Former WWE star Ashley Massaro tragically passed away last week at age 39, and sadly, it's now being reported that she died by suicide. Despite having a relatively brief career in professional wrestling, Massaro had a unique look and a charismatic screen presence, leading her to amass a sizeable fanbase. Those fans, and the wrestling world at large, was shocked last Thursday when it was reported that Massaro had died. Death is never a happy occasion, but it's especially disheartening to see a life end so soon.
When her death was originally reported, a cause of death wasn't revealed. Unfortunately, considering Massaro's young age, and the long list of famous people who've died by suicide, many began to wonder if that was in fact the cause of her early demise. During a radio interview on Friday, former WWE star and UFC fighter CM Punk added further fuel to that fire by saying he had heard Massaro had died by suicide, despite that having not been reported previously. Now, that sad reality appears to be confirmed.
According to TMZ, who first broke the news of Massaro's death last week, multiple sources are saying that the former WWE star was found hanging, and that authorities are classifying the death as "non-criminal." Those same authorities have yet to officially confirm Massaro's cause of death, but also have yet to dispute the report, and Punk's prior statements suggest it's correct. Punk worked alongside Massaro for most of her WWE career, and it's not hard to imagine that they've kept in touch over the years.
Massaro hasn't exactly been on great terms with WWE for the last several years, which is probably why their statement about her passing last week was so tersely worded. She's made no secret of the fact that she's been battling addiction and depression for a long time, and that numerous injuries sustained during her WWE career have made her post-wrestling life harder. She was also part of a class action lawsuit against WWE in which 60 former wrestlers sued the company for not better protecting its employees from concussion-induced head trauma, and not properly informing them of the risks of sustaining repeated concussions and blows to the head. That lawsuit was dismissed as frivolous by a judge last year, although The New York Post is now reporting that Massaro's brain might be donated to CTE research.
Unlike in movies and TV, in most real-life suicide cases, the deceased doesn't leave a note neatly explaining what drove them to want to end their life. Thus, we'll likely never know exactly what Massaro's reasons for taking such a drastic step were. Whatever led her down that path, the fact remains that her death was tragic, and is a truly sad reminder that life is fleeting. Just a day before her death, Massaro posted a happy Tweet about answering the mountain of fan mail she's received. It just goes to show that one never knows how a person is feeling on the inside.