Former women’s professional wrestler Daffney Unger has died, one day after posting alarming social media videos. She was 46.
The death of Unger, whose real name was Shannon Spruill, was announced Thursday by the SHIMMER women’s professional wrestling association.
“We are very sad to have to announce the passing of Shannon Spruill aka Daffney Unger,” the organization said in a statement. “We are posting this at the request of her family. Please respect their privacy at this trying time.”
Unger’s death was also confirmed on Facebook by her mother, Jean Tookey Spruill.
“It is with great sadness I have to let you know that my daughter Shannon Spruill — Scream Queen Daff — passed away suddenly last night,” Jean Tookey Spruill wrote. “Absolutely heartbroken.”
A spokesperson for the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Unger’s death to TMZ Sports but did not reveal a cause or manner.
Unger rose to prominence while competing in the World Championship Wrestling promotion from 1999 to 2001, USA Today reported. She later appeared on Total Nonstop Action Wrestling from 2008 to 2011, according to the newspaper.
Unger raised concerns among friends and fellow wrestlers on Wednesday after she hosted an Instagram Live session that showed her holding what appeared to be a small gun, People reported. In her video, which has since been reposted to YouTube and elsewhere, Unger talked about potentially having symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disorder caused by repeated concussions.
“The most important thing to remember is, that, CTE, and head injuries and concussions, they can only really now be,” Unger said in the video, before pausing, People reported. “They can now really only be diagnosed after you are dead.
“So, I don’t want to do anything to hurt my brain. I want to be studied. “I want the future generations to know. Don’t do stupid (expletive) like me.”
After the Instagram Live session, former pro wrestler Mick Foley issued a plea on Twitter, asking people to help locate Unger. Foley said he attempted to contact Unger by telephone but his calls went straight to her voicemail.
On Thursday, Foley wrote a long post on Facebook to pay tribute to Unger.
“May God bless you, Shannon, and may you rest in peace,” Foley wrote. “You were such an important figure in wrestling, ahead of your time, giving more to the wrestling business than it ever gave to you, inspiring others who didn’t look like the women of the day to follow a path you helped pave.
“But you were more than a wrestler. You made miracles happen.”
Persons who know about anyone struggling with thoughts of suicide are asked to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Dean & Rog Mornings
Def Leppard / Journey / Steve Miller Band at Minute Maid Park
Dean & Rog’s Thousand Dollar Minute
Winning Weekend: Enter To Win Tickets To See REO Speedwagon LIVE
Best Excuse To Get Out Of A Bad Date!
Winning Weekend!! Win Tickets To See Santana LIVE August 17