On November 30 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina a professional wrestling event was held called WrestleCade Supershow. While the card was a good mix of talent, it was the main event that made headlines for all the wrong reasons.
The match was supposed to be Jordynne Grace vs. Rosemary vs. Taya Valkrie vs. Tessa Blanchard. An all-star match many of us would love to see. Unfortunately, Blanchard had previously suffered and eye injury and was advised by her doctor to take the weekend off as a precautionary measure and was replaced by Su Yung.
Then an odd thing happened when former ECW champion, The Sandman (James Fullington. Remember him?), allegedly approached Jordynne Grace and the others before the main event started and voiced his concerns that women being the main event was “wrong” and “any male wrestler with any sort of experience would agree.”
Ouch. She then shared the conversation to Twitter, which created a firestorm that didn’t favor the Sandman.
I think we can all pretty much agree that’s not the case. In many ways, the women have proven themselves to be just as good as the men. The kicker here is what happened next.
For those that aren’t familiar with her, Tessa Blanchard is one of, if not the bada—iest women in professional wrestling. She’s been intergender wrestling for a while now and is set to face Sami Callihan for the Impact world championship.
Anyway, she cut a promo in the ring: “I was in the back earlier tonight and I had to listen to an old ECW guy that used to have a beer in his hand, talk about how ‘women shouldn’t be main eventing this event or any event.’ Not because he didn’t have faith in these women, but because he didn’t have faith in you fans. It’s 2020 and I think that’s a crock of horseshit. The women in this ring right now, are some of the best women’s wrestlers — no, they are some of the best wrestlers in this business. You’re looking at women who have traveled the world and held notable titles in notable companies all over the entire world. I can’t think of anybody better to main event.”
Other wrestlers like Chris Jericho and Will Ospreay came out in support of her and twitter turned on its ear for a while because of this.
She burned him, but did she also clarify his comments?
There are two ways to look at this. The first is that she took advantage of the opportunity and turned it into a true face moment for herself. The other is she did that while pointing out he wasn’t talking about his lack of faith in the women, but the fans.
“Not because he didn’t have faith in these women, but because he didn’t have faith in you fans. It’s 2020 and I think that’s a crock of horseshit.”
That first part is interesting as the only record of what he said is limited to what’s been claimed. Sure, others may have heard it or they may not have. The problem here is people sometimes hear what we want to. That’s not to say he’s innocent, but Tessa Blanchard did point out his lack in faith of the fans accepting women as main eventers and not in the women’s abilities.
It was a perfect gem buried in a rant, much like when Jim Cornette apologized to anyone his comment on NWA Powerrr offended was missed/ignored (it was in his rant about people attacking him). The question here, as with his apology, brings up the question as to who’s telling the truth and is it sincere?
It’s easy to become lost in the knee jerk society we are now, but that doesn’t take away the meaning of the words. The Sandman may have been as blatant as reported, and there’s no excuse for that.
In the end, whether he said what’s been claimed or he meant it another way is moot. People were up in arms in coming to the women’s defense and it may not end well for him.
Fullington is mostly retired from professional wrestling except for a few appearances here and there, like in Impact Wrestling in 2019. His history is colorful with a interactions with law enforcement, including two counts of burglary in 1983 and getting into a fight with a Yonker, New York restaurant’s employee while at a party for Lou Albano in 2008.