Thursday, July 3, 2014

Emma Fired and Rehired in a Matter of Hours

Emma was almost done in by a misunderstanding at Wal*Mart of all places
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Emma has had a strange 72 hours. On Monday, before RAW, she was picked up by the Hartford police for shoplifting. While using the self-checkout at Wal*Mart, she inadvertently put a $20 iPad case into her shopping bag without scanning it. She was arrested and detained, missing RAW (presumably as part of the ghastly Santino Marella and Adam Rose shillfest for shitty, sweet-tasting alcohol). While the arrest was over nothing more than a misunderstanding at worst and a malfunction of Wal*Mart equipment at best, she became the butt of several lame attempts at humor on Twitter and across other media everywhere. I guess that kind of reaction comes with the territory. If that barrage wasn't bad enough, she had her mugshot plastered all over the Internet courtesy of TMZ.

Then, yesterday, the bomb dropped that WWE released her, which set off a firestorm of shock. How could she be released for what amounted to a misunderstanding that would have cost the country's biggest labor violator a mere $20 out of the millions of dollars of revenue it pulls in in aggregate an hour while the staggering list of wrestlers who got DUIs while employed were kept on the roster? Something wasn't adding up with the release. Some speculated that she was a victim of her work visa getting revoked due to the incident; she copped a plea and was sentenced (to a day of community service, but still, it's a sentence), so it's on the books. However, wrestling-writer-about-town David Bixenspan contacted the Hartford Police Department and confirmed the issue wasn't going to affect her visa.

The next possible culprit was that she was an easy target to be trimmed due to budgetary concerns the company is facing in the wake of its rough sailing launching The WWE Network. The counter would be that her salary couldn't have been that great due to her status as an entry-level main roster member who happens to be the wrong gender for making the big bucks. Of course, reasons are reasons, and it's easier to justify rash moves citing her lack of "drawing power" when you as a company have undeniable institutional sexism built into your infrastructure.

Just when the angry mobs were being built into their peak froth, WWE posted a story stating that Emma was reinstated, but that she'll face repercussions for running afoul of the law. I don't know what said remediation will be, or whether or not it'll be public. But it seems clear that something happened for WWE to reverse field in such a short time. Whether it was the angry backlash on Twitter (note: it probably wasn't the Twitter backlash), the result of a turning point in a rumored backstage power struggle between Kevin Dunn and Triple H, or the TMZ story running with a headline that made WWE's decision seem rash and uncompassionate, Emma got her job back and ended the day just as she began it, as a WWE employee.

Wrestling has had its share of weird stories over the years, so much so that this Emma fiasco may not even crack the top ten of strangest thing ever to happen within the confines of any given wrestling company. However, it just goes to show that even when the veils of kayfabe are lifted, you shouldn't really believe fully anything you see or that is presented to you. Wrestling is just that fucked up an industry.