Former WWE Diva Ashley Massaro has passed away at the age of 39-years-old. According to The Blast, Massaro was transported to a Smithtown, New York hospital early Thursday morning after law enforcement officials responded to a “rescue call.” The cause of death has not been released and is currently under investigation deemed to be “non-criminal.”
Massaro joined the WWE during the 2005 Diva Search, a reality program featuring female cast members looking to enter the wrestling industry competing for a spot on the WWE roster. Massaro was discovered by a casting director while competing in a swimsuit pageant. She would go on to win the competition that included a one-year contact with the company and a $250,000 prize.
She would begin working for the wrestling promotion shortly after her win, training with Fit Finlay, Ricky Steamboat and Trish Stratus before departing from the company on July 9, 2008. The WWE had granted her release request as Massaro wanted to focus on her daughter, who had fallen ill.
During her time with the company, many of the story lines focused more on the physical looks and appeal of the women competing than the in ring talent of the participants. While she had notable feuds with Mickie James and Torrie Wilson, she also participated in several bra and panty matches, a bikini contest and a “lingerie pillow fight.”
Massaro would never hold the Diva’s title and was sidelined for a few months in 2006 after fracturing her left fibula during a Woman’s Battle Royal.
Massaro would have two high profile appearances while with the WWE that helped increase her popularity among fans. She was featured in Playboy magazine and participated in Survivor: China, the 15th season of the popular reality series. She was voted off the show in the second season by a vote of 6-1, lasting just six days.
Massaro would return to wrestling on the independent circuit in 2017 and hinted earlier this year that she was preparing to return to the ring in the near future.
Ashley was involved with the class action lawsuit that was brought to court against the WWE by Konstantine Kyros. The lawsuit alleged that company “concealed risks of injury which caused them neurological damage.” The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed.
In addition to wrestling, Massaro had modelled, acted and appeared in music videos.
The WWE offered their condolences via social media;
“We are saddened to learn of the tragic death of former WWE Superstar Ashley Massaro. She performed in WWE from 2005-2008 and was beloved by her fellow Superstars and fans around the world. WWE offers its condolences to Ashley’s family and friends.”