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AWE promoter Sammy Russo under fire for slut shaming comments about Shazza McKenzie following her sexual assault allegation

Other Wrestling News

AWE promoter Sammy Russo under fire for slut shaming comments about Shazza McKenzie following her sexual assault allegation



Australian Wrestling Entertainment issued a statement last week following Shazza McKenzie’s allegation that she was groped by Mario Milano before his death several years ago.

For those of you that do not know the story, McKenzie says that she was groped in front of a crowded locker room 10 years ago. She says that she was very open about the alleged incident at the time with people in the business but it was laughed off because “he was a legend so I should just accept it and move on.”

At first, the promotion said that they were going to move forward using his name in the future but that drew negative criticism and that is when the promotion backtracked and announced that Milano’s name would not be used going forward.

Here is their statement from June 10:

“AWE have been discussed in a negative light over our tribute to Mario Milano at our recent event.

An Australian wrestler has alleged an incident occurred involving Mario ten years ago. AWE was not aware of these allegations and the alleged incident did not occur at an AWE event, or involve any AWE wrestlers.

The Australian wrestler making these allegations never directly disclosed this to AWE management, despite agreeing to work for AWE in March this year, and this also followed the first Mario Milano Cup event in 2017.

This is a very unfortunate situation for all parties involved and AWE did not intend to offend or disrespect anyone. AWE management know and respect the wrestler making the allegations and would have hoped she would have contacted AWE management directly instead of taking to social media.

This alleged behaviour is very out of character for Mario. The AWE loved Mario, as do the fans, hence why we hold the annual tribute shows in celebration of his in-ring work and will continue to do so at this point in time.”

 

AWE owner/promoter Sammy Russo came off horribly with this statement: “The dead can not defend themselves but your ten witnesses can you refuse to mention. The Mario Milano that I know is nothing like that and may he rest in peace. You had ten years to say something that at the time Mario would have been 74 years old and retired. Good luck with the publicity being a role model to women.”

The post was later deleted but made it to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

It got even worse with this statement from wrestler Morgan Dowel: “Shazza Slut WTF you want to fake rubbish the name of an absolute legend of our awesome sport to tarnish another promotion that is actually drawing? I don’t know you well because I don’t want to know you well as you are a very ugly well known dirty little slut. You have a great reputation for being easy AF. I think a legend like Mario Milano wouldn’t try such a thing on a future NXT jobber.”

Wrestler Gino “Juicy” Gambino was clearly disgusted by the attacks on McKenzie. He posted the following: “If you think Birdmans threats, Sammy Russo’s comments and Blakestones absolutely disgusting attitude towards a sexual assault victim aren’t a good enough reason to never take a booking from AWE then you are just as guilty as they are Enough is enough.”

The promotion issued a follow-up statement on Wednesday, June 20:

“AWE would like to clarify its position on recent online discussion, involving a current female wrestler, and a former, now deceased, Australian wrestler.

AWE wishes to reaffirm that it was not aware of those allegations until their online publication, nor did the alleged incident occur at an AWE event, nor involve any AWE wrestlers.

AWE also reaffirms it’s respect for the wrestler involved, who has worked with AWE recently, again, without the knowledge of this allegation, but nor should there be any expectation to know so by AWE, without the expressed permission of the wrestler.

But AWE does believe that allegations such as these, and particularly so in the current environment, need to be taken seriously and investigated fully, and when possible, prosecuted vigorously through the appropriate process of law.

The wrestler involved has written “to the promoter who is upset with the way I chose to spread my story, sorry if I offended you.”
No. Please accept our apologies.
We have no reason to be upset, and you have nothing to be sorry about, or to offense taken.
Stories like yours are horribly familiar these days, but unfortunately so.

In AWE’s dealing with the other party involved, it has been nothing but a professional and businesslike arrangement. AWE’s decision to name a cup after him, was done without any knowledge of the events alleged. However, given recent events, AWE will not be holding the same tournament in the future.

AWE reaffirms we do not condone any such behaviour described in the allegations, in any shape or form, and enforces a zero-tolerance policy for this at all AWE events.

AWE would also like to apologise for any offensive comments made by wrestlers who, at any point in time, have been contracted to work for AWE. The opinions expressed by wrestlers commenting on this situation are their own and do not reflect the view of AWE management. We apologise if any comments have offended individuals.

AWE again affirms the need for appropriate investigation of the allegations, and never wished any disrespect for all parties involved.”








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