Two weeks ago, NXT referee Drake Wuertz was at the center of a backstage and internet story. This was because he called into a government meeting to argue against a public health-driven mask mandate, using QAnon conspiracy theory talking points. From the WWE Performance Center. While wearing a company-logo-ed shirt.
Several current and former colleagues and friends commented on his behavior, directly and indirectly. A report surfaced that Wuertz had been suspended by WWE earlier this year, and even barred from entering the PC.
Shortly after Wuertz wrote an impassioned defense of his “radical views” on Facebook:
“My wife said some folks are apparently writing about our ‘Radical Views’.
*Human Trafficking is modern-day slavery and we seek to eradicate it
*Abortion is Murder and needs to be Abolished
*Children in my community that are being forced by local government to wear masks for 8 hours a day against their parents wishes is abuse. We have a God-ordained duty to speak up for the ‘least of these’ and petition our magistrates to prevent harm upon children.
If this is ‘Radical’ then label me an extremist for Christ. We’re not called to fit in with the world. Were called to serve God!
…’We ought to obey God rather than men.’ Acts 5:29”
He then worked the May 4 episode of NXT, refereeing the Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher match on television.
Wuertz (who many know from his days on the independent circuit as hardcore wrestler Drake Younger) was not at work last night, however. He was at a Seminole County [Florida] Public Schools board meeting arguing that if the Superintendent didn’t prohibit students from wearing masks in schools he would be going against God’s wishes.
This video is queued up to Wuertz’s speech.
The blowback from Wuertz last public speech was stronger because he failed to make it clear he wasn’t representing his employer while delivering it. Whatever you think of his comments at the May 11 meeting, he addressed that criticism. While members of the wrestling community like David Bixenspan (who’s been reporting on Wuertz for some time now) were obviously watching to see if Drake would curtail his activism in the wake of the April 28 controversy, if you don’t know of his WWE connection, you wouldn’t learn about it from this video.
Whether company officials think it’s a (real or simply a public relations) problem that he persists in exercising his rights in this way while the company tries to enforce its own mask policy, promotes vaccination programs, and attempts to resume traveling for shows & bigger crowds amidst an ongoing pandemic? That will likely determine what WWE’s next steps are with regard to Wuertz.