As reported by The Inquisitr, the December 4 episode of Friday Night SmackDown saw ex-Forgotten Sons members Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake return to television after a six-month-plus absence, accompanying “King” Baron Corbin to the ring and helping him defeat Murphy in singles action. With their former stable’s leader, Jaxson Ryker, still inactive after all those months, a recent report provided an update on his status, noting that he is still dealing with the fallout from the controversial social media comments that led to his group’s banishment from the blue brand.
Quoting a subscriber-only report from Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select, Sportskeeda wrote on Saturday that Ryker still has “heat” with WWE officials. Since his last TV appearance, the former U.S. Marine has remained at home in North Carolina and has reportedly not been asked to fly to Orlando for tapings “in months.” It was also explained that there was one time when Ryker apparently wasn’t included in the company’s internal roster sheets.
Regarding the reason why only Cutler and Blake were brought back, Sapp wrote that there hasn’t been any heat on the duo, who publicly distanced themselves from Ryker’s remarks shortly after he first earned the ire of fans and colleagues for a pro-Donald Trump tweet that used his faction’s catchphrase. As for the Forgotten Sons leader, Sapp cited a source who claimed that WWE officials feel he isn’t “worth the risk of bad publicity of being on TV” at this point. He further claimed that the promotion wasn’t even high on him even before his social media posts drew negative attention.
Following his pro-Trump tweet, Ryker found himself facing even greater backlash when a few previous posts were unearthed, including one where he blasted the Black Lives Matter movement. Last month, he deleted his social media accounts in the aftermath of another controversy, one in which he retweeted a post that criticized the use of face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
If WWE decides to part ways with Ryker, he won’t be the first SmackDown superstar in recent months to be fired over their online activity away from the ring. As documented by SB Nation, the company released Zelina Vega in November, shortly after she took to Twitter to express her support for unionization in the wrestling business. Although it didn’t seem that the post was directly responsible for her firing, veteran combat sports journalist Dave Meltzer wrote that Vega allegedly upset officials when she refused to provide information about her personal Twitch account and later on created an account on another third-party platform.