WrestleMania week is a celebration of all things pro wrestling, but this year’s edition in Los Angeles & Southern California included an incident that no one who wants the business/art form/pastime to be a welcoming one was celebrating.
Impact Wrestling’s Gisele Shaw, a trans woman, shared her story about being harassed repeatedly by WWE Hall of Famer Rick Steiner at the WrestleCon convention on Mar. 31. While one of the many disappointing aspects of Shaw’s story was how many fellow wrestlers and industry veterans only watched while Steiner was trying to bully her, she received support from her co-workers at the show and from Impact and many other wrestlers after she described what happened.
Steiner hasn’t addressed the issue, and some have questioned how his behavior would reflect on his son, WWE NXT’s Bron Breakker. There doesn’t seem to be any backlash against Breakker (what heat Bron’s gotten from NXT crowds recently is for standard reasons, like fans who think he’s been pushed too strongly, or in reaction to his recent heel turn), and the 25 year old hadn’t commented on the alleged incident.
During an interview this week, Under The Ring’s Phil Strum gave Breakker the opportunity to address it. Bron responded:
“Yeah, you know, I appreciate the question. I can’t speak for my father, but that’s not a reflection of me and who I am and what I’m about.”
The Rechsteiners (Rick and Bron’s shoot surname) certainly aren’t the only family to have contrasting values. Breakker’s answer won’t satisfy everyone, but it’s at least one that indicates he doesn’t share his father’s discriminatory and exclusionary views.