A Trailblazer in Wrestling & Disability

A tribute I would like to give is to a wonderful story of people who want to try and chase their dreams even with disabilities. This tribute is to the one and only Vicky “The Lioness” Lyons.

Vicky Lyons was born in 1976, Big Spring, Texas, USA, to parents William H. Lyons and Crystal E. Bailey. She was a fun-loving girl who loved animals, films, professional wrestling, enjoyed belly dancing, art, and studied mass media in the arts institute of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Vicky also owned a cat Maya and dog called London, whom she loved and cherished deeply as her “Babies”.

In 1980 a four-year-old Vicky was brought in to work with her mother Crystal, as Crystal couldn’t afford a babysitter during the time, so she decided to bring her child to work in order for her to be in her care.

That day Vicky was told to play outside in the parking lot of the office by Crystal’s supervisor, even though Crystal had concerns for her daughter’s safety. Her concerns were well founded as Vicky was involved in a hit and run case where the perpetrator was never found, leaving Vicky with severe eye and head trauma, and was left in a coma for several weeks.

I don’t mind people asking me what happened, I’d rather they ask me than sit there and stare at me

Vicky Lyons

When Vicky emerged from her coma, the doctors had labelled her as permanently disabled. But Crystal and William made sure that Vicky was still supported to the best of their ability. Vicky needed to learn to walk and talk again, but she managed to do so successfully to a great degree, just with needed pauses in her speech due to her injuries.

Vicky Lyons story was featured in the Forensic Files series in Season 6, Episode 29 episode “Treading Not So Lightly”.

Daffney ‘Real Name Shannon Claire Spruill’ was a well-known wrestler among the fandom of professional wrestling for her time in World Championship Wrestling and Total Nonstop Action. Often portraying a goth like character with an unhinged personality and being willing to take a lot of damage.

She would often wrestle across the independent scene across America, Daffney was also renowned to be a joyful person to be around and would often help other talent in the industry.

All I can say is, it’s done, it’s over with, I don’t like they did that, but I’m willing to forgive him, because I’m no person to judge and he’s got to live with what he’s done.

Vicky always had a love for the sport of professional wrestling and wanted to try and become one, even though she developed anxiety for getting out and around people because of her condition, she still made the attempt to train as a wrestler.

She started to train at Highspots Wrestling School of Charlotte, North Carolina, which she even trained with professional wrestler Cedric Alexander (real name Cedric Johnson) who currently works in WWE, who helped work with her while he was also training to be a professional wrestler.

She wanted to wrestle all the time, she wanted to be in front of people, and she trained for about six years and only got about three matches, she was the Lioness of the Ring - Cedric Johnson

According to wrestling Legend Mick Foley, who was a friend of Daffney, she had told him that herself and Vicky were very close friends and that she would sometimes go out to the mall with her, even though Vicky still suffered from social anxiety from her disability, Daffney didn’t care about those things.

Despite being told by the experts that she would never talk, let alone lead a normal life, this amazing young woman went on to train for several years, just in the hope of having one wrestling match – Mick Foley

To this day the only video tapped match is from Vicky’s personal YouTube channel.

The match took place on Halloween Night 2008. Before she entered the ring she made her entrance to the song “So What” by Pink, dusted off her boots on the apron (A form of respect among wrestlers to not wrestle with dirty boots from the way to the ring) and as she entered she screamed in joy as the crow applauded her.

Vicky Lyons vs Daffney was a match that went from bell to bell 5 Minutes, and 15 seconds. And was a heartfelt match where the opponents showed respect to begin the match with a hand shake, as commentary billed this match as a rookie vs veteran. Vicky managed to hit Daffney with a suplex, she also had to battle out of two submission locks and also managed to almost pin Daffney with several roll ups with the final roll up actually managing to score Vicky the win over Daffney.

Something to which was not planned behind the scenes, the predetermined outcome was apparently for Daffney to win the match, but Daffney near the end didn’t kick out allowing Vicky to score an underdog victory.

After the match Daffney embraced Vicky as the crowd cheered for both women. After the match Vicky gave a quick speech about her first match “This was my first match, and I trained really hard to make everybody enjoy seeing me in the ring”-Vicky Lyons

Vicky worked for Highspots Wrestling School of Charlotte, North Carolina for six years. And passed in June 9 th of 2011 at the age of 34 to a brain aneurysm in her sleep. Daffney also sadly passed away due to suicide on September 1 st 2021.

According to Mick Foley, they were such close friends that apparently Daffney had some of Vicky’s ashes after she passed.

Vicky Lyons was a trailblazer because despite her conditions, she still faced life with enough spirit and passion to continue to try, she met a lot of her idols and managed to life a fulfilling life and even wrestle with a legend in Daffney, who in her own right is a trailblazer for women’s wrestling.

If there ever is moments in life when you feel things are too challenging, then never be afraid to try something you love to do, be it writing, poetry, art, singing or even professional wrestling. You never know what you can do, and who you can inspire.

“When I was four years old I was involved in a hit and run car accident. The doctor’s told my parent’s the I would never walk or talk again. I have surpassed everyone’s expectations of me. I have even surprised myself sometimes. Wrestling has helped my balance and my self-confidence. I am 100 percent dedicated to wrestling!”

Vicky “The Lioness” Lyons (1976-2011)

Other News and Stories