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By Mike Johnson on 2017-01-29 01:12:00

Former WCW and TNA star Shannon Spruill, best known as Daffney, will undergo neck fusion surgery this Thursday to fuse her C-5 and C-6 vertebrae to fix an extrusion that is pressing upon her spinal column.

Spruill, 41, noted on her Facebook page that she had been dealing with pain for some time, to the point she could not think straight or sleep, even with medication and that after getting an epidural and finding that it didn’t relieve any of her pain, she was sent to spinal surgeon by her pain management doctor.  The doctor examined her and immediately scheduled the surgery for Thursday ­2/2.

“This whole thing seems surreal and it's not really sinking in, yet I've been thinking hard on it and can honestly say that I'm at peace with everything, “ wrote Spruill.  “Isn't neck surgery a rite of passage for a professional wrestler anyway?”

Spruill first entered the wrestling business when she was hired in the late 1990s by World Championship Wrestling as the psycho girlfriend of David Flair, eventually becoming part of trio with “Crowbar” Chris Ford.  She was with the company until it shut down, being physically involved but not training as a wrestler until after she was hired by the company.

Although WWE gave her several tryouts after the end of WCW, Spruill was not hired until July 2003, having short run in WWE developmental.  Prior to that run, she also appeared in Ring of Honor as the manager of CM Punk. 

Spruill also had several runs with TNA Wrestling with the second ending unceremoniously after the company let her contract expire after Spruill filed a lawsuit against them regarding the company handling of medical bills that they were supposed to cover after Spruill was injured working for them – once after suffering a concussion taking a crazy bump during a PPV where she crashed through a table covered in barbed wire and another when she was hurt on a TV taping and suffered sternum injuries as well as another concussion.

The lawsuit was based around Spruill's injuries at the Bound for Glory 2009 PPV, which according to the documents exceeded over $26,000.  In the lawsuit, Spruill alleged that TNA made a $600 payment on the bill.  When Spruill received a letter requesting payment for the balance, she alleged then-TNA Executive Terry Taylor told her that the company would pay the remainder.  TNA did not, leading to Spruill receiving several more demands for payment.  Spruill also claimed that one letter stated that TNA had declined to pay the balance, citing her as an "independent contractor", despite what she had been told by Taylor.

The lawsuit also alleged that TNA's Texas attorney (Texas, at the time, was where their parent company was based) had advised the company to delay payment in an attempt to eventually settle the debt for a smaller amount.  Spruill's side claimed to have proof of this via emails forwarded by Taylor to Spruill. As a result of this, and the Texas TNA attorney negotiating a smaller payment with the medical provider, Spruill's side had the attorney named as a witness in the case and requested he provide a deposition.  The attorney argued that the emails used violated his attorney-client privileges with TNA, but the court ruled that those privileges ended when Taylor (a third party) forwarded the emails to Spruill.  The lawsuit also alleged that TNA did eventually settle the claim in the amount of $8,000 but not before Spruill had to deal with being called by creditors and receiving additional material demanding payment, for a period of over a year.

The lawsuit was settled just after the court ruled that Spruill's attorney could depose then-TNA President Dixie Carter and that the court was willing to hear arguments on whether Spruill and other wrestlers were actually employees vs. independent contractors.  A mediation meeting was set and just before the hearing, the two sides came to a confidential settlement in March 2013.

At the time of her settlement, Spruill wrote, in a message to fans via Twitter, "I appreciate so much that you recognize the HUGE injustice that is being done to Professional Wrestlers throughout the industry. I hope my case has opened up a few blind eyes and maybe now we, the wrestlers who put our bodies on the line every time we step in the ring, are one step closer to being provided with medical coverage and all the benefits that go along with being a true employee and not an independent contractor."

Spruill never wrestled after her settlement with the company but remained active on the independent scene managing for SHIMMER Women's Wrestling and being involved as a host and personality for Florida's SHINE Wrestling. 

In 2012, she was involved in a serious car accident after her car hydroplaned in Florida and at the time, felt that had she not been wearing her seatbelt, she would have been killed in the wreck.


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