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Joanie's Story

Joanie as Chyna (1997-2001)

Joanie Laurer burst onto the wrestling scene in 1997, and her presence in the World Wrestling Federation would forever change the sports entertainment industry. Here are some of her career highlights:

April 1997-- Joanie debuted in the WWF at Wrestlemania 13 as Chyna, a huge woman built with pure muscle and strength. During a match between Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Goldust (Dustin Rhodes), Joanie came out of the audience and attacked Goldust's manager, Marlena (Terri Runnels). Joanie tossed Marlena around like a rag doll, and after Helmsley's victory, she became his "bodyguard."

1997-99-- Joanie/Chyna would serve as the woman behind Degeneration-X. Her ringside presence would help the charter members, Triple-H, Shawn Michaels, and the New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn & Road Dogg) earn all four major belts in the World Wrestling Federation.

January 1999-- Joanie/Chyna thwarted the efforts of Vince McMahon by throwing him out and winning a special match that won her the thirtieth entry into the Royal Rumble. Later that month, she would become the first woman to fight in that match.

February 1999-- Chyna betrayed her Degeneration-X and became a member of the Corporation. Her efforts helped Shane McMahon defeat DX member X-Pac and become European Champion. Later in that month, she would be injured by a fireball thrown by Kane and would not reappear until Wrestlemania XV.

April 1999-- Chyna and Triple-H reunite at Wrestlemania when The Ninth Wonder of the World attacks Kane during his match with The Game. However, the reunion would not be as DX members. In the match between Shane McMahon and X-Pac for the European Title, Chyna and Triple-H attack X-Pac on behalf of the Corporation.

August 1999-- In a triple-threat match for the #1 Contendership for the WWF Title at Summerslam, Chyna gets the help of WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin and defeats The Undertaker and her partner, Triple-H. A week later, Chyna would then lose her title shot to Mankind. It would be the closest Joanie Laurer would get to becoming WWF Champion.

October 1999-- Chyna becomes the first woman to wear a man's belt by defeating Jeff Jarrett in a Good Housekeeping match to become Intercontinental Champion.

December 1999-- After losing her Intercontinental Title to Chris Jericho at Armageddon, Chyna and Jericho pin each other on the last Smackdown of 1999. On the next RAW, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley declares Chyna and Jericho as co-Intercontinental Champions. After a tumultuous reign together, Chyna would lose the belt to Jericho in a triple-threat match at Royal Rumble 2000. After this match, Chyna and Jericho become business partners.

April 2000-- A night after almost losing her pants in a six-person tag match at Wrestlemania, Chyna ends her three month affiliation with Jericho by helping Eddie Guerrero win the European gold that Y2J possessed.

August 2000-- At Summerslam, in a mixed tag-team match for the Intercontinental Title, Chyna pins Trish Stratus to become Intercontinental Champion for the third time. She would lose the belt eight days later to her partner Guerrero in a most controversial way.

September 2000-- Chyna/Joanie presents her crowning achievement on the first RAW on TNN-- her PLAYBOY pictorial. This would result in a feud with the Right To Censor.

October 2000-- Chyna discovered a video that revealed that her TV love interest and fiancee, Eddie Guerrero, was cheating on her. She breaks off the engagement, and this starts a feud with him as well. She would also begin an alliance with her friend, "The One" Billy Gunn.

December 2000-- In a match against Ivory, Chyna is written out of the script as a result of a spike piledriver. She is "injured" and would not be seen in action for a month.

January 2000-- In a match for the Women's Title at the Royal Rumble, Chyna pummels Ivory, but loses because she "reinjured her neck." This would keep her out of action for two months, as she was on a book-signing tour.

April 2000-- In a rematch with Ivory, Chyna easily destroys her opponent at Wrestlemania and becomes Women's Champion. She would make title defenses sparingly.

May 2000-- Chyna defeats Lita in a Women's Title match at Judgment Day. It would be Joanie's last appearance in the World Wrestling Federation.

June 2000-- The WWF announces that they have ceased negotiations with Joanie Laurer on a new contract, with the old one expiring in November.

At a Glance

Date of Birth: December 27, 1970
Place of Birth: Rochester, New York
Education: BA-- Foreign Languages, University of Tampa
Family History: Don't go there.
First Professional Role: Signed by WWF as a bodyguard to
Triple-H in 1997.
Astrological Sign: Capricorn