The pro wrestling community mourned the death of Joanie "Chyna" Laurer Thursday after she was found dead of a "possible overdose," according to TMZ.
Chyna has rarely been mentioned on WWE television since she left the company on rocky terms in 2001. Laurer had just recently went in-depth in interviews, namely with former WWE writer and friend Vince Russo, regarding her relationship with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon.
"We were planning to get married," Laurer said of her and Triple H to Russo earlier this year. "We had a huge house in New Hampshire. I thought his career was moving up, and he was having a lot of meetings with Vince and working the storyline. I was so proud of him for finally getting to that spot that he wanted so badly.”
Russo goes on to say that he believes that Triple H "could not bring himself to let [Chyna] know" that he was intimate with Stephanie McMahon while they were still dating. Chyna interjected, alleging abuse from Triple H.
“That’s great, but you … don’t punch girls, and you don’t treat them like that, and ruin their entire career and life, and never speak another word to them," she said. "Aside from saying they don’t want their 8-year-old looking up on Google about your past.
“I think Hunter’s plan was to get me to leave the relationship first. That way he could start dating Stephanie and everything would be cool. We got into a heated argument. We were not getting along. I told him ‘I know something’s going on. Don’t tell me something’s not going on.’ He swiped my hand, I wiped his hand, and then he hit me. And that’s a deal-breaker for me. The relationship is now over. After that I know that he was crying, and I know that he felt bad that he hit me. I was just in shock; it felt like a Jerry Springer moment, it was very surreal. I just couldn’t believe that he hit me.”
Triple H was asked by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin on Austin's podcast earlier this year about whether or not Chyna deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame, which prompted Chyna's Google comment. Laurer had appeared in several pornographic films in recent years.
"It’s not just as easy as, 'Should this person go into the Hall of Fame?' She completely, 100 percent transcended the business. Changed the business," Triple H said. "Paradigm shifter of the business. Did what no woman ever did before, and was awesome at it, and a phenomenal talent. All the other stuff that happened happened — and I don’t need to get into any of the other stuff — but there’s no beef on this side with anything, and I mean that 100 percent.
"From a career standpoint, should she be in the Hall of Fame? Absolutely. It’s a bit difficult, though, and this is the flipside of the coin — and this is the side nobody looks at — I’ve got an eight-year-old kid, and my eight-year-old kid sees Hall of Fame, and my eight-year-old kid goes on the Internet to look at Chyna. What comes up? And I’m not criticizing anybody. I’m not criticizing lifestyle choices. Everybody has their reasons. I don’t know what they were. I don’t care to know. It’s not a morality thing or anything else. It is just the fact of what it is. That’s a difficult choice."
Around 8 a.m. on Thursday, Triple H tweeted out: "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"
Around 2 a.m., Stephanie McMahon tweeted out: "I just heard the tragic news that @ChynaJoanLaurer has passed. She was truly a pioneer in our industry, and she will be missed. #RIPChyna"
Around 4 a.m., Russo tweeted, "'It will never be about what you did ... but about who you were.' I am heartbroken...I Love You."