Gisele Shaw’s experience with Rick Steiner at WrestleCon continues to be a trending topic this WrestleMania weekend.
Shaw, a trans woman who wrestles for Impact, tweeted early this morning (April 1) about how the WWE Hall of Famer targeted her with anti-trans rhetoric at WrestleCon on Friday. She also said Steiner directed a homophobic slur at another person associated with Impact, and got louder & more inappropriate when confronted. An Impact referee, Daniel Spencer, and a PWInsider source have verified Shaw’s version of events.
Steiner, who is also on the Cherokee County School Board in Georgia, hasn’t commented on the incident. WrestleCon did issue a statement this afternoon, however.
“WrestleCon regrets the events that took place at yesterday’s convention and apologizes to Gisele Shaw. We aim to promote a safe and inclusive environment for all LGBTQAI+ members of the wrestling community. The issue has been addressed and we hope the remainder of the convention can be a positive experience for all.”
PWInsider also spoke with WrestleCon promoter Michael Bochicchio, who told the site Steiner had already left to attend last night’s WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony before convention officials could speak with him about what happened. Bochicchio claimed Steiner was brought in by a third-party vendor who purchased space at the event, and has since been informed he can’t enter or be a part of the remainder of the con. WrestleCon is said to be trying to facilitate a meeting between Shaw & Steiner, but thus far that hasn’t happened.
Meanwhile, significant portions of the wrestling community have continued to back Shaw after she shared her story. Her Instagram post about what happened has received numerous responses, many from her Impact co-workers like Josh Alexander, who commented:
“It’s disgusting that these things still happen. Proud of you for speaking up. I know you already know. But wanted to remind you that you don’t have to be afraid of anything ever again. You have an army of people that love you that’ll have your back.”
And also from others like AEW’s Chris Jericho, who wrote:
“Hey! Don’t even worry about this. #RickSteiner has always been a bully and has gotten away with so much because he is a ‘Steiner’. Makes me laugh cause I fell for the same sh*t when he bullied me, Eddie, Chris, Oscar, juvie etc at World War 3 1997!! I got your back @giseleshaw08 …and if Rick has an issue with this, I’d love to discuss with him anytime. It’s 2023 dude…grow the fuck up!”
A short time ago, Impact also tweeted the following message of support:
IMPACT Wrestling stands in full support of @GiseleShaw08 and the LGBTQ+ community. We are saddened by the incident Friday afternoon at Wrestlecon in Los Angeles and hope everyone can learn and be better from it.
Thank you to the millions worldwide who have read Gisele’s statement and showed full support for her. Particular thanks go to the organizing staff of Wrestlecon as well as the IMPACT roster and crew who all handled an ugly situation with the utmost professionalism.