Thursday, December 7, 2023

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Former wrestling ring announcer talks about sexual harassment in the wrestling industry

With the recent influx of sexual assault and harassment allegations in Hollywood, politics, and other industries, it’s only a matter of time before the wrestling industry gets exposed.

Women have been sharing their stories with the #MeToo campaign on social media and now a former ring announcer is adding her voice.

Heather Lynn, who used to work for WWNLive promotions Shine, Evolve and FIP, took to Twitter to talk about sexual harassment that she endured during her time in the wrestling business.

She wrote:

“Oh the sexual harassment stories that could be told about the wrestling business. Some by me, I’m sure some by many others. I’ve been sexually harassed by promoters and wrestlers. Problem is no one ever believes us. Maybe one day I’ll speak up. #wrestling #sexualharassment”

“We used to have a name for hugs at a certain promotion I was at. They were called “_____-hugs” with the name of the promoter in the blank and he would give them to the girls, rubbing our lower backs and holding us real close. We all knew we were getting these hugs. 1/2?

“2/2 When the promoter found out I had a boyfriend, even though I never hid it, I just didn’t advertise it because of personal reasons, I got reprimanded for not telling the promoter even though nothing had ever happened between us, and I wasn’t used as much. #wrestling”

She went on to say: “The reason I am speaking out now is because I no longer have anything to do with the business side of wrestling and I don’t need to worry about getting or losing bookings. Yes, I should have said something sooner, but it’s also scary because wrestling is very much a “boys club”

She didn’t name her assailants but clarified that it wasn’t Gabe SapolskyDave Prazak, or Rob Naylor.

In addition to Heather’s story, Emily Read, Pro Wrestling Eve promotor shared her own reflection on sexual harassment and assault in the industry:

She wrote: “Having a nostalgic look back on my time in wrestling; like when I was training and learned not to fall asleep on the road when my friend told me in frightened whispers that she’d fallen asleep on the way back from a show & a male wrestler fingered her in her sleep.”

British indy wrestler Pollyanna also made cryptic statements on social media about her own experience with sexual assault in the industry:

“They have no issue sharing a locker room with someone who would do that,” the tweet storm begins, which seems to be referring to a past crime. Pollyanna only recently returned to wrestling after quitting in 2016. Before her retirement, she wrestled in Impact Pro Wrestling: UK, Pro Wrestling Eve, and Progress Wrestling. She was also the inaugural Plex Wrestling Women’s Champion, a title she held for 480 days.

In the past Shelly Martinez spoke up about her own experience with sexual assault in the business.

In the 1990s Sable came forward with her own allegations during a lawsuit against the WWE, citing allegations of sexual harassment and unsafe working conditions. According to court documents, “Men would routinely walk into the women’s dressing room as if by accident; men would cut holes in the walls to watch the women dressing; extras were hired as WWF regulars to expose their breasts, big nipple contests were engaged in; men regularly bragged about their sexual encounters without regard to the women present.”

The matter was settled out of court.

In addition to Sable, the first female WWE referee, Rita Chatterton also accused WWE of creating a hostile work environment for women. She accused Vince McMahon of rape on an old TV show titled “Now It Can Be Told,” with Geraldo Rivera, the old show was eventually cancelled and then Geraldo’s new show began in early to mid 90s. She again appeared on this show also and repeated the claims.

This led to a bunch of lawsuits between the McMahons and Chatterton and the matter was eventually settled.

What do you think about this? Sound off in the comments below.

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