Pro Wrestling News: Wrestlers stage mass walkout after promoter accused of harassing female talent
British Wrestling is having one of those weeks, following the news of OWE UK delaying its tour after the director of the company resigned and Josh Bodom shoot-attacking a referee and then being fired from Rev Pro.
Now, two British wrestlers, Jayde and Chakara have taken to Twitter to call out what they considered to be harassment after a promoter approached them for their personal phone numbers.
The promotion in question was Broken Ring Wrestling which was taking place in Bradford, England, and news quickly got out that it was them, leading to the promoter releasing the following statement on social media.
Since then the Broken Ring Wrestling Twitter page has been addressing people asking them about their behavior as highlighted by the tweets from Jayde and Chakara and their responses have only served to further compound the issue, with jokes about sexual assault, suicide, and cancer.
Now, a large majority of the talent involved, including NXT UK's Amir Jordan, Sugar Dunkerton, The Lion Kings, Wing Commander Nash, Big T Justice Sean Only and Mark Starr have announced they have pulled out of the show following the initial harassment and the subsequent social media behavior. They all used the same collective statement on Twitter.
I reached out to all parties for further comment and The Lion Kings were kind enough to respond and further explain their decision to pull out of the show, although they did clarify that they had been asked for their contact numbers for a previous show the promoter did.
"Directly I don't believe we have been asked for our number over social media although we did work the first BRW show in Bradford and I believe we supplied our contacts then.
I don't have a message trail showing shared numbers but the promoter does have mine and I his.
It's not the sole or main focus of the issue here though as I do believe he's asked for numbers from male talent too.
The issue is the manner of the request and the persistence. Which was then triple-downed by the reference to, and mocking of suicide, cancer and other unpalatable topics in BRW's tweets."
The Lion Kings further explained their position and their decision to pull out of the show,
"It was a collective decision made after it was put forward to the group . We told Chakara and Jayde we will not be working the show either."
As things stand, Broken Ring Wrestling are still arguing with people on Twitter over the matter and have yet to provide the proof they claim to have surrounding their harassment of female wrestlers for contact numbers and that they also contacted male talent. (They have posted a full conversation they've had with Jayde, where she explains she will not be attending.)
Also, despite a large proportion of the advertised talent pulling out of the show, Broken Ring Wrestling is still promoting the show and indicating that it will go ahead. They've bragged that they've actually sold more tickets and have said that the lineup will be announced on the day of the event. They have also added that tickets are non-refundable,
Ultimately, this is a massive shame as the event was being held to raise money for children with autism. However, it looks like it is going to go down under a crowd of controversy.
However, the whole situation does raise important issues that have come up before in the wrestling industry, such as the importance of professionalism, the treatment of female wrestlers by promoters and other people taking a stand when they see something they don't think is right.
Here's hoping that all of the wrestlers who pulled out of the show because they disagreed with the actions of the promoter can find other work elsewhere on that day so they're not out of pocket.
I have reached out to Broken Ring Wrestling, who have not responded.
What are your thoughts? Do things like this damage the image of the wrestling industry as a whole? Is it a good thing that the other wrestlers have taken a stand?