Nicole Bass, who was a well-known female bodybuilder who later went into pro wrestling passed away today at the age of 52.
Bass suffered a massive stroke earlier in the week and never recovered. Her Facebook page noted that that she got very sick a few days ago and they did everything they could to help her in the hospital but there was no more they could do.
Bass was a giant muscular woman, 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, and was controversial in bodybuilding circles because of her size. Although bigger and more muscular than any other woman of her era, she never won a major contest until a few years after her start of competition. By 1995, she was starting to place highly in contests and eventually won the NPC nationals.
Her being the butt of jokes about really being a man led her to be regularly featured on the Howard Stern show and she had achieved a measure of cult celebrity status before pro wrestling.
After Chyna became a star in the WWF, other organizations tried to copy her success by hiring woman bodybuilders. Paul Heyman hired her for ECW on the guise they had someone much larger and more muscular than Chyna.
Bass was actually bigger than most of the men in the promotion and more muscular than any of them, but was put in the ring with limited training and she never picked up the in-ring. Still, she was hired by WWF in 1999, a bad decision because she was much bigger than Chyna and it worked against the Chyna gimmick.
Bass never got the wrestling end down and her stay in WWF was short before she was let go. She later sued WWE claiming sexual harassment, a case that went to court but she lost.
She had battled health problems for the past decade.