Yesterday we reported that Ashley Massaro had passed away and there was no information on the cause of death. Today the New York Post announced that she died of suicide after struggling for years with depression. Massaro was found unconscious in her house when she failed to show up to work at a local radio station. She died on her way to the hospital despite the heroic efforts of the paramedics
During her time in the WWE she suffered a number of concussions and other injuries which led to her severe depression. She even joined the class-action lawsuit against the WWE for not warning her of and protecting her from concussions. In the affidavit, she stated, “Aside from my on-going physical injuries that were sustained in the ring, and my former battle with addiction, to this day I suffer from depression, for which I take medication; migraine headaches; and severe short-term memory loss.”
After her death, Massaro’s close friend Shelly Martinez stated, “My best friend from the wrestling business died from suicide two days after responding to 300+ fan letters. She was the happiest I have seen her in years, so stoked that people still cared about her 11 years after her career was over. There are no signs. It comes without warning.”
The WWE released a statement about Massaro’s passing, “We are saddened to learn of the tragic death of former WWE Superstar Ashley Massaro. She performed in WWE from 2005-2008 and was beloved by her fellow Superstars and fans around the world. WWE offers its condolences to Ashley’s family and friends.”
QD – In some ways I’m shocked by this, in other ways not so much. When news of her death came through I automatically thought it had to be an accidental overdose, just from knowing about her history with addiction. I truly didn’t think she had taken her own life. I hate to say that another life was lost due to the head injuries and concussions in the professional wrestling industry. It breaks my heart that this woman was dealing with these issues after her short time in the WWE.
Concussions are a huge issue that has been addressed some, but not as much as it should be. We have lost too many professional athletes in a variety of ways that all connect back to concussions. Even Alexa Bliss who has worked the ring in this much more cautious time is out due to a concussion, and who knows when she will be able to return as every concussion is different. I feel terrible that Massaro thought this was her only way out, and I call on the WWE to take care of their former superstars and divas. They do a great job putting current and former superstars into rehab for drug and alcohol issues, but they’ve not done anything to help those with concussions and head injuries that have totally changed, and sometimes destroyed, their lives. The WWE booked these matches with chair shots and other weapons, and while they’ve worked hard to cut down on those head injuries, they are not doing enough for those who are struggling with post-concussion syndrome. It’s beyond time the WWE steps up and takes care of these people and give them the help they need.