Adam Scherr (fka Braun Strowman) made the internet mad in March 2020 when he showed zero sympathy for the struggles faced by independent wrestlers as they began to deal with the financial consequences of the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns.
More specifically, here’s what he wrote at the time:
“Here we go with more of the somebody pay for my bills stuff. If you can’t afford to pay your bills maybe you should change professions. That’s why I quit strongman. I loved it, but I couldn’t afford to live so instead of making a go fund me or a Patreon wanting someone else to take care of me I went out and worked harder than I ever have in my life to get to where I am. What happened to being accountable for your own actions????!!!”
He later deleted that specific bad take from his social media and said the whole thing was being overblown.
In the aftermath of WWE releasing Scherr from his contract in 2021, has his stance changed at all?
Nope! Here he is explaining to CBS Sports that his comments were taken out of context for clickbait:
“I still believe in it. In my opinion, people took it out of context. Did it age terribly? Absolutely. I made that comment months before the lockdown, before all of this stuff. Of course, everybody ran wild with it and tried to make more out of it than it really was for the clickbait. At the end of the day, it was motivational, in my opinion, what I was trying to talk about. Sometimes in life your goals and what you dream about, you can’t do. That’s the point, dry and simple. So many people, I think, have gotten complacent with putting their problems and making somebody else’s theirs.
Sometimes you need to control your own destiny. That’s how it was with me in strongman. I was in the top five strongest guys on the planet. I loved it. I didn’t want to leave the sport, but I couldn’t pay my bills. So there comes a time when you have to realize what is an achievable and attainable goal for what you have to do to survive. That was how all that got taken out of context. Some people don’t like it. Some people do. Either way, it doesn’t bother me none. That’s what I still believe. I’ve worked my butt off for everything I’ve ever gotten in my entire life. It was a motivational thing to tell people, ‘Hey, sometimes this may not work out for you. Go and try something else. Look what can happen.’ That’s what it was for me. Look what I was doing. I took a chance and look what I made out of it.”
Scherr inaccurately claims that he made that comment months before lockdowns, and it only aged poorly because of that timing. But the presence of the pandemic in March 2020 and the looming months of potentially no work for many independent wrestlers are exactly why performers like Evil Uno were asking fans to support independent wrestlers (and their projects/work/merch) via Patreon or whatever other methods were available.
After Scherr was fired by WWE in 2021, he admitted that it sent him to a very bad place. So it would have been nice in 2022 to see him show some growth as a person and express sympathy for the many other wrestlers who have also been sent to a bad place due to the pandemic. He instead fails to acknowledge or understand the problem with his words from two years ago, and blames others for taking his words out of context.
What was that thing he said about people needing to be accountable for their own actions? Why bother with that nonsense when you can instead blame other people for your own shitty words from two years ago?
Scherr’s overall point that sometimes it’s necessary to pursue a more practical goal instead of fully investing in a low probability dream makes sense independent of context. But the context is an important part of the story here. When a large number of hard-working wrestlers are suddenly facing uncertainty about their futures because of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, labeling them as people who are begging for handouts and aren’t accountable for their own actions isn’t the powerful motivational message that he says it is.
It was a really terrible and unempathetic take from a guy making huge bucks and looking down on others from the top of the industry, with no understanding of the work and grind involved with being an independent wrestler. The only person to blame for that is Adam Scherr.