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WrestleCon owner defends booking Rick Steiner again

Earlier this year, over WrestleMania week, Impact’s Gisele Shaw went public with a story of standing up to pro wrestling legend Rick Steiner for his transphobic bullying. She said Steiner repeatedly targeted her with anti-trans verbal attacks, and she confronted him about that.

Support from many sides of the pro wrestling world came in for her, and WrestleCon issued a statement apologizing for the incident.

Now, just a few months later, and without any sort of public apology, WrestleCon has revealed they booked him for an upcoming event in Detroit over SummerSlam weekend:

And quickly went on to defend the decision:

“I’m going to address the Rick Steiner issue here instead of responding to every post. I hope everyone takes the time to read, but I also understand if you choose not to hear another side.

“Rick made completely inappropriate remarks to Giselle Shaw at our event in Los Angeles.

“As soon as we were made aware of what happened, we swiftly addressed the issue, but we never shared details of what happened at the event. In hindsight, it was probably a mistake not to share more details during or immediately after the event concluded. I take full responsibility- my wife died 3 weeks after the LA show at the age of 46, after a long battle with cancer, and I made a lot of mistakes during that time.

“However, at no time then or after do we condone the remarks Rick made at LA. We did not fail to act after we were notified, and as a result, we removed him from the convention for the duration of that event. Rick’s poor decision forever impacted his brand , relationships within the wrestling community, and alienated many of his fans.

“One of the positive things Rick did, and it was not publicized, is immediately apologize. He apologized to members of the Wrestlecon staff, he apologized to many of his fellow wrestlers, and offerred apologies to the members of Impact Wrestling staff that chose to hear from him at a private mediated event.

“Giselle chose not to attend Rick’s apology, which we 100% understood, supported, and still support to this day. She had no obligation to hear anything from Rick nor should she ever feel obligated to accept any apology from him then or now.

“Now that we are three months beyond this event, I feel that Rick learned a lot from his huge mistake. I know it’s easier to cancel people when they make mistakes than to forgive and help educate. However, sometimes I think it’s important that we give people a second chance. That being said, Rick will forever be on a zero-tolerance scale moving forward at any of our events. If we are proven wrong, that he has not learned from his mistakes, we will enforce a permanent ban. That is not to imply that everyone gets one free strike.

“We continue to strive to have an environment where everyone feels safe and included. If we are faced with issues that compromise that environment, we will take all necessary action.”

Michael Bochicchio
Owner of WrestleCon

Based on the reactions to the tweets, that explanation isn’t going over well with fans. A private apology is obviously good but when it was a public event like this, and the story is public in this way, the apology should probably be public too.

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