By now you’ve probably heard about the issues WWE’s been having with Performance Center head coach Bill DeMott. He’s faced numerous accusations from former WWE employees about the way he trains, including stories of racism, homophobia, death threats and dangerous acts of violence aimed towards trainees. A “Fire Bill DeMott” movement has been going on on Twitter, and as of today, it appears those efforts were successful.
According to a tweet made by DeMott this afternoon, he’ll be stepping down as head coach.
I deny the recent allegations made about me, however, to avoid any embarrassment or damage to the WWE, I’ve decided to step down from my role effective immediately.
Here’s a sampling of the things people have said about DeMott, with a h/t to What Culture.
“the entire process of writing a letter to human resources has been called a “fa**ots” way of dealing with problems by Coach Demott.”
“Demott constantly refers to Oliver Gray as Joel Pedophile”
“Coach Demott told student Enzo Amore that he hopes he dies.”
“Demott has kicked Memo Montenegro in the groin and laughed as he crumbled into a heap. Memo being a Mexican immigrant to the United States has a heavy accent, which Coach Demott constantly criticizes and makes fun of.”
“He routinely will attempt to bust students lip on the bottom rope when they stand to close to the ring.”
“He routinely calls Gary Jackson a fat tub of goo, tells Osmund Cherry who is of African descent, to go back to Africa and most recently has made derogatory remarks about sexual preferences to Brandon Traven.”
“Coach Demott saw Russev wearing a NY Jets shirt at practice and not liking that sports team proceeded to physically grab Russev by the collar and rip the shirt off him. Russev was not cleared for any contact at that point and clearly showed physical pain after the incident.”
DeMott’s is notably an act of damage control instead of an admission of guilt or remorse. WWE claimed they launched an investigation on some of the claims a few years ago but couldn’t prove they were true, although that investigation itself has been called into question. As it stands, the things DeMott’s accused of are (sadly, arguably) fairly standard for trainees at a wrestling school, particularly one run by an “old school” veteran like DeMott. The brutal nature of the training and constant berating is often seen as an attempt to weed out the “weak,” or people WWE higher-ups don’t see as tough enough to “make it.” This creates a hostile environment that is becoming increasingly criticized and seen as outdated in modern sports, and the fact that WWE’s a publicly-traded company that succeeds of fails based on publicity is the hook. If this was happening at your local wrestling school, nobody would care. They should, but they wouldn’t. At WWE, it becomes an issue, for better or worse.
We haven’t written a lot about the story here at With Spandex due to our sensitive relationship with some of the people involved, but we certainly hope this is a step towards changing the way talent is treated at the PC and beyond. “It’s 2015” is too vague a statement to convince anyone that things need to change, but at some point pro wrestling should (and will) be forced to evolve and move with the times. The days of clandestinely brutalizing new kids and filtering out the weak who could be able to contribute something positive to the sport but are forced out because of violent tradition should be over.
To put it another way, this is what happens when you let a member of the Dungeon of Doom run your wrestling school.