Yesterday, professional wrestling news sources confirmed the release of WWE Superstar Lars Sullivan.
Sullivan (real name Dylan Miley) has been a hotbed of controversy. His call up to the main roster in 2019 as the next big monster heel seemed to be dead on arrival due to his various scandals and injuries.
At the beginning of his main roster run, Lars suffered a setback after an anxiety attack derailed a Wrestlemania feud with WWE legend John Cena. But instead of debuting at the Royal Rumble in January, he showed up on WWE TV in April of 2019.
A month after his official debut, Some of Sullivan's old posts on a bodybuilding forum surfaced. WWE issued Lars a $100,000 fine for his homophobic, sexist, and racist comments. He apologized for his previous hate speech and underwent sensitivity training.
According to Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer, Lars's release came after he no-showed a TV taping. But why didn't WWE terminate Sullivan's contract after his initial offense?
The answer is because Vince McMahon will turn a blind eye to a wrestler's repugnancy if he deems them a valuable asset to his vision. McMahon only feels compelled to discipline a coveted member of his roster if it keeps sponsors and shareholders happy.
WWE has a storied history of looking the other way when a top superstar violates company policy or breaks the law. They've been very transparent when some of their employees have done so, but they've consistently made exceptions for wrestlers who were big earners and upper management favorites.
For example, in 1983, WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka was the prime suspect in the murder of his girlfriend, Nancy Argentino. Despite not being charged until 32 years after Argentino's death, Snuka's involvement in such a tragic ordeal should've been grounds for dismissal.
But his popularity amongst fans of the then-WWF was too valuable for the company, both literally and figuratively. Snuka was a recurring act in WWE until his death in 2017.
Jimmy Snuka and Nancy Argentino
In June 2020, NXT Superstar Velveteen Dream became one of the many wrestlers hit with claims of sexual abuse during professional wrestling's #SpeakingOut movement. Dream (real name Patrick Clark Jr.) allegedly sent nude photos of himself to a minor.
WWE removed Velveteen Dream from television pending an investigation — only for him to return to TV two months later. He, like Sullivan, is another superstar that the higher-ups believe to be the future of the business.
Now, according to the dirt sheets, Dream's days in WWE are coming to an end. The level of controversy surrounding his presence in the company doesn't seem to be going away as they intended. Had WWE ripped the band-aid off and released him in June of last year, there wouldn't be a need to do so now.
Sullivan's long-overdue release only highlights WWE's repeated avoidance of accountability. They pride themselves on being a company that celebrates inclusion and diversity but have dawdled to remove employees who haven't done so and who've done worse.
Moving forward, WWE has to remove its biases when penalizing popular superstars. Keeping a problematic superstar on the roster may pay-off in the short term, but it will cost Vince McMahon so much more in the long run.
Earlier this week we released the first half of our 2021 power rankings for the upcoming MLB season.
Now that we know who ranks 30-16, we can take a look at the rest of the 15 teams, most of whom will be vying for playoff positions and dreaming about a World Series championship. It's been a wild offseason so far as we've seen a handful of superstar players finding new homes, and top contenders have gotten even better as teams attempt to separate themselves from the rest of the competition.
The Padres, Mets, and Cardinals all made attempts to improve their rosters to catch up with the Dodgers, but the defending champs made a splashy move themselves by signing one of the biggest fish in the free agent pond this winter by acquiring starting pitcher Trevor Bauer who they lured away from the Cincinnati Reds.
Position players, you’re up! https://t.co/N9LADklt0r— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Los Angeles Dodgers)1614015548.0
2021 may be a season that depicts the haves and the have-not's more than any other in recent history. Thus far, we've seen the top teams spending to get better, and the bottom dwellers shedding whatever talent they have left to build for the future. Let's take a look at the teams that have a good shot to win this season.
15. Los Angeles Angels
2020: Finished 4th in AL West (26-34)
This is a perfect spot for the Angels dead center in the middle of the rankings. The Angels have had Mike Trout for his entire illustrious career, and the entire duration of it has been an utter and complete waste. Trout is undoubtedly one of the most individually talented players the league has seen in 100 years, but whether it's his mentality, leadership skills, or an incapable organization around him, it hasn't resulted in any tangible success.
High, middle, or low, @MikeTrout can hit everything. https://t.co/NdBVWjSJWW— MLB (@MLB)1613781559.0
The team added some arms to help with their effort to leap over the A's and/or Astros in the standings this year, but offensively they only get Shohei Ohtani back, maybe? The fact that Trout has been able to go through most of his career without being criticized for his inability to help his team to the postseason baffles me. Don't forget that Trout had the opportunity to leave the Angels and test free agency to find himself in a better situation to win, but he chose to stay in California collecting a half billion dollar check while toiling in Middlesville USA with the Angels.
The 2021 MLB season is coming sooner than you'd think, judging by the temperatures we're seeing across the country.
As spring training is right around the corner, FindBet is releasing their initial power rankings for the 2021 season. These rankings will be updated throughout the season; but based on what teams have done since the end of last year, here are where we see all 30 teams standing going into this new campaign.
Whether it all falls down like Kim and Kanye's marriage or you found your only one, scouring through the waiver wire is bound to leave you paranoid.
But if you want to be stronger and have more power in your fantasy leagues, take four, five seconds (or more) to read this column so you can find free-agent gems like a gold digger or drop a player that you don't like.
Here are some amazing and not so amazing players from the last week to help your team become champions.