WEDNESDAY NEWS: WWE addresses diversity, AEW announces Fyter Fest, IMPACT pulls talent from upcoming video game

BY MIKE MCMAHON, PWTORCH


Tony Khan, AEW President

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

Mike McMahon is a writer and host of the PWTorch Dailycast’s All Elite After Show with Andrew Soucek. Follow him on Twitter @TorchMcMahon and click here to send him an email with a news tip.

WWE

— WWE continued its messaging for racial justice and equality.

First, Stephane McMahon tweeted a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote, along with the comment, “I love and support my Black friends and colleagues. To everyone who has ever felt the impact and fear of racial injustice, I will use my voice for you.”

As first reported by PWInsider, WWE chairman Vince McMahon also wrote an email to all employees in which he announced that there will be an email address set up for employees to bring up diversity concerns, and employees will have access to 24/7 mental health counseling.

— It was announced that at NXT’s In Your House show, Adam Cole vs. Velveteen Dream will be a “backlot brawl.” WWE previously ran a “Hollywood Backlot Brawl” at WrestleMania 12 in 1996, when Goldust faced Roddy Piper.

— Deadline reported that Edge will be featured in a new movie titled “Money Plane.” It’s pitched as an action movie that will star Kelsey Grammer and Denise Richards. Edge is slated to star as a thief who is $40 million in debt and needs to repay his debts to an underworld kingpin, who is played by Grammer. The movie will be on streaming platforms on July 10.

— On the latest Wrestling Observer Live, Bryan Alvarez noted that WWE has reached out to several of the recently-released wrestlers in an effort to re-sign them, but the money being offered is “a fraction” of what they were making before the cuts last month.


AEW

— Fyter Fest was announced for July 1 and July 8. The special will air as two special episodes of Dynamite, and the event will be headlined by Jon Moxley vs. Brian Cage for the AEW World Championship.

— AEW owner Shad Khan released a statement on racism, equality and George Floyd. The statement read in full:

“The events of the past 10 days have been alarming and disheartening. Alarming because we know the history of systemic inequity that brought us to this point, not only with the recent killing of George Floyd and other African Americans in our country, but also the disproportionate impact the coronavirus has wreaked in communities of color. Disheartening because this familiar sequence of killing, followed by protest and civic unrest, followed by inactivity and silence, occurs ever more frequently in our nation.

The video capturing the final moments of George Floyd’s life offers the latest horrific evidence of injustice that is all too prevalent in the U.S. No families in this country should have to go to bed at night worrying about whether their children are going to encounter the wrong police officer in the wrong moment. No families should have to worry about their child losing their life just because of the color of their skin. Yet, they do. That should never happen in what should be, and I still believe is, the greatest nation on the planet.

I came to the United States from Pakistan in 1967 with $500 in my pocket and faith in the American Dream. Opportunities to learn and succeed were abundant, and more than 50 years later I am forever grateful and proud to be a citizen of the United States. Nonetheless, while I pursued my goals as a student and later in the workforce, being a Muslim-American made me a frequent target of prejudice, discrimination and hatred. I won’t claim to know what it means to be a young African American today, but I can speak honestly and painfully to my own experiences as a person of color for the past 53 years in this country. Even recently, I have had people spew racist language in my presence when talking about other people of color — apparently ignorant of my ethnicity. Change for all people of color in the United States is long overdue, and it must happen now.

I know change is possible, and here’s one reason why: While I am often described as “self-made,” the truth is I benefitted tremendously from hundreds of good and generous people early on, from all walks of life, who supported me unconditionally and contributed mightily to my realization of the American Dream. My classmates, professors, fraternity brothers, colleagues, friends and family all helped to shape the person I am today. Opportunity and some help along the way allow us all to do great things.

I also know what impact economic opportunity can have on marginalized families. The most rewarding professional accomplishment of my life has been the recent opening of my company’s automotive plants in the underserved areas of Chicago and Detroit. People in those areas only needed an opportunity – and hope – to break the relentless cycle of poverty and oppression. It is inspiring and why I am also committed, with the Jaguars, to investing in developments we envision for downtown Jacksonville, where new jobs will result in immediate and sustainable livelihoods.

My overarching goal, or mission, is to do my part to level the playing field so everyone has the same access and opportunity to achieve the American Dream, without fear or compromise. As a member of the NFL family, I recognize I have a unique opportunity to address inequity wherever it is present, expand opportunity for all who seek it, and seek justice for all who deserve it. I take that responsibility seriously.

In Jacksonville, I frequently meet with Jaguars players to better understand their experiences and concerns. I can only imagine their range of emotions today in the wake of all that has unfolded in 2020. I know they are hurting, yet also committed to doing good in Jacksonville and the communities where they were raised and will always consider home. Mindful of this, I will listen to the players in the days ahead with an exceptionally keen ear so we can work with them to make the transition from conversation to actionable plans in the name of lasting change. And I will do the same with employees and associates throughout my various businesses, where the interests and concerns on this matter are no less vital.

Racial discrimination has no place in our society. That’s been said. But, what’s been done?

We must have the answer today, and we will work with players, staff and more to arrive at a timely response. Because this moment, while agonizingly similar in many ways, is unlike any other in our history for underserved people and communities in the United States. We cannot attack the virus of racism with indifference or periodic attention. We cannot expect an easy cure or give up when the quest becomes inconvenient or uncomfortable.

Most of all, we cannot fail our children – children who deserve to know they have the same opportunity to earn a living, have a family and live safely — no matter the color of their skin.

Racism, in all its forms, will kill. It kills people, it kills communities, it kills dreams, it kills hope.

For many Americans, now is the moment. Never has that been clearer.

I don’t want to waste this moment.”


IMPACT

— According to VikingSizeGamer, a YouTube channel that covers the gaming industry, IMPACT pulled all talents who were signed on to appear in a new wrestling video game titled by developer Virtual Basement. After VikingSizeGamer reported the news, Virtual Basement confirmed it on their Twitter account.

Kyle Rae, Rich Swann and Su Yung were all slated to appear in the game, among several other talents who weren’t even announced yet. VikingSizeGamer speculates that it could be because IMPACT didn’t want their talent associated with talent from ROH and other promotions that will be in the game, or perhaps IMPACT is gearing up for its own game.

— Advertised for next week’s Impact included:

  1. Sami Callihan vs. Ken Shamrock vs. Michael Elgin.
  2. Impact Wrestling Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace vs. Taya.
  3. Johnny Swinger & Chris Bey vs. Jake Something & Willie Mack.

Next week’s Impact in 60 will spotlight the X-Division Championship.

— On last night’s episode of Impact, the company announced that Slammiversary will take place on July 18, scheduled to air on PPV. In the promo, it showed a mystery man watching the news on television. The reporter on the screen reported that “over 20 superstars had been released due to COVID-19 pandemic,” and also mentioned “wishing them well in their future endeavors,” which is a line WWE often uses when releasing talents. Images of several wrestlers then flashed on the screen, including Eric Young, Gallows and Anderson, Curt Hawkins, Mike Bennett, Maria Kanellis, Drake Maverick and EC3.

You can watch the promo video here:

1 Comment on WEDNESDAY NEWS: WWE addresses diversity, AEW announces Fyter Fest, IMPACT pulls talent from upcoming video game

  1. On Dynamite, it said Fyter Fest will be on at 10/9C, so that means they will follow that week’s dynamite, and won’t have NXT competition.

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