wrestling / News

UPDATED: WWE Responds to Allegations of Abusive Behavior By Bill DeMott

March 3, 2015 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

UPDATE: Another former developmental talent has come out today to back Austin Matelson’s claims that Bill DeMott was abusive to developmental trainees. Kevin Matthews sent the Sports Courier an account from Ryan Collins, who Matthews said was released shortly after sending the letter.

The full letter is here, but some highlights are below:

On DeMott being physically abusive: “As I was sitting on the table, she examined my eyes and reaction time. Eventually Coach DeMott came in asking what happened. I told him the story of how everything happened, he then accused me of making things worse. Which is not uncommon as Coach DeMott gets angry and standoffish at any sign of injury. The main part of this story that angers me is that as he was leaving the trainers room, Coach DeMott slapped me on top of the head. This really angered me as I don’t believe he has right to put hands on anyone especially like that. I was lucky that my head injury wasn’t too serious. His negligence in this situation could have worsened my injury.”

On being buillied: “I have also grown very tired of how Coach DeMott has constantly bullied us. Whether by physically hitting us, or by calling us gay. He has on numerous occasions alluded to me being gay. His favorite phrase is “half a sissy” not to mention him calling me and others ‘faggots’…I have also witnessed Coach DeMott try to rip a t-shirt off Alexander Rusev, shortly after he had neck surgery. He has on numerous occasions called Oliver Grey (Joel Pettyfer) Pedophile, smacked Enzo Amore (Eric Arndt) in the mouth. He has also told Enzo to kill himself on atleast one occassion that I heard with my own ears.”

Joey Ryan and MVP commented on the stories, posting to Twitter:

ORIGINAL: WWE has issued a statement in response to new allegations that WWE head coach and trainer Bill DeMott has been abusive to developmental talent. The latest charges come from developmental talent Austin Matelson, who worked as Judas Devlin. Matelson made an appearance on Vendetta Pro Radio 2K15 to talk about the accusations he levied against DeMott, revealing that he sent a letter to WWE Talent Relations in March 2013. You can see that letter in a post made to Reddit here; the interview is here.

In the letter, Matelson alleges that DeMott physically assaulted his students, used racial and sexual slurs and forced them to perform drills that were dangerous and led to several injuries. Matelson says in the letter, “I would like to request that this remain in strict confidence as I am afraid that if Coach Demott were to know I spoke out he would find ways to punish me for it. In fact the entire process of writing a letter to human resources has been called a ‘faggots’ way of dealing with problems by Coach Demott.”

Matelson specifically references an incident that happened on February 28th in which he had taken an “awkward hit” to his knee during a match that has aggravated a previous injury “that should have never happened” and occurred during a practice drill DeMott demanded after practice had been completed. He had an MRI done which “revealed a partial tear of my PCL and a strain on a ligament in the back of my knee. I have been told that I can work through it but it may aggravate here and there. This injury can be enduring as many of the superstars on the main roster wrestle their whole careers with it.”

He continues to say that after the hit, DeMott pulled trainer Brian Duncan and him into the training room and said, “This injury can’t keep flaring up. It doesn’t look good perception wise to us (the office) or for your career going forward.” He goes on to detail other incidents, including one in which Briley Pierce was kicked by DeMott in the leg while the leg was broken. Pierce, the younger brother of Dolph Ziggler, said on Twitter that the story was “sad but (extremely) true. Please share if you don’t want your heroes abused & mistreated.”

There are also allegations of several verbal abuse, including DeMott calling on student a pedophile and levying several homophobic slurs. When one student referred to his finisher as the Davey Boy, DeMott allegedly replied, “The Davey Boy? What turning blue and dropping dead on the lawn?”

Devlin was eventually released after a severe spinal injury suffered while training.

After the interview and letter were released, a “#FireBillDeMott” hashtag was trending on Twitter and Trent Baretta said of the story, “About f**king time.”

PWInsider received a statement from WWE when asked for comment, which read:

WWE took the accusations made two years ago by Austin Matelson very seriously, conducted a full investigation and was unable to validate the claims. Regardless, WWE continues to reinforce policies and procedures to ensure a positive training environment.

DeMott has been accused of abuse in the past; part of the reason that all WWE developmental training sessions are taped is due to the fact that there were complaints by developmental talent training in Deep South Wrestling with DeMott. DeMott was released when DSW was shut down in 2007, but was brought back for Tough Enough in 2011 and has remained as a coach and trainer.

DeMott talked about the allegations in DSW in is autobiography, saying that those complaining were “dead weight” who weren’t going to make it to the main roster and were bitter. He also said he was doing what was asked by then-Talent Relations head John Laurinaitis and that he had the records that proved such.