Former WWE superstar Abraham Washington made headlines back in 2012 when he was fired by the company for an unscripted on-air joke he made about Kobe Bryant’s rape case. At the time, he blamed Linda McMahon for the company releasing him, but he appears to have changed his opinion in recent years.
During a conversation with Wrestling Inc, Washington revealed that he may have overreacted to being let go, and has since made amends with the company over the way he handled the situation.
“Honestly, at the time I was hurt and shocked that I was released. So I said things that were unfortunate and I regret saying those things. I’ve since apologized to WWE and I’ve put it all behind me with a clean slate. But I’m very regretful for that stuff. I’m not sure what it was at the time as I was kinda reaching for straws. It was seven years ago so at this point, I can’t even say.”
Washington’s comments occurred during a time when McMahon was running for a senate seat as a member of the Republican Party. To aid her campaign, WWE steered clear of controversial storylines and superstars, and Washington believed that he was let go at her request.
Upon being fired, Washington took to social media to highlight WWE’s hypocrisy given the company’s track record when it came to pushing the envelope. He cited the necrophilia storyline involving Kane, Triple H, and Katie Vick as one example of WWE overstepping the mark.
Washington also recalled how he didn’t think twice about making the joke during his segment. However, when he got backstage, he “felt the heat,” although he didn’t expect to be fired. The superstar assumed that he’d get a slap on the wrist and everyone would move on, but that wasn’t the case.
The former superstar also suggested that the reason he was fired was because he went into business for himself. He was instructed on what to say prior to his promo, but by going off script, he risked disrupting the company’s plans to make the show as best as it could be, while also risking its standing with advertisers.
Washington has been absent from WWE television for seven years, but he revealed that he’s open to returning to the company and reprising his character.
Washington’s joke also didn’t have any long-term effects on McMahon’s political year. She was appointed to Donald Trump’s cabinet in 2016, only to step down earlier this year to aid in the president’s 2020 re-election campaign.