Saying “a scandal broke In the pro wrestling community” isn’t anything new, unfortunately. Scandals have been a part of the industry since it began. Ric Flair going to WWE, the steroid scandal, the curtain call, Vince buying WCW, Vince buying ECW, and that’s just a very few of them that have occurred since I’ve been a wrestling fan. The latest scandal is having an enormous effect on the business and has, and will continue too. It will change the business of pro wrestling forever.
This latest issue, dubbed #speakingout, addresses sexual assault, rape, and grooming of individuals, discrimination, and the unthinkable crime of sexual conduct with a minor. Needless to say, these are actions that have, and will have consequences. Wrestlers getting fired, Sued, driven from the industry, even companies closing. This. Is. Real.
The accusations’ (and please note, these are ALL accusations. As of this writing, there has not been any arrests or charges made) began on June 17th, when a woman on Twitter named Torrie posted screenshots of texts messages that she sent to British pro wrestler David Star, bringing forward allegations of sexual abuse. From there, the dam that held back all occurrences like this burst. Wrestlers/managers/bookers/everyone you could think of were called out for their misbehavior in the past. For the sake of not making you read a 5,000-word article, I’m going to include the major offenders from some of the top companies.
NWA: NWA Vice President Dave Lagana resigned from the company after wrestler Liz Savage came forth with allegations of. him touching her without her permission while they slept in the same bed. Lagana’s resignation has hurt NWA immensely. They have halted production on new material and as a result, they have lost two major stars from their organization, former TV champ Ricky Starks (who immediately signed with AEW) and current TV champion Zicky Dice. What will happen with the company and if/when they begin production again remains to be seen.
WWE: The biggest problems in WWE have taken place across the pond as NXT UK stars Jordan Devlin, Travis Banks, Joe Coffey & El Ligero have all had allegations brought against them. But that doesn’t mean that they haven’t had problems here at home. WWE Superstars Jack Gallaher and Matt Riddle have come under fire for their actions in the past. This is especially problematic, as Riddle made his “main roster” debut on Smackdown last week by defeating AJ Styles in his debut match. The WWE has sunk a lot of time and money into Riddle, and it seems he may have already lost his push, as he had what amounts to basically a cameo on this week’s Smackdown. Another big blow to WWE was the accusations against WWE NXT superstar Velveteen Dream. The Dream has been one of the top guys in WWE NXT for years. He’s one of their most popular superstars and one of the very first NXT stars to get his own merchandise from both Mattel and the WWE Shop. He hasn’t been seen on TV since the allegation against him came out, but that’s not that unusual, as he’s really only on TV about once a month. As of this writing Ligero, Gallaher, and Travis Banks have all been released by WWE.
AEW: TOP superstar, and part of the AEW’s answer to the Four Horsemen, the “Inner Circle”, Sammy Guevara has been suspended indefinitely for making inappropriate comments about rape on a 2016 wrestling radio show. Hardcore wrestler Jimmy Havoc has also had allegations brought against him. He is currently in rehab for drug and emotional abuse.
This is in no way, shape, or form even close to a complete list of allegations and accusations, these are just some of the more well-known names, Both Impact Wrestling & Ring of Honor have had serious damage done to both their roster and company by people coming forth about wrestlers past behavior. The most important achievement of the #speakingout movement is bringing this kind of despicable action to light and sending a message to the wrestling community of “this kind of behavior will no longer be tolerated!”, which is actually the best thing that can happen. Wrestling WILL go on, but more importantly, wrestling WILL change.
Note: This is an ongoing story and we here at WRESTLING WATCHERS will keep you up to date on the news as it unfolds.
The Speaking Out Movement Puts A Chokehold On The World Of Professional Wrestling
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