ROH fan details a bad experience at show, promotion responds

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/06/03/roh-fan-details-a-bad-experience-at-show-promotion-responds/

Ring of Honor has informed POST Wrestling that they are conducting an internal review regarding a series of incidents from Sunday’s show in Portland, Oregon.

A Twitter user that goes by the name “Osh Kosh Big Josh” (Josh Ketch) attended the show and stated they he got into an exchange with Velvet Sky of The Allure and was also spat on and facepalmed by Mandy Leon.

In his story, he said he was informed by security that he had to come backstage and was confronted by Bully Ray. The fan was told not to speak down to the women and treat them with respect before he was sent back to his seat for the remainder of the show.

Ring of Honor’s General Manager Greg Gilleland issued the following statement to us regarding the matter:

ROH has always taken fan-first approach, with fan experience being at the forefront of all of our live events. We consider this to be very serious and will be conducting an internal review over the next 48 hours to determine the appropriate actions.

This is Josh’s full story with his perspective of what transpired and his belief that his actions were within the bounds of regular fandom, including the insults he yelled at the trio of Sky, Leon, and Angelina Love:

OK story time… I avoided saying anything until the show was over to avoid any further issue but… this honestly soured my to ROH in a big way. Honest to god story that can be backed up by about half a dozen people.

Show starts. Dark match is some local girls fighting. Allure interferes at the end. Velvet and I exchange words along with the rest of the Allure. Nothing crazy. Mandy Leon spits on me from the side. Not preferable but I honestly don’t care. Segment ends.

Side note. I love and respect like 99% of all wrestlers. I honest to god never try to make the show ABOUT me, get myself over, etc. My rule of thumb is to boo the bad guys and cheer the good guys. It’s rare that I’ll flip the script but I always decide to go along with the show.

Some opening match happens. Wildly unimportant. Second match occurs and it’s a local v a local. Allure interferes at the end. I’m mouthing off to all the girls for no reason other than THEY’RE THE BAD GUYS “Boo… you’re trash… get lost… no one wants you here… etc”.

At some point Velvet Sky seemingly loses her cool & is challenging me to come in the ring. Tells me to suck it, calls me a pussy, etc No prob. Get your heat She calls me a virgin. I remind her she has sex with that fat turd Bully Ray. Call them the tramp stamp trio. End segment.

She goes to the back. Fast forward about five minutes & I get a tap on the shoulder “Hey, we’re with security and need to talk to you about an incident that occurred” Immediately I think of the Allure stuff but think that maybe Mandy got in trouble for spitting/face palming me.

Then I kinda think this is a joke and look around. No signs of a joke from my buddies or crew. I’m SUPER perplexed and think there’s maybe miscommunication because nothing so far was a big deal at all. I oblige and follow security.

Security takes me legit backstage. I’m still perplexed by the entire thing and was honestly very hesitant to follow them because they kept saying “we need to talk to you about an incident”. No details behind just leading me into the back. What’s happening? What’s waiting for me?

Get to the back and security is just asking me to be patient “What’s going on” “Just sit tight” “Sure but what’s up?” “Hold tight” Time was slowing down but this was all happening SO fast.

Suddenly BULLY RAY comes out from a back room. Full on gear since he was in the opening segment of the show and he looks PISSED. Much bigger than me so I’m kinda taking a step back on this here. Security backs off and it’s just us two.

He said “hey. I heard there was incident tonight with you and some of the girls” “Uh… yeah? I guess” *I’m so lost* “So here’s the deal. You’re done talking down to them. You need to treat them with respect. Don’t be saying anything you wouldn’t say to your mom, you got it?!”

I’m not trying to act tough. I was legit being intimidated with purpose and I wasn’t about to get kicked out during match 3 so I just bit the bullet and said “sure… yes sir… yeah, I understand… yup…” He said “End of convo. Go be a fan” Security led me back to my seat.

That’s the end in regards to a timeline of events. The whole thing is still completely unbelievable and surreal, honestly. I’ve gone to live events for 15 years and been following wrestling for 22 years. Never once heard of something like this happening.

Heel women portraying the “Mean Girls” gimmick getting talked down to by fans is pretty much Pro Wrestling 101. Actually with the exception of a few things I don’t know what would classify as disrespectful in the context of the show. Sure, if it’s outside the venue it’s taking things to far but this sounds like a butt hurt Bully Ray who brought in his girl and she can’t get over / people don’t want her there so he’s pissy.

ROH has been extremely uninteresting to me since Supercard and hearing them do this shit screams TNA 2.0

If you take this story at face value, it’s another example of Bubba Ray being a old school douchebag; one of those guys who turned 40 and suddenly thinks he used to make a loop for Don Owen or something. Wasn’t he also one of the guys who thought the Revival was disrespectful for being heels on Twitter?

