An Open Letter To Pro Wrestling from Rayhne

Over 5 years ago, WWE graced its audience and its talent with a Women’s Revolution. For months, the words “Women’s Revolution” would be repeated by Stephanie McMahon on an hourly basis (and lets be real, it was more often than that).

The opportunity was given to view woman being more than just cheerleaders on the sidelines or being the consistent “toilet break match”. Not all of it was good and not all of it was bad, but for the a majority of fans this was a moment we would never forget.

Regardless that companies in Japan, UK and many other places were already giving women these platforms – for example there are promotions like Stardom, Eve, and Fierce Females as well as every day promotions putting on killer women and inter-gender matches regularly – seeing it happen on the biggest platform of professional wrestling was special, but it was not a revolution.

A revolution – “a forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favour of a new system.”

Now credit where credit is due, it was thanks to the fans voicing their opinions that this opportunity presented itself. We see that happening more often than we realise, not just in WWE. It was also down to the women who seized this amazing opportunity and letting their talent shine that made this change so successful.

It was a change that was needed, but it all happened too easily all for the sake of cashing in that money cow until it was over.

5 years after this “revolution”, the revolution we needed began.

The Speaking Out movement or #SpeakingOut is a movement on social media that is against emotional, physical and sexual abuse in professional wrestling where people publicised their allegations of crimes committed.

There is absolutely no smoke without fire. The reason this movement affected so many individuals is because over half of the wrestlers in this industry could share at least one situation involving one type of an abuse and we’re not even talking about worst case scenario here. Being told you have to repay the man who drove you home after the show, even though you had paid your share of fuel, being touched while you are just trying to change in or out of costume, having boys enter the girls changing rooms/toilets because they say it is “nicer”, the list could go on. Hell, even something as simple as being hugged and patted on the head by a man you have never met while all the men get respected handshakes. Saying that sounds absolutely ridiculous and I know many fans may read that statement and think “that is not a big deal” but on the other hand there will be many woman who have been in this very uncomfortable scenario many times in their career.

After 5 years of the supposed Women’s Revolution, albeit with thanks to a global pandemic, women did not have to fear standing up for themselves and sharing their stories. Do not be mistaken, there were still repercussions such as people being nasty, police being no such help with those wanting to make a case, friends and family walking out on them, but they did not have to worry about losing all opportunity’s to wrestle… really crappy silver lining isn’t it? Many nights I cried myself to sleep, could not eat or show or leave my room. My mental health ripped to shreds, but at least people would have to listen and no promoter could blacklist me (at the moment) for standing up for the truth.

Now, I am a realist. I am very much aware not all stories were true and even those that were I personally know of people that smudged a few details in order to receive more sympathy. All I can say to those people is I hope you learn and admit your mistakes, if not I am a strong believer that Karma will come your way. It is a direct result of situations like these that people refused to believe what people were sharing. Some people just wanted to ignore it, some wanted to support it until they themselves or someone they knew personally was spoken about.

Even so, the mentality of “girl’s lie” and “I need evidence before I change my mind” needs to absolutely get in the bin where it belongs. If not what does that mean for the future? Do women now need to wear a body camera 24 hours a day? Will that suffice?

Yes, a minority lie. That does not take away from every screen shot, every comment, post, message, piece of evidence people have been able to share. Not that long ago we were not able to produce screen shots or be able to track messages, but now it is not good enough because your favourite wrestler is a rapist or has had sexual explicit conversations with minors. For the evidence that has not been shared with the public, let me ask you, do you understand how difficult it is to make a case with the police?

A man that sexually abused myself has at least 5 other victims who were willing to come forward. We all went to the police with different proof. Some messages, calls, proof of CCTV in the are. Do you know what happened? Nothing. This man was in a serious relationship when he abused his victims and he may have run away from wrestling (by choice before he got caught out when this movement started), he will face 0 repercussions for his actions. That is the kind of world we live in.

My personal opinion, rape and sexual assault are very serious words never mind actions. To see people laughing these words off like they are nothing is absolutely sickening and that is just focusing on the more serious matters. The promoters that tell you to add them on Snapchat to talk so their wife does not find out, the promoters that drink and drive the ring van with minors in the vehicle, the promoters that kick trainees out of a changing area to take drugs, the promoters that run shows without licenses and do not pay their talent a fair wage. All of them need to be eradicated from the world of pro wrestling. We are no longer staying quiet to keep on your good side anymore.

If it all you felt disgusted, upset or angry reading this, glad you could join us! You are one of the good ones. Keep in mind your opinion, actions and voice matters. We have seen directly by the actions of RevPro that things are too quick to fall back into old ways. You know how we stop that? We do exactly what we did 5 years ago, make our voices count.

This is a Women’s Revolution.

Started by women, revolutionising the social order in professional wrestling in 2020 to create a better and safe space for talent and fans alike.

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