|Daffney in a posed TNA photo.
Daffney is the toast of TNA and is happy to feel appreciated again.
Mick Foley recently wrote on his blog that "Daffney's Got it Going On" and put her promo and ring work over strongly.
"I'm his little, scary, creepy, life-sized doll," Daffney told SLAM! Wrestling and then laughed. "That is the most amazing thing I've ever experienced in my entire career. What an honour, to have someone like that say something like that about you."
It is a far cry from how she felt in 2004 when she decided to hang up her boots after getting fired from WWE. Daffney stayed out of the business for a year-and-a-half, taking some time off before ending up doing a photo shoot for a pay site created by Missy Hyatt and Francine. Not long after, an old friend phoned asking her to do a booking, and Daffney agreed to show up and manage.
"And then it just snowballed and it went from there. I got hooked again."
She went on to work the indy circuit from 2006 toward the end of 2008, when she got the call to appear as Alaskan Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin in an angle between The Beautiful People (Angelina Love and Velvet Sky) and Roxxi Laveaux and Taylor Wilde.
"I was honoured to do that because it made me feel like it was a really, really awesome way to get my foot in the door," Daffney said, adding she was surprised by how many fans later told her they did not know it had been her in the Palin role. "And it just goes to show that for years, Vince Russo and Terry Taylor just would constantly go to bat for me: 'Daffney could do that. Daffney could do this. Why don't we just have Daffney do that?'"
She had only good things to say about her old WCW and current TNA boss Russo.
"I am so grateful for Vince Russo. Vince Russo has always pulled for me, he's always believed in me. I think he has always recognized that whatever he throws at me, I try to make the best of it. I don't know if I always do exactly what he wants, but I know he always gives me opportunities to try. I mean, he put the strap on me in WCW, one of only two women to ever hold the Cruiserweight men's title. It was Madusa and then me. And what girl can say that? And in my year-and-a-half there, I wasn't off TV very much at all.
"And now with my run on TNA, look at how long the Governor thing ran, and then coming in as Daffney and this big feud with Taylor and Abyss and Dr. Stevie... I understand some people say whatever they say, but I appreciate everything he's done."
Daffney reemerged as a heel after she mugged Wilde for not saving her from getting her hair cut by Love and Sky.
"When they pitched cutting the hair and turning me back into Daffney, I was like, 'I'm all for it!' And they wanted to revamp her to make her different than how she was in WCW. I didn't want to do old hat and make her kooky and silly. She's a bad guy now and that's been fun."
Daffney and Wilde went on to face each other in Monster's Ball matches at Sacrifice and
Slammiversary. In the latter match and a rematch on Impact, Daffney ended up getting slammed onto thumbtacks.
Daffney and Dr. Stevie prey on Taylor Wilde.
"You do what you gotta do," she said. "When it was talked about, I just said, 'It's pay-per-view, it's TNA, I've wanted to work there for so long, it is what it is.' I didn't go into it thinking, 'This is going to be so great.' I just went into it going, 'I need to step up and see what happens.' And I felt like with Taylor at my side, it was a team effort. And she is so wonderful and such a great competitor, and I couldn't have done it without her. I'd do it again in a heartbeat."
TNA has proven to be a great fit for Daffney, not only with its softer schedule, but also because she reserved some doubt about whether WWE would have allowed a character like hers to flourish.
"I just enjoy what I do, I enjoy my job, and if I'm blessed with any more opportunities, I hope that I can continue to step up my game and keep on doing what I need to do."
She continues wrestling on indy shows, and believes there are many talented girls out there who deserve a break.
"Sara Del Rey, Daizee Haze, and of course MsChif," Daffney said without hesitation when asked about the top indy girls.
On the indy scene, Daffney teams up with MsChif to form "The Scream Queens," and said while she would love to tag with her in TNA, she has not broached the subject with her. She noted MsChif has a lucrative job outside wrestling -- in microbiology research of all things -- which might make it tough for her to make such a commitment.
MsChif confirmed she has no pressing desire to go mainstream.
"The lab wouldn't mind as long as I could still get the work done. However, finding the time to still stay on full time so I have the insurance benefits is where things get sticky," MsChif said. "I also enjoy being off from time to time. I don't want to work all week long then be gone wrestling every weekend. The main reason I won't go to TNA is because where I am right now in wrestling, I am completely stress free. I have complete control of my character, and no one breathing down my neck over what I am or am not doing. I like my freedom. Since I do have my career, wrestling is my fun time. My enjoyment. The day I don't find wrestling fun any more is the day I need to get out of it. Which is what I fear either TNA or WWE would bring."
Whatever the case, Daffney will be content with their relationship.
"MsChif is my tag partner, she is my life partner, she is my best friend. We're MsChif and DisChif and we're the Scream Queens. For life -- the girl's tattooed on my arm."
As for long-time independents Del Rey and Haze: "I've worked with both of them and they are phenomenal. I would put them over in a heartbeat; they deserve it."
But getting the call to the big leagues is often outside the hands of the performers who want to go there.
"It's just like WCW; if it wasn't for an acting job, I don't think I would have gotten my foot in the door. For TNA? I tried forever and I wouldn't have gotten in if it wasn't for Sarah Palin. So it's just luck and a blessing."
Abyss and Daffney at Slammiversary. Photo by Chris Schramm.
This weekend, Daffney said she will be doing a Knockouts photo shoot and promised "a big, huge surprise" for her fans.
"I've been preparing for it forever, and this one's going to be great. You'll just have to check out tnawrestling.com."
Although Daffney does not have a match scheduled for this Sunday's Victory Road PPV, she hinted at possibly making an appearance.
"I know Dr. Stevie and Abyss have a match. I might just have to get involved there because if Abyss messes with poor Dr. Stevie... he's my psychiatrist, and if anything happens to him, then I'll be lost!"
April 01, 2002: Catching up with Daffney
Daffney on MySpace
Daffney's official website
Daffney can be booked at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!
Daffney's Double Ds DVD
Daffney's Red Hot Wrestling DVD
Winnipeg correspondent Richard Kamchen can be e-mailed at email@example.com.