Three years after her death, WWE star Joanie “Chyna” Laurer will be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame in April, as part of the class of 2019.
The late wrestler, who was found dead in her California apartment in April 2016 of an overdose will be joining the ranks of WWE’s prestigious honor with five other members of D-Generation X.
Wrestling fans would recall that D-Generation X was the wrestling group formed during WWE’s Attitude Era in the late 1990s. Chyna, who left the WWE in 2001, was a founding member of the famous wrestling group in 1997, alongside Triple H and Shawn Michaels, along with Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, and X-Pac, who joined years later.
People reports that all the six members of the group will be included in the Hall of Fame together, as per WWE's statement on Monday. The company announced that the ceremony would be taking place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on April 6, just one day before WrestleMania 35, whose tickets go on sale this Friday.
“I am absolutely thrilled,” said Chyna’s mom Jan LaQue, who had heavily campaigned for her daughter's inclusion in the Hall of Fame, told Pro Wrestling Sheet. “And so is my husband. We have been invited to the ceremony and will be so proud to be there and celebrate this awesome occasion. She certainly earned this, to say the least.”
As per reports, D-Generation X, popularly called DX, were pioneers in wrestling and were widely known for pushing the boundaries of television with their provocative language and signature “Suck it!” move. They also became heavily popular by placing Chyna, a bodybuilder, in the group’s enforcer role, which boldly went against gender norms in the wrestling world.
“It was completely different“, Paul “Triple H” Levesque told ESPN. “No one had ever had a female [enforcer] before, especially one like that. It just worked out. The timing was right.”
She is also known to have paved the way for other female wrestlers like Ronda Rousey, Asuka, Trish Stratus, Sasha Banks, and Charlotte Flair.
“It’d be tough to pick a female that was more impactful on the business,” Triple H said. “She did something that was completely so out of left field that it wasn’t even being considered when we first brought it up for her to come in. It wasn’t even a consideration … it wasn’t an easy thing, and against all odds she did all of that. She earned everybody’s trust. She won over the fans. She won over the boys. She did all of it.”
“From that standpoint, she absolutely 100 percent deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and should probably be more than once — as a group, but individually as well,” Triple H added. “There’s more complexity to that than meets the eye, but here we are. I’m just happy that it’s here. I’m happy for her family, the people that she was close to, that hopefully this is super-meaningful to them. I know it would be to her. It’s a great thing — very deserving.”