Former WWE superstar Ashley Massaro, who went on to win the Diva Search Contest and later compete in a season of Survivor, has died, according to TMZ Sports. Massaro was only 39-years-old at the time of her passing.
The website learned that Massaro was taken from her home in Suffolk County, New York, to a nearby hospital where she died early on Thursday morning. There has been no cause of death revealed as of this time, but officials close to the situation are saying that it has been classified as a “non-criminal” death.
Wrestling fans may remember Massaro best for winning the WWE Diva Search competition back in 2005. She had met a casting director for WWE when she was competing in a swimsuit pageant and he informed her of the competition that the promotion was holding. She ended up beating out seven other finalists and taking home $250,000 on top of a one-year contract with WWE.
Of course, that was at a time before WWE had rid themselves of the term “Diva” and simply changed all genders of those on the roster to “Superstars.”
Upon winning the Diva Search, Massaro ended up in the ring and becoming a wrestling superstar for WWE. She had matches against Candice Michelle, Victoria, and Torrie Wilson while often teaming with the legendary Trish Stratus.
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
As time went on, Massaro stopped being an in-ring competitor and ended up managing the tag team known as the Hooliganz, which consisted of Brian Kendrick and Paul London. She ended up being in a huge match at WrestleMania 23, though, when she faced Melina for the WWE Women’s Championship.
In 2007, WWE wrote an angle for her that involved Massaro being “suspended indefinitely” for spilling hot coffee on Vince McMahon. In reality, she was heading to CBS to compete on the reality TV series Survivor: China.
Unfortunately, Massaro didn’t last long on Survivor, as she often verbally fought with those who were in the Zhan Hu tribe with her. By the end of the second episode, Ashley had been voted off of the island after just six days and by a vote of 6-1.
She eventually returned to WWE and took part in a Playboy Bunnymania Lumberjack Match at WrestleMania 24. In that match, Ashley partnered with Maria, but they ended up losing to the team of Melina and Beth Phoenix.
By July of 2008, Massaro was released from her contract with WWE, but she later revealed she had requested her release. Massaro said that she could no longer continue with WWE due to an illness that her daughter was suffering from.