Arrested Ex-WWE Wrestler Tells Fans Bizarre Reason Why She Brought Gun to Airport

By Colin Fredericson

An Ex-WWE wrestler explained to her fans on social media why she brought a loaded gun to an airport.

“Evidently, it’s everywhere that I took a loaded handgun into the Tampa International Airport,” Terri Runnels told her Twitter followers, via video.

Runnels walked into Tampa International Airport on May 29 with a concealed Glock 9mm handgun that was discovered at a security checkpoint, police told Fox News.

“When I go to see my mom I pack my gun because she has armadillos that ruin her garden, and other critters that go after her chickens. I usually take my gun when I go to see her. I was with her about a week and a half, and helping her out,” Runnels explained, via the Twitter video.

She was arrested by Tampa International Airport Police, and charged with carrying a concealed firearm, which is a felony, Fox News reported.

“Literally, it did not even cross my mind that my gun was in my Vera Bradley tote that I always take on the plane with me,” Runnels added, in the video.

After the arrest she was later taken to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Fox News reported. She posted a $2,000 bond and was released.

“God, I’ve never been in trouble in my life, and it scared the hell out of me. It was a simple mistake. Dear God, it was horrible.” Runnels added, in the Twitter video. “I think some places are reporting as if I intended to do something terrible. I simply forgot that it was in that bag.”

In addition to having been a wrestler, Runnels was also a wrestling manager and a wrestling show host. Currently she hosts the podcast “Cigars, Scars & Superstars” on the MLW Radio Network, a wrestling focused network.

Runnels was honored last year on WWE Monday Night Raw as a WWE legend. One of the announcers stated Runnels was one of the most successful managers the organization has ever had.

Runnels was one of only four women ever to win the WWE Hardcore Championship, which she won in 2002, TMZ reported. She was married to wrestler Goldust from 1993 to 1999.

Terri Runnels’ Long Wrestling Career

Although the 52-year-old has had a long career in wrestling, starting with WCW, and then moving on to the WWE, she never aspired to or planned for a career in wrestling.

“My life plan was that I was going to a fashion college in Atlanta, and I was going to use that degree in fashion merchandising to earn enough money to live in New York to become an actress. Being a wrestler was never, ever anything that I thought about. I didn’t go to anyone and say, ‘I want to do this.’ Literally, it was put in my lap…” Runnels told Sports Illustrated, in 2016.

Unlike others she faced in the ring, Runnels was not a trained wrestler. She said she went into each match with a lot of fear.

“There was not one match that I ever had with a female that I went into it feeling great and accomplished because I was not a trained wrestler. God bless the girls that worked with me, because literally, it was, ‘Okay. What can we teach Terri in the course of a couple of hours to be able to pull this match off tonight?’ I was thrown into the frying pan in so many ways,” Runnels added.

Despite her lack of wrestling skill, Runnels shared how she always felt supported and helped by the other women she wrestled against and worked together with.

Runnels also shared a secret to her success that she feels current-day wrestlers lack: the true embodiment of the character they portray.

“What I brought to the table was I created my characters. When I say, ‘created,’ I definitely created Marlena completely. I knew how she’d respond to any and every scenario literally,” Runnels said. “Start learning to live life and consult with your character often if you, indeed, want to make it in this business. That’s a big thing.”

Later in the interview, she added more about the acting art that she feels is missing in today’s wrestlers.

“Sometimes when I watch the product, it’s almost like the people that come out, the most they’ve put into their character is their costume,” she said. “Like, ‘If you can’t understand who I am by my costume and by a couple of hand gestures and words to the crowd, I don’t know how to help you.’ Honestly, that’s what it seems like, some people, that’s all you get is, ‘This is my character,’ and it’s a costume.  There has to be so much more depth, to me, in order for me to sink my teeth into it, buy it and settle in for the long haul to want to watch you all the time.”