All this from the guy who once told Vince that he and D-Von weren’t going to do charity appearances because they were heels.

If true, what a bad way to run a show. If the fan did something bad, kick him out. Ridiculous to intimidate someone backstage.

I was at the ROH show in Kent, Wash. on Saturday - dismal crowd. ROH should appreciate the dwindling fanbase they still have

I guess I don’t know enough about the reputation of Bully Ray, Velvet Sky or RoH events to know how much I should believe his story. My initial reaction is that he must have done or said something worse than he’s saying to get that kind of response.

The wrestlers (women in particular) have thick skins and have to deal with drunk assholes every night. I’m sure a lot of the crowd were booing them. What did this guy do to get so much attention? Even being spit on in a dark match tells me he was doing something more than whats being said here.

If Velvet Sky told me to suck it, I’d tell her gladly and ask her to take her top off.

Seriously though, I’ve been to enough events and heard the things that some of these so called “fans” say to the performers. I will never just accept one side of the story, knowing how crazy some of these people are. If Mandy did indeed spit on him, that is the worst thing here. Nothing Velvet said was out of line. Not sure why the fan had to be brought to the back, but who knows. I’m sure we’ll hear more about this.

Bubba Ray is one of the worst decisions ROH has made in its history. Even if you insist this person said worse things, getting security to escort them backstage so you can intimidate them is crossing a line. You have them ejected from the show and move on. Also, this is rich coming from the person who cut the Heatwave promo.

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It’s tough to say whether buddy crossed the line without actually seeing/hearing what was said, but if so then it’s security’s job to get him to calm down or eject him. The implicit threat from a locker room general type figure is an insane throwback to territory tactics which certainly don’t fit in with a company trying to present itself as a legit alternative to WWE.

…Also, I don’t know how Bully talks to his mom, but a show in which the crowd reacts to heels (men or women) the way they would their mothers would be, uh, not good.

Sounds like bad on both sides. I’m assuming this isn’t the whole story, and this guy may have crossed a line. That said that is a role for security/management to handle not wrestlers. I mean what if the guy didn’t back down? Was Bubba going to beat him up? If security/management handles it, he doesn’t back down, he gets ejected.

I think heels have to be able to take any kind of heat like Baron Corbin does. At the end of the day, heat is what they are looking for no matter what shape or form, they have to able to receive it and play with it.

Right?!

I would have loved to see the guy stand up to Bubba only to see what Bubba did do…

And yeah the whole thing is weird because why wouldn’t security escort the guy out instead of getting a scolding from Dad

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I don’t think that is true at all. Certain things cross the line. For instance if you had a black heel, fans calling him/her the N word is over the line. Calling women “whores” or the like would also cross the line of decency for me, unless that is in fact their character. Especially if that heel “heat” is crossing from the character to the performer.

Obviously, yes. I wouldn’t call racism heat. Of course, I agree with you.

Right I would just also add sexist or harassment level comments toward women on the same level of things you don’t want your fans to be yelling. If for no other reason that other fans are at the event and should not need to hear certain types of comments. On that same note the Wresters shouldn’t engage to the level of insults about a fans sex life etc, or spit on fans (unless the fan oks it).

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A video of the incident would give us a lot more context as to what really happened. I’m guessing both parties are probably a little in the wrong on this. If the fan did say something over the line, either eject him or have security come over and give him a verbal warning. Bringing him backstage and having a wrestler cut a promo on him seems old school and excessive.

I’ve seen some wrestlers get some pretty mean things chanted at them. The Rock had people chant “Die Rocky Die” before and didn’t pull anyone backstage.

After reading both version of the event, i tend to believe, bully ray’s version of what happened over the fan’s version. But whatever bully’s version is the real version or not, the damage is already done as the fan in question got what he wanted and that he made himself the victim and ROH is forced investigate this.

I’m sure the truth is somewhere in the middle. But Bubba’s version is still a performer overstepping his jurisdiction, and ROH should absolutely investigate (whatever that ends up meaning). If that fan throws a punch, you want paid security and not one of your guys on the receiving (and reacting) end.

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In what way is it appropriate for Bully himself to handle the situation? That’s where he’s wrong from the start. The minute he confronts the fan it’s already ridiculous

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Something I missed at first that others have pointed out. Bubba himself claims he didn’t hear the alleged “vile” extent of this guy’s comments until AFTER their little chat. So what were they even talking about in the first place?

This!

Why is any talent pulling the audience, with the collaboration of security guards. What a mess this could have been.

Absolutely ridiculous and unprofessional for Ray to take matters into his own hands in this scenario.