As Wednesday, June 24 came to a close, the #SpeakingOut movement showed no signs of slowing down. Here are some prominent news items:
- Numerous abuse allegations have been made against CHIKARA owner Mike Quackenbush, especially in regards to language that was misogynistic, racist, and homophobic. A number of prominent names from the roster have said they will no longer work for CHIKARA, including Kimber Lee, Dasher Hatfield. It ended up being a pre-emptive decision, as Quackenbush announced that CHIKARA would cease operating. It has been in business more than 20 years, and was one of many promotions that found life after ECW and WCW were gobbled up by WWE. Quackenbush, who has been a guest trainer at the WWE Performance Center, finally addressed the situation at 8 p.m. on Wednesday night:
— Mike Quackenbush (@MikeQuackenbush) June 24, 2020
- NXT star Keith Lee shared a story on Twitter from Dallas, circa 2016 or 2017, where he said he turned down a woman’s request to have sex. After returning from the bathroom and his drink, “it’s right around here things become extremely fuzzy for me. No matter how much I rack my brain, all I find myself able to recall is struggling to make it to the stage … and stumbling toward a car. After that ….. I recall waking up naked in a hotel room (I don’t even recall if it was my own room), confused and in a panic. I was fortunate to have my essentials such as wallet and phone. But … who knows what all I lost. To this day … I know not what happened. I have tried to forget about it ever since …. But I tell this story, so people understand. Anyone can be a victim. ANYONE. It is why I randomly stopped drinking. And why it remains such a rarity to this day.”
- Many allegations from the past have been brought to light again, the #SpeakingOut movement perhaps giving the assertions a new assessment. Trenesha Khan who was Rhaka Khan in TNA, Tweeted out her accusation against Kurt Angle from 2009. One tweet reads: “I was sexually assaulted, beat,and abused by #KurtAngle. All I ever asked is for him not to try to destroy the career I earned before I knew him. He still says bad thing about me up to this day. #SpeakingOut #SpeakingOutMovement” A second Tweet reads: “8 months ago, I told the story of being abused by Kurt Angle/Dixie Carter covering it up in an interview 4 @ . They didn’t like me talking about the bad things Kurt& Dixie did me. My story was hidden from all of the wrestling fans. # #“
- Sports Illustrated spoke to veteran Canadian women’s wrestling LuFisto about the movement, which could be partially credited to her video a few weeks back, calling out CZW for rebranding women’s wrestling videos, sexualizing to the extreme what had been athletic contests.
- Out in the Pacific Northwest, Jeff Duncan, who was part of the ownership team for the Vancouver, BC-based ECCW and apparently its booker, has been accused of inappropriate texts, including to underage girls, slapping women’s behinds at shows, lying about his wrestling resume and more. ECCW has removed him from its team, with this Tweet @ECCW:
ECCW has been closely following the #SpeakingOut movement, and supports those that have come forward.
We were made aware of allegations involving certain members of our promotion. Those members have been removed.
We believe that wrestling should be a safe space for everyone, and look forward to positive changes in the industry.
We will have no further comment on the matter.
Many of the ECCW talent have quit the promotion, including ECCW Canadian Champion “Golden Boy” Travis Williams, “Ravenous” Randy Myers, Liiza Hall, Elliot Tyler, Fergie, Eli Surge, and Wyatt Arndt. Wrestler KC Andrews noted, “Natch always gave me total dirtbag vibes. The biggest shock to me was finding out he was part of @ECCW ownership.” Nick (@NickIsRadford) called out the promotion for its inaction: “Just a reminder that, much like 321, there were numerous people in charge at ECCW who were aware of, and complacent to, the actions of Jeff Duncan. Every single person in a role of ‘power’ should be held accountable. Even those who are currently trying to distance themselves.”