Whited: Joey Styles’ Comment Bad For The Venue, But Not In Spirit

Styles was fired by EVOLVE for a Trump-like comment at EVOLVE 72.

Joey Styles found fame as the play-by-play commentator for ECW—a company known for being a raunchy, violent promotion—so his personal brand reflects the comment made at EVOLVE 72.

While on commentary, Styles said the following to EVOLVE ring announcer Joanna Rose:

“Joanna, you look great tonight, and if our next President were here tonight, he’d want to grab you by the…”

The former ECW and WWE commentator’s reference to Donald Trump’s controversial comment may have worked in the late ’90s, but today, sticks and stones aren’t the only things that hurt. While the comment itself doesn’t faze me, I do understand EVOLVE’s stance and that it, simply put, was an off-brand comment.

EVOLVE prides itself as a true pro wrestling company. It doesn’t focus on gimmicks and shenanigans that some companies oversaturate their shows with. Instead, EVOLVE appeals to the hardcore pro wrestling fan—the type of fan who still gives a standing ovation to hold-and-counter sequences between technical wizards of the squared circle. To be frank, EVOLVE isn’t about the bullshit.

So when a serious company broadcasts a not-so-serious statement, even after the promoter warned against political references before the opening bell, I can understand EVOLVE booker Gabe Sapolsky’s frustration, and ultimately, his decision to part ways with Styles. The comment simply doesn’t work for EVOLVE or its audience.

Had Styles said it during a CZW broadcast, that’d be a different story.

While political correctness is the way of WWE, EVOLVE, and other promotions, there are commentary headsets out there that Styles could put on and have such freedom. I mentioned CZW as a prime example. The company was born after the fall of ECW and brought with it the same approach. Hell, some might even say CZW took it to the extreme. While the company has started to steer away from its ultraviolent roots over the past few years, Styles could have gotten away with that comment there. It would likely have been looked at as the comedic reference that it truly is.

Though, there are many that would crucify Styles for such a comment no matter the venue or situation, and I have a larger issue with that than what the man inferred. We’ve become the word Styles stopped himself from saying, so I’ll say it: we’re pussies.

Everyone is so easily offended today, and frankly, it’s annoying. You can’t post a picture of your dog without some social justice warrior from Tumblr or alike commenting in bold, “DID YOU ASK YOUR DOG IF IT WANTED TO BE YOUR PET!

With 1,001 genders and everything somehow being related to race or a political agenda, it’s next to impossible to say anything without pissing off someone. It means people like George Carlin, Bill Hicks, and even Styles cannot exist in today’s world. We’re so worried that we’re on the verge of losing our First Amendment right to free speech, yet we’re the ones who are taking it away.

Styles’ current situation reminds me of John Corrigan’s infamous “Period” article. The far-Left extremists bashed John for his comedic take on how a man can deal with a girlfriend on her period. It’s an article that made him a punching bag for the too-easily-offended masses. That article is the reason I recruited him to write for Wrestledelphia.

In both the case of Styles and John, their comments remind me of a better time; a period where we’d laugh over such statements because words didn’t hurt like the sticks and stones. When the words start hurting, in most cases way too easily, what is there left to say?

Mark Whited
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Mark Whited

Founder / Editor-In-Chief at Wrestledelphia.com
An avid writer and fan of wrestling since he was eight years old, Mark Whited founded Wrestledelphia.com in May 2014. While hoping to one day step foot in a wrestling ring, he also writes for a number of outlets, including The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Mark Whited
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