Chapter 4: Taking the Mask Off

Ite lads! Cheers for the 90% positive reaction to my last post. Means the bloody world. The 10% negative reaction comes from insecure people and promotions that continue to book offenders and second-rate Adam Blampieds, so to be fair I’d be mad if some little ginger gal could expose my business too.

I wish I knew how to start, and I wish I could write about more positive stuff, but there’s just so much negativity I need to speak up on because no one else will. I’ve been editing this blog for DAYS, adding more and taking bits out and just trying to find a core subject to focus on, alas I cannot so this blog is pure word vomit and rambling; you have been warned. It’s mainly about abuse in the wrestling industry and how people form opinions on it and how we should/could handle it.

Let’s start with my own personal experience. At some point last year I was introduced to a man, a fan with a podcast. As a pretty shy person I didn’t really speak to him but then myself and other females started to receive creepy responses on our tweets. He kept posting really terrible tweets about female talent and statutory rape amongst things which made me extremely uncomfortable, especially at shows. Anyway this shit goes on for months and months and people keep calling him out but nothing’s done and then he goes and publicly tweets that he’s raped people. I made a fuss out of it because.. yeah and although other fans picked up on it, it was ignored by everyone who actually had any power or influence. I keep attending shows but I keep having panic attacks because of his presence and because of other people allowed there like him. It all got too much and I reached out to my partner at the time who works for a promotion, but he always brushed it off and made excuses. I think the last thing he said to me about it was “sorry you feel that way”. Really makes you feel like your safety is not of importance and it’s horrible. I then reached out to an organisation within wrestling that claims they make sure fans are “safe, comfortable and happy”. Although I did get a few responses, my messages ended up being ignored and it turns out that the people who run it are friends with the offender in question. I was then in turn blocked when I moaned about not getting a response. I have since had others say they have had similar experiences in regards to not getting a response. Again, felt totally disregarded but onwards and upwards, right?! So my next step was to directly email promotions. I emailed 4 promotions that I attend regularly/occasionally. One London-based female promotion ignored all messages. A Midlands company were super fast and responding and very understanding but I am still waiting for an outcome over a month later. A very large popular company were blunt and tried to tell me this person hadn’t attended a show in over a year; however I knew this wasn’t true. Obviously someone else was buying the tickets for him but when I proved this I was then ignored. A South West company were originally understanding but told me I should report to police and there was nothing they could do. Now, I haven’t named names as I’m not one that likes “slagging people off” as such, but as you can imagine these responses were disappointing and myself and others do not feel any safer at shows. I’m not really doing this to bash anyone; I’m doing it to give people a kick up the arse. So if you think this appeals to you, SORT IT OUT PLS AND THANKS. This has also been done by close friends of mine, some that are trainees, because they have been affected by inappropriate behaviour by another trainee or wrestler in some way. This could be by inappropriate messages, jokes, photos, touching etc and they’ve not really gotten anywhere with it. Sure some of it has gone to the police and I cannot ignore that but going to the police isn’t always the right thing to do. I’ve also been affected by inappropriate behaviour by a wrestler, which includes him purposely looking out for me at shows and involving me in spots, but I’ve always just gotten “he’s a massive dick” response. Multiple people including myself have blocked him and he just finds new targets to pick on. Not very nice when grown men suddenly touch you but I guess you have to keep booking him because he’s one of the boys, right? *sigh* He’s already been named publicly in the past few weeks so people ARE aware. It’s not right to continue booking a human being that makes people so uncomfortable they have to leave the room or hide in the toilet. Tick tock…

Shout outs to IPW and Hope though. I’ve never attended their shows (due to distance) but they’re the only companies who have reached out to me in some way. We should also note IPW put a statement out condemning recent behaviour, which is more than any other company I’ve seen do. Attack! ring announcer Jim Lee did briefly touch on it at the end of a show, which I love him for, but I feel something should have been said during the actual show OR by the actual company on social media, since some of the behaviour by certain members of the roster is god damn awful. I am aware that Progress FINALLY issued a statement, but they issued it to a podcast; why? Feels like total PR to get listens to the podcast for me. If your audience meant that much to you why not issue it publicly on social media or at a show? Just feels so off. I really don’t think it’s too much to ask for a company to sit down for a couple of hours and put together a statement or action plan for their fans and talent. I hope places start pulling their finger out because it’s needed. I popped a few safety ideas on my previous blog Chapter 3: The Good, The Bad and The Grappling if you were interested.

