No concrete details have come out regarding Ashley Massaro’s departure from WWE a few weeks ago, although there was a lot of skepticism & speculation behind the scenes. When the news came out, it was quite the topic of discussion.
As noted earlier, Ashley announced on her MySpace account that her seven-year-old daughter was sick, which forced her to request her release from the company to take care of her. She didn’t mention what the illness was and said she may be back if her daughter gets better. Ashley said she loves WWE, all the talent and the fans, but she can’t go on the road at this point in time.
A number of people speculated that if her daughter did indeed have a very serious illness, the company would surely grant her the necessary time off to take care of the situation. For instance, WWE gave Monty “Marcus Cor Von” Brown a lot of time off to take care of his sister’s children last year. However, when it became clear that Brown couldn’t come back on the road, only then was he released from the company.
The most popular theory is that Ashley used this “sick daughter” story as a way to bow out of the limelight in light of the Rolling Stone article that listed her as participating as a high-priced escort several years ago. When the article came out, Ashley immediately posted a message on her MySpace saying that she was “beyond upset” and urged fans to not believe it. She also said she was getting in touch with her lawyer. However, we never heard about it again and there was no retraction. Rolling Stone stood by their story. Later, an anonymous person looked up the old website of the Los Angeles based “Bella Models” escort agency via Archive.org and found a page from 2004 listing a person by the name of Ashley Massaro offering her services for $25,000. The Ashley Massaro in question was also listed from New York City, the same city WWE billed the ex-Diva from.
There is, or at least was, “another Ashley Massaro” based out of Las Vegas who won some bikini competitions in 2003 and 2004, but no one could find any information on this supposed Ashley. There are some bikini modeling pictures of an Ashley Massaro from this time period online, but it’s the same person.
Back in April, Massaro was originally slated for the push Mickie James ended up getting, but she got it instead because it would have set a bad example to give Massaro the top push after being sent home a few weeks prior. Massaro was sent home in late February for reasons unknown. The only thing that came out was that she was in “bad shape.” WWE had no choice but to bring her back when Candice Michelle went down with an injury two weeks before her scheduled tag match at WrestleMania. Also, Torrie Wilson was out with a career-ending back injury at the time, and with no other healthy former Playboy covergirls on the roster, Ashley got the nod.
Massaro was a favorite of WWE television producer Kevin Dunn because it was through his project, the Diva Search, that got her discovered. Also, it was Dunn’s call to put her on the CBS reality show Survivor last year, which created a lot of second-guessing.
Massaro’s last match took place at the 4/28 Raw in New Jersey in a 12-Diva rematch from the night before at the Backlash pay-per-view. Massaro’s final WWE appearance took place at the 5/5 Raw in Toronto. She and a number of other Divas crowded the ring as lumberjacks for a Mickie James vs. Beth Phoenix title match. The story from Rolling Stone broke out the previous Saturday, so she would have already been on the road. Coincidently, or perhaps not so coincidently, Ashley was never seen in WWE again after that headline-grabbing week even though there were no reported injuries of her.