The death of Shannon Spruill, a former professional wrestler who went by the ring name Daffney Unger, was announced on Thursday by SHIMMER women’s professional wrestling, one day after posting alarming social media videos.
“We are very sad to have to announce the passing of Shannon Spruill aka Daffney Unger,” the statement read. “We are posting this at the request of her family. Please respect their privacy at this trying time.”
Spruill’s mother, Jean Tookey Spruill, posted on Facebook that she is, “absolutely heartbroken,” saying her daughter passed away last night.
Spruill, 46, attained fame in the wrestling world during her time with World Championship Wrestling in 1999-2001 – before it was bought out from the World Wrestling Federation – before appearing on Total Nonstop Action Wrestling from 2008 to 2011. A cause of death has not been released.
Many people on social media showed concern for Spruill Wednesday night after she posted a video on Instagram with her crying and saying, “Do you guys not realize that I am all alone?” before appearing to hold a gun. She later said she wanted her “brain to go to Boston.”
After the video was posted, former wrestler Mick Foley posted on Twitter he tried to get in contact with Spruill but went straight to voicemail, saying, “If anyone has a way of reaching Daffney Unger, or knows her address, please help out. She’s in a bad personal place and is threatening to harm herself.”
Numerous current and former wrestlers posted messages on Twitter Thursday remembering Spruill and advocating those struggling with their mental health to seek help.
“Shortly after making a name for herself, Daffney made history in May of 2000 when she became only the second woman to hold the WCW Cruiserweight Championship,” the WWE said in a statement Thursday evening. “With her signature scream and ever-changing style, Daffney would go onto become a mainstay of the independent scene for more than two decades.”
Fellow professional wrestler Lexie Fyre told the New York Daily News Spruill was, “a born performer who was made for wrestling.
“She’ll be missed as a performer, too, not just as a friend, but mostly as a friend,” she said.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.