Mark for War: DeMott is the New Cosby?
This week was riddled with controversy as an accusation eventually lead to the resignation of long time WWE head developmental trainer, Bill DeMott.
For those of you who don’t know who Bill DeMott is, I’ll shed some light: Bill DeMott was actually a somewhat okay-sized deal in the mid-90s. He was a WCW guy who wrestled under the name Hugh Morris. He helped pave the way for middle of the road wrestlers like Justin Credible, who felt it best to make up a fake wrestling name using a hacky pun. He also was one of the first superstars ever to use a run of the mill move as their finisher (a moonsault), but rename it something to do with their gimmick (No Laughing Matter). Without DeMott, James Storm’s “Last Call” would simply be known as “a superkick.”
When the WCW went under in the early 2000s, 20 people from that company got jobs in the WWE, ten got a legit shot at a run, and five succeeded. Bill DeMott, believe it or not, was one of these five success stories. DeMott failed as an in-ring performer for the WWE, but he was quickly hired as a trainer in the WWE’s developmental territories. His career as a WWE trainer was both cemented and borderline immortalized through reality television.
WWE’s first-ever reality show, Tough Enough, debuted on MTV in the early aughts. DeMott was not initially part of the training staff in its inaugural season. However, once the show caught legit steam, DeMott became its only shining star that wasn’t coming off the heels of a legendary wrestling career. Look at this trailer for WWE’s final season of Tough Enough featuring Steve Austin, Trish Stratus, and Booker T — all WWE Hall of Famers — as well as DeMott. I mean, in what world can DeMott be uttered in the same breath as these legends?
That’s how good DeMott’s persona was when it came to that show. He almost reminded me of an NBA coach who was middle of the road during his playing career, but flourished on the other side of the coin. Look at the first place Golden State Warrior’s coach Steve Kerr, for an example. And that’s enough about real sports…
Now, like every reality show, the whackier the character is, the more successful the show is. DeMott was a hardass on the show, and he beat down, in a nice way, his trainees. Tough Enough almost had a military basic training feel. DeMott was there to break the trainees, much like a drill sergeant breaks down a soldier. However, the cream, for the most part, always rose, despite DeMott’s madness. Case in point: the winner of DeMott’s first season of Tough Enough, John Hennigan (Johnny Nitro, John Morrison). Dude was a beast in the ring! For political reasons, or whatever the hell, his career in the WWE didn’t pan out. However, I still think he was one of the most talented superstars I’ve seen in the last decade. Tough Enough also produced two legit superstars in the game today, The Miz and Ryback, both trained by Bill DeMott.
With all this in mind, Bill DeMott, believe it or not, was on a slow, but steady, track to the WWE Hall of Fame. A low grade inductee, yes. But a recipient nonetheless. That is, until this past week.
DeMott was accused by a ex-WWE developmental talent Austin Matelson (who wrestled under the name Judas Devlin) of extreme bullying centering around racism, homophobia, psychical abuse… you name it. Basically, all the things we saw DeMott do for years on TV, except more politically incorrect, and there wasn’t a camera rolling.
Here’s a more in depth article, if you’d like to read the full breakdown of allegations.
Bill DeMott immediately denied the allegations on Twitter. Still, he immediately resigned from his position, suggesting he may be owning up to some type of guilt.
Like every controversy in recent American history, the floodgates opened for others to come forward to throw in their two cents on DeMott. Enter the aptly named independent wrestler, Hannibal.
So this dude was an ex-WWE developmental dude. As admitted in this video, he paid to be in WWE developmental to learn how to wrestle (maybe he’s a little bitter?). Long story short, Hannibal tells a story on camera about how DeMott made notable WWE Superstar Zack Ryder and a girl named Melissa Coats take stinkfaces, ala Rikishi, from a naked Luke Gallows (Festus), with the only thing separating their faces from a naked ass being donuts.
The one thing I love about this video is the fact that it’s shot in a sex shop with dildos swinging in the background.
No offense intended, but I’m sure the dude is telling some variation of the truth (there is a blurry photo supporting his story). But if you want your story about sexual harassment to be believed by the mass public who don’t know you from a hole in the wall, you might not want to film it in a sex shop. Did Bill Clinton wear a HOOTER’S shirt when he said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”?
We live in the Bill Cosby era of controversy, which means defamation stories about one person or subject come in waves. Now, obviously in the case of Bill Cosby, I’d say I’m beyond glad that those who came forward did so. In the case of Bill DeMott, my verdict is still out. I believe Bill Demott was an asshole in his training methods. However, isn’t the wrestling world the land of the assholes, where one survives if they are assholes themselves? I mean, I’ve heard WAY worse stories about people being psychically and emotionally disrespected in the name of “ribbing” since the 70s, many of which are often laughed about in shoot interviews. Maybe I’ve become desensitized to said issues over the years, but can you blame me?
But again, the verdict is still out for me on this issue. It’s just unfortunate, whether deserved or not, that it happened to a dude who was quietly building a strong legacy for himself behind the scenes.
Let me know your thoughts on this odd topic. No dildo pics, please.
Match of the Week: The Miz vs. John Cena, WWE CHAMPIONSHIP, Wrestlemania XXVII, April 3, 2011. Atlanta, Georgia
Here we have the one example of a DeMott guy getting to the Main Event at ‘Mania, and failing MIZerably (see what I did there?). I HATE this match, not because of the participants falling short in the ring (which they both did), or the stupid ending featuring the Rock overshadowing the whole thing, but mainly for the misbooking leading up to it. In some odd booking from hell, WWE put the strap on The Miz on Raw in late November, before ‘Mania. The Miz was OVER AS HELL leading up to him getting the strap. This would have carried over in to Wrestlemania, had Miz still been chasing the title. Why the WWE didn’t have this overness culminate at ‘Mania, I have no idea. Instead they had The Miz, as the champion, defend his title against John Cena, a guy who had been champion countless times up to that point. A prime example of an anti-climatic snooze fest of a main event. Cena survived. But sadly, the DeMott-trained Miz’s career has never been the same.
WWE Wrestlemania XXVII: John Cena vs. The Miz(c) |WWE Championship Match| P1 from wwekof4 on Vimeo.