There is a new back and forth going on between Dawn Marie and Mike Quackenbush that all started when Quackenbush and CHIKARA cut ties with Joey Styles over his controversial joke at last weekend’s EVOLVE 72 iPPV. Dawn Marie penned the following open letter:
As many of you know I have stepped away from the wrestling business many years ago. I don't even watch the programming and there are maybe a handful of people I still call friends. I like to think of it as I divorced the business. Unfortunately, just as with any divorce, your ex-spouse will do or say something stupid and you find yourself dragged back into something you are trying to move on from. I happen to stumble upon a post a friend in the business made on their social media in regards to their support for Joey Styles. I had no idea what she could be taking about so curiosity killed the cat and I googed Joeys name. I was appalled… NOT ONLY by the sheer bulls--t I was reading but the fat that two of the three parties that were directly involved were not in the business through merit but had to buy their way into it.
I would like to make myself very clear I am not writing this open letter because of a friendship with Joey Styles or any underlying animosity with the other two. A matter of fact I haven't seen or talked to any of them in almost a decade or longer. The only reason I have chosen to step out of the shadows and make my voice heard is because I couldn't keep quite while watching the deterioration of a business I once love more than I probably loved myself during my tenure.
I remember Quackenbush as a kind when we both broke onto the east coast Indy scene. He had a different style about him and he was small for the industry but skill full. In the locker room, he was often the punchline for a roll of the eyes or a joke amongst the veterans passing through for a payday or with the boys that later became contract wrestlers (pros) because instead of trying to carve a nitch and create greatness with his God given talent, he chose to maneuver around the internet and manipulate his own notoriety. This was the era of the Smart Marks. I am saddened that now as an accomplished author and man he used this situation to push and promote his company. He has been around long enough to know the good guys from the bad guys in the business.
I am saddened by Gabe's actions. He should know better than anyone what a 'p---y' move he made as he tried to fill the shoes of his idol Paul Heyman. If you are going to use the Heyman playbook, and suggest to use shock commentating or storyline to elevate your promotion, you better be half the man Heyman was to back that s--t up. Note to Gabe: Paul would have NEVER EVER back down and b a p---y like you did. Not only would he had used this controversy to profit, he would have constructed something that Joey was protected and elevated within the industry. Shame on you! That is straight out of the Paul Heyman playbook 101.
Shame on you for tarnishing a man's name that was small in stature like you but chose to hone his craft and worked hard to EARN his spot in the history books
Shame on you for using the internet once again to feed your self-declared and manufactured moniker
To the fans:
Shame on you the fans that buy into this bulls--t and allow once again these Pariahs manipulate your thoughts for self-elevation, steal your money and laugh about it
To Joey Styles:
Shame on you Joey Styles for Hanging your head down low and allowing these synthetic inorganic people use your ingenious talent to elevate themselves because they themselves could never accomplish or create a mark on this industry as you have.
To My Fellow (Contract) Professional wrestling brothers:
Since many of you are still looking to create greatness and are worried about being politically correct I will say it on behalf of all of the boys that feel the same way.
F**k you Quackenbush, you'll never be one of the boys no matter how talented you are in the ring, no matter how hard you try or how many promotions you manufacture to exist in because the REAL business of wrestling is done in the back amongst the men that honor and respect those who came before them. The men that were hand selected and given the business from an old school veteran. This is the greatest business in the world because it was built on the tradition, legacy, and most of all rules. Some like to refer to these rules as locker room etiquette which you have shown none in the way you handled your business of termination in a blog post.
F**k you Gabe it's about time you grow some balls and throw away the p---y that you've been hiding in those cheap suits trying to emulate Paul Heyman while you PLAY WRESTLING.
That's right I said the word p---y 4 times and Joey didn't say it once. If you don't like it change the damn channel. The only thing this east coast sludge fest is missing is if God love his soul, Dennis Carluzzo, rose up from his grave to get into the mix just for sh*ts and giggles.
Here was Mike Quackenbush’s response:
Got a letter that was kinda angry, but also, kinda true.
It's true that when I was first breaking on the East Coast independent scene I was different, and by wrestling standards of the day, small. I was 19 years old, dumb, gawky and immature; I liked weird wrestling styles and did overly-complicated moves and showed up in my pathetic homemade gear. People rolled their eyes, and I was often the punchline of jokes. In the locker room, it was always made clear I did not belong. I was made to know it backstage, and sometimes, made to feel it in the ring.
Back then, I was starting as a freelance writer for the wrestling magazines of the day. Insider newsletters were growing in popularity to keep pace with the Monday Night Wars, and the internet was expanding exponentially. I had connections in all those realms, and it's true that I manufactured my notoriety. I manipulated every aspect of the media that was available to me for maximum exposure and coverage. I did it shamelessly. There's no denying the truth of that.
It's true that I was never one of the boys. The generation of pro-wrestlers, and managers, and valets, that think the only way to honor tradition and legacy is by clinging to the old ways of doing things…I will never be one of them. The performers who were hand-selected, because of their size and stature, and then afforded every opportunity at success by the old guard…I will never be one of them. That old paradigm has no room for an undersized nerd with a pathetic homemade costume and weird ideas about "the business." For that reason, and for so many more, I will never be one of them. It's so true
I think about the favored few, those well-tanned guys and their awesome physiques, and those gorgeous ladies and their perfect poise, and me - the awkward neurotic freak in their midst. They were not my tribe. I've always been a misfit toy and no matter how hard I work, that will never change…and I guess in the intervening decades I forgot that. I needed to be reminded, and luckily, this letter said just that in explicit terms that could not be ignored.
Thank you. Thank you for reminding me not just that I am an outcast, but also the feeling of being ostracized. You've given me new resolve. This simple reminder of the sting of exclusion makes it so clear to me that pro-wrestling must grow to include everyone. These last couple days have been filled with impossibly complicated decisions and conversations, and I'd be lying if I said I haven't second-guessed the things I've said and done.
It's been so hard. But nowhere near as hard as it was to swim with the sharks that mocked me, and pummeled me. Thank you for the insults and the lumps that have made me who I am today. Thank you for excluding me, so that I could grow up to learn the value of inclusion.
I'm not that gawky kid in the homemade gear anymore. And better still: I've found my tribe. Because I've spoken loud enough and often enough about what I believe professional wrestling can be, I've attracted a tribe all my own. So many misfit toys in one place, we are practically an island unto ourselves. We are not the hand-selected. We are not the favored few. We will never be one of them, and we wouldn't have it any other way. I had only to read this letter, and then it Dawned on me: my responsibility is to manipulate and manufacture an island where no misfit toy will ever feel the alienation that I did.
Ideologies like the one in this letter, they are relics of the past. And yes, the old paradigm has written the history books. But the future? That is ours to write.
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