Shannon Claire Spruill (July 17, 1975-September 1, 2021) was a German professional wrestler and valet. She is best known for her appearances with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) between 1999 and 2001 under the ring name Daffney and for working for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) where she used the ring name "The Governor", a caricature of Alaska governor and former United States Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, before returning to her Daffney ring name and gimmick.
Professional Wrestling Career
World Championship Wrestling (1999-2001)
In November 1999, Spruill responded to a World Championship Wrestling (WCW) contest looking to acquire new talent and was hired. In WCW, Spruill played Daffney, the mentally deranged, besotted girlfriend of David Flair, managing him and Crowbar. One of Daffney's hallmarks was a high piercing scream when she was lurking at ringside. The gimmick was based in part on Mallory Knox, the character played by Juliette Lewis in the film Natural Born Killers. Spruill has cited Batman supervillainess Harley Quinn as the original inspiration for the character. Spruill's first appearance was on the December 6 episode of Nitro, when she was shown sitting on her bed and chanting Flair's name.
On May 15, 2000 Daffney and Crowbar defeated WCW World Cruiserweight Champion Chris Candido and his girlfriend Tammy Lynn Sytch in a mixed tag team match and were declared co-champions. The following week on the May 22 episode of Nitro, Crowbar and Daffney faced one another to determine the undisputed World Cruiserweight Champion. Crowbar held back during the match, but still dominated the smaller Daffney. After Candido entered the ring and hit Crowbar with a reverse piledriver, Spruill inadvertently pinned him while trying to revive him and thus became the second woman ever to hold the Cruiserweight Championship. Her reign lasted until June 7 when Lieutenant Loco pinned Disco Inferno in a three-way title defense while Daffney was hurt following interference from Miss Hancock. Daffney went on to feud with Hancock, who had stolen the affections of Flair. Daffney defeated Hancock in the promotion's first ever Wedding Gown match after Hancock removed her own dress. Daffney then became solely the valet for Crowbar. She had a brief feud with Shane Douglas's valet, Torrie Wilson, but was rarely used as a wrestler.
Daffney was notable for her constantly changing hair color, wide selection of T-shirts with slogans on them, and her propensity to scream loudly and shrilly for no apparent reason. She began screaming at the suggestion of WCW writer Ed Ferrara. Though Spruill's somewhat gothic character earned her a small but loyal fan base, she was released by WCW on February 2, 2001 due to budget cutbacks (WCW itself was purchased by its rival, the World Wrestling Federation, a month later).
Shimmer Women Athletes (2007-2010, 2013, 2014)
In April 2007, Spruill debuted as Daffney for Shimmer Women Athletes. She conducted an interview where she revealed her goal was to return to what she did from the beginning of her career and that was to manage. Later that evening, she appeared as the manager of the wrestler MsChif. In April 2008 she began wrestling as her Shark Girl character. However, she returned to wrestling as Daffney after only a couple of months. This included a pair of matches against Cat Power; losing the first at Volume 20 after her knee injury was re-aggravated, but winning the rematch at Volume 21.
On November 8, 2009, Daffney teamed up with Rachel Summerlyn in a losing effort against the International Home Wrecking Crew at Volume 27. During the match, Daffney refused to tag herself in and later abandoned Summerlyn, turning Daffney heel. Later in the night on Volume 28, Daffney got disqualified in a match with Summerlyn, after she did not release an illegal hold off her opponent. On April 11, 2010, at the tapings of Volume 31, the evil Daffney defeated Summerlyn in a No Disqualification match.
On April 6, 2013, Daffney returned to Shimmer Women Athletes at the promotion's first ever internet pay-per-view, Volume 53, where she appeared as the manager of Regeneration X (Allison Danger and Leva Bates). Daffney appeared as a ring announcer at SHIMMER 62 on April 5, 2014.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2008-2011)
Debut; The Governor (2008-2009)
Spruill appeared on the June 5, 2008 edition of TNA Impact! as Daffney. She was planted in the audience along with fellow wrestlers Amber O'Neal and Becky Bayless. The three women volunteered to wrestle Awesome Kong in the $25,000 Challenge. Daffney was selected and subsequently defeated by Kong.
In December 2008, Spruill started playing the role of Alaska governor Sarah Palin in skits involving The Beautiful People. On the January 15 edition of Impact! it was revealed by Taylor Wilde and Roxxi that "Sarah Palin" was indeed fake, and it had all been a big joke by Roxxi and Taylor to get revenge on The Beautiful People. They then proceeded to muck the Beautiful People as Spruill, Taylor and Roxxi celebrated. The next week she was seen in an interview with Lauren, where they made fun of the Beautiful People. The Beautiful People then proceeded to viciously attack "The Governor" before being pulled away by Cute Kip as Spruill lay injured. On the February 5, 2009, edition of Impact! she made her return by attacking the Beautiful People, this time complete with entrance video and theme. She made her PPV debut at Destination X in a winning effort when she teamed with Roxxi and Wilde to defeat The Beautiful People and Madison Rayne.
