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What Happened to Chyna: The Solitary Downfall of Wrestling's ''Ninth Wonder of the World''

When  Chyna  was found dead on April 20, 2016, the WWE rushed to pay tribute to the woman who blazed a trail for the Divas and other one-name-only stars to come.

Billed in the 1990s as the "Ninth Wonder of the World" by what was then the World Wrestling Federation, Chyna achieved a new level of fame in that viscerally intense yet over-the-top and theatrically staged phenomenon that is professional wrestling. So of course her fellow stars, her former employer and many fans were heartbroken by the loss.

But Chyna, who was born Joanie Marie Laurer and had also wrestled under the monikers Chyna Doll, Joanie Lee and Just Joanie, hadn't been in a ring for five years—and she hadn't been the queen of the wrestling world since the turn of the century.

In between, Chyna became far more famous for her troubles, for outrageous interviews, for doing porn, for her slurring appearances on reality TV. Because just as easy as it was to remember her greatness and star power once she was gone, so it was easy enough to forget about her or treat her as a fallen-star spectacle while she was still here.

Now that she's the subject of an upcoming documentary,  Wrestling With Chyna , the questions will be asked again about what ultimately brought Chyna down in the end. It was guessable years before she died of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs and alcohol  that she suffered from substance abuse issues and depression, even though she was reluctant to admit being an addict.

But even though she had once reached the utmost heights of the wrestling world, it sounds as though it was lonely even at the top.

She entered the spotlight already a star. The WWF is known for creating entire universes around its characters, who are also neatly sorted into heroes and villains so that "reputation" precedes them into the ring. Chyna made her WWF debut in 1997 and would be known by the particularly flattering moniker: "Ninth Wonder of the World" ( Andre the Giant already being 8th).

Chyna, who first competed at Wrestlemania when she was 17, had trained with an all-male crowd under the tutelage of Walter "Killer" Kowalski ; after turning pro, as Joanie Lee, she was named PGWA (Professional Girl Wrestling Association) Rookie of the Year and won the Independent Wrestling Federation's women's title in 1996.

Chyna, Joanie Laurer

Globe Photos/

She went on to become a breakout star of what came to be known as the WWF's Attitude Era, which also featured household names such as Stone Cold Steve Austin , The Rock , Triple H and, after he made the jump from the rival WCW,  Chris Jericho . Chyna formed the power trio D-Generation-X with Triple H and  HBK .

As it turns out, the world of female professional wrestling was a lot like any other facet of show business, super-competitive and prone to rivalries, jealousy and cattiness (both real and made up), so it was more than just her strength in the ring that saw her aligning herself with the male stars of


Prince Remembered One Year After His Death by Usher, Salma Hayek, Questlove and More


One year ago today, the world was rocked by the news of


Drink It or Sink It? Celebrities Weigh In on the New Unicorn Frappuccino

Unicorn Frappuccino


There is no denying the fact that the limited-edition Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino has been on everyone's social media feeds over the past few days. From beautifully colored Instagram posts to hilariously intense barista backlash  videos, this sweet-then-sour beverage has everyone talking—celebrities included! Here's a look at which celebrities enjoyed the magical mango mixture and which ones wished Starbucks would have stopped the trendy flavors at Pumpkin Spice Latte.

DRINK IT!  While it seems the overwhelming response always comes back to how sugary the drink is, some celebrities actually don't mind it!

Kathie Lee Gifford & Hoda Kotb:  "It's sweety-tart," said Kathie Lee on the Today Show after testing the drink with co-host Hoda. Hoda followed up with a smile, "Oh my gosh. That's really good!" Hoda tried the beverage again with the 8-o'clock-hour hosts and confirmed, "Oh, I like it!"

Savannah Guthrie "I don't mind it," said the Today Show host after taking her first taste of the buzz-worthy, new drink. The host known for her love of milkshakes set record straight though and said, "It's not a milkshake, but it's good."

Carson Daly & Matt Lauer:  When trying the drink live on-air, both Carson and Matt had the same thought: ice cream! After tasting the drink, Carson said, "I think it tastes like Sherbet ice cream." While Matt thought the drink was a little too sweet, he agreed with his fellow host, "Tastes like a Creamsicle almost."

Katy Perry, Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino

Instagram Story

SINK IT!  Starbucks claimed the Unicorn Frappuccino was made for Instagram over taste, and these celebrities would have to agree.

Katy Perry The pop singer known for her multi-color wigs, shared a video of herself trying the beverage on her Instagram story. Katy was seen spitting the drink out and captioned the video, "I couldn't handle drinking my own blood."

Stephen Colbert : The late-night talk host tried the raved about drink during his monologue. After taking one sip of his Venti-sized Unicorn Frappuccino, Stephen said, "Oh, I wish I was dead. Tastes like I just French kissed Tinkerbell."

Al Roker : During a discussion surrounding the limited-edition drink on the Today Show , Al said he thought the Unicorn Frappuccino looked like somebody put a Smurf in a blender. Yikes!

Jimmy Kimmel  While Jimmy didn't give a personal review of the drink, he did take a few jabs at the concoction during his monologue on Jimmy Kimmy Live! In addition, Jimmy jokingly unveiled Starbucks next big trend, " The F--k-It-Ccino ." A clip showed "The F--k-It-Ccino," a drink said to be made with premium coffee, cake batter, chocolate frosting, French fries, vodka and Lexapro.

Mario Batali, Michael Symon, and Carla Hall:  Celebrity chefs and hosts of ABC's The Chew told People   at the Can Do Awards what they thought of the drink that is topped with sour blue powder, and their thoughts did not come as a surprise at all. Mario joked, "The word ‘powder' tells you a lot about that. I've been warned about powders all my life. Trying to stay off of them!"


Shahs of Sunset's Asa Soltan Rahmati Gushes Over Her Baby Boy: He's So Handsome It's Insane

Asa Soltan, HSN

Jason Kempin/Getty Images; HSN


Julia Roberts, Penélope Cruz Kate Winslet Are the Definition of Squad Goals as They Step Out for the Ultimate Ladies' Night

Julia Roberts, Penelope Cruz, Kate Winslet

Three celebs just took the term #SquadGoals to a whole new level.

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