Professional wrestlers seem to have a particular knack for turning social media into antisocial media.
Granted, lots of people say stupid things on Twitter or other unfiltered forms of online self-expression, but greased-up musclemen who play-fight in spandex seem to do so with particular frequency.
This week, independent wrestler Jay Briscoe — the world champion of Ring of Honor and one half of the roughneck tag team The Brisco Brothers — joined the fray.
He threatened to shoot supporters of same-sex marriage:
The Delaware Senate passed a bill yesterday that allows same sex couples to get married. If that makes you happy, then congratulations!!!!!! — Jay Briscoe (@jaybriscoe84)
… try and teach my kids that there’s nothing wrong with that and I’ll fucking shoot you — Jay Briscoe (@jaybriscoe84)
The tweets sparked an immediate backlash from wrestling fans (who aren’t known for being particularly sensitive, as a whole, to gay rights), and Briscoe has since deleted his Twitter account.
His employer, Ring of Honor, issued the following statement:
“Ring of Honor Wrestling respects and appreciates every fan regardless of age, gender, race, religion or sexual preference. The recent post by Jay Briscoe does not represent the views or opinions of Ring of Honor Wrestling, its owners, management or employees.”
Although Briscoe’s tweets were unconscionable — and would almost certainly have got him fired from a bigger wrestling promotion like WWE — he is just one of many wrestlers to stick their oversized boots in their big mouths on social media.
Here are some others.
CM Punk did nazi that reaction coming
WWE superstar CM Punk got himself into hot water last year by referring to the outgoing Pope as a Nazi (plenty of people made similar wisecracks, but Punk happens to have 1.7 million followers, so his tweet resonated a little louder):
@CMPunk: The pope resigned? I did nazi that coming.” Magic.
When followers started criticizing his comment, he fanned the flames with a follow-up:
“@KeithHalladay: @CMPunk @jonodiener Ouch. That’s an envelope-pushing tweet for a company employee…” Oh piss off. Pope was a nazi.
Although Punk’s onscreen character is a straight-shooting, anti-authority rebel with a chip on his shoulder, the real-life Punk has since deleted the offending tweets.
Last month, gargantuan wrestler Ryback had his entire Twitter account wiped clean by his WWE overlords when he tweeted a disparaging comment about opponent John Cena’s ex-wife. There’s a blurry line nowadays between wrestlers’ personal lives and their onscreen personae, but it seemed Ryback stomped right across that line (rumor has it that Cena’s ex-wife threatened legal action if she was used again to help promote a wrestling rivarly).
Still apparently emerging from anesthetic after a surgery, Hulk Hogan thought it would be a good idea to take his camera into the bathroom and film himself having a “major toxic steamer.” Warning: cannot be unseen.
More homophobic slurs
For a while, play-by-play commentator Michael Cole was one of the most despised people in wrestling. He seemed to enjoy the notoriety and did everything he could to antagonize fans and his co-workers.
Sometimes he got carried away, like when he called fellow commentator Josh Matthews a “faggot” on Twitter.
Although Cole should never have used the word in the first place, his timing was especially bad because WWE was already working with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to rid WWE programming of precisely that kind of numbskullery.
The tweet was removed and Cole got a much-deserved slap on the wrist.
Hulkster retweets a lewd comment about his daughter
Hulk Hogan is generous with retweets. Pracitally his entire Twitter account is filled with retweets of things like: “Hey Hulk I’m ur biggest fan can I get a RT” and “I love @IMPACTWRESTLING can i get a RT?”
But perhaps Hogan needs to be a little more discriminating about what he retweets. Last year, probably after merely glancing at the words “Could I get a retweet,” Hogan retweeted this:
@hulkhogan Hey hulk I went ballsdeep on Brooke!Could I get a retweet!
— Jeff Hahn (@Hahner1) June 1, 2012
Superstar Billy Graham goes bonkers
Superstar Billy Graham was one of the most flamboyant, popular wrestlers of his generation. That was the pre-YouTube generation, and it seems Graham hasn’t quite grasped just how crazy one can make oneself look by uttering bizarre death threats online.
Here’s a transcript, so you can really soak up the insanity: “Chris Jericho, you can go straight to hell, and burn in hell, because that’s where you belong, and I’ll help get you there by cutting your tongue in half. I would be more than happy, Jericho, to take a pair of pliers and cut your tongue and watch you bleed to death.”
Racial stereotyping from a white guy portraying a Japanese samurai
A colossal wrestler named Tensai seems to have an identity crisis. When he first appeared in WWE, commentators seemed to be trying to convince fans that he was actually Japanese. He only spoke Japanese (or a pidgin variation of it), and maintained the illusion that he was some kind of samurai lord. Nobody bought it, of course, as most fans immediately recognized him as the former Albert/A-Train, and the commentators soon fessed up that he was a westerner who found success in Japan.
Now, he’s a disco-dancing comedy character in a tag team called Tons of Funk. Next week he’ll probably be a masked Mexican luchador.
Early in his “Japanese lord” schtick, he muddied the waters by making a comment on TOUT (WWE’s proprietary medium for delivering 15-second video bursts to its audience) that many construed as racist and offensive to Japanese people.
Anything by Scott Steiner
Scott Steiner has giant biceps. His brain, not-so-giant. His Twitter feed is a showcase of anger, appalling spelling and nonexistent grammar. He doesn’t seem to understand that tweets are supposed to be self-contained, 140-character thoughts, and often writes rambling narratives that spill over multiple tweets. They’re actually hugely entertaining, if you imagine them being spoken aloud by an angry orangutan.
Bcuz Shoneys corporate offices are also in Nashville,but as you like to brag your too high class and make
— Big Poppa Pump (@ScottSteiner) May 4, 2012
Who thinks your a idiot
— Big Poppa Pump (@ScottSteiner) May 17, 2012
Trust me bitchoff ,u and hogan are about to find out im the last guy you should have fuckd with
— Big Poppa Pump (@ScottSteiner) May 4, 2012
Now u have a cystal ball in yur fantansy world and u can see my future,look at yur own future.you better hope im not in it,
— Big Poppa Pump (@ScottSteiner) April 14, 2012
U R a fool Hogan-U n bischoff arrogantly came into Tna n disrespected n shit on evrybdy bhind closed doors n in the media
— Big Poppa Pump (@ScottSteiner) April 9, 2012