Daffney; Heel Turn and Alliance with Dr. Stevie (2009-2010)
As a result of having her hair cut by the Beautiful People on the March 19 edition of Impact!, Spruill transformed into her old Daffney ring name and gimmick on the April 2 edition of Impact!, when she appeared in on-screen psychiatrist Dr. Stevie's office for a therapy session. On the April 16 edition of Impact!, she teamed with Stevie's other patient Abyss to defeat the duo of ODB and Cody Deaner in a mixed tag team match. She competed in the Queen of the Cage match at Lockdown against ODB, Madison Rayne and Sojournor Bolt, but failed to win the match. On the May 14 edition of Impact!, Daffney turned heel by assaulting Taylor Wilde, because she did not save her when The Beautiful People cut her hair. At Sacrifice, Wilde defeated Daffney, who had Abyss and Dr. Stevie in her corner, in the first ever knockouts' Monster's Ball match. After she and Dr. Stevie began associating themselves with the returning Raven, Daffney defeated Wilde with their help in a rematch on the June 4 edition of Impact with her swinging fisherman suplex named the Lobotomy. The following week, Daffney assaulted Wilde backstage after provoking her by attacking her on-screen best friend, backstage interviewer Lauren, earlier on the same night. Daffney and Raven were defeated by Abyss and Taylor Wilde at Slammiversary in a Monster's Ball mixed tag match. During the match Wilde slammed Daffney onto a pile of thumbtacks. The following Thursday on Impact!, she and Wilde faced off in the first ever Knockouts "Match of 10,000 Tacks", which she lost.
At Bound for Glory, Daffney interfered in a Monster's Ball match between Abyss and Mick Foley, who had assigned Abyss' rival and Daffney's associate Dr. Stevie as the special guest referee of the match. During the match, Abyss chokeslammed Daffney from the ring apron through a barbed wire board, although reports indicated she had suffered a broken arm, it was later reported to be inaccurate although she had instead suffered a concussion. On the November 12 edition of Impact! Raven once again returned to TNA to reform the group of himself, Dr. Stevie and Daffney.
Going Solo (2010-2011)
Daffney spent the next couple of months mainly managing Stevie and Raven, before making her in-ring return on the February 18, 2010, edition of Impact!, losing to the TNA Knockouts Champion Tara via disqualification, after hitting her with a toolbox. After the match, Daffney continued her assault, before being dragged away by Dr. Stevie. The following week on Impact! she annihilated ODB in similar fashion as it was noted that she had her eye set on the title. On the March 8 edition of Impact!, Daffney cost Tara and her tag team partner Angelina Love the Knockouts Tag Team Championship by hitting her with the Knockouts Championship belt during a match for the vacant titles. At Destination X, Daffney failed in her attempt to win the Knockouts Championship from Tara, but managed to steal her spider, Poison, from her after the match. The following day on Impact!, Daffney used distraction from Poison to pin Tara in an eight Knockout tag team match to earn her a First Blood match for the Knockouts Championship the following week. The following week Tara defeated Daffney in a First Blood match after hitting her with a toolbox. The following week Daffney was one of the four winners in an eight knockout Lockbox match, contested for four keys to four boxes containing prizes. During the contest Tara, one of the three other winners, won back Poison, while Daffney came up empty handed and was forced to strip down, but before she could, she was attacked by Lacey Von Erich. The attack resulted in a match on the April 19 edition of Impact!, where Daffney, now seemingly a face, and a partner of her choice, ODB, unsuccessfully challenged Von Erich and Velvet Sky for the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship. At the following day's Impact! tapings, Daffney was injured in a dark match against Miss Betsy in her tryout match and was taken to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with a deeply bruised sternum, a severe stinger, and a concussion.
On May 26, it was announced that Spruill had been cleared to return to wrestling. She made her return at the June 14 tapings of Xplosion, wrestling once again as a villain and defeating Taylor Wilde with the help of a chain, only to have the referee of the match catch her afterwards, leading to Wilde defeating her after a restart. On the December 9 edition of Impact!, Daffney teamed with Sarita in a first round match of a tournament for the vacant TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship, where they were defeated by the Beautiful People (Angelina Love and Velvet Sky). This marked Daffney's final appearance for TNA as on March 15, 2011, her contract with the promotion expired and was not renewed. Spruill announced that she had filed a workers' compensation claim against TNA for injuries suffered while wrestling for the promotion, believing she had been put in an unsafe working environment. Spruill later also claimed that she did not believe she could ever wrestle again due to the accumulated injuries she had suffered during her career. The lawsuit was settled out of court on March 8, 2013.
On July 20, 2012, Daffney joined the new SHINE Wrestling promotion as a hostess, ring announcer, and eventually a commentator with Lenny Leonard. At SHINE 9 on April 19, 2013, Daffney and Nikki Roxx were attacked by Mercedes Martinez during a birthday party for Roxx. As a result, Daffney resigned from her position as hostess and applied for a manager's license. At SHINE 11 on July 12, Daffney formed Daffney's All-Star Squad to fight against the villains in Shine Wrestling. She serves as the manager of the stable, which consists of Nikki Roxx, Solo Darling, and Kimberly. At SHINE 16 on January 24, 2014, Daffney introduced her new tag team known as The Buddy System, which consisted of Solo Darling and Heidi Lovelace, and they defeated The S-N-S Express (Sassy Stephie and Jessie Belle). Daffney later added Crazy Mary Dobson to the group, and she and Solo Darling defeated Valifornia in a tag team match.
