It’s hard to feel bad for a bully.
When I was in middle school, I took a lot of shit from a lot of people. There was one guy in particular who seemed to thrive at my expense. Louis would give me a hard time whenever and wherever he could. This continued for a good year or two until one day when he was following me home, taunting me along the way. I turned around and punched Louis in the face until he stopped getting back up, then turned around again and continued home. He never gave me shit again.
A few years later, I heard that Louis had been hit by a car. My reaction then was the same as it is now. “Good. He deserved it.” He was a piece of shit who made himself bigger by making others feel smaller. He got exactly what he deserved.
Enter Bill Demott.
Nobody had the balls to turn around and deck the former Hugh Morris on their walk home, since doing so would cost most their careers. They just sat and waited for the car to come. And today, they got to sit and watch as a Hugh G. Rection bounced off the metaphorical windshield.
Demott, an established bully and oft-rumored cancer in the WWE developmental system, resigned from his position today as head trainer at NXT. His resignation comes amid a firestorm of stories and accusations about purported assaults, homophobia, xenophobia, sexual harassment, thinly-veiled threats and a complete lack of respect and care for his trainees.
Pick the dirtsheet of your choice. It’s been covered. If even a little bit of it is true, it’s deplorable—and both Demott and WWE have a lot of explaining and apologizing to do.
It’s not the first time WWE has dealt with scandal. There was the early 90s sex abuse scandal. The federal steroids scandal. Sable, Sunny and Nicole Bass all making claims during the Attitude Era. Palmer Cannon (remember him?) quitting the entire business over JBL’s bullying. Hell, JBL bullying everyone, which included a live assault on PPV involving the Blue Meanie, and countless asses being soaped in the shower.
That’s just what we know about.
But the differences between WWE during the aforementioned scenarios and present-day WWE are many. All of them matter, not the least of which is WWE’s current PG image. Yeah, we get it, the neckbeards don’t like it. Ignore those guys. You know who does like it? Corporate America. And Corporate America is writing WWE some FAT checks as a result of said sqeaky-clean, PG image. WWE sex and bullying scandals in the tabloids? It doesn’t just look bad. It costs the company money.
In 2015, we’re living in a post-Benoit world. We know the long-term repercussions of concussions and other serious bodily injures. Having the man in charge of talents’ futures slapping concussed wrestlers in the head? Having that same trainer tear the shirt off a man recovering from a neck injury? Having that same trainer force his students to take flip bumps until they’re dizzy, nauseous, and fall on their heads? You’re literally killing people.
WWE has made strides in the world of anti-bullying…at least publicly. The Be A Star gimmick is great. The crusade to get rid of the “r-word” is a good, logical progression. But all of it is for naught if you have your head trainer calling talents things like faggots, and “half a sissy.” Your PR stunt charities become transparently bullshit when you don’t practice what you preach.
And with all of the above and more, it’s important to remember that WWE is, has been, and will continue to be a publicly-traded company. WWE needs to convince the investing world that it should pump money into WWE. You know what makes investors bail out of a project? Examples of gross mismanagement, and bad publicity. Right now, we’re looking at clear cases of both.
Here’s the reality of the situation. Unless Demott comes out and admits to a bunch of this stuff, or we see some of the video taken in the WWE Performance Center, we’ll never know what really did or did not happen. But the accusations themselves, and Demott’s resignation, speak volumes of the behind the scenes problems right now in WWE. They need to be addressed. The paying audience, the sponsors, the investors, and the talent need to know they’ve been addressed. There is no other option.
Rumor has it that the former Albert/Giant Bernard/Tensai/Jason Alberts is set to take over developmental in the interim. Personally, I would have gone with Billy Gunn… but until the ongoing issues are dealt with, the decision doesn’t really matter.
Oh, and fuck Louis.