By Goose Mahler, Associate Editor
Another week, another accusation. The #SpeakingOut movement is not going anywhere and male wrestlers, even female wrestlers accused of wrongdoing better watch out. Wrestling has a broken culture and people want it changed.
This comes on the front of another high-profile Ring of Honor wrestler is back at the forefront. When I say back, I mean this really is no shock and shouldn’t be that Jay Lethal has been named as blacklisting female talent and sexually harassing them.
Rewind to 2017. Taeler Hendrix (Hail Hendrix) accused Lethal of stopping her push and her leaving ROH because she refused to sleep with him. Hendrix provided screenshots of texts and other information to ROH and got the “We take matters seriously and will conduct an “investigation” into the accusation” line.
Obviously in 2017 ROH didn’t take it seriously at all and a talented female wrestler left her job. No action was taken against Lethal…to me that does sound and read like it was covered up.
Let’s fast forward to the present in 2020 Kelly Klein has taken to Twitter and throws more damning accusations at Lethal and again Ring of Honor’s lack of taking the female talent seriously with their concerns. Klein offers her take and what she witnessed. Lethal comes right back out with a statement that is similar if not identical to his statement when Hendrix came out with her allegations. Coincidence?
Klein also stated that ROH will “take action” only when it suits them. If it doesn’t they cover it up. There’s that wording again, covering it up. Once shame on me, twice, we have a pattern of behavior from a company that already has image issues. And there is a major issue here that can’t be ignored or denied.
Here in lies the problem that needs to be looked at.
Marty Scurll has also been implicated of sexual misconduct and he has pull within ROH. ROH has been deafly silent since they said there was an “immediate investigation” on Scurll into his accuser’s allegations and the statements. We are almost 3 weeks into the first allegations without action or another follow up statement.
— Marty Scurll (@MartyScurll) June 24, 2020
Scurll himself didn’t look very good with his own statements on Twitter when he said 16 was of legal age in the UK, even though people have backed his accuser who was said to be intoxicated, which made the situation very illegal. Yet nothing from Ring of Honor since their initial “we are investigating” tweet. Tell me this doesn’t read as bad as Joey Ryan’s allegations yet Impact sort of moved swiftly, and ROH hasn’t? Or better yet, won’t.
I get denouncing an entire organization because of a couple bad apples when there are plenty of good ones isn’t always the right thing to do. But if Kelly Klein is correct, Taeler Hendrix had been listened to, and the higher ups within Ring of Honor are covering up these issues then there is the biggest problem in wrestling of all. Promotions that aren’t willing to conduct business with integrity.
Management and people in power positions not listening to the talent and firing people when they do come out about something going on that is wrong or makes them feel uncomfortable is wrong. Most big companies when you are hired have bosses that will give you an open-door policy and ear to listening. Not all, but most. Ring of Honor seems to not have that policy or doesn’t care about it enough to be straight arrow with fans or the public.
Klein and Hendrix, arguably two talented female wrestlers with similar claims again Lethal. I’m sorry, but you don’t have people making claims like this when there isn’t truth to them. But it also begs a question many fans started asking this time around and have gotten no response from.
Why hasn’t Jay Lethal ever been courted by the WWE? He was a highly rated wrestler at one point in time. He got the rub from Ric Flair of all people. Yet, the WWE wouldn’t touch him with a 1,000 foot pole.
Why? Toxic? Bad Attitude? Can’t Pass a Certain Blood Test?
Whatever the excuse is, all the allegations made against him are mounting. The ball is in Ring of Honor’s court. I just don’t see them reacting soon because its easier to cover up crap then deal with it. Ring of Honorless seems like a more fitting name for a company with this many open issues. They sure as heck haven’t handled these accusations with very much integrity at all, let alone honor.
Until next week stay cool!
Mark Mahler is the Associate Editor of TheGorillaPosition.com and the former Editor-in-Chief of Absolute Wrestling. Follow him on Twitter @MGoose37