Chyna Dies at 45: Fellow Wrestlers Mourn WWE Legend – 'Shattered Glass Ceilings, Kicked Down Doors, Broke Gender Barriers'

Joanie "Chyna" Laurer, legendary WWE wrestler, was found dead on Wednesday

Photo: Laura Farr/Newsmakers

WWE legend Chyna, real name Joanie Laurer, quite literally packed a punch – and her peers will never forget it.

The iconic WWE wrestler, who died at age 45 on Wednesday, was an original member of D-Generation X, partnering with other wrestling stars like Triple H and Sean Michaels. After her time in the ring, Laurer posed for Playboy and appeared on reality series The Surreal Life, which documented her struggle with alcohol.

Fellow female praised her as a “revolutionary” trailblazer who “shattered glass ceilings, kicked down doors and broke gender barriers.”

Other costars paid tribute to her humanity. “I will always treasure our friendship and will never forget your kindness,” wrote Mick Foley.

“Chyna was revolutionary for women in wrestling,” wrote Natalya, the third-generation female wrestler from the Hart family.

TNA wrestler Gregory Shane Helms wrote that “Chyna was always incredibly kind to me. I never forgot that.”

“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,” he added.

Other celebrities, including Laurer’s Surreal Life costar Adrienne Curry and Hulk Hogan’s daughter Brooke, also used Twitter to memorialize the star.

The WWE issued a statement on their website about Laurer’s death, calling her “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.”

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