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Posted in: Mr. Tito
MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - I'm SHOCKED There Isn't More Sexual Harassment in Pro Wrestling
By Mr. Tito
May 16, 2013 - 10:35:24 PM

FOLLOW Mr. Tito on Twitter: @titowrestling

The "EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING" has returned, as I present you another blueprint on what others will be writing about in the weeks to come... It is I, Mr. Tito of the greatest pro wrestling websites of ALL TIME, LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com, back to deliver more brain damage to you, the wrestling fans. I'm fascinated by the recent TNA Wrestling developments... No, not the wrestling product which doesn't "do it" for me. I'll pop in a VHS tape of WCW Worldwide to see the real thing, not its imitator on production and booking.

What I meant is the whole Austin Aries and Christy Hemme "incident" from last week's TNA IMPACT WRESTLING. Now, I'm not going to give you a breakdown of the incident because that would involve me reviewing a TNA IMPACT WRESTLING show and I'm out of the show review business. Oh, and it's TNA IMPACT WRESTLING. The bigger issue is Sexual Harassment in the Workplace for the Pro Wrestling Industry.

Frankly, and I'm not saying this as a slight towards the pro wrestling industry, I'm shocked that more sexual harassment allegations aren't thrown towards any pro wrestling company, especially the Corporate World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). As a publicly traded corporation, the expectations are higher to have policies for this, policies for that with regards to workplace behavior. Speaking from experience, it's a bit much. In particular, the Sexual Harassment annual training and personnel policies in place surrounding that is quite excessive for any large company. And it probably should be... The inequality gap between Males and Females with regards to income, despite the same education and experience levels, is still significant. Despite the raging hormones that exists in the Male bodies, you have to act like a professional and respect your fellow co-workers.

The WWE has many many females working for them and it has grown since Sunny (Tammy Sytch) became a highly downloadable wrestling personality during the mid-1990's. The WWE found out quickly that they could make additional revenue by having many beautiful women on-screen and also to exploit them via merchandise sales (calendars, etc.). Many have come and gone since the mid-1990's and grew exponentially after the WWE held the first televised Divas Search in 2004 and began hiring the non-winners in addition to the winner. Funny thing is that Christy Hemme was, in fact, the first televised WWE Divas Search winner... 9 freakin' years later, she's messing up wrestler names as a TNA Wrestling announcer and getting some Austin Aries crotch in her face. WWE held televised Divas Searches from 2004 to 2007. In addition to the Divas Search, the WWE has been actively stocking their developmental system with female wrestlers.

Males are naturally horny... It's mating season for us 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. That's the way we're built... Imagine that ten found when you're on the road and lonely... Worse yet, your female co-workers are wrestling in bikinis or very tight spandex. The temptation is there for any WWE wrestler to say something inappropriate or make a move... I'm SHOCKED that sexual harassment charges aren't regular against the WWE Corporation. HOWEVER - Let's give credit to the WWE Corporation for possibly having policies in place that fend off excessive sexual harassment. For all we know, the WWE wrestlers behave backstage and are respectful to their female co-workers, even if their wrestling matches absolutely suck.

BRAVO to the WWE Corporation for its respectful treatment of female workers unless... Female wrestlers/workers are intimidated by the WWE and fear of getting "blackballed" by the pro wrestling industry for causing trouble.

Word gets around in the pro wrestling industry from promotion to promotion. Wrestlers talk together other and reputations are formed. Even in modern times, there could be a WWE wrestler or personality that left the WWE but is unable to find work in TNA Wrestling. Vice versa. Promoters don't want to work with whom they deem to be "troublemakers", as it could create tension backstage. There is an obedience desired by the promoters and anyone deemed a problem to management or fellow wrestlers are quickly shown the door. Depending on how big the star is, the wrestlers or personalities who are being harassed or annoyed by the star could be shown the door... Vince McMahon runs a tight ship backstage and often gets rid of wrestlers who simply complain about their current booking situation, let alone problems backstage.

But the WWE is a publicly traded corporation with a ton to lose if lawsuits pile up or if allegations of harassment are made to the media. It is amazing that the WWE doesn't take more shots. That might be where the value of Stephanie McMahon comes in... She's an Executive Vice President of the company and must be respected. Quite possibly, her presence at the top keeps the male wrestlers compliant with harassment policies. In addition to Stephanie, Linda McMahon was CEO/President of the WWE Corporation. Granted, it's nepotism, but the WWE has empowered women to key positions in the company. It's much easier to implement sexual harassment policies when your company has credibility on elevating women to highly paid and important positions.

Back to TNA Wrestling, which it remains to be see how credible they are in handling sexual harassment cases. Granted, and it's nepotism again, Dixie Carter is in charge... But for this Christy Hemme / Austin Aries incident from last week's LIVE TNA IMPACT WRESTLING show on May 9th... Dixie Carter responded via Twitter on May 14th, 5 days later, and she Tweeted: TNA has ZERO tolerance for inappropriate behavior. The incident with Austin Aries was taken very seriously and handled immediately.

Immediately? 5 days later... Better yet, we get to hear about the possible punishment via TMZ, a gossip yet reliable news site. Aries was "severely fined", but no $ amount present. Can we get a $ amount please? Certainly, it would be nice to know what the punishment could be so that future TNA wrestlers won't do the same thing on-air.

And that's a big problem of what Austin Aries did. Granted, Christy Hemme should get the damn names right on the announcing. Give her a card with names on it and if she struggles with that, get rid of her for job performance. But what Aries did, if this wasn't a work, was break character and intimidate a fellow female co-worker during a live broadcast. If taken seriously, the TNA promotion could have its pants sued off. I guess that's why we have the "severe fine", though it was 5 days after said incident... If Hemme took it seriously, she could have escalated the matter to TNA's management. However, it appears that she has accepted Aries's apology and used Twitter, instead of TNA Management, for a sounding board of the incident. Aries even responded her, himself, on Twitter by stating: Pretty nuts, some of the junk people get the balls to say over the net, knowing they couldn't to your face...Eh, anyway, time to sack out. Reportedly, Aries later apologized to Hemme and life goes on...

Is Christy Hemme playing it cool and allowing Austin Aries to get away with 1 bad night, or is she too intimidated by the wrestling business to escalate?

AMAZING that more sexual harassment cases aren't pushed in the wrestling industry. Wrestlers are on the road for much of the year and are quite lonely. Their co-workers are stunningly beautiful and selling sex with their outfits and characters. Yet, these problems are minimal... Long are the days where the WWE had legitimate harassment problems with Rena Mero/Lesnar or "Sable, where issues occurred during the late 1990's that resulted in a 1999 lawsuit where a settlement was agreed upon. Or are the females just intimidated and don't have the courage like Sable to challenge their employer?

WWE, especially, has the big target in the 21st century, yet so far, so good... That, or nobody has the courage to communicate problems.

So just chill til the next episode...

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER: @titowrestling

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