In a bizarre interview which has left a bad taste in the mouth of many a fan, WWE legend D-Von Dudley last week came out as gay during an interview on the latest episode of the Table Talk podcast, only to later retract the comments, saying it was all a joke.

During the interview the 48-year-old retired professional wrestler, who made his debut in 1995, launched into a tirade about how ‘dirt sheets’ – a term used for wrestling news blogs – wouldn’t print his “coming out story”

During the interview the 48-year-old retired professional wrestler, who made his debut in 1995, launched into a tirade about how dirt sheets’ – a term used for wrestling news blogs – wouldn’t print his “coming out story”.

“I came out the closet. I tried to say I was gay, and I tried to come out of the closet and tell the truth. They don’t want to print that. They don’t want to say that. I tried to say I was going to be on RuPaul’s Drag Race. They didn’t want to print that either.

“I’m upset. They can put bogus things like me falling in love with Stephanie McMahon, my health issues like I’m dying, they can put all of that up but they can’t admit that I’m coming out the closet. I’m upset,” said Dudley.

A number of journalists who jumped the gun, publishing the quotes verbatim were later caught out, with Dudley taking to Twitter to address these outlets.

I think it’s funny. I didn’t think they would bite but they did. LOL I need to make up things more often. Lmao let them keep writing. I’ll look at it this way they must be watching a show every week to see what I’m gonna say I think that’s hilarious (sic)”

When a follower replied asking him to clarify whether he was actually gay or not, he responded with, “No I’m not.”

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 It’s evident that Dudley gave very little thought to the consequences of his words and actions, with many quick to condemn the WWE legend, including Sydney-based wrestler Nikki Van Blair who started training in 2017 and has been active in the wrestling scene ever since.

Speaking with Star Observer, Van Blair told us that they “felt really disappointed by it to be honest. It’s shitting on the whole coming out experience that you face. If this person can just say they are coming out as gay as a joke, it makes the whole coming out experience a joke.

“If a teen or someone younger who is quite impressionable saw that, it would make the coming out experience harder for them. I’m really disappointed it has happened.”

Unfortunately, Dudley’s recent tirade speaks only to broader issues of an endemic problem with homophobia within wrestling. An issue which was demonstrated last year when Colorado-born wrestler Lars Sullivan was fined $100,000 for making homophobic comments.

We are a minority group already outside of wrestling but to incorporate that in the wrestling world it’s an even smaller group. Identifying as a queer wrestler can be quite difficult,” Van Blair said, adding that Dudley’s actions “could potentially influence some people to pretend to be queer to get some sort of clout, which I don’t agree with.

“We as queer people and queer wrestlers go through so much to try and find acceptance, so for people to pretend to be something that they are not just for some clout is just really pathetic.

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