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Laurer,_Joanie_(2007)Former pro wrestler Joan Laurer, known as Chyna in the WWE community, has died at the age of 45. The cause of her death remains unknown to the public.

Chyna was a huge pioneer for female wrestlers in the WWE. Fans and friends of Chyna took to social media to express their deep sadness in losing the icon.

Chyna first entered pro wrestling in the 1990s when WWE was known as the World Wrestling Federation. She became one of WWF’s biggest stars and broke the stereotype of what it means to be a female wrestler. Chyna competed against – and defeated – several top male wrestlers including Triple H and Chris Jericho.

Chyna was the first and only woman to win the Intercontinental Championship, first in 1999 and again in 2000. She was also the first woman to participate in WWF’s Royal Rumble and King of the Ring.

Chyna left the WWF in 2001, a decision that had a profound impact on her life. Claiming she was abruptly let go by management, Chyna faced difficulty accepting and moving forward from the WWE team. Chyna continued on however, and wrestled with New Japan Pro Wrestling and with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

Chyna also dabbled in modeling and acting over the past 15 years. At the time of her death, Chyna was working on a documentary about her life entitled “The Reconstruction of Chyna.” The film was supposed to offer a glimpse into her life since leaving the WWE.

Chyna will always be known as an icon in the wrestling world, proving that woman always have a place in the ring. Chyna didn’t climb over walls, she broke right through them.

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