The wrestling world awoke to the sad news that Chyna Joanie Laurer had died. She was only 45 years old. Regardless of the personal choices that she made, she was a real person who had real friends and colleagues in the pro wrestling business. Here are some of the posts, tweets and videos that have been posted so far online.
TRIPLE H, PAUL LESVEQUE:
@TripleH: 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
@StephMcMahon: I just heard the tragic news that @ChynaJoanLaurer has passed. She was truly a pioneer in our industry, and she will be missed. #RIPChyna
MICK FOLEY, on Facebook:
My heart is aching. My eyes are swollen from crying, having just talked to Joan Laurer’s manager Anthony Anzaldo on the phone and been told that Chyna, the 9th Wonder of the World was no longer with us; gone at only 45.
I will always be grateful for the friendship I shared with her, but particularly so for the kindness she showed my children, especially Noelle when she was younger – taking her by the hand at WWE events in the late 90’s – off to have her makeup done, her fingernails painted; bonding time between big, strong Joanie, and her tiny sidekick. A father doesn’t forget that type of kindness.
I didn’t know whether to post a classic photo of Chyna in her WWE prime or of Joanie from the last time I saw her – about 10 months ago at a convention on Long Island. I went with the photo from the convention because of the emotion; because it was taken at the exact moment I saw her for the first time in many years. I was told later that Joanie wasn’t sure how I would react to her, and that it meant a great deal to be accepted. Like I said, a father doesn’t forget.
I called home on my way back from the convention – only about 40 minutes from my house. “I’m bringing a friend over to watch the pay-per-view” I said to my wife.
“Who’s that?”, my wife asked.
And that was pretty much that. A mother, you see, doesn’t forget the kindness shown to her child, either.
I am so glad we had that night with Joanie. A night to let her know how much we cared about her, whether it was politically correct or not. A night to let her know we loved her -and always will. RIP my dear friend. I pray that somehow in death, you can find the peace that eluded you so frequently during the latter years of your remarkable life.
@THEVinceRusso: “It will never be about what you did . . . but, about who you were.” I am heartbroken . . . I Love You.
NICOLE BASS, on Facebook:
I just read that Chyna has passed. I am dumbfounded and keep wishing this isn’t true. My heart and prayers go to this spectacular woman. She will be deeply missed.
@JackieMooreTx: So sad to hear the news about Chyna. My heart goes out to her family and friends. May you rest in peace.
@trishstratuscom: Shattered glass ceilings, kicked down doors, broke gender barriers, she was an anomaly & untouchable. Rest now-ur legacy lives on #RIPChyna
LITA (AMY DUMAS):
@AmyDumas: So tragic. My heart is heavy today reflecting on this amazing woman. #RIPChyna
@theterrirunnels: I got this news a few hours ago and have been simply GUTTED since! Hate these 3 letters, RIP “Ms. Big Joanie” #FoundPeace
SHELDON GOLDBERG, wrestling promoter, on Facebook:
The moment I met Joanie “Chyna” Lauer, I knew she was going to become a star in wrestling. It was as obvious as the sky is blue. She accomplished so much and worked hard to do so. Whatever her shortcomings, questionable choices or misfortunes, she was a good person and a trailblazer. I hope she is at peace. My deepest sympathies to her family and friends.
@Jillianhall1: Ouch…. Heavy heart tonight! #ripchyna. I literally got a pain in my tummy for this one. A true women’s wrestling idol! #godbless
@RealJeffJarrett: RIP Joanie Laurer…
@ShawnMichaels: Just woke up to the news of @ChynaJoanLaurer passing. So sad to hear, she was an amazing lady & I will miss her greatly!!
CHAVO GUERRERO JR.:
@mexwarrior: I’m sure Eddie is welcoming u into God’s Kingdom #RIPChyna #RIPEddie RT @maxthephotog: @mexwarrior @ChynaJoanLaurer
@gailkimITSME: Shocked to hear the news about @ChynaJoanLaurer she was always so kind and such an important woman and pioneer to this business #RIPChyna Heavy black heart?
BUBBA RAY DUDLEY:
@BubbaRayDudley: Happy to have met you, laugh with you and work with you. GOD BLESS. #RIPChyna @ChynaJoanLaurer
@ActualLove: A true pioneer for women’s wrestling, we will never forget @ChynaJoanLaurer. Thank u for paving the way for us. God bless you Sparkling heart #RIPChyna
@AustinAries: 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
ROAD DOGG JESSE JAMES:
@WWERoadDogg: Today I pray that I cherish the time I have with family and friends. I pray that I let them know how much they mean to me. #OUDK #RIPChyna
@WWEDramaKing: Another influential figure gone far, far too soon. Went through ups and downs but indelibly changed our business forever. #RIPChyna
@ByronSaxton: You broke a mold, paved your own path and left a lasting impression on our industry. Thank You @ChynaJoanLaurer #RIPChyna
@RealJoshMatthews: She was the first smiling face I saw behind the scenes at @WWE event as TE contestant. Welcomed us & always kind thereafter. #RIPChyna
TOMMY DREAMER, on Facebook:
Woke up to the Horrible news of the passing of Chyna. She was a real cool person. I hate mourning death, I celebrate life. Here is a story most don’t know:
I first met her in ECW at the Wonderland Dog Track in Revere Mass. Her trainer Walter Killer Kowalski would always come up to the shows. He and Tracey Smothers would hold workouts for up and coming wrestlers. Well this super jacked up blond girl, was there. She was very green, but she was different. In ECW we were all different Killer made guys take what I call the Killer bump, which is from top turnbuckle to the floor, which the only people I see do it to perfection are Triple H and Chyna. Well I was hardcore I can take anything. Hell I would get chokeslammed off buildings. Well I did it and I hit apron w/ hip and thought I was broken in 2. I of course no sold it walked away but I was in pain. I was sitting there watching practice and icing my hip. I was bent over and I heard someone say Are you ok. It was Chyna before she was Chyna. I said yeah thanks and Holy F*ck that hurt. How do you do it. She said I dunno Killer just makes us & smiled. Here is a person trying to get a job but she went out of her way to check on me a stranger. We told her get a little more experience and we would use her. That never happened because she went to WWE and paved her own Hardcore trail. Saw her a few times when I was in WWE always had that same smile when we would talk. Saw her in TNA briefly, she didn’t seem happy around wrestling but Jeff Jarrett and Vince Russo did everything possible to make her comfortable. Then last December at Dave Hero Blizzard Brawl I got to hang with her. We talked at the show. She looked great, was in a happy place and I got to have dinner with her, laugh talk about possibly doing something with House of Hardcore. It was a fun night.
I will watch her & Eddie Guerrero Latino Heat stuff or anything with Chris Jericho to celebrate her greatness.
Nov. 20, 2007: Chyna’s rough road in Hollywood
Feb. 6, 2001: Killer Kowalski slams Chyna’s book
Jan. 30, 2001: Chyna’s book for fans only
Nov. 29, 2000: Chyna video a serious workout
Oct. 27, 2000: The real Chyna revealed