WrestleCon has reversed its decision to invite WWE Hall of Famer Rick Steiner to its showcase next month as the professional wrestling world turns its attention to SummerSlam in Detroit.
The wrestling convention initially decided to invite Steiner back on its show months after Steiner was accused of using «hate phrases» towards transgender professional wrestler Gisele Shaw.
WrestleCon owner Michael Bochicchio made the change Sunday, explaining that Steiner apologized after the incident and that he felt the former wrestler «learned a lot from his big mistake.»
WrestleCon backed down on their invitation.
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“When we allowed Rick Steiner to return to our Convention as a supplier guest for Tony Hunter Promotions, we did not adequately take into account the impact his past words from our last event still had on the LGBTQIA+ community,” Bochicchio wrote on Twitter.
«We initially allowed him to come back because 1) We still feel people deserve a second chance. 2) Rick apologized to all parties who chose to be present. 3) We lacked any sort of code of conduct/harassment policy that clearly defined our expectations as convention participants.
Bochicchio wrote on Twitter that he had a discussion with SB Nation’s OutSports blog and Brian Bell, host of the «LGBT In The Ring» podcast, on Monday and agreed with them that they wanted some kind of public apology from Steiner «at the very least «. «
«Because we understand that this issue required great urgency, we gave Rick Steiner 24 hours to make such a statement. Unfortunately, there currently is not and we do not expect to receive such a statement, and therefore we have made the decision to revoke our permission.» . for him to attend,» Bochicchio added.
WrestleCon also announced a code of conduct and anti-harassment policy.
«We will continue to improve this code of conduct over time and with the cooperation of others. We understand and appreciate that there will be many differences of opinion among our participants, and we want to create a safe and enjoyable space for everyone at our conventions.
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«At this time, we have partnered in solidarity with other wrestling industry convention leaders, notably Starrcast, Wrestlecade and The Gathering (Charlotte Fanfest), who have also agreed to adopt and adhere to a similar code of conduct for their events».
Steiner, whose real name is Robert Rechsteiner, is a member of the Cherokee School Board in Georgia. He did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Shaw initially made the allegations in a statement posted to his Twitter account in April. Shaw wrote that Steiner’s «hate talk» was «quite shocking and disheartening».
Shaw came out as transgender in 2022. He has been a mainstay on the independent wrestling circuit for several years.
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Steiner, 62, is known primarily for his career in World Championship Wrestling in the late 1980s and mid-to-late 1990s. He and his brother, Scott Steiner, were seven-time tag team champions. His team was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last year.