WWE isn’t recognized for its sensitivity, and at instances is sort of pleased with that, and that was clearly evident on Sunday night time through the firm’s “Elimination Chamber” pay-per-view occasion. Matt Riddle gained the United States Championship, and to say the timing is odd can be scaling a mountain of a euphemism.
To refresh the reminiscence, Riddle was certainly one of a plethora of wrestlers who have been accused of sexual assault through the #SpeakingOut motion in the summer time. Candy Cartwright, actual identify Samantha Tavel, alleged that Riddle pressured her to carry out oral intercourse on him in a van after an EVOLVE present, the corporate the 2 labored for on the time. Riddle has constantly denied the accusation.
Riddle claimed that he and Cartwright had an extramarital affair for years, which he then ended when his spouse discovered. He has stated the accusation is a part of her retaliation for ending the connection, and likewise claimed that Cartwright was something of a stalker and he had modified his cellphone quantity a number of instances due to it. Riddle tried to file a restraining order towards Cartwright however canceled the petition a few days earlier than a decide was to listen to it below some curious circumstances.
Cartwright filed a lawsuit towards Riddle, WWE, and EVOLVE in Illinois over the incident. WWE was profitable in having itself faraway from the swimsuit, because it didn’t make use of Riddle on the time of the alleged assault. Riddle has filed to dismiss the lawsuit as effectively, however that’s nonetheless pending.
With all of that going on, Riddle has gotten a push from the corporate, topped off with claiming Monday Night Raw’s mid-card title. Vince McMahon is reportedly a large fan of Riddle, so this push seems like it can proceed for a whereas, till Vince’s subsequent temper swing that’s.
What Vince is aware of concerning the accusations towards Riddle is inconceivable to know, or what he is aware of or feels concerning the lawsuit that was filed towards the corporate. It can be arduous to assume that he wasn’t at the very least conscious of the latter. It would additionally not be a large leap to guess that McMahon is dismissive at greatest about the entire affair, if not outright derisive.
The therapy of Riddle differs from how the corporate has dealt with Velveteen Dream, aka Patrick Clark. He additionally has some abhorrent accusations towards him springing from the #SpeakingOut motion. While Clark did reappear on NXT TV after the accusations, he has barely been on tv since and hasn’t appeared in any respect in weeks. While WWE’s “investigation” of the accusations towards Clark have been someplace across the stage of a joke, Clark’s omission from TV for the previous couple of months would recommend that at the very least NXT is conscious of the optics of getting him round. The backlash from Clark showing on TV actually was noticeable.
But NXT is run by Triple H, aka Paul Levesque, and WWE is run by McMahon. Levesque isn’t some saint, however he’s at the very least conscious of the response of all the WWE universe, not simply what he desires to listen to (in the case of McMahon, that’s simply typically the voice in his personal head with the occasional sprinkling of shareholders). While Levesque has by no means admitted to protecting Clark off of TV due to the accusations towards him, it’s fairly straightforward to do the mathematics on that one. Clark remains to be a part of the corporate and can nearly actually be again on TV in some unspecified time in the future. He was one of many firm’s quickest rising stars. But, for now, he’s nowhere to be seen.
Putting a title on Riddle in the center of a PPV actually is a center finger to anybody even involved concerning the accusations towards him, a lot much less any sexual assault survivor, whether or not it’s intentional or not. It wouldn’t have killed WWE to go away Riddle in the background till at the very least the lawsuit was resolved. But that’s in all probability a sign of the way it feels that may play out. Vince goes to do what Vince desires and nothing typically will get in the way in which of that.
If solely the WWE was as arduous on wrestlers accused of sexual assault as it’s on those that have tweeted with out clearance.