After Valifornia took out both Lovelace and Darling in recent shows, Daffney pulled her entire squad from the SHINE 28 event. Daffney turned heel at SHINE 28 on July 24, 2015, when she introduced The Iron Maidens (Amaiya Jade and Katie Forbes) as her new tag team and sent them to attack Andréa, Marti Belle, and The Kimber Bombs. During the attack, Daffney inserted chairs into the ring, which was used to deliver a DDT on Kimber Lee. At SHINE 29 on September 2, Daffney accompanied Crazy Mary Dobson to her match against Miss Rachel, and continued to display her dark heel persona by tripping up Rachel to help Dobson win. She later returned with the Iron Maidens, and they fought with Valifornia and Cherry Bomb before they were ejected by Lexie Fyfe.
- Finishing moves
- As Daffney
- Daff Knees (Single knee facebreaker) – 2008–2011
- Frankenscreamer (Frankensteiner) – 2000–2007
- Lobotomy (Bridging swinging fisherman suplex) – 2009–2011
- As Shark Girl
- As The Governor
- Thrilla from Wasilla (Swinging fisherman suplex)
- As Daffney
- Signature moves
- As Daffney
- Diving hurricanrana
- The Fyfe Drop (Sidewalk slam) – adopted from Lexie Fyfe
- Hosaka Kick! (Spin kick) – adopted from Malia Hosaka
- Inverted DDT
- Lady of the Lake
- Lance Crab (Roll-through counter into a single leg Boston crab) – adopted from Lance Storm
- Leggo My Eggos (Double chickenwing / Delfin Clutch combination)
- Rolling neck snap
- Shining wizard
- As Shark Girl
- Armbar while biting the opponent's arm
- Bridging evasion
- Lou Thesz press
- As Daffney
- Wrestlers managed
- "The Goth Goddess"
- "The Scream Queen"
- "Zombie Hot"
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
|2008 PWI Top 50 Females|
|Amazing Kong • Beth Phoenix • Gail Kim • Mickie James • MsChif • Sara Del Rey • Roxxi Laveaux • Melina • Michelle McCool • Candice Michelle • Mercedes Martinez • Victoria • Taylor Wilde • ODB • Daizee Haze • Angelina Love • Jacqueline • April Hunter • Nattie Neidhart • Sumie Sakai • Allison Danger • Tracy Brooks • Velvet Sky • Sarah Stock • Mickie Knuckles • Katie Lea Burchill • Cherry • Cheerleader Melissa • Maria Kanellis • Amber O'Neal • Lexie Fyfe • Kelly Kelly • Cindy Rogers • Jillian Hall • Malia Hosaka • Christie Ricci • Becky Bayless • Alere Little Feather • Layla El • Kelly Couture • Jaime D • Christy Hemme • Milena Roucka • Annie Social • LuFisto • Trenesha Biggers • Danyah • Jennifer Blake • Daffney • Portia Perez|
|2009 PWI Top 50 Females|
|Mickie James • Angelina Love • Melina • MsChif • Tara • Awesome Kong • Beth Phoenix • Michelle McCool • Maryse • Taylor Wilde • Sara Del Rey • Cheerleader Melissa • Gail Kim • Mercedes Martinez • ODB • Daizee Haze • Sarita • Daffney • Madison Rayne • Katie Lea Burchill • Nikki Roxx • Angel Orsini • Velvet Sky • Sojo Bolt • Natalya • Rain • Amber O'Neal • Jillian Hall • Jetta • Lufisto • Madison Eagles • Nevaeh • Wesna Busic • Kelly Kelly • Portia Perez • Danyah • Ariel • Jennifer Blake • Nicole Matthews • Serena Deeb • Allison Danger • Malia Hosaka • Lexie Fyfe • Jamie D • Amy Lee • Annie Social • April Hunter • Cherry Bomb • Jessie McKay • Rosa Mendes|
|2010 PWI Top 50 Females|
|Michelle McCool • Angelina Love • Mercedes Martinez • Cheerleader Melissa • Eve Torres • Madison Rayne • Beth Phoenix • Mickie James • MsChif • Maryse • Tara • Sara Del Rey • Gail Kim • Awesome Kong • Madison Eagles • Sarita • Alicia Fox • Taylor Wilde • Daffney • Hamada • Velvet Sky • ODB • Nikki Roxx • Jillian • Portia Perez • Kelly Kelly • Rain • Angel Orsini • Natalya • Serena Deeb • Nicole Matthews • Amber O'Neal • LuFisto • Daizee Haze • Allison Danger • Layla • Kellie Skater • Tiffany • Jennifer Blake • Jazz • Melissa Coates • Cat Power • Malia Hosaka • Cherry Bomb • April Hunter • Jessicka Havok • Brittany Force • Naomi Night • Cindy Rogers • Roxie Cotton|