On Wednesday, TMZ reported that former WWE Women’s and Intercontinental Champion Joan “Chyna” Laurer had passed away at the age of 45. As of this writing, the cause of death is unknown, and the officers who arrived on scene are investigating the death as a possible overdose.
It’s been well known for quite some time now that Chyna had battled drug issues after she left WWE in 2001, which is why the officers, at this point in time, believe that the former WWE star may have passed away due to a drug overdose.
Chyna had been blackballed from WWE over the last decade and a half, as WWE refused to acknowledge any of her accomplishments, or put her in their Hall of Fame. But now, it looks like they’re considering putting her into the WWE Hall of Fame at some point in the future.
WWE’s Chief Operating Officer Paul Levesque, better known as Triple H, commented on the death of his ex-girlfriend during an interview with the Mirror. He also said that WWE would consider putting Chyna into their Hall of Fame when the time is right.
“Man, she was just a great person, an amazing talent, a ground breaking pioneer, that was never afraid to go out on a limb and blaze her own trail through life. She never took, and when you’re choosing a path (you can say) ‘hey here is a path let’s go down that one.’ Or you can blaze your own path and burn it up and create something for others to follow, and that’s what she did.
“There was never anybody like her before her, and there will never be anybody like her after. (A Hall of Fame induction) is certainly warranted, and I’m sure at some point when the time is right, hopefully, that could happen.”
About a year ago, during his appearance on the Steve Austin Show, Triple H was asked if Chyna would ever be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and the WWE COO responded by saying that it would be very difficult for the “9th Wonder of the World” to get into the WWE Hall of Fame, mainly because of the life she chose after her wrestling career was over, which included a short-lived adult film career.
Chyna had been trying to get back into the good graces of WWE over the last couple of years. She even went directly to WWE’s headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, in an attempt to get a meeting with Triple H and Vince McMahon. But she was turned away.
Since her passing, several WWE personalities, including Stephanie and Shane McMahon, have expressed their condolences to Chyna’s friends and family, and have acknowledged her tremendous impact on the business.
There has been some speculation that WWE will try to ignore Chyna’s death during Monday’s Raw, but Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer has made it clear that WWE will pay tribute to the former WWE star on Monday in some form, because the story of her demise is too big for them to ignore.
Like Chyna, Randy Savage wasn’t on the best of terms with WWE when he passed away. But WWE still honored him on the Raw following his death. So, it’ll be interesting to see if they do the same for Chyna.
Even though it was taped on Tuesday, there may be an “in memory of” graphic put into the beginning of tonight’s SmackDown show.
[Image via WWE]