Those who keep more than a passing eye on the British scene will be all too aware of the latest scandal.
Two weeks ago, accusations were posted online regarding the behaviour of former IPW:UK promoter Dan Edler, with claims of what at the absolute least could be described as “inappropriate behaviour” towards young trainees. This wasn’t one lone woman screaming into the abyss. Within hours, more accusations came out, adding weight to the initial story… and throwing extra names into the mix. While in the past there had been reports, with Knucklelocks Academy head trainer Darrell Allen noting on Twitter that he’d approached the police before, to no avail, now it seems that the law took notice. In the interests of not falling into the pit that comes with commenting on active cases, we’re not commenting on specifics, but again reiterate the collective condemnation of the behaviour that has been reported at multiple levels, be it from wrestlers, trainers, promoters or even fan-run businesses.
Aside from removing James Davis from a show, hours after allegations emerged surrounding him, there’s been no public statement from PROGRESS. Nor from just about any major British promotion, not counting IPW (who swiftly made a statement, if only to distance themselves from the alleged activities of their former owner).
In fact, the only mention from the “major” parts of the British indy scene so far was a response to a tweet by Jim Smallman, who confirmed that Davis would be removed from PROGRESS shows going forward if the allegations were true. [it should be noted that at time of writing, an additional statement was due to be released by PROGRESS via the Distraction Pieces podcast later in the week]
Although no two situations are alike, compare the swiftness of how WWE handled the Enzo Amore case this week, to the way in which the indy scene in general has handled their scandals. Barely within 24 hours, WWE suspended and released Enzo, while the indy scene’s response can be optimistically described as lacking. Sure, the maxim of innocent until proven guilty must remain, but in a time when a section of fans were looking for reassurances, it was taken as a disheartening sign to see that few were forthcoming.
If fans can band together and provide support for those who have been affected, and perhaps prompt others to come forward, then why are promotions at the very least not guiding those affected? Why are promotions staying silent? Why is there the perception of the business closing ranks on itself? At a time where the community needs to be strong and united, the absence of the biggest part of it is exceedingly conspicuous…
If you’ve been affected, or suspect you know someone who has, then I’d like to point you in the way of the excellent DeathBySuzy, who has put together the following resource.
Make no mistake, this absolutely has to be a watershed moment for wrestling. Not just in the UK, but across the entire world, especially if the way the Michael Elgin situation has been reported and handled is any indicator. It’s so disheartening though, that in 2018, the concept of “being a decent person” appears to have fallen by the wayside for so many in positions of power…