By Bayani Domingo, Associate Editor
There are not a lot of things you can do to get yourself “Blacklisted” in professional wrestling. Drug use, domestic violence, no-showing, egos, throwing a company’s title in the trash. There are precious few things you can do that are so heinous that some company somewhere won’t welcome you with open arms. Especially if you’ve ever tasted success or notoriety. The bigger the name, the bigger transgression you can commit and still be forgiven. There is, however, one transgression which can result in a near or actual “Blacklisting”, that’s going full on “shoot” and injuring another wrestler on purpose.
Now accidents and injuries in the ring happen all the time. there are even some wrestlers who have received a reputation, deserved or not, for injuring their opponents, Ultimate Warrior, RVD, and Mr. Kennedy, Goldberg (just ask Bret Hart) have been painted with this brush and most recently Seth Rollins. Now we aren’t talking New Jack levels of recklessness or malice when he purposely tries to injure an opponent to look “hard”, but just general sloppiness. But what happened at Triplemania is different. There are 3 sides to this story and unfortunately the side that counts, the truth, will probably never be uncovered.
Sexy Star retired last year, then suddenly unretired a few months ago, winning the vacant Women’s Title after Taya was mysteriously stripped of it. Going into AAA there were a lot of questions swirling around as to why she had a sudden change of heart and whether she orchestrated the title vacancy along with Vampiro. When she legitimately busted open Lady Shani in the triple threat, then decided to “go into business for herself” by injuring Rosemary with a cross-arm breaker, people were stunned. While Sexy Star was known as being the ultimate “Diva” backstage, she had never exhibited such disregard for her wrestlers before. Burying a fellow wrestler backstage or through “the book” is one thing, deliberately injuring another wrestler is something different all together.
I think Joey Ryan said it best when he posted, “”we constantly put our health in each others hands. If you violate that trust, you’re not one of us”. The trust that wrestlers have in each other to keep them safe is what allows for the kind of exciting, impactful, realistic, and “high risk” action you see in the ring. If wrestlers weren’t trusting enough to put their well being in the hands of their opponents then wrestling matches would be nothing but headlocks and knife edge chops. If it’s true that Sexy Star purposely decided to “shoot” on her opponents to make herself look better at the expense of their health then there’s reason to put her on a “temporary blacklist”. Quite frankly as a promoter you are sending a bad message to the rest of your workers if you invite her in, you’re saying that attitudes and egos don’t matter and you don’t care about their safety if you can get a “star” at a relative discount and sell a few more tickets. Because that’s EXACTLY what’s going to happen. The next show she works will see a drastic bump in ticket sales because of the “spectacle factor”. The pull of that might just be TOO great for some Indy promotion out there.
I wonder how this is going to affect her booking outside of AAA. I’d assume that since AAA and Vampiro are kind of oddities in themselves when it comes to booking that she may not be severely punished, if at all. If this was the E or any promotion in Japan this would be a huge deal and possible career ender there. While she is a “Star” in some sense, she’s not generally a huge draw, nor is she booked at many places on a regular basis. There are talks that she is even done with Lucha Underground and my guess is she never steps foot in a GFW ring despite the working arrangement the two companies have. If more wrestlers like Joey Ryan and Cody Rhodes come out against her and effectively make promotions chose them or Sexy Star, she could find herself at the mercy of AAA. Especially when you consider that women’s wrestling on intergender shows are generally not the draw in most cases, giving promotions even LESS incentive to spend big (thought likely shrinking) bucks to bring her in, and we’ve already seen a handful of promotions unbook her.
An interesting aspect here is that this is a female wrestler shooting on her opponent, that’s pretty rare. Say what you will about female wrestlers, but they tend to be a fairly close knit fraternity. Or maybe it’s sorority. While there have been several cases of female wrestlers injuring someone in the ring due to either sloppy ringwork or inexperience, I can’t think of another instance where there was a female shoot. You’d have to think that because there is such a dearth of truly “in demand” female wrestlers in the industry that this is going to hurt Sexy Star’s ability to work some Women’s promotions like Shimmer or overseas in Japan. As fans I think we take for granted that when male performers get hurt it’s a part of the job and they are big and tough enough to handle the risks. But in polite society we are taught that violence against women in any form is an atrocity.
