Former WCW Star Daffney Unger's Death Ruled a Suicide by Medical Examiner

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 20, 2021

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The death of Shannon Spruill, who wrestled under the name Daffney Unger in WCW and TNA, has been ruled a suicide by a medical examiner.

TMZ Sports reported Spruill died of a self-inflicted gunshot to her chest. 

She was 46.

Spruill had been battling mental health issues leading up to her death and expressed suicidal thoughts on Instagram Live hours before taking her own life.

"Do you guys not understand that I am all alone? Do you not understand that?" Spruill said in the video.

She also told those watching Instagram Live that she wanted her brain sent to Boston, likely referring to the Boston University CTE Center and Brain Bank. Former WWE star Chris Nowinski has been at the forefront of research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a progressive, degenerative brain condition caused by repeated head trauma.

Several former wrestlers have been diagnosed with CTE following their deaths. Chris Benoit, who died by suicide after killing his wife and son in 2007, was the first wrestler to be diagnosed with CTE. The condition can cause significant mood swings, including suicidal ideation, but can only be diagnosed posthumously. 

Spruill wrestled in WCW from 1999-2001 and then sporadically in TNA from 2002 to 2011, along with several stops on the independent circuit. She stated she suffered several concussions during her wrestling career and blamed head injuries for the changes to quality of life she experienced late in her life.