#SpeakingOut: Pro wrestling finds itself in the middle of its own #metoo moment
The hashtag #speakingout began trending last week as people in the pro wrestling industry, mostly women, shared stories of sexual assault and abuse at the hands of top wrestlers.
WWE has already cut ties with one of its top guys, former cruiserweight contender Jack Gallagher, and is facing a touchy situation with former UFC star Matt Riddle, who is set for a big push on the Smackdown roster.
Riddle has lawyered up and is vigorously denying the accusations lodged against him.
Also from WWE: former cruiserweight champ Jordan Devlin is denying accusations that he had physically abused a woman, and he has retained legal counsel.
Jim Cornette, one of the more popular podcasters, and a former manager, promoter and WWE developmental trainer, is also threatening legal action, and used his podcast this week to offer his own throaty defense.
AEW star Sammy Guevara found himself caught in the wide net, over comments that surfaced from a 2016 podcast, in which he recounted an experience working as an extra in WWE, encountering superstar Sasha Banks, and awkwardly joking about how he wanted to “rape” her.
Guevara has been suspended indefinitely by the company, his status to be determined after undergoing sensitivity training.
AEW also has an issue with Jimmy Havoc, whose status is still up in the air after two separate accusations were lodged against him.
Havoc, on his own volition, entered into rehab, reportedly to address mental health and substance abuse issues.
Impact terminated indy star Joey Ryan after multiple accusations came to light, and Ryan tepidly acknowledged succumbing to the “rock-n-roll lifestyle” of being a top star before deactivating his Twitter account.
One other notable name: David Starr, an American fixture on the British indy scene, has been dropped by several promotions across the pond after being accused of sexual abuse by a former romantic interest.
Story by Chris Graham