Rumors have surfaced via social media that Divas at WWE’s NXT developmental territory have been subjected to sexual harassment by a trainer.
The trainer has been referred to as their strength coach, but hasn’t been mentioned by name.
Cryptic tweets have been sent by recently released NXT talent Briley Pierce (aka Ryan Nemeth, Dolph Ziggler‘s brother) and Trent Barreta.
Most recently and most openly were the tweets sent last week by Pierce. He has since deleted the tweets, but a screencap of them was posted online:
Last month, Barreta made similar claims in reply to a fan’s tweet about NXT Diva Bayley:
@SasaZekzi @itsBayleyWWE nope. She’s way prettier… I don’t even get sexually harassed by my strength coach.
— TRENT? (@trentylocks) May 26, 2013
In today’s episode of former developmental talent Kevin Matthews‘s podcast Two and a Half Wrestlers, he spoke with fellow ex-NXT wrestlers Chase Donovan and Chad Baxter about a number of issues in the developmental system, and the sexual harassment rumor came up briefly.
The men acknowledged that they had heard the story from several other people, saying that the incidents were about a trainer “taking pictures with the Divas”. Head trainer Bill DeMott, they said, did not want the story to reach WWE Corporate and in a sense “swept it under the rug”.
Click here to listen to the podcast (Diva harassment discussion begins at 54:25).
Of course, these rumors have not been confirmed, but given the incredible amount of pressure felt by talent in the developmental system, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that they would be afraid to speak out about a matter like this.
We hope to have more on this issue when additional information surfaces. As for now, though, this is to be considered a rumor.