WrestleCon Issue Statement Over Rick Steiner Return

WrestleCon have issued a statement after announcing Rick Steiner’s return to the convention

Rick Steiner is set to return to WrestleCon in August, months after being asked to leave a previous WrestleCon event due to alleged transphobic comments towards Gisele Shaw.

Steiner was originally banned from all future WrestleCon events as a result of his outburst, but has been announced for the August 4 and 5 convention in Detroit, an announcement that has drawn the ire of wrestling fans online.

WrestleCon’s Michael Bochicchio has released a statement on the official WrestleCon Twitter page about Steiner’s return, saying the following:

“I'm going to address the Rick Steiner issue here instead of responding to every post. I hope everyone takes the time to read, but I also understand if you choose not to hear another side. 

“Rick made completely inappropriate remarks to Giselle Shaw at our event in Los Angeles. As soon as we were made aware of what happened, we swiftly addressed the issue, but we never shared details of what happened at the event. In hindsight, it was probably a mistake not to share more details during or immediately after the event concluded. I take full responsibility- my wife died 3 weeks after the LA show at the age of 46, after a long battle with cancer, and I made a lot of mistakes during that time. 

“However, at no time then or after do we condone the remarks Rick made at LA. We did not fail to act after we were notified, and as a result, we removed him from the convention for the duration of that event. Rick’s poor decision forever impacted his brand, relationships within the wrestling community, and alienated many of his fans. 

“One of the positive things Rick did, and it was not publicised, is immediately apologise. He apologised to members of the Wrestlecon staff, he apologised to many of his fellow wrestlers, and offered apologies to the members of Impact Wrestling staff that chose to hear from him at a private mediated event.  

“Giselle chose not to attend Rick's apology, which we 100% understood, supported, and still support to this day. She had no obligation to hear anything from Rick nor should she ever feel obligated to accept any apology from him then or now.  

“Now that we are three months beyond this event, I feel that Rick learned a lot from his huge mistake. I know it's easier to cancel people when they make mistakes than to forgive and help educate. However, sometimes I think it's important that we give people a second chance. That being said, Rick will forever be on a zero-tolerance scale moving forward at any of our events. If we are proven wrong, that he has not learned from his mistakes, we will enforce a permanent ban. That is not to imply that everyone gets one free strike. 

“We continue to strive to have an environment where everyone feels safe and included. If we are faced with issues that compromise that environment, we will take all necessary action.”

Bochicchio’s statement has not gone down will with fans and professional wrestlers online, with indie star Effy amongst those outraged by Steiner’s booking:

“Absolutely disgusting behaviour. Wash this s*** out from our business for good. No f****** thank you! you value a couple autograph dollars over the lives and safety of LGBTQ+ people who are already under attack constantly everywhere,” Tweeted Effy.

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Written by Jack Atkins

Scripts, news, and features writer. Anything with words, basically.