Earlier this week, we told you about former ECW announcer Joey Styles and his firing from three different wrestling organizations in the wake of controversial comments he made at pro wrestling event Evolve 72. Referencing comments made by President Elect Donald Trump in a leaked tape prior to the election, Styles told ring announcer Joanna Rose, "Joanna, you look great tonight. And if our next President were here tonight, he'd want to grab you by the…" Styles was fired from Evolve following the comments, though he later claimed in an open letter that he told promoter Gabe Sapolsky to fire him, and that he made the joke after panicking when a segment didn't go as planned. Nevertheless, Styles was fired from two more wrestling promotions, Chikara and Beyond Wrestling, just a few days later.
Though we've focused on his critics thus far, Styles wasn't without his supporters. Jim Cornette, who has been critical of Styles' political views in the past, came to his defense on his podcast, saying that Evolve overreacted by firing Styles:
Former ECW and WWE wrestler Dawn Marie also came to Styles' defense in an open letter (reprinted from Wrestlezone):
As many of you know I have stepped away from the wrestling business many years ago. I don't even watch the programming and there are maybe a handful of people I still call friends. I like to think of it as I divorced the business. Unfortunately, just as with any divorce, your ex-spouse will do or say something stupid and you find yourself dragged back into something you are trying to move on from. I happen to stumble upon a post a friend in the business made on their social media in regards to their support for Joey Styles. I had no idea what she could be taking about so curiosity killed the cat and I googed Joeys name. I was appalled… NOT ONLY by the sheer bulls–t I was reading but the fat that two of the three parties that were directly involved were not in the business through merit but had to buy their way into it.
I would like to make myself very clear I am not writing this open letter because of a friendship with Joey Styles or any underlying animosity with the other two. A matter of fact I haven't seen or talked to any of them in almost a decade or longer. The only reason I have chosen to step out of the shadows and make my voice heard is because I couldn't keep quite while watching the deterioration of a business I once love more than I probably loved myself during my tenure.
I remember Quackenbush as a kind when we both broke onto the east coast Indy scene. He had a different style about him and he was small for the industry but skill full. In the locker room, he was often the punchline for a roll of the eyes or a joke amongst the veterans passing through for a payday or with the boys that later became contract wrestlers (pros) because instead of trying to carve a nitch and create greatness with his God given talent, he chose to maneuver around the internet and manipulate his own notoriety. This was the era of the Smart Marks. I am saddened that now as an accomplished author and man he used this situation to push and promote his company. He has been around long enough to know the good guys from the bad guys in the business.
I am saddened by Gabe's actions. He should know better than anyone what a 'p—y' move he made as he tried to fill the shoes of his idol Paul Heyman. If you are going to use the Heyman playbook, and suggest to use shock commentating or storyline to elevate your promotion, you better be half the man Heyman was to back that s–t up. Note to Gabe: Paul would have NEVER EVER back down and b a p—y like you did. Not only would he had used this controversy to profit, he would have constructed something that Joey was protected and elevated within the industry. Shame on you! That is straight out of the Paul Heyman playbook 101.
Shame on you for tarnishing a man's name that was small in stature like you but chose to hone his craft and worked hard to EARN his spot in the history books
Shame on you for using the internet once again to feed your self-declared and manufactured moniker
To the fans:
Shame on you the fans that buy into this bulls–t and allow once again these Pariahs manipulate your thoughts for self-elevation, steal your money and laugh about it
To Joey Styles:
Shame on you Joey Styles for Hanging your head down low and allowing these synthetic inorganic people use your ingenious talent to elevate themselves because they themselves could never accomplish or create a mark on this industry as you have.
To My Fellow (Contract) Professional wrestling brothers:
Since many of you are still looking to create greatness and are worried about being politically correct I will say it on behalf of all of the boys that feel the same way.
F**k you Quackenbush, you'll never be one of the boys no matter how talented you are in the ring, no matter how hard you try or how many promotions you manufacture to exist in because the REAL business of wrestling is done in the back amongst the men that honor and respect those who came before them. The men that were hand selected and given the business from an old school veteran. This is the greatest business in the world because it was built on the tradition, legacy, and most of all rules. Some like to refer to these rules as locker room etiquette which you have shown none in the way you handled your business of termination in a blog post.
F**k you Gabe it's about time you grow some balls and throw away the p—y that you've been hiding in those cheap suits trying to emulate Paul Heyman while you PLAY WRESTLING.
That's right I said the word p—y 4 times and Joey didn't say it once. If you don't like it change the damn channel. The only thing this east coast sludge fest is missing is if God love his soul, Dennis Carluzzo, rose up from his grave to get into the mix just for sh*ts and giggles.
But despite the support, Styles has deleted all of his old tweets from his Twitter account that was started in 2009, replacing them with a single tweet showing posters for 1997 ECW PPV Barely Legal and 2005 WWE PPV ECW One Night Stand.
— Joey Styles (@JoeyStyles) November 19, 2016
Will Styles' fresh start on Twitter result in a fresh start in the wrestling business? It will probably take some time, but if there's one thing that's true of wrestling (just like comics), it's that everyone comes back eventually.