Braun Strowman caused a stir with some Instagram comments, and follow-up tweets, about supporting independent wrestlers who can’t work due to the coronavirus pandemic.
His stance didn’t hold up very well - in large part because Braun was railing against gofundme-type donation efforts when most indie workers are just pitching merchandise or other pay-for-service products. And while he’s probably not the only member of the roster who’d put forward a similar argument, his position thankfully doesn’t seem to be too pervasive backstage.
We already knew Mustafa Ali was dedicated to helping the roster of a promotion out of his hometown, and he didn’t let numerous issues with Freelance’s plans stop him:
Due to the #ShelterInPlace act by the Governor of Illinois, #WarehouseWars event is cancelled.— Mustafa Ali / Adeel Alam (@AliWWE) March 20, 2020
To all the performers of this event, the donation I submitted will still be distributed to you.
Thanks to everyone that helped promote this event to stand with independent wrestling https://t.co/5xvrwCrDAg
Lio Rush will be raising money for indie workers all next week on his Instagram, as he seeks to help folks make up for lost WrestleMania week revenue. Rush says he’ll bring special guests to his Live, then and share links to their accounts or merch pages at the end of each stream.
Aleister Black went with a simple shoutout, asking people to buy indie wrestler merch if they can.
The indies gave me a platform to create the keys to my personal success. Times like this are hard for all of us with no ways to generate income. If you are a part of the lucky few not financially affected by this please consider purchasing some merch of your favorite wrestler.— Devil's Blood (@WWEAleister) March 25, 2020
Shelton Benjamin took a similar tack...
Amazing talents NOT on a @WWE roster are going to have a tough Struggle with $0 coming in due Coronavirus Pandemic. So if you have the means support your favorite independant wrestler. buy their merch & support their platforms #SUPPORTINDYWRESTLING we are all in this together.— Shelton J. Benjamin (@Sheltyb803) March 25, 2020
... and then asked fans to stop bringing Braun into it*, and instead spread some positivity by looping in wrestlers who need the exposure right now.
Instead of tagging Braun with all the hate, show some love to your favorite INDY wrestler and tag them. Increase their exposure and maybe an extra sale or two. Be positive & HELP ME HELP THEM #SupportIndyWrestling like my boys @DirtyAndyDalton & @voteaaj— Shelton J. Benjamin (@Sheltyb803) March 25, 2020
* Yeah, I did the same thing Shelton asked us not to do with the headline. But experience tells me this post will get a lot more attention referencing Strowman and his recent controversy. Hopefully, some of those clicks will turn into sales for some of my faves like Veda Scott or Tre’ Lamar. Otherwise, I’ll just be called a hypocritical clickbaiter. Won’t be the first time...