Former ECW star Francine joined Wrestling Shoot Interviews to pay tribute to her friend Shannon Spruill, better known as WCW and TNA star Daffney, who passed away on September 1. Francine talked about the friendship the two shared, dating back to the early 2000’s. She also discussed how devastated she was over Daffney’s death.
“We became best friends for the last 20 years, extremely close,” Francine revealed. “I met her for the first time, I wanna say, maybe 2001-2002, something like that. I met her down at Dusty Rhodes’ Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling. They were having a show and she was so cute. She came up to me and she did the Wayne’s World ‘we’re not worthy’ bow. She started doing that, and I was just staring at this girl and I’m thinking ‘what are you doing?!’
“She just told me how big of a fan she was, that she loved my character. She loved ECW, and she watched me to learn how to do promos. She was so complementary and she was going on and on, and I remember us taking a picture together which I posted last week when she had passed away.
“We might have exchanged emails but we didn’t keep in touch until after, when we were both in TNA together. We did the first TNA pay-per-view and we did the – it was supposed to be a ten-woman lingerie battle royal but there were only nine of us. I don’t know what happened to the tenth girl; she disappeared! But her and I were in that together, and we just started talking and became super, super tight.
“And over the years, we’ve travelled the roads together. I mean, she’s stayed at my house several times, she knows my kids, my husband, she was at my wedding. Very close friends. I’m devastated. My only comfort right now is knowing she’s at peace because she has been struggling with depression for so long, and I know that she’s at peace now.”
Francine also talked about Daffney’s struggles with mental health over the years, including several instances where she would call Francine crying. Her death has inspired Francine to be more proactive with mental health issues going forward.
“They say September is Suicide Prevention Month but it should be every single day,” Francie said. “People struggle every single day with this. I have two young kids and I’m terrified; I don’t want them to feel like Shannon felt. So, I try to be here for them, both me and my husband. We’re very hands on with our children. I’m always like, ‘is something bothering you, please tell me.’ Because it does start at a young age, and it’s very sad what these kids have to go through these days.
“Like I said, Shannon struggled for years, and years, and years, and I can’t tell you how many times I sat on the phone, whether it was just a regular telephone call or a video call like this, and just watched her cry for hours and hours. I just wish I could have been there for her that day. And I did call her earlier in the day, but she didn’t pick up the phone.”
You can watch the full clip below.