About Us  |   Contact

Joey Styles addresses being fired by EVOLVE Wrestling

After being fired for making a misogynistic and politically-themed joke toward ring announcer Joanna Rose at EVOLVE 72 on Saturday night, Joey Styles addressed the matter in an open letter that appeared on PWInsider.

Styles attempted to explain the misstep by claiming that he panicked after the segment occurred at ringside instead of in the ring as he anticipated:

"I told Joanna before the show that during my promo with her and Stokely in the ring, I was going to ask her about English tailoring so we could compare my suit with Stokely Hathaway's suit.

I had no idea what to say when Stokely Hathaway and I were at ringside about to trade promos and I didn't have Joanna with us to ask about English tailoring.

I panicked and I did exactly what Gabe Sapolsky told me not to do earlier in the week and made a political joke. The joke included a partial quote from the President-Elect that was meant to mock him and then, in-turn, my scripted nemesis, Stokely Hathaway.

I started the joke and stopped quoting the President-Elect without using the offensive word.

Again, I did not utter the offensive word.

I then turned to Stokely Hathaway and said "the word that I will not use, brings me to you."

In the letter, Styles also said that he was the one to suggest that EVOLVE head Gabe Sapolsky fire him publicly so that Sapolsky wouldn't be put in the position of having to decide to fire someone that he'd known for so long:

"After the event, I looked Gabe in the eye, apologized to him, and as not as to put him in the awkward position of having to fire someone he has known for 20 years, told him to fire me publicly and then shook his hand.

I apologized to Joanna who said she said she wasn't upset because she knew it was a joke about the President-Elect. It didn't matter if she was upset or not, therefore I apologized to her again, repeatedly."

Styles said that he apologized to the EVOLVE locker room as well:

"I apologized to the locker room and the wrestlers weren't upset. It didn't matter if they were upset, therefore I apologized to the wrestlers again, repeatedly."

With EVOLVE 72 being the promotion's first live event on FloSlam, Styles said that he also apologized to FloSports managing editor Jeremy Botter. He thanked FloSlam for editing the comments out of the show's replay.

Styles concluded the letter by saying that he accompanied EVOLVE Champion Timothy Thatcher to the hospital after Thatcher had suffered a concussion in the show's main event. He noted that he made the decision to not speak about the matter until Monday so that it wouldn't take attention away from EVOLVE 73 on Sunday night.

UPDATE: Both CHIKARA and Beyond Wrestling announced on Monday that they have terminated their relationships with Styles. Botter also commented on the situation in a series of tweets, refuting Styles' claim that he wasn't upset about the comments.

Botter's tweets: "For the record: Joey Styles' claim that I wasn't upset is false and a mischaracterization of what actually happened. I was upset. When Joey approached me to apologize, I was more concerned about Thatcher, who was being loaded into a car going to the hospital. But to say I was not upset is false, and I support Gabe's decision 100%. This will be my last comment on the matter."