WWE icon Chyna’s rise to fame before her tragic battle with addiction and mental illness is revealed in a new documentary

WRESTLING legend Chyna’s battle with depression and addiction is the focus of a new documentary.

After making history in WWE, the fighter dubbed the ninth wonder of the world sank into depression and drugs after refusing multiple attempts by her loved ones to get clean.

Chyna won the WWE Intercontinental Championship three times


Chyna won the WWE Intercontinental Championship three timesPhoto credit: Getty
She also won the WWE Women's Championship


She also won the WWE Women’s ChampionshipCredit: AP

Close friend and wrestling legend Mick Foley described how Chyna, real name Joanie Laurer, felt a “sense of abandonment” after leaving the shop.

Foley admits he was devastated at not convincing his friend to seek professional help.

A new documentary chronicles her extraordinary journey from overcoming a troubled childhood to fighting the odds to make it to WWE before she switched businesses.


Heartbreak Kid star Shawn Michaels revealed how company boss Vince McMahon thought Chyna’s entry into the sport was “moronic”.

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However, her fall from WWE was as monumental as her rise to worldwide fame.

She sank into crystal meth use, filmed reality shows and constructed a porn video before tragically overdosing on alcohol and pills in 2016.

Sister Kathy Laurer and Foley share an outrageous side of the tragedy and triumph of Chyna’s rise and fall in A&E Channel’s upcoming documentary Biography: WWE Legends.

Chyna, just 46, was found dead in her Redondo Beach apartment of an alcohol overdose in combination with the anxiety drugs diazepam and nordazepam, the pain relievers oxycodone and oxymorphone, and the sleep aid temazepam.


Kathy believes her sister’s death stemmed from a childhood health issue that was never addressed.

Kathy said: “Unfortunately, Joanie probably suffered from some mental illnesses at a very young age that went undiagnosed and undetected.

“They certainly aggravated any problems she faced later in her life.”

Kathy added: “There were a lot of people who wanted to help her but she was very good at keeping her distance and not letting people back in. She definitely did that to me. I do not know why.”

She added: “I think I mourned her death for years before she actually died.

“When she died it was horrible, but I remember also thinking, thank God, that this woman finally has some peace.”


The two-hour show unveils how determined Chyna was to be a trailblazer in the sport, bringing her passion for bodybuilding and athletics to the ring.

In four years, her ring status and fame blossomed, including a lauded Playboy cover shoot, but she left WWE after failing to secure a $1 million annual salary.

This decision to leave the business, where she had changed the view of female wrestlers and won two male-dominated Intercontinental Champion belts, led to her death in 2001.

Foley, 57, who is loved by wrestling fans for his characters Mankind and Cactus Jack, emotionally recalled Chyna’s unstable condition.

He said: “You have to remember that Joanie was fragile.

“As powerful as she was (physically), she had a bad hand and the right people weren’t there for her in the right place at the right time.”

He says leaving WWE was a trigger for their problems: “Joanie might have drawn a line in the sand and said I want a guaranteed million.

“I feel like Joanie felt a sense of abandonment because the WWE community wasn’t staying in touch with her like it used to be.”


Foley revealed that he has only found out about Chyna’s mental health issues since her death.

Recalling a time when she was trying to become an English teacher in Japan, he confessed: “I just found out recently that they had prescribed her medication because she was suffering from severe depression.

“Up to the point where she tried to take her own life by attacking a police officer.

“Police in Japan don’t carry firearms, otherwise it might have been a different story.”

Foley confessed that he broke down in tears upon learning of her death, before wondering if there was more he could have done to save her.

“If I had had the chance to speak to her again, I would have told her again that I love her and that I am there for her, but more importantly, I would have backed it with my actions.

“There always seemed to be tomorrow until there was no tomorrow.”

Former wrestler Kia Awesome Kong Stevens remains tormented over not reaching her ring pal: “I didn’t call her… Maybe that call would have meant she was down one drink, down one bong.

“It’s way too much for me, but one always wonders. She meant a lot to me.”


During the special, Shawn Michaels spoke about how they foresaw Chyna changing the nature of women in WWE.

Then the industry’s biggest stars, D-Generation X, insisted Chyna be their bodyguard — despite Vince McMahon’s hesitation.

Triple H, real name Paul Michael Levesque, said, “We brought it to Vince and he hated it.”

Smiling, Michaels laughed, “We both believed in that.”

Mimicking McMahon, they revealed he told them, “Come on. Nobody will buy this.

“Jesus Christ. You guys are idiots… if she’s a loser and a headcase. It depends on you. It is your fault.”

Her decision paid off as Chyna became an instant hit.

Triple H said, “Chyna’s legacy extends far beyond our industry.

“I look at them during this time as this paradigm shift in thinking about how people view women and what women can do with that power.”

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On Sunday, February 19 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT, WWE returns on A&E with Season 3 of Biography: WWE Legends, followed by Season 2 of WWE Rivals.

Bio: WWE Legends begins exploring the stories of NWO, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Chyna, while WWE Rivals, hosted by actor and former WWE writer Freddie Prinze Jr, will discuss infamous matchups like Hulk Hogan vs. André The Giant . Undertaker vs Mankind and The Rock vs John Cena.

Chyna was a member of WWE from 1997 to 2001


Chyna was a member of WWE from 1997 to 2001Photo credit: Getty
She also modeled for Playboy in the early 2000s


She also modeled for Playboy in the early 2000sPhoto credit: Getty

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7286192/wwe-icon-chynas-fame-battle-revealed-new-documentary/ WWE icon Chyna’s rise to fame before her tragic battle with addiction and mental illness is revealed in a new documentary


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