Former WWE performer Ashley Massaro died on Thursday at the age of 39 with the Suffolk County Medical Examiner confirming her passing to The Blast outlet.
The Blast reports that a rescue call was made at 5:23 am from her home and she was transported to a local hospital. The death is being classified as “non-criminal” with no foul play.
Massaro won the second Diva Search contest in 2005 where she was awarded a one-year contract for $250,000. The second edition included Kristal Marshall, who also went on to work for WWE.
Massaro suffered a broken fibula in February 2006 during a battle royal on Raw. The injury required a metal plate and several screws to be inserted into the leg and she returned to the ring in July.
After being moved to SmackDown, she was paired with Paul London and Brian Kendrick, who were the tag champions during this time.
Her biggest push with the company came in early 2007 when she was selected by the company to pose for Playboy. She received the added promotional push being programmed with women’s champion Melina at WrestleMania 23 that year at Ford Field in Detroit. Melina defeated her on the card in a Lumberjill match to retain the title.
Later that year, Massaro was cast as a member on the reality series “Survivor: China” on CBS and was written off WWE programming to film it.
She returned to WWE in 2008 and reportedly requested her release that summer in order to take care of her daughter, who was sick.
Massaro was one of many performers to join the class action lawsuit against WWE regarding concussion-related issues they had sustained. The lawsuit was dismissed last September by federal judge Vanessa Bryant in Connecticut. When Massaro joined the lawsuit, she alleged that she had been sexually assaulted while appearing at a military base in Kuwait on behalf of WWE and was persuaded by the company not to report it. The allegations were deemed not relevant to the concussion suit.
Massaro leaves behind a daughter and we send our condolences to her and the rest of Massaro’s family.
WWE put out the following statement on Thursday after her death was reported:
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.
Massaro was scheduled for a meet-and-greet at Starrcast next weekend in Las Vegas and would have celebrated her birthday next Sunday. She has recently been training at the New York Wrestling Connection (NYWC) gym and was looking to return to wrestle.