Nicole Bass took the world by storm when she began her career as a bodybuilder in the 1980s.

Standing 6’2 and weighing in at 240lbs, Bass was a force to be reckoned with and instantly stood out. At her strongest, she even gave male bodybuilders a run for their money.

However, as her career grew, people began to notice a change in Bass’s physique as she became bulkier in the 1990s due to steroid use.

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Bass, who was also known for appearances on The Howard Stern Show and Days of Our Lives, even won the National Bodybuilding Championship in 1997.

The following year she started a professional wrestling career with Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and later the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), since rebranded to the WWE.

Bass, who married Richard Fuchs in 1985, made her debut on WWF as Sable’s bodyguard at Wrestlemania XV in 1999 before striking up a mixed tag team with Val Venis.

Her last match was in 2002 before she filed a lawsuit against the organisation for sexual harassment, claiming she was sexually assaulted backstage by a fellow wrestler. However, the case was dismissed in court.

Following a few years wrestling independent events and taking bookings, Bass was admitted to hospital in 2006 after suffering from steroid-related pancreatitis. Doctors advised her not to train intensely causing her to lose most of the muscle she had gained.

Her health struggles continued over the intervening years until 2017.

She was hospitalised on February 16 of that year after being found unconscious at her apartment.

Bass was declared to be medically brain dead and was taken off life support. She died the following day at the age of 52.

Her husband had died in his sleep years prior in 2013 and when Bass passed away, she was in a relationship with her “soulmate” Kristen Marrone, who shared news of her tragic death on Facebook.

Kristen wrote: “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 soulmate 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.”

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