With the events of last weekend we are going to soon see just how big a STAR that Sexy Star really is, especially after she reportedly refused to apology to either women and even released a statement where she more or less tried to skirt the blame and even accuse others of having it in for her. While the incidences themselves were awful, the most damning actions from Sexy Star took place after the match. If she had been contrite and apologetic she may have received some measure of forgiveness. We know that an armbar is legitimate submission move in MMA so we may be able to debate the intent, but after her response to her actions it’s almost like the nail in her own career’s coffin. Well at least she has AAA, the question is: Is Sexy Star a big enough Star to for AAA to protect?
- NJPW’s Kazuchika Okada was named #1 in the PWI 500 rankings. For those of you not aware that Pro Wrestling Illustrated is still around. Other than you guys that only purchase the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Which is…basically every month. Yup, I’m pretty sure the Uso’s swim in their t-shirts too.
- Eddie Edwards won the GHC Heavyweight Title this week, the first Gaijin to do so. It was a surprise that really came out of no where and shook up Japan. Now you know how WE felt at Pearl Harbor, Jerks!! I’m kidding…none of my family had citizenship back then. I can’t even tell you what side we would’ve taken.
- Jeff Hardy vs The Miz is the next program for the I.C. title. The E is hoping Jeff Hardy is the shot of adrenaline the mid-card title needs right now. Yup, adrenaline. That’s what Jeff will be injecting…I just didn’t realize adrenaline needed to be heated on a bent spoon first…
- Xavier Woods was injured at a house show this week. When asked to comment about the necessity of House Shows despite a number of injuries occurring on them and Xavier Woods in particular, Vince McMahon commented that he was disappointed that Woods was hurt, but and his program with TJP on 205 would have to be put on hold, but as soon as he returns the Titus Brand will be as strong as ever, and that’s “What’s UP??”.
- Enzo Amore feels so out of place with the smoother and more choreographed Cruiserweights. Its like of Michael J Fox joined the Jabberwockeez. Although, I doubt Fox’s ring work is as shaky.
- Sasha can’t seem to keep a title for long. She held that belt for less time than Adrian Peterson did before he remembered that he could only use “Time Outs” now at home.
- Braun vs Brock is going to be a pretty nasty main event program on RAW. I just hope they don’t turn this into a “Look how surprisingly athletic these monsters are” kind of match where they end up trying to do a bunch of moves that “men half their size” wouldn’t even attempt. We came for the hossy goodness. You don’t go to Outback Steakhouse for their tiramisu. Or their steak.
- Remember when Mike Kannelis was a thing? I don’t. But, that’s my fault. I couldn’t hold it any longer, I had a large ice tea and actually washed my hands after.
- Bobby Roode put over Roderick Strong before he officially left NXT. I wonder if he will carry over his nickname “Messiah of the Backbreaker” over to the main roster. Eh, It’s nothing to vertebrae-g about.
- It was a nice little nod to her former tag partner that Candice LaRae won her match using Joey Ryan’s old finisher “Mustache Ride”. What’s more impressive is that not every woman can be finished off with a “Mustache Ride”. Sometimes you need to wiggle a finger or 2 as well.
- I was floored when Santana Garrett lost her match to Piper Neven in the MYC. After pulling off this upset over a well decorated Garrett, that has to make Piper Nevin a…heavy favorite.
- Why in the hell is Cortez Castro still at The Temple after his cover was blown? Did he never watch New Jack City? Pookie would’ve been GONE. A cover hasn’t been THIS blown in wrestling since they started letting Kanyon talk and we all first heard that lisp.
- How many more bikers are showing up on LU? First we had Son of Havoc, then Son of Madness, I see where the pattern is here, so I’m assuming the next one is just going to be called “Barron”. #5%er
- Mahabali Shera seems to be locked into a waaaaay too long feud with Kongo Kong. They really need to consider playing up his Indian roots more if they want to capitalize in his native India. For one thing, maybe change his finisher because the “Sky High” could be changed to something with a stronger reference to his roots. Perhaps a different move all together, like a step p Enzi-curry.
- Any chance that a Face Faction forms to rise up against LAX called “Immortal Club Enforcers”?
- Well that’s some interesting booking by GFW, put two potential contenders in Johnny Impact and Eddie Edwards in a tag match to determine the #1 contender, and then…give it to Matt Sydal. It’s kind of like the final rose on “The Bachelorette” being given to the runner up on American Ninja Warrior.
- I didn’t realize that Eli Drake had changed his finisher prior to winning the GFW championship. Although, the “Gravy Train” sounds less like a finisher and more like a strip club The Godfather opened in Atlanta catering to chubby chasers.