WrestleCon apologises to Gisele Shaw over ‘transphobic bullying’ from Rick Steiner

Pro wrestler Gisele Shaw

Impact Wrestling’s Gisele Shaw has accused WWE Wrestling Hall of Fame member Rick Steiner of verbally attacking her with transphobic abuse. 

The star, who came out as trans last summer, says wrestling veteran Steiner carried out the verbal tirade while they were both at a WrestleCon signing event on Friday (31 March). 

The annual fan convention released a statement on Saturday (1 April), apologising to Shaw for the incident.

In a lengthy Twitter post, Shaw said she has always suffered bullying, but after this latest incident “that ends today”.

In the post, she detailed accusations against Steiner, saying he shouted “you’re a man”, “you’re a dude”, “you’re a piece of trash”, “you are filth” and “get the f**k away from here” at her. 

Shaw said she was “shocked” that it was Steiner making the comments, which she alleges he continued to do when she called him out. 

You may like to watch

“To have someone saying those comments who a lot of people look up to and consider their hero was quite shocking and disheartening,” Shaw wrote. 

She continued: “Another disappointing part about this whole thing was that there were other wrestling legends who just sat there, turned their heads away, did not want to get involved, or stand up for what’s right because it involved ‘one of the boys’. 

“Judging from that experience, it was more important for them to watch something wrong go down as [opposed] to standing up for someone who’s being bullied and doing what’s right.”

The wrestling star concluded the post by saying she did not make the incident public for “sympathy” but because she was “done being bullied to silence.

“Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility and I am standing up for myself and for other people who go through the exact same situation on a daily basis,” she added. 

Shaw also alleged that another wrestling peer was called a homophobic slur by Steiner. 

The alleged incident was corroborated by pro wrestling referee Daniel Spencer, who tweeted his support for Shaw. 

“My heart breaks for Gisele and our [other] peer. To witness it happen was shocking and disturbing. 

“Respect and love is something we have at IMPACT because we are FAMILY. I’m so grateful for the support we have for one another,” Spencer wrote. 

On Saturday (1 April), WrestleCon released an apology to Shaw.

The event company wrote on Twitter: “WrestleCon regrets the events that took place at yesterday’s convention and apologizes to Gisele Shaw.

“We aim to promote a safe and inclusive environment for all LGBTQAI+ members of the wrestling community.

“The issue has been addressed and we hope the remainder of the convention can be a positive experience for all.”

IMPACT Wrestling also released a statement via Twitter: “IMPACT Wrestling stands in full support of @GiseleShaw08 and the LGBTQ+ community.

“We are saddened by the incident Friday afternoon at WrestleCon in Los Angeles and hope everyone can learn and be better from it.”

PinkNews has approached Rick Steiner for comment but he has not yet responded to our request.