I want to take a moment to talk about Professional Wrestling. Although some people scoff at its pre-determined outcome structure, the industry has never been short on fans of different levels over the past 4 decades. Whether you’re a casual fan whose ears perk up at the enthusiastic sound of Ric Flair’s “WOOOO!”, or a former fan that misses the days when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would raise his left eyebrow and call someone a jabroni, or if your hardcore love of the industry also spans somewhere into the independent scene, where you just might see Solo Darling putting Joey Ryan in a magnificent “Texas Cloverleaf”, the pro wrestling business, before the dawn of COVID-19, has been booming. However, that’s not to say that the business has not had its share of scandals over the years, with certain in-ring characters of yore being based on different stereotypes (I’m looking at you, WWE), steroid usage within industry culture, and the effects of CTE on performers in various pro wrestling organizations.
At the present time, I’m going to talk about a current movement in the industry. Ever since the #MeToo movement began going into high gear around 2017, many women (and even some men) were coming forward with stories of their own sexual assault and harassment within nearly every industry in this country, let alone in people’s personal lives by spouses, strangers or family members. Among the issues that abound in professional wrestling, let alone most sports, those issues are the most heartbreaking to hear about right now.
A couple of weeks ago, Twitter was hit with a cornucopia of various sexual assault allegations of many figures in the pro wrestling community. Many women in the business are starting to use their platform to shine a light on one of the darkest corners of the entire industry by way sharing their on how the alleged cases of assault of have affected them and/or their friends. in a June 18, 2020 article, Forbes sports writer Alfred Konuwa goes in-depth with the allegations against National Wrestling Alliance (NWA)’s Vice President Dave Lagana, made by a woman on Twitter named Liz Savage.
“One of the most prominent allegations implicates now-former NWA Vice President Dave Lagana, who is being accused of sexual assault by a woman who goes by the name of Liz Savage on Twitter.
“After being friends with David Lagana for four years he sexually assaulted me,” said Savage.
“I moved to LA after two years of him asking me to come out. He told me I was a real friend to him as I had been there for him when he was at his lowest, he wanted to bring me out to LA for work.”
“He was back and forth between (ROH/TNA) companies at the time (2010) but told me if I came to LA he would put me on NWA Hollywood and he needed someone to help him make the wrestling promotion agency he wanted to run a reality. I could even stay with him until I got my place and he’d show me around. None of this happened except the moving part.”
While allegations like this are being made across the pro wrestling landscape, there are also people in the industry who are showing support to many of the women coming forward, such as WWE’s Big E, Piper Niven and Pete Dunne from WWE’s NXT UK Brand, All Elite Wrestling’s first Transgender champion Nyla Rose and Brandi Rhodes, that company’s CBO and wife of Cody Rhodes.
I pray our industry is swiftly rid of all these predators & abusers. To everyone brave enough to tell their story, I’m so sorry you had to endure this. #SpeakingOut
— The Only Big E You Need In Your Life (@WWEBigE) June 18, 2020
I’m disgusted by what I’m reading.
Well done to those speaking out. I really hope we can make British wrestling a better place and keep everyone safe.
This is a huge eye opener and let’s hope it will force a big change.
— Pete Dunne (@PeteDunneYxB) June 18, 2020
It is my personal hope that more people continue to be listened to when it comes to their stories of sexual assault in the pro wrestling industry, and that these issues will continue to be properly investigated, and victims can finally find healing in this new era of Pro Wrestling, which is not one of attitude, but an era of speaking out.
photo cred; @JackHeartless (Twitter)