Normally, I don’t do weekend or breaking news columns, but something’s happened in the last 24 hours that made me feel like I had to sit down and get my thoughts out. Yesterday, WWE announced that they’d come to terms with the release of AW (Abraham Washington) and wished him all the best in his future endeavours. For those of you who don’t know the story, here goes. On the first “non-special” three-hour Raw on July 30th, Titus O’Neil was in a match with Kofi Kingston. AW (as Titus’ manager), said through his wireless microphone that Titus was “like Kobe Bryant at a hotel in Colorado… he’s unstoppable.”
Yesterday afternoon (U.S. time), AW tweeted the following:
“AW Promotions is no more ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for your support and hate, it’s been a great run. Now I get to do me, which isn’t PG! @TitusONeilWWE & @DarrenYoungWWE thank you for allowing me to speak on your behalf. You guys are the best and I’m glad to call u my friends!
I’ve offended the wrong people that taught me how to have ATTITUDE. It was the #WWE that made me bold and now it has turned its back on me. Let this be a lesson to up and coming talent in the WWE. Don’t try and be great like the Rock or Stone Cold. WWE isn’t the same… Just be normal. Shut up and be a yes man, so you can collect your check and feel like you’re special. #SELLOUTS!!
I remember a time when the WWE didn’t care about breaking the mould, but now everyone is so afraid of their own shadow #RememberTheFans. Thanks to the fans who showed me support over the whole Kobe thing and to those I upset, I apologize again. Remember it’s entertainment folks. I really do hope Linda wins that election because If not then all of this BS has been for nothing. #GoLinda!!”
Before I get started on this firing, I want to make something clear. This column is my opinion, not the opinion of those who run the website. I’m a commentator/columnist/opinionist. That’s what I’m asked to do. Let me start off by saying that I found the joke made by AW to be extremely offensive. As someone who’s been with a partner affected by sexual assault, I thought AW’s comment was completely out of order. With that being said, I’m fixed to kick off big time about the fact that AW has lost his job.
WWE firing AW is complete and utter bullshit. He makes an off-the-cuff remark to try to be funny and it’s ended up offending people. He’s since apologised to anyone that’s offended, which is fine. He was fired because he was AW. If someone higher up the card, like John Cena/The Rock/Stone Cold had made a joke like that, then there’s no way they’d have been booted out on their ass. AW’s firing is all to do with Linda McMahon’s political “career”, which just goes to show you where WWE’s priorities lie.
I ranted about the WWE a couple of weeks ago and called Vince McMahon a gutless moron who’s afraid to take risks. He’s just proved it again. Whilst AW’s joke was definitely in bad taste (I’ve explained why I think that and I understand why others weren’t as bothered by it), that’s not the worst thing that’s happened on WWE TV.
Think about it. Over the years, we’ve seen a lot worse from WWE.
- In the days of the Ministry of Darkness, Undertaker was CRUCIFYING people live on TV.
- Triple H indulged in a bit of dress-up necrophilia a few years ago.
- Vince McMahon has made a career out of mocking Jim Ross and did an impression of JR in June, mocking his facial paralysis and Bell’s Palsy.
- Last week, Tensai filmed and uploaded a Tout video that can be termed as racist.
- Jerry Lawler sits and makes fat jokes about Vickie Guerrero when WWE are supposed to be on their “Be A STAR” kick, promoting anti-bullying.
- In the Attitude Era, the Dudley Boys thrived on drilling women through tables
So basically, racism, violence against women, bullying and making fun of the disabled are fine, but rape jokes are too far? That’s bullshit. All of these examples should be punishable, not just one and the punishment shouldn’t relate to where you’re positioned in the company.
They did the same thing two years ago when Daniel Bryan was fired for “choking” Justin Roberts during the initial Nexus debut. They probably did it to save face and to discourage their younger fans from choking people at school, which is fine. But do they think some of their younger fans won’t make fat jokes to overweight kids at school, or mock disabled people? Of course they will. It happens, it’s a fact of life. It’s wrong, but it happens in playgrounds across the country. I’ve seen it with my own eyes when I’ve picked my cousins up from school.
AW is right. WWE as a company is littered full of gutless yes-men who kiss ass and are frightened to upset the apple-cart. I’m maintaining that, in my opinion, AW’s rape joke took things too far, but we’ve seen worse and WWE right now is pissing a lot of people off. Even their own talent are annoyed with it, but some of them are taking a stand for what they believe in. Normally when someone gets fired, they keep their mouth shut, but AW has chosen to speak out and he gets my respect for that. He’s not the only one to speak out lately.
JTG tweeted on Monday that:
“The camel’s back just BROKE! I had enough of this… As a pro athlete, I’m tired of me and my locker-room brothers being taken advantage of. Fans have no idea what we go through #itsanillusion… Yea I said it… Nobody wants to speak up, everybody’s afraid of losing their job or getting taken off TV.”
WWE’s structured in such a way where if you accept the shit you’re given, you’ll get treated better. Think about it. Brodus Clay’s gimmick is horrific, yet he gets TV time. Santino’s gimmick is nowhere near championship level, but he’s about to enter a 6th month as United States Champion. That’s because some of these guys are too frightened to speak up about it, so they keep their heads down and do what they’re told to.
Another example to give you guys is the de-push (or burial) of Alex Riley. Remember when he feuded with The Miz? He had ALL the potential and momentum in the world, then he disappeared off the face of the planet until recently. Guess why his push was stopped? Because he had the audacity to stand up to John Cena. PWInsider.com reported that Riley had a bust-up with Cena backstage. Apparently Cena was mocking him in front of other wrestlers, so Riley took exception and came back at Cena. For standing up for himself, Riley was buried. Again, another case of complete and utter bullshit in the way that WWE is run.
Basically, from that report, Cena was bullying Riley (despite being the face of the Be A STAR campaign), Riley stood up to him (which is what you’re supposed to do when being bullied) and he got punished for it. How about Cena? If that report is true, and given the source, I’ve no reason to think it isn’t, then shouldn’t the bully be punished? No, the victim of the bullying is punished. Absolute shambles.
Whilst AW’s joke was in bad taste and I was personally offended by it, WWE performers have done far worse over the years. Rape jokes are NOT OK for a PG company. Neither is thinly-veiled racism from Tensai, or misogynistic comments from Jerry Lawler, or Vince McMahon mocking disabled people. They’re all offensive and should carry the same sort of punishment. Obviously Vince can’t be fired for mocking disability, but he should at least have the balls to make a public apology on live TV for behaving and acting like a jackass.
D’you wanna know what the funny thing about this is? Vince McMahon probably pissed his pants laughing about it when AW said it, but when the Twitterverse kicked off, he jumped on the bandwagon. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Vince fed the line to AW before he went out to the ring.
I’m putting this out there right now and I don’t really care whether people like it or hate it. In my opinion (and not this website’s), Vince McMahon has turned from a visionary into a spineless bastard and until something changes about the WWE, the little man is always going to be made to pay. All punishments should be equal, regardless of who they are and until there’s fairness in the WWE, men like AW are going to be made scapegoats.
That’s my two cents anyway. I won’t be writing about WWE this week, I’ve been working on a TNA article for the next edition of “From Across the Pond”, so I’ll see you back here on Tuesday. Thanks again for reading.
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