As you may have read earlier this week, WWE head trainer Bill Demott is once again under allegations of what is being termed as creating a “negative work environment.” These are not the first allegations made against the former WCW and WWE talent turned trainer in regards to his practices. Beating up talents that are injured, running them ragged, calling talents homophobic slurs and saying some really derogatory things are not ideal in the corporate structure that the company now sees itself in. But these things are not new to the professional wrestling profession not by a longshot. There was always tales of guys wanting to get trained back when the business was closed but they got ran off by old-timers stretching them. Hulk Hogan told the story of Hiro Matusda breaking his leg the first time he stepped into a ring in Tampa. There are hundreds of stories from guys from the 80s and 90s being pushed to their limits. But how much is too much? And how do you draw the line?

Harsh tactics when it comes to training and seeing what endurance and mental toughness athletes have, has been a staple of not only our business but college sports as well. And we now on the practices starting to be phased out. But they still exist. I’m not denying that the things that Bill Demott did or is alleged to do are pretty heinous. Tormenting trainees down at NXT looks barbaric, but a lot of these guys haven’t been in the wrestling business for that long. You don’t want to start pushing a guy and all of a sudden he goes on an international tour which can be hell with physically and mentally. He has a breakdown and decides to leave. Much like Nathan Jones during a tour of Australia. Or Brock Lesnar not wanting to do the job after being mega pushed to the moon and all of a sudden decides travel is not for him anymore.

Now, I understand there is a another side to this that these tactics could stop someone from being a big star due to the fact that they are beaten-down so much. I’m sure it’s happened to quite a few promising hopefuls who got “broken” during training and never really got to go to the main roster. But is Bill Demott to blame. There’s no denying that the guy is an ass hole. However, there been these allegations before and WWE’s rehired him. That must mean they like what he does and he’s the company guy. WWE takes their investments seriously in these talents and they want to see how much they have. But it directly comes the conflict with their corporate infrastructure in which they have now comparing themselves to the NFL, NBA or any major-league sport. So maybe it’s time that they have training guidelines for the trainers much like they have for the Wellness Program.

Get rid of these hazing techniques and make it clear when the line is crossed by a trainer. Keep everything aboveboard and give talents some leverage and get rid of the old boys mentality from the 80s and 90s. Because as we know it’s a different business. When the company is doing promotions about bullying, and not using certain words with the Special Olympics and other public service initiatives maybe it’s time that WWE changes its philosophy. If I were them I would actually bring in a third party to not only talk with the guys in discussing these issues with certain personnel but conduct investigations outside of WWE’s umbrella so if allegations do arise it will clearly and justly be taken care of. And there for nothing else this will make WWE look really good in the eyes of their stockholders.

So those are my thoughts on the whole situation, whether WWE chooses to do anything with Demott considering the public attention that the situation has gotten thus far is up to them. I would actually get ahead of this if I were them and really create a new culture when it comes to developmental. Triple H wants to prove it’s a new day with him and NXT maybe now it’s time to really change how things are done.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.