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WWE News: Samoa Joe criticised for 'sexist' tweet about Mixed Match Challenge partner

Daniel Wood
8.68K   //    18 Dec 2017, 18:17 IST

Samoa Joe always wears a towel to the ring, and now it's the centre of sexism controversy
Samoa Joe always wears a towel to the ring, and now it's the centre of sexism controversy

What's the story?

Many Superstars have been reacting to the announcement that they'll be participating in the WWE's latest show, the Mixed Match Challenge, and Samoa Joe is certainly no different. However, the WWE Superstar has received some criticism for his tweet as it appears to make sexist remarks towards his future female tag-team partner.

In case you didn't know...

The Mixed Match Challenge is a Facebook Watch exclusive show that will air immediately after SmackDown LIVE, where a mixed tag-team tournament will be live-streamed onto the social networking site featuring male and female Superstars from RAW and SmackDown LIVE, teaming up.

The heart of the matter

The fact that Samoa Joe's partner in the tournament will be a woman is what makes his comments labelling them a 'towel attendant' particularly problematic, especially in the era of the 'Women's Revolution'. This has led to several people calling Joe out, including prominent wrestling journalist James McKenna.

Joe responded to McKenna's tweet with an in-character clarification stating that it doesn't matter who his tag-team partner is, man or woman, if they're teaming with Samoa Joe they will always be a 'towel attendant.'

What's next?

Currently, the tweet is still up on Twitter, so the higher-ups in WWE must be happy with the initial tweet and how things played out afterwards. It's unknown who exactly will be Samoa Joe's partner but following his comments, I'd love to see him tell Nia Jax to stand in the corner and hold his towel.

It's also classic storytelling, the heel makes a bad remark stating their tag-team partner is useless, their tag-team partner proves them wrong, and the fans get to enjoy the moment that the heel is put in their place.

Author's take

That being said, I do understand the controversy surrounding the tweet, and the specific wording that Joe uses does leave it open to criticism, especially given the current social climate surrounding systemic harassment and abuse of women, making the tweet ill-advised at best.

I'm also not sure if I'm willing to let Joe off the hook following his clarification, as the use of the word 'male participants' in his initial tweets makes me believe he was specifically referring to female wrestlers when he said 'towel attendant.' But, at this stage, I'm going to have to give him the benefit of the doubt.

For the record, I'm also not against the WWE having heel characters that are chauvinistic and misogynistic because ultimately it's a scripted show. Those personality traits exist in real life, and it'll be great to see them eventually get their comeuppance.

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Daniel Wood
Daniel Wood is a Cinema Manager, comic enthusiast and wrestling fan who has been writing all of his life. He promises never to use the term 'breaks the internet' unless something has literally broken the internet
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