyna broke new ground, as she became dubbed The 9th Wonder of the World. The nickname was an homage to Andre the Giant, who was known as the 8th Wonder of the World. She was a founding member of the popular group D-Generation X, and became the first female wrestler to win the Intercontinental Championship. She also broke new ground by becoming the first female wrestler to compete in the Royal Rumble and King of the Ring events.
Chyna left the WWF in 2001, and would later wrestle for New Japan Pro Wrestling and Total Non-Stop Action (TNA). She also posed for Playboy twice, and appeared on reality shows such as Fear Factor, The Surreal Life and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. She also guest starred on TV shows such as 3rd Rock From the Sun and Pacific Blue before transitioning into the adult film industry. She released two sex tapes with fellow wrestler Sean Waltman, a.k.a. X-Pac, and starred in a number of pornographic films such as Avengers XXX: A Porn Parody.
It isn't known if an autopsy will be performed to determined a /garry-shandling-dead-rip/cause of death, but we'll be sure to keep you posted with any updates regarding the death of Chyna. While we wait for more information to come in, take a look at some of the tweets from pro wrestlers of several different eras, paying tribute to the 9th Wonder of the World, Chyna.
Shattered glass ceilings, kicked down doors, broke gender barriers, she was an anomaly & untouchable. Rest now-ur legacy lives on #RIPChyna— Trish Stratus (@trishstratuscom) April 21, 2016
Life can be hard and incredibly cruel, to all of us, none are exempt. But it can also be beautiful. Hug your loved ones tight. …— Gregory Shane Helms (@ShaneHelmsCom) April 21, 2016
All I can say is that Chyna was always incredibly kind to me. I never forgot that. Life can be rough even to the strongest amongst us.— Gregory Shane Helms (@ShaneHelmsCom) April 21, 2016
Tell them that you love them, let them know. In the end, that will be ALL that truly matters.— Gregory Shane Helms (@ShaneHelmsCom) April 21, 2016
Chyna was fearless to no man & a huge part of #womenswrestling her impact will never be forgotten. thoughts & prayers are with her family 💜— Charlotte (@MsCharlotteWWE) April 21, 2016
The epitome of the word pioneer. Godspeed my fellow Kowalski alum Chyna. You reinvented what a female wrestler is. May you be at peace.— Frankie Kazarian (@FrankieKazarian) April 21, 2016
Very sorry to hear of the passing of Joanie Laurer.Always lovely to be around.— William Regal (@RealKingRegal) April 21, 2016
Thank you Chyna 4 being a huge inspiration in my wrestling journey!You are a motivation to many & will leave a mark 4 powerful women! #wwe— Dana Brooke WWE (@DanaBrookeWWE) April 21, 2016
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Joanie "Chyna" today. RIP Joanie.— Ted DiBiase (@MDMTedDiBiase) April 21, 2016
Someone who didn't get enough credit for what she did for women in wrestling. Sadly she will get that recognition now. RIP Chyna.— The Young Bucks (@NickJacksonYB) April 21, 2016
Saddened to hear Joanie Laurer has passed. Nothing more can be said that hasn't already about the impact she had on our business. #RIPChyna— Austin Healy Aries (@AustinAries) April 21, 2016
Saddened to hear of the passing of Chyna. My condolences to her family. Celebrate her life & the footprint she left on the world #RIPChyna— The Miz (@mikethemiz) April 21, 2016
Thoughts and prayers go out to Chyna's family. She was always cool with me. #Rip9thWonder— James Storm (@JamesStormBrand) April 21, 2016
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
Devastated over Chyna passing,she dated Brutus years before wrestling,such a beautiful soul and so kind to my children,rip Joanie love u. HH— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) April 21, 2016
My prayers go out to Joanie Laurer and her family. It's very sad to hear this news. Chyna was revolutionary for women in wrestling.— Nattie (@NatbyNature) April 21, 2016
Tragic to hear about the passing of Chyna. A true pioneer. #RIPChyna— Becky Lynch (@BeckyLynchWWE) April 21, 2016
So sad to hear about Chyna. #RIPChyna— Zack Ryder (@ZackRyder) 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