Update, Sunday: An additional two promotions have confirmed to Outsports that they have suspended plans to work with pro wrestler Stallion Rogers following the resurfacing of transphobic and derisive comments regarding the #SpeakingOut movement last June.
Alabama-based New South Pro Wrestling and Atlanta-based Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment (AWE) told Outsports that Rogers will not be appearing on upcoming shows.
AWE co-owner Joshua Wheeler described Rogers’ comments as “stupid” and questioned the sincerity of his apology. “It felt like a wrestling promo - a bad wrestling promo,” Wheeler told Outsports. “I’ve known [Rogers] for almost five years, I’m not as close to him as [AWE co-owner] Murder One, but I feel like someone prepared that statement for him and he didn’t truly gauge how to put that into words.”
Wheeler stated that AWE didn’t have plans to book Rogers for events until December 2021 prior to his comments resurfacing. Now, Wheeler questions if the company will work with him at all in the future. “He’s got to do a lot of growing up,“ Wheeler said. “Until you know that he went out and learned and actually got prominent members of the [trans] community say, ‘Hey, Curt’s good now.’ I think that some of that needs to be done.”
The company has taken similar stances regarding wrestlers and fans using racial slurs at its shows. “We’ve stopped booking people because they said the N-word. Murder One is very quick to say, ‘Here’s why you don’t say that as a white person. Here’s why you’re not going to work for me until you realize what you said was stupid,’” Wheeler said. “It’s the same thing with the transgender community. It has to be.”
Wheeler described how his own understanding of trans identities as a cisgender man outside of the community derived from a close relationship with a friend in professional wrestling who dealt with their own gender questions before passing away. “For a while, I didn’t understand. It took being friends with him really trying to explain it,” he said. “You start sympathizing and empathizing with people because they have a struggle that I’ll never understand.”
He also stated that the voices of transgender wrestlers, fans and other figures in the pro wrestling community matter more in any conversation about Rogers’ continued presence in pro wrestling. “The greater wrestling community will book shitbags all day long. That’s the sad thing about wrestling,” Wheeler said. “That’s why when you say ‘wrestling is for everyone,’ I get the inclusion of wanting all kinds of fans, but, at the end of the day, who is in your locker room?”
Original Story: Former WWE wrestler Stallion Rogers has been pulled from appearances with multiple independent pro wrestling promotions after past transphobic and insensitive comments making light of sexual-assault allegations resurfaced last week.
Among the promotions that have publicly canceled plans to feature Rogers on upcoming events in the wake of his statements resurfacing are Maine-based Limitless Wrestling, Atlanta-based Action Wrestling and Unsanctioned Pro.
Sources tell Outsports that four additional companies have also canceled plans to feature Rogers. None of those companies responded to attempts by Outsports to confirm those reports.
During an appearance on the Double K Show podcast in June 2020, Rogers, under his former ring name Curt Stallion, spoke disparagingly about the #SpeakingOut movement, pro wrestling’s #MeToo movement that sparked off that same month. Rogers referred to the large vocal community of people calling out sexual misconduct in the pro wrestling industry in transphobic fashion, calling them “purple-haired chicks that say they’re dudes.”
Rogers tried to clarify his feelings on LGBTQ people later in the interview, saying, “I’m not anti-gay. I’m not anti-trans, whatever. I think what I think, you can think what you think - at the end of the day, everyone is happy. And if you’re not happy with the way I think, I don’t give a shit.”
The Tag Team Champions Jake Something & Stallion Rogers retain their titles after defeating the brute duo of Shane Mercer & Larry D at #AAWDefining— AAW Wrestling (@AAWPro) October 3, 2021
Get the replay on @FiteTV: https://t.co/vvUTwaSmmi
: @cameraguygimmik pic.twitter.com/23Ss5xMuQu
Rogers issued an apology this week for “saying some really stupid, transphobic shit.”
Last June, Rogers also spoke about allegations of his own sexual misconduct that surfaced among the deluge of allegations. A former co-worker and friend of Rogers claimed earlier that month that Rogers “repeatedly” touched his penis over his shorts in front of other wrestlers at an event for the now-defunct promotion EVOLVE in August 2019, saying he “told him to stop” multiple times.
Rogers admitted to striking his accuser in the groin multiple times during the podcast appearance.
“I sack-tapped him, he hunched over in pain and he picked himself up about five seconds later,” Rogers said. “My brain was like, ‘Do it again.’ So I sack-tapped him again and he went back down.”
Stallion Rogers, FKA Curt Stallion, then goes on to admit he did exactly what his victim accused him of doing during #SpeakingOut, while mocking the victim for being "butthurt" because Stallion unfollowed him. pic.twitter.com/ZjzrzlGsiU— SPOOKY SALLY SKELETON (@daughterofogre) October 1, 2021
Rogers also dismissed the allegations as his accuser using “cancel culture shit” to gain attention on social media.
According to a since-deleted tweet by Rogers’ accuser, he and Rogers settled the matter after Rogers apologized in the weeks following Rogers’ appearance on the podcast.
The podcast, which was removed from The Double K Show’s podcast feed after clips of Rogers’ appearance circulated on social media, was released shortly before Rogers joined WWE in 2020. Rogers was with the company until his release as part of a larger round of talent releases this summer.
He returned to work with independent promotions in July and also appeared on All Elite Wrestling’s YouTube series “AEW Dark” in September. AEW did not respond to questions from Outsports regarding any plans to book Rogers for future appearances.
Clips from the podcast appearance began making the rounds on social media last Friday, the same night Rogers defended his AAW Tag Team championship on the company’s FiteTV pay-per-view event Defining Moment. Critics of Rogers’ comments let their displeasure be heard. AAW did not respond to Outsports’ request for comment regarding Rogers’ status with the company.
“The moral of this thread is simple: Believe victims,” said the Twitter user who initially resurfaced the podcast appearance. “The transphobia is terrible and upset me deeply, but I found this podcast when looking for more information about Stallion’s allegations because a lot of people in wrestling today don’t seem to know that it happened/believe it.”
Rogers remained silent on the matter until posting a video response on Twitter Wednesday. Rogers apologized for saying “some really stupid transphobic shit on a podcast that I never should’ve said.”
“I’ve taken a few days to address the issue at hand because I needed to really step back and reflect on myself to make sure this wasn’t just going to be some PR stunt to save my career or whatever because that’s not what this is about nor has it ever been.
“I am disgusted with the way that I’ve made people feel with the things that I said, I never wanted to be that guy nor would I ever want to be. So, with that said, I sincerely apologize to anyone whose feelings were hurt by the things that I said or anything I’ve done in the past.”
Rogers also announced that he will donate a percentage of his earnings from his remaining wrestling bookings in 2021 to the National Center for Transgender Equality. He did not state the amount of the committed percentage and gave no insight into what the actual dollar amount could be.
Also notably absent from Rogers’ statement was any mention of his derisive comments concerning the response to the #SpeakingOut movement and his accuser specifically.
Rogers did not respond to multiple requests from Outsports for comment or further clarification on his statement.