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ASHLEY MASSARO: 1979-2019
Posted: 053119

Former WWE Talent and Actress Commits Suicide

Former WWE star and WWE Diva Search winner Ashley Massaro was found dead in her apartment on May 16, victim of a suicide attempt. She was 39 years old .

Massaro grew up in Babylon, New York, where her brother and father competed in amateur wrestling. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication with a minor in Business from the State University of New York at Albany. On July 23, 2000 her daughter Alexa was born. In 2002 she competed in the Miss Hawaiian Tropic pageants and was crowned Miss Hawaiian Tropic USA in 2002. This led to magazine layouts in FHM, Stuff, Femme Fatales, Flex, Maxim, and Playboy in 2003. She tried out for Playboy scouts when they were searching for models for the 50th Anniversary Playmate Hunt. Massaro appeared in the accompanying pictorial in the December 2003. In addition, she also hosted several E! Channel Wild On! Episodes and appeared on Breaking Bonaduce as Danny Bonaduce's personal trainer.

Massaro worked for WWE from 2005 to 2008, making her debut in WWE after winning the WWE Diva Search in 2005. In the years before NXT (where talent today is routinely groomed for the "big show") she was immediately promoted to the Raw brand as a “face” where her first wrestling feud was against Vince's Devils (a "heel" female stable) where she was teamed with then face Trish Stratus. Together they chalked up her first major win which led the duo into another feud with the then debuting Mickie James who was obsessed with Stratus and was jealous of Ashley's friendship with her, attacking and causing her to lose matches. Eventually Massaro was drafted to SmackDown! and became the valet for the WWE Tag Team Champions Paul London and Brian Kendrick. Over the course of the next two years her most high-profile matches were a WWE Women's Championship match against Melina at WrestleMania 23 and a Playboy Bunnymania Lumberjill match at WrestleMania XXIV. She left WWE in mid-2008 but during her tenure in the company, she continued appearing on the covers of several magazines, including the April 2007 issue of Playboy. She also made guest appearances on several television shows (including Smallville) and performed in music videos. Massaro was released from her WWE contract on July 9, 2008. A week prior to her release, she announced that she had asked to be let go from her contract due to her daughter being sick. She spent the intervening years raising her daughter.

Massaro sued WWE in November 2016, alleging that she was sexually assaulted at a US military base in Kuwait during a WWE trip for the troops. Nothing came from the suit because she claimed that she was assaulted while medical personnel were outside the door making sure no one entered the room. She was also part of the now tossed lawsuit involving dozens of other wrestlers who claimed that WWE concealed the dangers of head injuries that gave them neurological damage. The Globe also reported that Massaro said she underwent behavioral changes after leaving WWE, including developing a drug addiction, and alleged that she suffered from depression, memory loss and migraine headaches.

On May 16, 2019, ten days before her 40th birthday, Massaro died in Long Island with TMZ reporting that Massaro's cause of death was due to an apparent suicide by hanging. On the May 19th at Money in the Bank, WWE paid tribute to Massaro's life and career by projecting a graphic of her. On May 21, she was buried at the Saint James Episcopal Church Cemetery in St. James, New York. She is survived by her daughter 18 year old daughter Ashley. The Squared Circle Sisters, a group of co-workers of Ashley Massaro’s from WWE, have started a Go Fund Me to raise money for a college savings plan for Massaro’s daughter. Gail Kim is also auctioning off the gear she wore in her retirement match against Tessa Blanchard at Impact’s Rebellion PPV to raise money for Massaro’s daughter.

Images © Copyright 2019 by their respective owners No rights given or implied by Alternate Reality, Incorporated Source: Various Sources

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