Terri Ann Boatwright Runnels (October 5, 1966) is a former American professional wrestling manager. She is best known for her eight-year career with World Wrestling Entertainment, and as the former wife of Dustin Runnels better known as Goldust.
Runnels was originally a make-up artist for CNN, and worked in the same studios in which episodes of WCW were taped. When WCW was purchased by Ted Turner in 1988, booker Ole Anderson invited her to become part of the roster. Terri debuted in 1990 as Miss Alexandra York, an accountant who led the WCW faction known as the York Foundation. The York Foundation was a consortium of wrestlers with finance themed gimmicks, including Terrance Taylor, Richard Morton, Thomas Rich, and Michael Wallstreet. Terri carried a laptop (actually a Tandy 100 computer, which at that time had been obsolete for about six years) to ringside with which she purportedly calculated the means (and time) necessary for her clients to win matches.
World Wrestling Federation
Terri debuted in the World Wrestling Federation at the Royal Rumble as Marlena, the cigar-smoking manager and wife of her real-life husband Dustin Runnels, then packaged as the eccentric, cross-dressing, bisexual wrestler Goldust. Terri managed Goldust until on November 3, 1997 he revealed his new valet, Luna Vachon. Terri disappeared from TV, re-emerging in 1998 as the manager of Val Venis. Venis fired her and ended their relationship when Terri announced that she was pregnant.
In November 1998, the jilted Terri formed the stable "Pretty Mean Sisters" (P.M.S.) with Jacqueline and Ryan Shamrock, both of whom also had reason to resent men. In a subsequent storyline, D'Lo Brown accidentally knocked Terri from the ring apron to the floor during a match, and she claimed to have suffered a miscarriage. This was later found to be untrue, as was the entire pregnancy, but in the meantime Terri used the incident to exert control over D'Lo, who became a virtual servant to P.M.S. The stable eventually grew to encompass Meat, a male wrestler who the ladies constantly abused. P.M.S. gradually drifted apart, and the stable finally split in August 1999.
In late 1999, Terri arranged the "Terri Invitational Tournament" between Edge and Christian and The Hardy Boyz (then known as The New Brood), with the winner receiving her managerial services and the sum of $100,000. The Hardy Boyz won the Tournament, which culminated in a Ladder Match at No Mercy (with the prize money suspended above the ring in a briefcase), and Terri spent the next few months as their manager until she was injured when Bubba Ray Dudley powerbombed her through a table on January 24, 2000. Terri returned on February 27 and cost the Hardy Boyz a match, complaining that they had not visited her while hospitalized. She then became the manager of Edge and Christian, but cost them numerous matches, including a bout for the World Tag Team Championships. After she cost Christian a match on an episode of SmackDown!, Edge and Christian dispensed with her services. After Terri mocked the departing tag team with her signature "she-devil" taunt, Edge noticing the gesture on the Titantron, turned around and speared her.
Terri then began a feud with The Kat because she was jealous of the latter's TV exposure. At WrestleMania 2000, Terri (accompanied by The Fabulous Moolah) defeated The Kat (with Mae Young) in a Catfight. Val Venis was the Special Guest Referee, but was distracted when Mae kissed him in response to Val making out with both Terri and The Kat. This allowed Moolah to pull The Kat out of the ring, and when Val saw her out of the ring, he declaired Terri the winner. Post-match, The Kat attacked Terri by stripping her black pants off to expose her thong.
The next week on RAW, Terri invited The Kat to a beauty salon. However, Terri spiked The Kat's drink and dyed and cut her hair while she was unconscious. The feud would continue to an Arm Wrestling Match at Insurrextion 2000. Carter was victorious, but after the match, Terri pulled The Kat's top off, exposing her breasts. Instead of being disgusted or embarrassed, Carter allowed the crowd to see her breasts. In June 2000, Terri formed an alliance with Dean Malenko, and on June 6 on RAW, Malenko faced Jerry Lawler (representing The Kat) in a "Over the Top, Off with the Top" Match. Though Malenko lost, Terri was covered up by Steven Richards before she could strip topless. The feud resurfaced in a 'Thong Stink Face' match at SummerSlam, where The Kat won the match by delivering a stinkface to Terri.
In mid-2000, Terri became the onscreen girlfriend and manager of Perry Saturn and joined the Radicalz. The partnership lasted until Saturn, concussed by a double powerbomb delivered by The Acolytes, opted to continue seeing "Moppy" (a mop he believed was alive) when Terri told him to get rid of the mop or she would leave him. Terri then became the manager of wrestler Raven and joined the The Alliance in order to enact revenge upon Saturn, a goal she achieved when Raven stole the mop and fed it into a wood chipper.
In late 2001, Terri replaced Trish Stratus as the host of the WWE recap program "Excess" after Stratus became a full-time wrestler. She briefly feuded with Stratus, resulting in a wet T-shirt contest between the two on RAW, which was interrupted by Jazz. Runnels held the role until the program was cancelled and she then became a backstage interviewer. She wrestled the occasional match and has brief feuds with Molly Holly and Stacy Keibler. Terri defeated Keibler in the first ever Lingerie Pillow Fight. On May 27, 2002 she briefly held the perpetually contested Hardcore Title when she pinned a dazed Steven Richards, though he immediately pinned her to regain the title. She also began an onscreen romance with Kane which was abandoned when Kane turned heel in June 2003. Terri declined to train as a full-time wrestler, preferring to act as a manager if possible.
On April 3, 2004, Terri was granted a release from her WWE contract. She has since made a number of appearances on the independent circuit. On June 5, she acted as guest ring announcer for Harley Race's World League Wrestling promotion, and prevented Johnny Gold from interfering in the main event. She resumed a managerial role on July 10, leading Brian Costello to a victory over The Barbarian at IAW: Clash at the Cove 6. On January 18, 2005 she managed the Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Dennis Condrey) in a Steel Cage match, which they lost to the Fantastics (Tommy Rogers and Bobby Fulton) in the Southern Championship Wrestling promotion.
In March 2005 Terri stated in an interview that "I am through with wrestling." In May 2006, Terri stated in a news article that she had started a program called "Soccertots", a franchised program that uses fun activities to develop physical and mental skills.
Before entering the world of wrestling, Terri ran the make-up department at CNN and dated her accountant Derek Kuipers. From there, she dated Brian Pillman in 1990 while they were both in WCW. She was born Terri Ann Boatwright, but took the name of first husband Virgil Runnels III, with whom she has a daughter, Dakota, who was born on February 14, 1994. The couple divorced several years later, but retain an amicable relationship. She was briefly married again in April 2002 to Life Coach David Essel in a beach wedding where WWF legend Big Boss Man gave her away, but she divorced her new husband soon after. She turned down offers to pose for Playboy in the 1990s, citing the potential effects on her daughter.
Terri appeared on the show The Weakest Link in 2002.
- Tag teams and stables
- Wrestlers managed
Championships and accomplishments
- WWF Hardcore Championship (1 time)
- WWE.com Profile
- TheTerriTunnels.com (Official Website)
- Terri Runnels profile at CAGEMATCH.net