Last week, WWE had quite the nightmare on their hands when private photos and videos of WWE Superstar Paige were leaked on the internet. There was a storm on the internet, with forums abuzz with discussion. Despite all the noise being created, WWE is unlikely to do anything, and will instead let this whole affair blow over. In fact, according to the Wrestling Observer Radio, they are not going to punish anyone at all.
They say that it would be in WWE’s best interests to let the whole thing tide over and run its course. It would be bad for them to fire Paige because it wasn’t her fault that her account was hacked and her photos were leaked. The company faced similar circumstances when Seth Rollins had pictures leaked online. Rollins was not punished at all, and actually became the WWE World Heavyweight Champion shortly after the pictures were leaked, though it is unlikely that the pictures had anything to do with that.
Much more recently, commentator Tom Phillips was allegedly caught having an affair. An Instagram post of a screenshot of a text conversation between Phillips and a woman featured a few explicit messages sent by Phillips himself. While early reports claimed he was released by the company, he was not. In fact, he was the lead announcer for the most recent episode of Smackdownbecause Mauro Ranallo missed the episode.
It was reported that the New Day may be absent from Raw, but they made a televised appearance on the show. Xavier Woods, who was in one of the leaked videos, did not say anything, but New Day members Big E and Kofi Kingston commented on-screen that he “had an exciting weekend.” Many feel that Woods was not punished due to his role in the New Day. The stable is seen as a merchandise mover, with them selling shirts, and more recently, their own breakfast cereal, Booty O’s. Since the group is one of the most popular groups in WWE today, and because they make so much money for the company, Woods is seen as a very important superstar. In fact, the trio will be appearing at Wrestlemania 33 as the hosts of the event.
If WWE wishes to avoid a PR nightmare, they will not punish Paige. It would raise all sorts of questions and inquiries about double standards within the company. After all, Rollins, Phillips, and Woods were not punished or fired. Why then would they fire Paige? It would have been an even bigger storm if WWE punished Woods. In a company long struggling with an image of racism, anything done to Woods over things he had no control over would be seen as a bigoted and racist move.
There are also rumors that WWE is hoping to bring back Hulk Hogan for Wrestlemania. Despite seemingly blacklisting him after he made racist comments, they have slowly brought him back. They mention him in ads and videos and even use video footage of him. It would seem counter-intuitive to fire superstars over a leaked video when Hogan himself had a leaked video. He sued Gawker for publishing the video online, and he won the case.
It is currently unclear when Paige plans on returning, if she plans on returning at all. She was put on the shelf following neck and nerve injuries, and she picked up two back-to-back Wellness Policy violations. She was also separated from boyfriend Alberto Del Rio in the WWE draft while other couples were kept together. Many wonder when Paige will return, or if she is even mentally and physically healthy enough to ever step back in the ring.
[Featured Image by WWE]