CM Punk And Others Reacted Negatively To Liv Morgan’s Role In The Raw Wedding

The big wedding segment in the main event slot of this week’s Monday Night Raw was bound to be controversial. The Lana/Bobby Lashley relationship storyline had already been getting plenty of criticism from the beginning, and that was before it brought in Liv Morgan as Lana’s apparent secret bisexual lover, who feels scorned by her marriage to Lashley. The idea of LGBTQ storylines and characters in WWE has always been fraught, and even more so in recent years, as the concerns of LGBTQ fans and performers have superceded the kind of shock value and titillation that such angles were all about in decades past.

Former WWE Superstar and current WWE Backstage contributor CM Punk commented on Twitter that “WWE needs to hire people who actually understand what representation means to the audience they’re trying to reach.” It may seem optimistic of Punk to assume that WWE is interested in representation and reaching LGBTQ audiences, but on the other hand Stephanie McMahon has said as much in the past.

Outspoken queer indie wrestler Effy was also asked for his take on Twitter, and unsurprisingly he had plenty to say:

I think specifically it’s damaging to bisexual representation overall because it implies that Lana, in love with a man, must fulfill her lust for women by cheating in her relationship. I also don’t think it was done with any good faith behind it other than a shock factor for TV of “oh now she’s a lesbian too who won’t she fuck!” And I think it’s a disservice to Sonya Deville who has been pushing hard for a subtle LGBT angle with her tag partner and that was thrown out in favor of an out of left field reveal at a hokey wedding to pinnacle a cuck angle. All of these points aside it is just a dumb wrestling show on TV and we should be able to just laugh and be entertained but seeing them do another different gay fake out on a wedding years after they were taken to task for billy and chuck is indicative of the fact that this was done with no intention of being more inclusive, and just something for Vince to chuckle at and say “haha now they’re lesbian!” under his breath. But, to finalize, even though they take Anti-gay (meaning punishable by death) Saudi money and have actively helped Trump’s platform for year, [which] makes me think that a real inclusive and respectful look at gay athletes could be very far off, but I won’t lose hope that something changes. Even when Finn Bálor did an exclusive lgbtq entrance at wrestle mania it felt important for a moment, but in a sense it was a false flag and they were realistically just feeding gay fans crumbs to make them shut up for 10 minutes.

As for Sonya Deville, who has indeed pushed for a lesbian storyline that represents her actual identity, she had her own relatively subtle reactions:

Without knowing what discussions went on backstage, it does feel like kind of a kick in the face to Sonya that WWE never pulled the trigger on her relationship storyline with Mandy, but they decided to do this instead. At the end of the day, this is just another example of WWE being embarrassingly behind the times, and what can we do but hope they eventually catch up?

For what it’s worth, I don’t think anyone should blame Liv Morgan (not that anyone has), and I just hope she gets out of this angle with some kind of character that works for her, and ideally the chance for a push as a performer, instead of just seeming like a joke in somebody else’s story.