BY DAVID BIXENSPAN – SEPTEMBER 6, 2019
All Elite Wrestling’s All Out, the promotion’s fourth event and the last before their weekly TV show launches on TNT on October 2, ran on Saturday night in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates. One of the key storytelling aspects of the show was setting up the match to determine the first AEW Women’s Champion for that first TNT show; by night’s end, it was clear that it will come down to Nyla Rose, who won a 21-woman battle royal on the free pre-show, against Riho, who got past Hikaru Shida on the pay-per-view portion of the card. Nyla Rose is trans, and while AEW has not pushed that element of her persona at all on its shows, the fact of it still elicited a dumb, bigoted backlash out of the worst kind of fans.
That kind of resentment had followed Rose at a lower level in the past. AEW top star and vice president Cody Rhodes, when pressed on Twitter, seemed hesitant to call out that particular bullshit when Rose was announced as part of the roster in February; he felt that it amounted to “signal boost[ing] hatred.” But the negative element got noticeably louder this week thanks to the “inaugural women’s title match” part. A good deal of this, at least online, trafficked in exactly the generic transphobic insults you’d expect, but there has also been an extra layer of bad-faith idiocy—tweets bemoaning Nyla Rose’s inclusion because of fairness and safety. Pro wrestling is, in 2019 and for many years before, pretty explicitly a performance, which did not keep various online idiots from treating Rose’s title shot as if it were a reprise of the brief career of trans MMA fighter Fallon Fox. Even by the very low standards that apply online when attempting to disguise bigotry as concern trolling, this was extremely transparent.
In the August 12 issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reported that there had been “complaints from some fans, which has gotten to NXT management” about… Read More HERE