Joanie Laurer (born December 27, 1971 in Londonderry, New Hampshire) is an American professional wrestler and actress. She is best known for her appearances with the World Wrestling Federation
Joanie Laurer trained at Killer Kowalski's Wrestling School in Salem, Massachusetts, where she briefly dated Perry Saturn, and worked for various independent promotions. Her career reached new heights when she met WWE wrestlers Paul Levesque (then Hunter Hearst Helmsley, now Triple H) and Shawn Michaels in a bar in 1997. Struck by her appearance, they helped her get into the World Wrestling Federation. Her original role was as the impassive bodyguard of D-Generation X, often getting physically involved in Triple H's matches.
At the 1999 Royal Rumble Laurer turned heel by betraying Triple H, aligning herself with his enemy Vince McMahon. She was a thorn in the side of Triple H until he too joined McMahon's group at WrestleMania XV. The duo became part of the Corporation, and later Shane McMahon's Corporate Ministry, harassing rebels like Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kane, X-Pac and The Rock.
In late 1999, Laurer became a face again, allying with The Kat and feuding with Jeff Jarrett over the Intercontinental Championship. She defeated Jarrett for the title in his last WWE match on October 17, 1999 becoming the first and only woman to win the Intercontinental Championship at No Mercy. She claims that Jarrett demanded (and received) $250,000 from Vince McMahon in order to lose the title cleanly to a woman (his contract had expired on October 16, and he was therefore not obligated to appear on the Pay Per View. If he had not appeared, the WWF would have been criticised for false advertising, and the lineage of the title would have been broken). She would go on to hold the title two more times
In 2000, Laurer briefly teamed with Chris Jericho, before becoming the onscreen girlfriend of Eddie Guerrero. Guerrero and Laurer became very popular during the Summer of 2000, with Guerrero dubbing her his "Mamacita". They split in the Autumn of 2000 after Eddie was found cavorting in the shower with two of the Godfather's "Hos", Mandy and Victoria. At the same time, her appearance in Playboy attracted the unwanted attention of Right to Censor, a straight-laced group of wrestlers who lampooned the Parents Television Council. Laurer was announced as injured after a vicious double team piledriver at the hands of Ivory and Val Venis.
Laurer returned a few weeks later and began a feud with Ivory over the Women's Title. This culminated in a tasteless angle at the 2001 Royal Rumble where Laurer appeared to reinjure her neck while performing a handspring back elbow. The fake injury was criticized as color commentator Jerry Lawler left the commentators' booth and entered the ring to check on Laurer, something he had not done since the tragic accident that led to the death of Owen Hart. The highly publicised return of Laurer from the "injury" culminated in her winning the Women's Title from Ivory at WrestleMania 17 in a squash match.
Laurer was an extremely dominant champion, defeating challengers Lita and Trish Stratus with little problem. However, during her contract renegotiations, Laurer was unhappy with the pay she was offered and the fact that she was expected to compete principally in the women's division rather than against men. It is also rumoured that the relationship between Triple H, her former boyfriend, and Stephanie McMahon, with whom he had an affair then left Laurer for, was a factor in her departure. She left the company on November 30, 2001, several months after negotations had broken down and she had been taken off television.
Laurer's in-ring career since then has been very limited. She has sang and wrestled at a Ultimate Pro Wrestling event, and was scheduled to appear on a talkshow hosted by Jonny Fairplay on a Total Nonstop Action Pay Per View, but did not appear, supposedly due to a dispute over travel costs. She also made several appearances for New Japan Pro Wrestling, and in celebrity boxing tournaments.