It is tough to overlook that Monday Night Raw has been constructed round, largely, Riddle and Austin Theory of late. Riddle is one half of the wildly fashionable RK Bro tag group champs with legend Randy Orton, and seems to be on his technique to headlining the corporate’s subsequent PPV. You may surprise why he isn’t “Matt Riddle” anymore. We’ll get to that. Theory is now the brand new U.S. Champion, and has been positioned subsequent to McMahon rather a lot, together with at WrestleMania. A extra sweetheart spot within the firm, there’s not. He’s additionally simply been going by “Theory” recently. You might surprise why he dropped his first identify. Funny, it might be for a similar causes as Riddle.
Whatever you consider them as wrestlers — Riddle is certainly magnetic and overly gifted, whereas we’re merely informed Theory is these items — their presence on the prime of the cardboard is unsettling for some followers. That’s as a result of each have been primary names within the #SpeakingOut motion of August 2020, when a rash of followers went public with indecent actions they’d suffered by the hands of professional wrestlers, starting from merely inappropriate messages to outright assault.
The accusations in opposition to Riddle have been among the harshest, coming from a former professional wrestler, Samantha Tavel, who claimed that Riddle had raped her. Tavel sued each Riddle and WWE, however ultimately dropped each fits. Riddle himself tried to get a restraining order in opposition to Tavel, however the entire course of was extraordinarily bizarre and he dropped his pursuit of the order mere days earlier than it was to return earlier than a choose. After this, Riddle’s first identify was dropped, and the conspiracy concept is that it might make it that a lot tougher to Google all of this. The name-halving additionally got here concerning the time Riddle was beginning to work his manner up the cardboard.
At the identical time because the accusations in opposition to Riddle have been popping out, a teenage lady claimed that Theory had despatched her inappropriate footage on Snapchat when she was simply 13. None of the messages have been made public, because the lady stated Theory demanded she delete them after sending them. Not rather more got here out of it, however a primary roster run that Theory had begun at the moment was aborted by WWE, and Theory was off TV for just a few weeks earlier than returning to NXT. His primary roster re-entrance wouldn’t come for one more 12 months or so. And now that he’s changing into a serious identify on the roster, he additionally has dropped his first identify. Fool me as soon as, and all that… Riddle vehemently denied the accusations, whereas Theory has by no means commented on these in opposition to him.
It’s arduous to decipher what ought to occur to a wrestler primarily based on web claims. Some of these accused, like Marty Scurll and Jimmy Havoc, haven’t been seen working for a serious firm previously 12 months. They doubtless by no means will once more. Others, like Riddle and Theory and Will Ospreay, are having the most important runs of their lives. As all the time, it’s most likely come right down to how an organization like WWE or AEW evaluates your value. Havoc was a mid- to low-carder. Darby Allin, who’s had his personal accusations thrown at him, will get to hang around with Sting each night time.
Still, it’s not like WWE fully ignored the claims in opposition to Theory. He was faraway from TV within the aftermath of the accusations surfacing. He was “demoted” again to NXT, so the corporate can’t declare they by no means knew about them or anxious about what having Theory round would appear to be. They apparently have been simply ready for the mud to clear.
Still, that wasn’t sufficient to avoid wasting Velveteen Dream. The accusations in opposition to him weren’t all that totally different than the one in opposition to Theory, besides Dream was messaging an underage boy. That particular person stored the messages, although. Still, it’s arduous to not really feel like WWE went round #SpeakingOut accusations for performers they needed to push and used them as an excuse to launch different abilities they could have had much less curiosity in shifting as much as the primary roster, or to the highest of it. Not that Patrick Clark, Dream’s actual identify, deserved any lower than he bought along with his eventual launch and important removing from the enterprise. But couldn’t it’s simply argued that Theory and Riddle deserve the identical?
Vince has lengthy stored his personal private tasks, and when he’s chosen them it seems like he’ll do no matter it takes to maintain extra individuals from discovering out about their pasts. You and I’ll know, however most followers simply getting launched to those two gained’t. Which leaves him free to punt them up the cardboard. But WWE is hardly alone in dipping out and in of getting morality when it fits them and when it doesn’t (see: MLB and Bauer, Trevor). Companies and sports activities leagues have routinely punished these they will do with out whereas wheel-posing to guard these they will’t.
Still, it’s jarring to see Theory get the star-treatment whereas a genuinely good dude in Mustafa Ali will get shoved out within the chilly for months just because he gained’t take regardless of the firm affords him (and it might not take a lot of an creativeness to determine what Ali refused to do when provided by McMahon, y’know, contemplating his identify is Mustafa Ali). That’s the way in which of the world, I suppose.