On the February 12 episode of AEW Dynamite, Nyla Rose made professional wrestling history when she defeated Riho to become the company's new Women's World Champion -- a first for transgender women in major United States promotions, per Fightful. This victory, however, came with its share of controversy, as former WWE superstar Val Venis has been taking to social media in recent days to criticize AEW's decision to place its women's title on Rose, while also blasting the wrestling business in general for what he sees as an overemphasis on political correctness.
As cited by Ringside News, Venis posted multiple tweets in the aftermath of Rose's big win, including a meme where he said he identifies as a Great Dane, thus qualifying him to win the XL Dog title at the Westminster Dog Show. He then shared a follow-up post, claiming to be "pro-women" but also stressing that he believes women's wrestling should only be reserved for biological females.
"When I turn on the mind numbing boob-tube to watch two women wrestle for the championship, I expect to see REAL WOMEN wrestling," Venis was quoted as saying.
"The Soy Boy Social Justice Warriors and anti-women morons who have taken over the writers duties in pro wrestling have forced The Big Valbowski to adjust his catch phrase to better reflect reality."In addition to the above tweets, the former WWE Intercontinental Champion took to Facebook, where, in a post that has since been deleted, he fired shots at AEW for "[making] a man" its new Women's Champion -- a direct reference to Rose's title win.
Venis, whose real name is Sean Morley, also criticized WWE in this post for its rumored plans to remove the gender designations from its women's titles, and Impact Wrestling for making Tessa Blanchard its first-ever female World Champion. Ringside News, however, pointed out that the rumors about WWE removing the word "women's" from its female-only belts have already been debunked by company executive Paul "Triple H" Levesque.
As of late Saturday night, Venis was still speaking about the issue on Twitter, where he replied to a follower and said it's not fair to allow someone who was born male to compete in an all-female wrestling division.
"#Realism. #PortaryingFairness Nothing fair about a MALE ATHLETE competing in a sport meant for WOMEN ATHLETES. #RealLife #RealIssues"Amid Venis' continued criticism, one of his colleagues, Eric Simms, recently posted on Facebook to clear the air and clarify the controversial remarks. As quoted by Ringside News, Simms said that Venis is actually a fan of Rose's but is more critical of how AEW has booked her, noting that the former WWE star has "some strong opinions based on facts." He also teased the possibility of Venis and Rose going up against each other in a wrestling match, but "[needing] a promotion to do it with."