Former WWE and ECW talent Nicole Bass has passed away at the age of 52.
A friend of Nicole’s made a Facebook post, seen below, on Nicole’s official page earlier and noted that she became very sick a few days ago and after being hospitalized, they were told today there was nothing else that could be done for her. Dave Meltzer reported on F4Wonline.com that Bass suffered a massive stroke earlier in the week and never recovered.
The former pro bodybuilder began working with ECW in 1998 before debuting as Sable’s bodyguard at WrestleMania 15 in 1999. Bass had a few feuds in WWE before leaving the company after filing a lawsuit claiming she was sexually assaulted by Steve “Brooklyn Brawler” Lombardi backstage. The case went to court in 2003 but was dismissed. Bass worked some indies after her WWE run but had been quiet in recent years. Meltzer also noted that she had suffered health problems for the past decade.
You can see videos of Bass in ECW and WWE below:
Below is the post from Nicole’s friend
Dignity and Respect.
2 things every person on this planet deserves.
2 things very important to Nicole Bass.
The past few days I, Kristen Marrone, have been posting to my girlfriends pages to try and keep her very personal life private. Rumors have been spreading around the internet about her health. A few days ago we didn’t know all of what was going on so I have been trying to keep it quiet until we had answers. Nicole values her privacy and I Respect that. Before anyone tries to take the story and twist it up and make it ugly I want to put it out there in a Respectful way.
A few days ago Nicole got very sick. She was brought into the hospital and they did everything they could to help her. I have been sitting here with her in the room 24/7 since she got here making sure she was being given the best possible care. Today we learned that there is nothing else that can be done.
Nicole was an amazing woman. Strong not only on the outside but inside as well. Beautiful soul and kind heart. Many people knew Nicole but few ever got close enough to know the REAL woman that she was. I got to be one of the lucky few. Not only was she my soul mate and my girlfriend but she was my best friend, my teacher and my business partner. I learned many valuable things from her and created many beautiful memories in the time we had together.
I would like to keep her page open for her loving fans and friends to share their photos and memories.
I just ask that you treat Nicole with the dignity and respect that she deserves.
Thank you to everyone that has been reaching out to and helping me through this very difficult time.
Nicole, I love you. I will always love you.
I will always be yours and you will always be mine
Rumors that Bass was in poor health began circulating on Monday as a reddit user claimed on the Howard Stern subreddit that she suffered a major heart attack that day. User Pyrepenol wrote:
Her girlfriend got in contact with us and told us she’s in the hospital… Not sure how she’s doing at the moment but keep her in your thoughts and prayers if you’re into that sort of thing.
Prior to entering professional wrestling, Bass had an extensive career as a female bodybuilder in the late ’80s and throughout the ’90s. At 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, she was a controversial figure in the bodybuilding scene because of her huge size. Although bigger and more muscular than any other woman of her era, she never won a major bodybuilding contest until at least a decade into her career. By 1995, she began to place highly in contests and would go on to win the 1997 NPC National Bodybuilding Championship.
Her being the butt of jokes about whether she was really a man led her to be regularly featured on The Howard Stern Show, leading to a measure of cult celebrity status.
After Chyna became a star in WWE — then known as the WWF — both WCW and ECW tried to copy her success by hiring woman bodybuilders. Paul Heyman brought Bass to ECW in 1997 on the guise they had someone much larger and more muscular than Chyna.
Following her brief stint in ECW, Bass debuted in WWE in March 1999 by helping Sable successfully defend the Women’s Championship against Tori at WrestleMania XV. From there, the massive Bass went on to manhandle a number of females on the roster, including Ivory, Debra and Jacqueline.
Bass was bigger than many men WWE, but was put in the ring with limited wrestling training. This hiring was considered a bad decision since she was much bigger than Chyna, which worked against the then-popular star’s gimmick.
Bass never got wrestling down and her stay in the company was short; she was let go in the summer of 1999. She later filed a lawsuit against WWE for sexual harassment, claiming she was sexually assaulted backstage by Steve Lombardi (a/k/a Brooklyn Brawler). The case went to court in 2003 and was ultimately dismissed.
Bass had battled health problems for the past several years. She was hospitalized in 2006 due to steroid-influenced pancreatitis.