The resignation of Bill DeMott as WWE's head trainer on Friday over allegations that he had created an unsafe and unprofessional working environment in NXT two years ago continues to be a topic of heated debate within the wrestling community.
Now, Jim Ross, who was in charge of WWE's developmental system when he was their head of talent relations, and Lance Storm, who runs his own wrestling school and has served as a guest trainer at NXT, have now given their informed opinions on the matter.
Did they side with the alleged victims of abuse or with the coach who has been in the business for 25 years? Although neither would come out fully on either side of the issue, both gave arguments in support of Bill DeMott.
Similar to Vince McMahon criticising millennials for their lack of ambition, Good Ol JR complained about their sense of entitlement and defiance towards authority today:
"Bill DeMott, formerly the head coach at the WWE Development Center, has resigned amid controversy even though none of the allegations against [him] have been proven to be true at this time. It's been way too long since I was in Orlando to observe that operation but I was nothing but impressed with it the many times I was there. I even thought at one time of volunteering to move there and help in a more hands on manner I liked it so much. Some people who have never been that involved in organized sports often times take stereotypical locker room talk or hard coaching in a negative way when that technique of motivating athletes to become their best was the norm in the past. I vividly remember some 'lectures' that I received from my late father after arriving home on a Friday night after high school football games in which I played. This whole matter of the allegations against DeMott somewhat reminds me of how Adrian Peterson disciplined his child by using a switch on the child that got AD in major trouble. Obviously, times have changed because my Mom & Dad would both have gotten in big time trouble if spanking or using a switch on their only child was treated as it is today. I'm not condoning child abuse in any form whatsoever but one has to wonder just what is the proper method to discipline children in today's society? One thing I know is that most parents who want to be their children's best pal often times regret that philosophy later in life. But I digress.
Bill DeMott was a hard nosed, demanding coach somewhat along the lines of men like Bill Watts, Verne Gagne, Ole Anderson, Eddie Graham and others who trained some of the biggest stars in the business but in different eras Certainly DeMott wasn't short on passion but, according to some that have accused Bill of less than professional behavior, based on today's standards, and that's what we all have to abide by in every walk of life, was abusive [to] them. I like being somewhat demanding on rookies because it has to be ascertained if the prospect truly wants to be in the business or not. It's better to find out early so that the prospects in question can move on, train elsewhere, or simply move to the next phase of their professional lives.
This I do know and we see it virtually every day in sports and entertainment as well. Younger people are noticeably different than the same age individuals were not that many years ago. This generation of 20 something's often times bring with them complex personalities and at times a feeling of entitlement and a certain level of defiance. These traits often times complicate the training or coaching in a variety of sports as well as in sports entertainment.
Let me make this clear, I do not condone abusing anyone in any 'arena' of life whatsoever but in challenging endeavors such as WWE, NFL, etc where mental and physical toughness are required, it seems to continue to be increasingly challenging to train potential talents in a manner that today's society accepts similar to the Adrian Peterson situation which I can identify with wholeheartedly. I even had to go pick my own switch to be disciplined with back in the day. I'm a huge Adrian Peterson fan but AD, not AP, please, has to learn to discipline his children when they need it in another more acceptable manner that's seen as OK in today's world.
If the goal was for some of the disgruntled 'whistle blowers' or "victims" was to get DeMott replaced, then they succeeded and now let's see where else it goes as the next shoe to drop may indicate the true motive of the accusers. This I do know, Bill DeMott was a hard working, die hard wrestling guy whose track record of developing talents is hard to ignore. Was he tough and demanding? Absolutely he was but that doesn't necessarily make him the person that some are attempting to make him out to be. He was in a role that brings with it naturally a level of angst and controversy at times especially from talents who do not get "live their dream" when all is said and done.
Always remember this....there are two sides to every story and don't convict and/or execute any one until all the info is on the table. Rushing to judgment on any aspect of this matter or any is a mistake."
If anything, Lance Storm was even more scathing, claiming that some trainees not only feel entitled, but that they are also whiners who are too soft to ever make it in WWE:
"I think the dumbest thing about this whole Bill DeMott controversy is that people who weren't there first hand are coming out 100% on either side of this issue.
There is such a thing as overly demanding abusive training, and there are people who are entitled whiners who are too soft for this industry.
Thinking this case is 100% one and 0% the other is absolutely asinine. Unless you actually know the people involved and witnessed the situations first hand, you simply DON'T KNOW."
What are your thoughts, Cagesiders? Are Ross and Storm too tough on the kids of today? Are they clutching at straws in an attempt to protect the business? Or do they have a point that DeMott was only doing his job and may have been unfairly tarnished by a few bad apples?