Shannon Claire Spruill, better known to fans as Daffney Unger, passed away at the age of 46 on September 2, 2021, sending shockwaves through professional wrestling community. In the hours and days following the death of one of the most electric female wrestlers of the past quarter-century in promotions like WCW, TNA, and others on the independent circuit, Unger’s former colleagues and contemporaries like Mick Foley and CM Punk were quick to take to social media to pay tribute to wrestling star.
And while Daffney Unger’s cause of death has not yet been confirmed, wrestlers and wrestling fans alike first became troubled by comments she made late Wednesday, September 1, just hours before she was found dead. One of those to reach out to pay respect to Unger while also offering support for those facing similar difficulties was wrestling legend Mick Foley.
Mick Foley, who worked for the TNA wrestling promotion during the same stretch of time as Daffney Unger, previously attempted to get ahold of his former colleague not long after she made comments about conditions like CTE in the Instagram video.
CM Punk, who made his return to the world of professional wrestling after signing with AEW in August 2021, talked about Daffney Unger in a cryptic tweet not long after her death was first announced.
Mickie James, who first met Daffney Unger when the two were wrestling for former-WWE developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling, took to Instagram shortly after her longtime friend’s death to share a picture of the former roommates and a touching tribute.
WWE superstar Paige, the basis for the 2019 film Fighting With My Family, jumped on Twitter after Daffney Unger’s passing to share how much the groundbreaking female wrestler meant to her and younger generations, calling her an “inspiration” to those who followed in her footsteps. The former WWE Divas Champion ended her brief tribute with #MentalHealth.
And then there was former WWE/TNA/ROH and current AEW wrestler Matt Hardy, who reached out to say it was “terrible” and “heartbreaking” to hear of Daffney Unger’s passing. The multi-time champion also offered his support for her family and friends during their time of grieving.
Charles Robinson, who served as a referee with WCW when Daffney Unger became the second woman to win the Cruiserweight Championship, got on Twitter on September 2, to say how “heartbroken” he was at the news of Daffney Unger’s passing.
Former WCW/WWE/TNA superstar Hurricane Helms, who was part of one of Daffney Unger’s biggest moments in WCW, took to Twitter to talk about that fateful night on Thunder and the electric crow response.
Daffney Unger will be missed by those who shared the ring with her as well as those who watched her from crowded arenas or on their television screens for some time. And while the world of professional wrestling is confused, hurting, and grieving following her passing, we still have memories of her bright personality to help us in these dark days.
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Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.