WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross addressed a number of current wrestling topics during a recent edition of his weekly “Ross Report” podcast at PodcastOne.com. Below are some of the highlights.

On the untimely death of Joanie “Chyna” Laurer:

“The untimely death of Joanie Laurer, also known as Chyna, last week was certainly shocking. And I had not been talking about it on Twitter or social media or anything here that I had been having conversations with Chyna about coming on our program and probably doing a two-part Ross Report. And she was in full agreement, ready to do it, and we were actually waiting on her manager, the gentleman you see quoted a lot in the news nowadays about Joanie’s situation, her death, Anthony [Anzaldo]. Anthony just had us pencilled in on the date to record, but we had been communicating.”

“People are going to mourn Joanie’s death for a long time, as she’s very well liked in the wrestling fans’ world. She had a great reputation for being the biggest female star ever in the Attitude Era. She did in the Attitude Era what no other female that I have ever been around could do, unless it might be Ronda Rousey, so Joanie was really ahead of her time and she was a trendsetter, a trailblazer, as has been said.” Ross added, “Joanie never found the happiness in any walk of life, in my opinion, more than she loved her run in WWE. That was the greatest time of her life, in my opinion. She was happy. She became famous. She earned money. She traveled the world. She was really good at what she did.”

On her use of prescription medication:

“I read at the time of her death that she was taking prescription medications that included Ambien for sleep and an anti-anxiety medication much like a Xanax and it might have been Xanax. I don’t know. So apparently, the Ambien and the Xanax were on her nightstand. So all I can say is this: the long term use of Ambien is a train wreck waiting to happen and that I can attest to from a personal basis, from personal experience. It is absolutely horrid because I took Ambien for 10 years. It is a temporary solution to a sleeping issue, but some of the side effects of Ambien include confusion and depression, so now you mix that with Xanax, a very commonly prescribed anti-depressant and you look at the side effects of Xanax. Changes in patterns and rhythms of speech. We remember Joanie being a little bit slurry at times. She was communicating with me. Discouragement is a side effect and feeling, this is the key one right here, a side effect of Xanax, feeling sad or empty. And I think anyone with common sense can probably say that much of Joanie’s life as a living being was spent as sad or empty.” Ross continued, “she might have had undiagnosed sleep apnea. She was allegedly treated for a sleeping disorder. She was on Ambien, so obviously she was having trouble sleeping, so maybe she didn’t get REM sleep. I have a severe sleep apnea. I sleep with a mask. It saved my life.”

On Chyna’s WWE run warranting a Hall Of Fame induction:

“I can tell you this, all this talk about the [WWE] Hall Of Fame, in, out, whatever. Look, it’s pretty damn clear to me that based on Chyna’s contributions in the ring, and what she did for WWE when she was on the roster, and the contributions at a key time [for] the company, that Attitude Era, and the Monday Night Wars and all of that stuff, I just believe that her contributions are so significant that she is without a doubt a Hall Of Famer. Without question. It’s just unfortunate that if it happens, or when it happens, I’d like to say and like to think, she won’t be here to accept the honor.”

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