Anyway, how do we handle these fuckers? The first thing that comes to mind is a certain wrestler who was dropped from NXT and then many indy promotions because of a domestic violence case, in which later the charges were dropped. Some people hate him and some places have completely black balled him but there’s a tonne of people who will still book him and stick up for him. Now don’t kill me but: I get both sides. When I was 14, I entered an abusive relationship. Obviously I didn’t know this at the time; it was my first ever proper relationship and he was so lovely, caring and funny. My point being nobody would get with or trust an abuser if they didn’t come across this way. This is why people stick up for him; they don’t see through his facade, they see him as one of the lads and they don’t want to see him bashed because they’re his friends. I’ve been through it so I know how it feels to have it turned on its side and I can see through their bullshit. On the flip side, he admitted to putting his hands on someone and being a dick in locker rooms – this is public knowledge. People with this sort of behaviour do not and should not be in a position of power and be a possible role model. Everyone of course is entitled to their own opinion, but I believe in educating people and I don’t think everyone should be so harsh on people and friends that can’t see through certain people’s bullshit. It sounds dumb but Religious Education taught me SO much in school. It taught me about different opinions and outlooks and the reasons why people think that way and have those beliefs and I try to take that with me into every day life. I believe everyone deserves a second chance and help to change, but before being given their full responsibilities and opportunities they need to prove themselves. I also think if you have a platform and a position of power you should use it positively and responsibly and speak out. That’s all. I hope none of you think I’m a twat and that you can kinda get this educated outlook and opinions I have.

So here I am sat here making more action plans and list of people I want to contact. But obviously PLEASE reach out to me if you have feedback and ideas because one thing I’m a bit stuck on is how to protect vulnerable trainees from other trainees. Look; I’m a nobody but like I’ve said before when my day is done and it’s time to be cremated, I wanna be able to say I spoke up and I did the right thing in the right way. There’s so many bad fucking eggs in wrestling right now and let’s fucking get rid. If we act up and stick together I reckon we can do this, mind. Then we can focus on other things like the poor treatment and booking of female wrestlers because GOD KNOWS they get treated just as bad as female fans. Like the said person in the above paragraph has made comments about pimping out a 17-year-old girl? and this shit is just accepted? C’mon internet wrestling community, let’s get sickening!!!!! *death drops*. No but for real let’s sort it out. Stick up for those who don’t have a voice. Stick up for those who are vulnerable. Don’t hand out passes to people because they’re good in ring or they’re your friend or a veteran. Stop booking toss pots on your shows just because their bad behaviour isn’t necessarily illegal. Have somewhere safe for your fans to be. For your talent to be. Have multiple people to turn to that can help. Run background checks. Be an ally. LET’S DO THIS!

I suppose I should end this on a positive note, which for me was the WWE women’s royal rumble this weekend. God I was brought to tears. There wasn’t for me one jobber/filler entrant. Lita coming out made me pop so loud I woke my family up and I MAY have cried. Also all the pops for Trish Stratus, Brie Bella and Michelle McCool cos they still got it! It was a great match with a worthy winner and it’s a damn shame Asuka got her spotlight taken away by Fighty McFightface at the end. But HELL YES I TOTALLY BELIEVE 2018 IS THE YEAR OF THE WOMEN. FUCK THE YEAR OF THE DOG (although puppers are great).

A wise man once said “they’ll always hit you and hurt you, defend and attack, there’s only one way to beat them; get round the back”. (Should have won this year’s CBB imo. Who’s your most iconic Big Brother housemate and why? Let me know via social media because god knows I love reality TV).

Love,

Em/Dizz x

One thought on “Chapter 4: Taking the Mask Off

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