WWE needs to remove Jaxson Ryker from TV immediately

The Forgotten Sons faced Breezango and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott on the Oct. 23, 2019 edition of WWE NXT. Photo: WWE.com
The Forgotten Sons faced Breezango and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott on the Oct. 23, 2019 edition of WWE NXT. Photo: WWE.com /

The Forgotten Sons gimmick must go and after his recent tweets, Jaxson Ryker must be removed from the WWE roster. 

While anytime is important for entertainment organizations to review the content and messaging they are putting out to millions of consumers, the current climate around the United States has made that even more important in these last few weeks. The WWE is known for pushing the boundary when it comes to the characters it presents with its roster.

However, the concern around the Forgotten Sons gimmick was raised the minute the faction was created in NXT. Jaxon Ryker’s comments on social media were horrendous and with everything that is at stake, it is time for the WWE to act by removing this act from television entirely.

Serving in the military is a selfless act that should be praised. The men and women of the armed forces are serving around the world in ways that are meant to protect the freedoms that civilians celebrate at home.

What is unfortunate is when that service and the perception thereof is used to silence and marginalize minority groups within the same country. It is a tone that is become too familiar throughout media channels in the United States as fascism and alt-right narratives gain steam. Ryker’s comments on social media harken back to many of those narratives and must be bet with a swift rebuke.

“Thankful for the [President of the United States] we have!” Ryker tweeted. “God bless America. Built on freedom. Forgotten No More.”

This statement came moments after President Donald Trump held a press conference where he spoke in overtones that reminded many of authoritarian leaders of the past. It is yet another example of Trump’s continued push to silence any voices that speak out against him, even to the point where he is threatened to use the United States military against American citizens.

Some will quickly point to Ryker’s statement as being nothing more than a heel who is staying in character on social media. That is not the case this time. His Forgotten Sons stablemates, Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake have quickly come out to renounce his statements. As have multiple other performers within the WWE roster, as reported by FightFul.com.

Looking deeper into the matter, Ryker has posted highly questionable comments on other social media platforms before taking on the Forgotten Sons gimmick. For example, in 2019, he called the Black Lives Matter movement “garbage” and told people to “realize how good you all active have it.”

Both of those lines were used in a Facebook post that he has now blocked viewing access for the public. These comments are upsetting and speaks to a deeper nature that should not be welcome within an organization like the WWE or any for that matter.

Remember Muhammed Hassan?

The WWE should act. Removing the Forgotten Sons gimmick from television and perhaps Ryker from the roster is the right move. There’s precedence, remember Muhammad Hassan? Hassan’s character was based on all the negative stereotypes propagated during a time when the United States was wrapped in a “War on Terror.” The angle with the Undertaker was so controversial that the promotion was forced to remove him from television.

Ryker’s comments and the Forgotten Sons gimmick speaks to the same type of controversy and should be met with the same response. Cutler and Blake can be re-packaged, but Ryker’s comments are way too demeaning and damning.

Professional wrestling is meant to be a space in which people can escape from the ills that plague the real world. That is how it is often described by individuals such as WWE CEO & Chairman, Vince McMahon. Unfortunately, the promotion continually uses gimmicks that are entrenched in negative stereotypes.

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The Forgotten Sons were a problematic group from the very start and Ryker’s comments on social media both recently and in the past show that this gimmick and perhaps Ryker do not have a place in this industry.