WWE backstage news: Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, almost every wrestling company has had to tape shows in advance to ensure the safety of the performers. Impact Wrestling’s several segments that aired this week were taped last week, according to PWInsider. The segments that were taped and later inserted into the show include the Ken Shamrock attacking Michael Elgin, and Taya Valkyrie/Jordynn Grace backstage segment. Here’s a news roundup of all things pro wrestling this week-
- Impact Wrestling has released a video where an unidentified individual is watching a report on all recent WWE releases like Eric Young, Mike and Maria Bennett, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Impact Wrestling’s biggest pay-per-view event, Slammiversary, will take place on July 18th and there have been talks of several released WWE stars making an appearance.
- Impact Wrestling has confirmed several matches for this week’s broadcast. The list of matches will be headlined by the Impact Wrestling Knockout Championship match between Taya Valkyrie and Jordynn Grace. Deonna Purazzo, recently released from NXT, will make an appearance.
- AEW President Tony Khan has indicated that Hulk Hogan and his wife, Linda Hogan are banned from AEW. After Linda Hogan made some incendiary remarks regarding the protests for racial justice, Khan tweeted that Linda Hogan has now joined her husband as the two people banned from AEW. Notably, Hogan was ostracized by WWE as well before he came back to host Crown Jewel in 2018.
- MVP has reportedly transitioned back to the role of a full-time in ring talent for WWE after taking up the role of a producer behind the scenes. MVP made his return to the company recently as an in-ring talent before becoming a producer. He is currently embroiled in a feud with WWE champion Drew McIntyre along with Bobby Lashley, wrestling on almost every RAW.
- NFL star Rob Gronkowski has exercised the release clause in his contract to leave WWE. Rob Gronkowski, also known as ‘The Gronk’, signed a full-time deal with WWE recently. However, he was signed by NFL team Tampa Bay Buccaneers soon after. During his tenure, Gronkowski won the 24×7 championship at Wrestlemania 36 which he lost to R-Truth on this week’s RAW.
- Nia Jax reportedly has backstage heat for a spot on this week’s RAW in the match against Kairi Sane. Jax threw Sane into the steel steps which left Sane with a deep gash. Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer Newsletter said that he received a text message from a WWE employee. The person said that Nia is dangerous in the ring and needs to be fired. Notably, this is not the first time that Jax has been accused of being an unsafe worker. Her punch broke Becky Lynch’s nose while her previous matches with Sane has had some uncomfortable spots as well.
Besides, on the ratings front, RAW ratings slipped this week despite the advertised Rey Mysterio retirement episode. Mysterio’s son Dominick is likely to make his debut soon as a part of an ongoing storyline with Seth Rollins which has been received well so far.
tWitch and Allison Holker Demonstrate White Privilege in Powerful TikTok Challenge
Stephen Laurel “tWitch” Boss and Allison Holker have been using their platform to speak out against racial injustice for a long time. The So You Think You Can Dance alumni recently posted goosebumps inducing TikTok video to demonstrate White Privilege.
There is a TikTok challenge doing the rounds, called the “Check Your Privilege Edition”, where an audio voice asks the users a series of questions about their experience without mentioning their race. For every experience that a user can relate to, they have to put down one of their fingers. The audio asks ten questions, one for each finger.
In the video, captioned “White Privilege is Real”, by the couple, the first question is if either party “have ever been called a racial slur”. Stephen replies in the affirmative before putting down one of his fingers. The voice then asked if they’d ever been “followed in a store unnecessarily”. Stephen again puts down one of his fingers while Holker is yet to put down hers.
The couple continued with the challenge as the voice prompt asks various questions. “Had someone clutch their purse in an elevator with you”, “someone crossing the street to avoid passing you”, “someone step off the elevator to avoid riding with you”, “accused of not being able to afford something”, “fear in your heart when stopped by the police”, were other questions. In a moving visual, at the end of all ten questions, Stephen’s every finger was down, while it was just one finger for Holker. It was striking that Holker’s finger came down in response to the question, “ever had to teach your child how not to get killed by the police?”. This is significant as Maddox, the couple’s 4-year-old child is black.
The video ends with the prompt asking the user if any finger was still left. “That’s privilege,” it then says, pre-empting the racial injustice that a black person has to face in their day-to-day lives.
Stephen Boss has always been at the forefront when it comes to talking about social issues, especially racism. Boss’ wife Allison Holker has been commended by fans for her support in the display of white privilege. “Sad thing ppl are so blinded by their privilege and will still deny it but this video speaks volumes,” was one of the comments on the video.
The video is a powerful illustrator in that it takes small experiences, which would probably be insignificant for the affluent, as an example of the challenges that face a black person going about their business every day.
Protests against racial injustice in America have reached a crescendo after George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man was killed when a Minneapolis Police Department officer, Derek Chauvin, put his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. Repeated cries of “I can’t breathe” could be heard from Floyd in a video that has since become the rallying point for people across the world to unite in the fight against racial injustice and disproportionate police brutality against black people. Derek Chauvin has since been charged with 3rd degree murder while the other officers on the scene are yet to be charged.