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WWE Issues Statement on Jordan Devlin Accusations, Details on Other UK Misconduct Allegations

June 18, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

UPDATE 3: WWE has issued a statement to WrestlingNews.co regarding the allegations against Jordan Devlin:

“We take any allegation of this nature very seriously and are looking into the matter.”

UPDATE 2: WWE executives are reportedly getting together to discuss the influx of abuse allegations levied against NXT UK talent. Tom Colohue reports that WWE officials have called an emergency meeting to discuss the allegations against stars from the brand. Jordan Devlin, Travis Banks, Joe Coffey, and El Ligero have all, as reported below, have been accused of sexual, physical or mental/verbal abuse:

UPDATED: Accusations have now been levied against Jordan Devlin and Travis Banks as part of the #SpeakingOut movement taking place in the UK wrestling scene. Hannah Francesca posted a series of tweets in which she alleged she was physically abused by someone in the industry and when she went to the promotion, she was told “One of my boys wouldn’t do that.” She included photos of her bruised body and later identified the person as Devlin.

In addition, Millie McKenzie of SPLX Apparel accused Banks of being emotionally manipulative of her during a “secret one year relationship” when she was training under him, emotionally and mentally abusing her as you can see below:

ORIGINAL: The UK wrestling scene is the field today for a host of sexual misconduct allegations that have been levied against talent including NXT UK’s El Ligero, Mikey Whiplash and more. Several people have spoken out, apparently in the wake of the sexual abuse allegations against David Starr, accusing several people within the UK scene of various forms of misconduct.

Among the accusations are accusations by Natalie Sykes that El Ligero, who trained her, sexually harassed her on multiple instances. Sykes claims that Ligero began making sexual comments that mader her uncomfortable and while at first she tried to “laugh it off so he wouldn’t get mad at me,” the situation escalated to where he began trying to control her private relationships and psychoanalyze her relationship with her father. Sykes alleges that while doing this, Ligero “compared himself to being my father figure whilst also joking about sleeping with me.” She alleges that Ligero became verbally and mentally abusive to her and that it caused her considerable mental distress, noting, “I hate the person I was during that year and a half.” In a follow-up post, she shares a message from someone else who notes that Ligero did a similar thing to them.

Mikey Whiplash (not to be confused with ECW alum Mikey Whipwreck) is also facing accusations after several women released a statement through the @WrestlingNoContext Twitter account alleging that Whiplash has made unwanted sexual advances, sent unsolicited messages to female trainees and workers, gaslighted women and “even becoming physically violent with a number of women.” Whiplash was the promoter for Fierce Females, an all-women’s promotion in Scotland, who the women say is an unsafe environment due to Whiplash. NXT UK’s Piper Niven posted in support of these statements with an “It’s Time” message and noting, “I feel like we are all just waiting for someone else to go first. I’m scared too, I see you and I love you.”

Fierce Females’ co-owner Naveda Rose has posted in response to the allegations against Whiplash, noting at first, “I also own Fierce Females and this is obviously pretty deeply disturbing. I don’t want to silence anyone. This is the first I’m hearing this stuff, so I’m gonna start trying to see what is going on. This is obviously serious stuff and I don’t want an unsafe platform.” She followed up a few hours later noting that Whiplash is no longer part of Fierce Females, adding, “I take the voices and rights of women to have a safe platform incredibly seriously, so going forward I’ll be running it on my own.”

The allegations aren’t just being made by women. Both MJ Maxx and Jake Long have accused longtime referee James Finn of sexually harassing them. Maxx alleges that Finn harassed him in October of 2019, while Long says his experiences with Finn happened twice, both in 2017. Long’s are more specific, alleging that Finn tried to grope him when he thought Long was asleep.

Among the other allegations are claims by wrestler Gracie Lou Freebush that referee Marc “Paz” Perry has sent unwanted explicit pictures to herself and at least two other woman, and a lengthy thread by former ring announcer Lisa Gifford detailing various experiences of sexual harassment from talent and fans within the UK scene. Sierra Loxton has also alleged that Joe Coffey has sexually harrassed her as well as three other women by sending unsolicited nude photos and voice notes, as well as stalking them.

You can see the many posts about this below. NXT UK’s Pete Dunne has posted about the situation, noting that he is “disgusted by what I’m reading. Well done to those speaking out. I really hope we can make British wrestling a better place and keep everyone safe. This is a huge eye opener and let’s hope it will force a big change.”