It wasn’t that long ago WWE was touting the transformation of Drake Wuertz from a hardcore wrestler with a drug problem to the head of their officiating crew at the Performance Center.
But after a clip made the rounds this week showing Wuertz calling into a Seminole County (Florida) Board of County Commissioners meeting to blast public officials for upholding a mask mandate, using right wing conspiracy theories about child abductions as the basis of his arguments, all while wearing an NXT logo-ed shirt... we heard the former CZW star is now a controversial figure at WWE.
Fightful reported he was suspended and even barred from entering the Capitol Wrestling Center earlier this year. Tweets from fellow referees, including the man who is now in charge of officials after Wuertz was demoted, and wrestlers who’ve been through the PC seemed to confirm what we’ve been hearing.
Freelance reporter David Bixenspan shared the video of Wuertz call on Tuesday (April 27). He’s has been covering the story of the former Drake Younger’s involvement with alt-right groups from numerous angles for a while now (this article on Bixenspan’s Substack is an excellent deep dive).
From a personal perspective, some tweets yesterday from Botchamania’s Maffew Gregg and AEW’s Joey Janela really drove the point home:
When I talked to him on the phone and he tried to tell me the proud boys weren’t racist they were proud patriots & I had my information manipulated by the left media I was completely done with him lol— “The Bad Boy” Joey Janela (@JANELABABY) April 28, 2021
But also sad because he was one of my favorites to watch ever & was happy he was able to turn his life around, always hit me up to tell me I was doing great and he supported me. But talking to him this time was sad and pathetic— “The Bad Boy” Joey Janela (@JANELABABY) April 28, 2021
There’s no perspective from which this doesn’t suck. A lot of people have observed that Wuertz seems to have replaced one addiction with another, and as a recovering addict, I can tell you that’s a real thing that happens. It doesn’t excuse the damage he’s potentially doing to others by spreading the kind of dangerous rhetoric that led to things like Pizzagate, though. Proud Boys and QAnon-related propaganda also seems unlikely to really change a person who doesn’t already have some biases and prejudices, so it’s understandable that not everyone’s reaction is going to be “poor Drake”.
It’s also not clear what anyone can do about it.
How can you argue with someone who has that level of emotional investment?— TUCKy (@REALLeviCooper) April 28, 2021
But if suspensions and demotions and being prohibited from even coming to work haven’t deterred Wuertz from taking part in these activities, or even making an attempt to keep them from being linked to his employer, how can WWE keep him around? And what does it say that they have?
There are no easy answers as to what Drake’s friends can or should do. But it seems pretty clear what WWE should.