Bringing Jaxson Ryker back is a mistake

WWE (Photo by Marc Pfitzenreuter/Getty Images)
WWE (Photo by Marc Pfitzenreuter/Getty Images) /

Jaxson Ryker recently resurfaced on Main Event with Elias after months of being kept off of television. Considering his hateful social media posts, this sends a horrible message.

Ryker, Wesley Blake, and Steve Cutler—known as the Forgotten Sons—made their SmackDown debut shortly after WrestleMania 36. Not long after their debut, Ryker flexed his white privilege muscles by posting the following on Twitter, making sure to include his wrestling catchphrase at the end:

While not directly addressing Ryker’s tweet, Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake appeared to distance themselves from his blissfully ignorant comments. However, all three Forgotten Sons were subsequently removed from ongoing storylines and pulled off of television.

Rather than contribute something of value in the midst of nationally broadcasted instances of police brutality or showing support for his Black peers and fans as others had done, Ryker took the opportunity to paint America as a foundation of freedom while those same freedoms were not applying to Black people.

The soon-to-be-former POTUS that Ryker felt the need to openly praise has historically targeted marginalized groups and has inspired his predominantly-White fanbase to gaslight any fight for equality and justice among said groups. Ryker’s failure to address the clear-as-day problems in America but finding the time ripe to push his on-screen character is telling.

Afterward per The Ring Report, more comments surfaced from Ryker’s personal Facebook specifically from a 2019 post in which he refers to the Black Lives Matter movement as “garbage”. Ryker also put out a “challenge” for everyone to go watch 12 Years a Slave and realize, “how good you all actually have it”.

Ryker not only openly denounced a movement that pushes for Black people to have basic human rights but went as far to imply—as Black and Brown lives are being taken away on video recording while their killers go home to their families with no repercussions—that we all have it good. The you-don’t-know-how-good-you-have-it mentality does little else but promotes complacency while lives are at stake.

Blake and Cutler’s recent return to SmackDown as King Corbin’s henchmen led many to believe it as a strong sign of Ryker being phased out from WWE entirely. His sudden appearance on Main Event confirms that—whether or not his alliance with Elias will end up being permanent—his comments are not stopping WWE from figuring out ways to use him.

Given that WWE only recently fired Zelina Vega for refusing to turn over her third party accounts for the company to monetize and provide a minimal return to its workers, it’s a telling sign of where priorities lie.

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In the months since Ryker’s tweet and other hateful posts were unearthed, Ryker has not publicly addressed his comments. WWE said nothing outside of a general statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement which did not directly condemn Ryker’s comments. Taking into account that Ryker hasn’t even removed the infamous tweet, one could assume his opinion has changed little since the summer and the wrestling public won’t even receive as much as an empty apology. Not that it’s needed, we know exactly where Ryker stands.