Transgender woman wrestler accuses Hall of Famer of making 'hateful' comments at wrestling convention
Gisele Shaw, a transgender woman who competes for Impact Wrestling, accused WWE Hall of Famer Rick Steiner of "hateful phrases" at WrestleCon Friday.
Shaw made the allegations in a statement posted to her Twitter account.
"I have been bullied all my life and have never stood up for myself because I’m scared that I would get beat up physically, mentally or emotionally. The bullies in my life have always silenced me, but that ends today!" Shaw said in a statement.
"I was at an autograph signing event today at WrestleCon and while I was walking to my table, I hear someone yelling ‘you’re a man,’ you’re a dude,’ ‘you’re a piece of trash,’ You are filth,’ ‘get the f--- away from here.’ I kept my head down and kept walking as I did not want to acknowledge that hate.
"When I arrived ay my table, I spoke to another IMPACT Wrestling talent who was at the signing with me and mentioned the incident. It didn’t sit well with me and I wanted to know who was saying that because it’s unacceptable, so I decided to take a walk in that area and I hear that some person saying the same derogatory comments. I looked at the person and it was Rick Steiner saying those statements. I was shocked and could not believe that this was happening. To have someone saying those comments who a lot of people look up to and consider their hero was quite shocking and disheartening.
"I was in disbelief so I asked him. ‘excuse me?!’ He kept repeating those hateful phrases and started yelling at me in a public setting. It was inexcusable and unacceptable."
Shaw added there were two other "wrestling legends" who were sitting there and didn’t get involved in the confrontation
"Judging from that experience, it was more important for them to watch something wrong go down as supposed (sic) to standing up for someone who’s being bullied and doing what’s right.
"I am not writing this because I want sympathy. I am writing this because I am done being bullied to silence. Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility and I am standing up for myself and for other people who go through the exact same situation on a daily basis. I want everyone to know what kind of deplorable person Rick Steiner is and that this cannot be tolerated. This keeps happening because people let it slide and do not take any action. If you do business with these type of people then I will not to (sic) do business with you."
WrestleCon and Impact Wrestling both came out in support of Shaw.
"WrestleCon regrets the events that took place at yesterday’s convention and apologizes to Gisele Shaw," the organization tweeted. "We aim to promote a safe and inclusive environment for all LGBTQAI+ members of the wrestling community. The issue has been addressed, and we hope the remainder of the convention can be a positive experience for all."
Impact Wrestling added, "IMPACT Wrestling stands in full support of @GiseleShaw08 and the LGBTQ+ community. We are saddened by the incident Friday afternoon at Wrestlecon in Los Angeles and hope everyone can learn and be better from it.
"Thank you to the millions worldwide who have read Gisele's statement and showed full support for her. Particular thanks go to the organizing staff of Wrestlecon as well as the IMPACT roster and crew who all handled an ugly situation with the utmost professionalism."
Steiner, whose real name is Robert Rechsteiner, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
Shaw came out as transgender in 2022. She's been a mainstay on the independent wrestling circuit for several years.
Steiner, 62, is mostly known for his career in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in the late 1980s and mid-to-late 1990s. He and his brother, Scott Steiner, were tag-team champions seven times. Their tag-team was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last year.