Jaxson Ryker - real name Chad Lail and popularly known as Gunner from his TNA days - attracted severe backlash for an ill-timed tweet in which he voiced his support for Donald Trump.
On the 1st of June, Donald Trump reportedly ordered the authorities to use tear gas on a peaceful group of protesters in Washington DC so that he could give his speech and have a photo-op in front of a church. Ryker tweeted the following moments after all hell broke loose:
The timing of the tweet, considering the volatile climate, and the fact that Ryker used his wrestling catchphrase at the end, garnered more heat on the Forgotten Sons member.
Various Superstars such as Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Mustafa Ali, and Batista publicly called out Ryker for his comment. Jaxson Ryker's stablemates - Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake - also reacted negatively to his tweet on social media.
Backstage heat on Jaxson Ryker
Dave Meltzer revealed in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that as revealed by a person high up in the WWE, Ryker cannot be fired by the company 'for expressing freedom of speech.'
However, the locker room is apparently fuming at the Superstar. Meltzer added that in addition to the public outrage, privately - 'a vast majority were not happy.'
According to one person high up in the company, the belief is that Lail can’t be fired for expressing freedom of speech, but that the locker room is fuming at him.
Meltzer noted that there is an unwritten rule in the company about talents not criticizing each other publicly unless it's done to push a storyline.
Another person in the company revealed that even if Ryker had not made a comment about supporting Donald Trump, it would have still been tough to continue with the actual gimmick of the Forgotten Sons, given the circumstances.
One person suggested that after what happened this week, the actual gimmick they were portraying even had Ryker not said it, would be tough to continue.
A Facebook post that Ryker made a while back addressing the #BlackLivesMatter movement was also brought to light. While most talents didn't react to the post, there are people backstage who are furious.
George Floyd's brutal killing has elicited widespread protests around the world, and unsurprisingly enough, America is the epicenter of it all.
Jaxson Ryker's message of support for Donald Trump, as well as his controversial Facebook post, couldn't have come at the worst time, and while he can't be fired, it may have adverse effects on his WWE career going forward.
Vince McMahon's recent email to all Superstars and staff members about the importance of diversity and mental health may have been a direct reaction to the Jaxson Ryker fiasco.Published 05 Jun 2020, 12:19 IST