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Out wrestler Joshua Wavra exits pro wrestling following accusations of racism and abuse

Wavra faces multiple accusations of using racist and racially charged language, bi-erasure and emotional abuse.

Joshua Wavra
Joshua Wavra
IWTV

Out pro wrestler Joshua Wavra has left pro wrestling indefinitely and will no longer be a part of Butch vs. Gore’s Cassandro Cup event after a video depicting them using a racial slur and multiple accusations of abuse surfaced this week.

On Wednesday, Wavra issued an apology for the video in an attempt to get ahead of it before it circulated online. “At some point today, you may see a video on your timeline. In that video, I said the n-word,” Wavra tweeted. “If you saw that video, I’m sorry for the hurt I have caused. I’m deeply ashamed of my choices and actions from that time in my life.”

According to Wavra, they said the racial slur while “singing along to a song by online content creator Filthy Frank.” It seems that the video’s resurfacing came as a response to an incident earlier this week where Wavra referred to a person of color as “boy” using a stereotypical Southern accent.

New accusations emerged Friday in the form of a Google doc from Twitter user Matt Bracket, claiming Wavra subjected him to emotionally abusive and manipulative behavior over the past year. According to Bracket, Wavra was benevolent in one-on-one communications and in small group calls, calling Bracket “the only ‘good’ one,” but would “belittle” him in larger group calls.

Some of that belittlement focused on Bracket’s bisexual identity. Bracket claims that Wavra repeatedly said he was “pretending” to be bi because Bracket “hadn’t been with a man.”

“As a bisexual man with deep insecurities about how I present and with issues coming to terms with who I am, Wavra would often say that I was pretending, that I was only straight; that because I hadn’t been with a man that I wasn’t truly who I thought I was,” Bracket said. “I truly believe Joshua Wavra hindered my sense of self.”

According to Bracket, Wavra also often brought up sexual topics that Bracket previously told Wavra he was uncomfortable with. “Wavra seemed to relish in this fact,” Bracket said.

Bracket also claimed that the target of Wavra’s “boy” comment from earlier this week is a friend of his.

Wavra announced they were leaving wrestling indefinitely on Friday before deleting their social media accounts.

Multiple pro wrestling promotions cut ties with Wavra following the release of Bracket’s statement Friday. Wrestlers Laboratory announced Friday that Wavra would not appear on the company’s planned tapings of its IWTV streaming series, Alchemy, or any future events. The company also announced that it donated the sponsorship money received for Wavra’s appearance to The Trevor Project per the sponsor’s request.

Butch vs. Gore announced that Wavra’s appearance on its upcoming Cassandro Cup event will be edited out of the presentation. Wavra competed in the Cassandro Cup tournament, which was taped in January, losing to AC Mack in a first-round match.

Butch vs. Gore’s Billy Dixon had initially decided to keep Wavra’s appearance on the show intact and have Wavra donate their payment for their next two Butch vs. Gore appearances to a Black organization of Dixon’s choice after the video of Wavra resurfaced Wednesday.

“As we all know, Twitter moves at such a rapid pace and I didn’t catch their statement at the time last year. It hurt me obviously seeing it today. We talked and I believe that they understand the ramifications of this for themselves and moreover, their tag partner who is Black,” Dixon tweeted Wednesday.

After Bracket’s statement Friday, that decision was reversed and Wavra was removed from the event. Butch vs. Gore donated what would have been Wavra’s future payments to Essie Justice Group, a non-profit dedicated to fighting injustices facing Black, Latinx, trans women and gender non-conforming people due to mass incarceration.

Dixon apologized on Friday, stating, “I ain’t know what I ain’t know. I apologized to my entire roster and crew, now I’m apologizing to you all. I fucked up. I’m sorry. See you soon.”

Wavra’s longtime tag team partner Xavier Faraday also cut ties with Wavra Friday. “I put a lot of trust into what we had and I just feel really betrayed. Again, I’m sorry. I wish I listened more,” Faraday tweeted.