It’s 2019, and social media is once more ablaze when it comes to debating professional wrestling and its many different promotions, wrestlers, spots, and ideas. I’m not sure we’ve gone by a single week without many fans complaining or being outraged by something, and honestly, it’s starting to grow tiresome. At the tail end of 2018, Suburban Fight Pro Wrestling hosted ‘Final Fight’, an event in Los Angeles. Darby Allin and Brody King headlined the card, but what made the news was a segment featuring Mae Young Classic competitor and former SHINE Nova Champion, Priscilla Kelly.
In a match against Tuna, Kelly reached into her trunks, pulled out a ‘used tampon’, and proceeded to shove it down Tuna’s throat after yelling, “you want a taste of tuna?”
Now, as a spot it was pretty disgusting, but was it out of line and as vile as those up in arms are saying it is? Firstly, you have to appreciate this was a 21-years old and over show. There were no kids in the audience, and everyone there was old enough to expect anything to happen. I can’t speak for the audience, but I’m sure it was no doubt a shock, but at the end of the day, it was part of a match that had no limitations or rules. What’s made the whole thing spiral out of control, is the people on social media claiming it’s disgusting, and there’s no place for this kind of thing in professional wrestling.
I’d like to take this moment to look back at an era most fans wish’d come back – an era heralded by many as possibly the best of all time: the Attitude Era. In the late 90s, the WWE was on a role, giving us some of the best storylines the company had ever seen, featuring the greatest of all time. The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mankind, Kurt Angle – the list goes on and on. We all remember the beer truck moment, Vince’s reveal as part of the Ministry of Darkness, and Mankind falling off the cell, but do you remember all the dark and sickening stuff that happened? In my opinion, the things the company did back then far outshines what Priscilla Kelly did at Suburban Fight’s ‘Final Fight.’
Can’t quite remember some of the stuff Vince allowed onto TV? Let me jog your memory for you. Vince McMahon has tried to push incest so many times in WWE. Remember Paul Birchill and Katie Lee? It didn’t last long, but that storyline was thrown down our throats for many weeks. He also tried to write in a storyline that would see him be the biological dad of Stephanie McMahon’s (his own daughter) child. The one ‘idea’ I wanted to bring to your attention was Beaver Cleavage, Vince’s first attempt to make incest a legitimate storyline, but surprisingly it didn’t work. Charles Warrington aka Mosh from the Headbangers was involved in a story where he was obsessed with his mother’s breasts, but after walking out of an interview because he was sick of the gimmick (in an actual shoot), the character of Beaver Cleavage was no more.
Rape storylines were also rife in the Attitude Era, and the mistreatment of women was constant. Lita being forced to sleep with Kane, only to end up pregnant with his child. This in itself was extreme, but after Gene Stitsky bumped into her and caused her to lose the baby, he booted a toy doll on a later episode of Raw to signify her loss. Lita was also involved in another distasteful story where Dean Malenko ‘won’ the chance to sleep with her, but Matt Hardy ended up making the save in a hotel room where the two were scheduled to have sex. Urgh. Remember Heindenreich? He raped Michael Cole. Goldust’s manager Marlena became Brian Pillman’s sex slave, and Vince McMahon got Trish Stratus to get on her hands and knees and bark like a dog on a 2001 episode of RAW. Stephanie McMahon was also the victim of various sexual assaults and mistreatments at the hands of many of WWE’s biggest stars, such as Scott Steiner and HHH, but I’m done with dredging up the past.
My point is, storylines have been so much worse, and in many cases more extreme than this one spot. Also, these were done on national television in front of millions of people. Along with these incest and rape angles, there was domestic abuse, a distasteful ‘on-air suicide’ featuring Hawk of the Road Warriors, and so much more that should have put WWE out of business. Professional wrestling is a pantomime, and despite many not liking what Kelly did, it was in a club, in front of adults, and not shown to millions around the world when it happened.
I get the world has moved on from Vince’s repulsive ideas around the turn of the 21st century, and thankfully that kind of shit doesn’t happen anymore. There’re still things out there that you may not like, but I’ve never seen deathmatches get so much hate (unless you spend time on Jim Cornette’s Twitter feed, or even Joey Ryan’s lollipop gimmick. The point is, don’t get caught up on something that wasn’t intended for you. Just move on and watch something else. Everyone has to have an opinion on something, but what transpired between Priscilla Kelly and Tuna was behind closed doors for fully grown adults. If you don’t like what she did, don’t watch. Move on, and enjoy something else because there’s tons of great professional wrestling out there.