It's a sad day in the wrestling world, as former WWE Superstar Ashley Massaro has unexpectedly passed away. Massaro is best known for winning WWE's Diva Search competition and competing as an active wrestler for the company between 2005 through 2008. The cause of her death has not yet been revealed, though her passing was confirmed by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner in New York. Officials are currently investigating, but it is not being treated as a crime as no foul play is suspected. All that's known at this point is Massaro was transported to the hospital after an early morning emergency call, where she was later pronounced dead. The former TV star was just 39 years old.
Massaro first became familiar to WWE fans in 2005 when she appeared on a talent competition called the Diva Search, with the winner being given the prize of a $250,000 and a WWE contract. Fans quickly took a liking to Massaro, and she would ultimately win the competition by beating seven other contestants. The very next week, she became more involved in WWE storylines by feuding with Candice Michelle and Torrie Wilson. By early 2006, she received her first major injury as a WWE performer, fracturing her left fibula during a Women's Battle Royal. Even while injured, Massaro continued to appear on WWE programming.
After recuperating from her broken leg, Massaro moved from Raw to Smackdown. There, she participated in memorable programs with wrestlers like Melina, Victoria, and Jillian Hall, and had a stint serving as the valet for the tag team of Brian Kendrick and Paul London. By 2008, she had returned to Raw, ultimately winning her final WWE match in a team with Michelle McCool, Maria, Cherry, Kelly Kelly, and Mickie James. In July of that year, Massaro had revealed to the press she asked for her release from the company due to spend more time with her sick daughter. A week later, Massaro's release was granted, and she never competed in WWE again.
During her run as a WWE performer, Massaro managed to achieve some mainstream fame as well. She has the distinction of being one of the only WWE Superstars to grace the cover of Playboy, which played into her TV storylines at the time. In 2007, she was also allowed by WWE to compete on the reality TV series Survivor: China, introducing her to an entirely new audience on primetime television. After six days, she was voted off the show in the second episode. Around this time, she would also appear in music videos for Timbaland and Rev Theory and also on the TV shows Smallville and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Massaro was able to have one last hurrah in the ring in 2017 when she officially made her return to professional wrestling. For the indie wrestling promotion Zero1 USA in Illinois, Massaro competed with former nemesis Jillian Hall. As she was doing more training in the time leading up to her death, Massaro may have been eyeing a WWE comeback. It's unfortunate she was never able to make it back to WWE television prior to her passing, and our thoughts are with Massaro's family and friends at this time. This information comes to us from TMZ.