WrestleMania reversed its decision to invite WWE Hall of Famer Rick Steiner to its showcase next month as the pro-wrestling world turns its attention to SummerSlam in Detroit.
The wrestling convention initially decided to invite Steiner back on their show months after Steiner was accused of using “hateful language” toward transgender female pro wrestler Giselle Shaw.
WrestleMania owner Michael Buccicchio hit back on Sunday, explaining that Steiner had apologized after the incident and that he felt like the former wrestler “learned a lot from his big mistake.”
Wrestle-Kahn backs down on his invitation.
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“When we allowed Rick Steiner to return to our convention as a vendor guest for Tony Hunter Promotions, we did not adequately consider the impact of his past words from our last event on the LGBTQIA+ community,” Bochicchio wrote on Twitter.
“We initially allowed him to return because 1) we still feel people deserve a second chance. 2) Rick apologized to all parties who chose to attend. 3) We lacked any kind of code of conduct/harassment policy that clearly defined our expectations as convention attendees.”
Bochicchio wrote on Twitter that he spoke Monday with Brian Bell, host of SB Nation’s OutSports blog and “LGBT In The Ring” podcast, and agreed that he wanted some kind of public apology from Steiner “at a minimum.”
“Because we believe there is an urgent need in this matter, we have given Rick Steiner 24 hours to make such a statement. Unfortunately, that is not the case at this time and we do not expect to receive such a statement, and therefore we have decided to revoke his permission to participate,” Buccicchio added.
WrestleMania also announced a code of conduct and an anti-harassment policy.
“We will continue to improve this Code of Conduct over time and with the support of others. We understand and appreciate that there will be many differences of opinion among our attendees, and we want to make our conventions a safe and enjoyable place for everyone.”
Transgender woman wrestler accuses Hall of Famer of making ‘hateful’ comments at wrestling convention
“At this time, we have partnered in solidarity with other wrestling industry convention leaders, specifically Starcast, WrestleCade, and The Gathering (Charlotte FanFest) who have agreed to adopt and adhere to a similar code of conduct for their events.”
Steiner, whose real name is Robert Reichsteiner, is a member of the Cherokee School Board in Georgia. He did not immediately return Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Shaw initially made the allegations in a statement posted on his Twitter account in April. Shaw wrote that Steiner’s “hate speech” was “quite shocking and disappointing.”
Shaw came out as transgender in 2022. She has been a mainstay on the independent wrestling circuit for many years.
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Steiner, 62, is mostly known for his career in World Championship Wrestling in the late 1980s and mid-to-late 1990s. He and his brother, Scott Steiner, were seven-time tag team champions. Their tag team was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last year.