The world has lost Shannon Spruill last month when she committed suicide at the age of 46.
Spruill made a lasting impression in professional wrestling as Daffney. She had a run in WCW that began in 1999, becoming only the second woman to hold the company’s cruiserweight title, then established herself a decade later in TNA. Known for her physical and hardcore approach, Daffney worked an extreme style, which made her a perfect fit for the Monster’s Ball match. Weapons and chaos were integral to this match concept for her, and it was an area where, even battered and bruised, Daffney thrived.
In tribute to Daffney, Impact Wrestling broadcasts a Monster’s Ball match at Knockout Knockdown Saturday. Industry pioneer Gail Kim, who is now a producer and Talent Relations Liaison for Impact, says it was the match that made Daffney a truly unmistakable wrestling star.
“She was one of the first to break the mold and become this die-hard queen, and the Monster’s Ball game was a big part of that,” Kim said. “It’s a big event to bring back, but it means so much more than that this time around.”
The match should be emotional, full of tributes to someone who cherished her position as a professional wrestler. Impact wrestler Caleb Konley made Daffney armbands for wrestlers in the Monsters Ball match, one of the many ways she will be remembered.
“There is a very strong bond in our sibling industry,” Kim says. “It’s undeniable, and we always unite for these moments that touch us. It’s a very fast growing business, but we all slowed down when we discovered Daffney. It’s time to come together and pay tribute to him, starting with this Monster’s Ball match.
“And after this show, we want to continue the discussion about mental health. It’s a fast-paced world and a fast-paced business, and we need to do more to help each other. “
For Kim, it is essential to continue the discussion about mental health. She believes it has the potential to save lives, both inside and outside the wrestling industry, and is proudly associated with the new ‘Tag Me In’ mental health initiative.
“It’s important for us to talk,” says Kim. “We all need a shoulder to lean on. And with these tragedies happening, with Daffney and Ashley [Massaro], it’s so important to be even more in tune with the people around us. We need to let people know that we are there for them. The smallest gesture has the potential to make the biggest difference.
While there will also be a spectacular display of professional wrestling on Saturday at the Monster’s Ball match, Kim is also extremely proud that Daffney’s memory will endure as she wrestles to raise awareness of the importance of mental health.
“I can’t wait for everyone to watch this game,” Kim said. “It’s almost like Daffney is there watching, and the girls felt that responsibility to deliver.
“This is an opportunity to celebrate Daffney’s life. This is an opportunity to celebrate what she has done for the company, and I would like her to know that. I wish she could see everything she did for all the women out there.
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