Former WWE star Ashley Massaro has died aged 39
Former wrestler Ashley Massaro, who appeared in WWE between 2005 and 2008, has died aged 39.
She was taken to hospital from her home in Long Island, and died of "non-criminal causes", Suffolk County Police say.
Massaro made her way to WWE via the 2005 Diva Search competition, a reality show segment on Monday Night Raw to find new female WWE stars. Massaro won the contest, receiving ¢250,000 and a one-year WWE contract.
She then became a staple of the women's division in the mid-2000s, in the pre-'Women's Revolution' era. Initially, she formed an alliance with Trish Stratus, and feuded with Candice Michelle, Torrie Wilson and Victoria.
She would then move to Smackdown in 2006, where she would become the manager of Paul London and Brian Kendrick, during their run with the WWE Tag Team Championships.
Ashley Massaro's most high profile match would come at Wrestlemania XXIV, where she teamed with Maria and lost to Beth Pheonix and Melina in a "Playboy BunnyMania Lumberjill" match, which also featured an appearance from Snoop Dogg.
She left WWE in 2008, asking for her release due to her daughter being ill. She made a brief return to the independent circuit in 2017.
Outside of Ashley Massaro was also a contestant on the CBS reality show Survivor: China, and appeared in an episode of Smallville alongside fellow wrestler Kane.
"We are saddened to learn of the tragic death of former WWE Superstar Ashley Massaro," said WWE in a tweet. "WWE offers its condolences to Ashley’s family and friends."
We are saddened to learn of the tragic death of former WWE Superstar Ashley Massaro. WWE offers its condolences to Ashley’s family and friends. https://t.co/PqHSRbOGso
— WWE (@WWE) May 17, 2019
Fellow wrestlers including The Miz, Paige, Rob Van Dam and Nia Jax also paid tribute to Massaro.
Damn RIP Ashley 🙏 https://t.co/vRhep0N2CW
— SARAYA (@RealPaigeWWE) May 17, 2019
OMG. RIP ASHLEY MASSARRO 😢😞
— Rob Van Dam (@TherealRVD) May 17, 2019
Very saddened to hear this. Ash was a funny and sweet soul and was always nice to me. My thoughts go out to her daughter. https://t.co/FQFpZcLDwG
— Hurricane Helms (@ShaneHelmsCom) May 17, 2019
So shocked. I got to do a couple appearances with her and she was a sweetheart. I’m very saddened to hear about this. https://t.co/8amtXF0XvO
— The Big Guy (@Ryback) May 17, 2019