It's been quite the fortnight for Brian Jossie, whose promising WWE managerial career suddenly came unstuck with one ill thought out joke.
As you are all surely aware of by now, two weeks ago on Monday Night Raw, A.W. landed himself in the WWE doghouse, deservedly so, for a crass rape joke about Kobe Bryant. He immediately kissed ass backstage and apologised publicly via Twitter for his mistake, which looked like it would be enough to escape serious punishment. Indeed, having been humbled, he was back on Raw with a live mic the next week, like nothing had happened.
But then, last Friday, he was strangely fired, ostensibly a delayed reaction to the rape joke that most viewers would have already long since forgotten about. This led to criticisms that WWE's PR department botched the firing of A. W. by waiting until the situation had died down to fire Jossie and of double standards as many other WWE performers have made similar errors of judgement only to be given a slap on the wrist.
If the timeline of Jossie's firing seems odd, then that may be because he was fired for another infraction. Indeed, Jossie has claimed to the Greenwich Time that he was fired for making a tweet encouraging WWE fans to vote for Linda McMahon in her upcoming Senate election:
The 34-year-old from Tampa, Fla., told Greenwich Time in a telephone interview Monday that it was a post from his Twitter account last Thursday telling his social media followers to support McMahon for Senate that ultimately led to his dismissal, however.
"#AWPromotion$ says vote for Linda McMahon!!! The PTP'z support Linda and so should you!"
Jossie ended his Tweet with the hashtag, #voteordie4Linda
"That's how they show support for their employees who want to support Linda. They fire them. That's complete bull(expletive)," Jossie told the newspaper....
Jossie said he received a phone call Friday afternoon from Jane Geddes, a former LPGA golfer and vice president of talent relations of the WWE, telling him he committed a major faux pas with his Tweet.
"For some reason they don't want to associate her with anything to do with wrestling because it's in the past," Jossie said of McMahon, the company's former chief executive.
"Vince (McMahon) doesn't want any association with her campaign. They told me it's two totally different entities, which I didn't know. I thought I was doing a good thing."
Of course, WWE spokesman Brian Flinn denied the accusations, blaming the firing on his "offensive and inappropriate comments on live television and on social media", which is the perfect out for the company.
Maybe Linda McMahon's campaign team didn't like the public support from someone who very recently had brought bad publicity for WWE on TMZ.com by making a rape joke on their live flagship show, but I doubt they would have known about it. More likely, this demonstrates the extraordinary lengths that WWE will go to, to protect Linda McMahon, while also trying to maintain the façade of non-partisanship. Of course, Vince will do whatever he possibly can to get Linda elected, as it's his money on the line here, but he can't be seen to publicly meddle in her affairs. He's even threatened the Connecticut journalist, Chris Powell, most critical of his wife with a WWE lawsuit on the flimsy pretext that it was slanderous to say that she derived her wealth "from the business of violence, pornography, and general raunch". Vince is just protecting his WWE investments, wink wink.