On Friday August 30th, 2019, Revolution Pro Wrestling held the final match for an IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Tournament, with the winner going on to the New Japan Pro Wrestling show in London on the next night.
Referee Aaren Wilde officiated the match between Sha Samuels and Josh Bodom vs Aussie Open at the annual Summer Sizzler show on August 30th, 2019. Wilde counted to three when Bodom didn’t kick out in what was not the planned finish. Sha slammed Aaren to cover for the early finish and Aaren rolled to ringside. Josh Bodom proceeded to beat on Aaren at ringside, and even kicked Aaren in the face. Referee “bumps” and spots like such are usually planned before hand with all parties, but not this time.
Aaren Wilde’s original statement:
On September 7th, 2019, Aaren tweeted about his experiences for the first time.
These tweets read:
Last weekend at RevPro I was attacked after the Royal Quest tag match. This was not part of the show, it was not planned.
I was grabbed and slammed to the mat by Sha and then something happened on the outside. I honestly don’t know what, that part was a blur.
As a result, I have sustained a much-more-serious-than-originally-thought neck and shoulder injury that means I am no longer able to referee.
I hate the term ‘retire’, so I’ll say this; I am indefinitely unable to referee due to medical restrictions.
The intended winners(Aussies) still wo, albeit 5 minutes quicker on a show that ran over by 45 minutes. I am still shocked, upset and in disbelief at why this happened and why it had been condoned by RevPro/Andy Quildan.
500+ matches, 1 botched ending. That one.
I have spent the last 7/8 days in many feelings. Anger, sadness, frustration. I truly adored performing as a referee ad now at least for the foreseeable future, I am medically unable to do so.
I truly hope I can recover to pursue it again.
There are so many things that can be said about last weekend, but I would prefer to not write an essay of negativity.
For now I am also unable to football referee (my main income) due to the injury.
If you have a few spare pennies, I won’t say no: PayPal.me/OfMiceAndMoveZ
Thank you for a wonderful few years in professional wrestling. I am distraught that it had to end this way. Support promotions that value performer and spectator welfare: @RIPTIDEwres, @ThisIs_Progress, @FutureShockWres that I know of.
I’ll be back when I mentally can be
Revolution Pro Wrestling’s response:
Andy Quildan, the owner of Revolution Pro Wrestling, put out a strong statement and has taken action where needed. Sha and Bodom have been stripped of the tag belts and ties with Bodom have been severed by RPW.
In light of allegations shared by referee Aaren Wilde we would like to make an official statement on the incident.
We stress that we had no contact from Aaren throughout the week and had any of these allegations & the severity of them been presented to us prior to the series of tweets presented yesterday we would have made immediate action. Whilst some may see our silence as damning we felt it important that we gathered all facts before coming to a conclusion and presenting to you our results. We hope you can respect that fact.
This is not something that was ever going to be dragged out and whilst we had reached these conclusions this morning we wanted to communicate with Aaren before making anything public or even typing a word about them.
We have spoken to all parties involved and reviewed all footage and have reached the following conclusions:
– Whilst we do not condone his actions we believe from Samuel’s versions of events and the corroborating video that he made
horrible error of judgment. However he did his upmost to protect the referee. We are not making excuses for him, nor would he want us to, but after explaining the severity of the situation we are confident that he understands what he did is wrong. Under no circumstances should he have put his hands on a non-wrestler without prior consent. Sha will undertake an internal disciplinary
and will be on zero tolerance should any future incidents occur. However we are confident given his track record he will respond to this in the most positive manner possible.
– Unfortunately, Bodom’s actions do not match up with his recollection of events. This has left us with no option but to indefinitely sever ties with him. His actions should not and will not be tolerated and we hope that this sends a clear message of that fact. We hope that Josh will be able to reflect upon these actions and use them as an opportunity to learn and grow as a human being moving forward.
– Obviously in light of all of this Sha Samuels and Josh Bodom have been stripped of the Undisputed British Tag Team Championships effective immediately.
– One thing that’s been playing on our minds is that it took so long for us to realise there was an issue & we are aware that this unacceptable and has to change. In light of this we will be instituting an internal incident report policy. This is a similar form to
what we use to report any incidents with crowd members but will be specifically used for our crew of performers both in and out of the ring. A simple centrally stored form that is easily accessible that can be filled out and e-mailed to management should there be ANY concerns or the need for an official complaint. We believe that had a system like this been in place then this matter would have been dealt with n a more timely fashion and we hope that it will take away any pressures of having your concerns
taken seriously. We will actively be encouraging all wrestling promotions to adopt a similar policy.
– Likewise we would like to encourage any fans to contact us directly should they see something they are not satisfied with or are
concerned about. We believe with more open lines of communication we can address any issues head on.
We’ve apologised privately and now we are apologising publicly to Aaren. If he feels that we in any way, shape or form condoned what happened on the show, we can assure you we did not. Should he be unable to referee moving forward we are hoping to work with Aaren to put his talents to use in other areas of the business, should he wish to do so.
Sha Samuels’ response:
Samuels responded with this:
“I’m going to address this once, and that’s it. A mistake happened during our match last week. As a performer, thinking on my feet, I scoop slammed the referee (as safely as possible) and cut a promo saying it was a “stitch up”. …….
I got kicked in the face to the pleasure of the audience for my trouble and hoped the mistake was forgotten about. At the time I was only concerned about the integrity of the match. We spoke afterwards, and all seemed well.
I can only apologise for what happened…..
I genuinely believed I had done nothing wrong, but have now had my eyes opened and educated to the fact that regardless how safe you are, you should never assume it is ok to get physical with a non-wrestling member of the crew on the fly. I guess I have been too comfortable with the way things used to be. Things are different now.
I have reached out to Aaren privately and understand if he wants to take his time to get back to me, or if he doesn’t want to speak to me at all.
I wish he had reached out to me privately…..
I would never endanger anyone in a professional environment, no matter what the issue.
My peers know how safe and professional I am and can only apologise again to anyone who has been affected.
Wasn’t meant to share this, but feel I need to protect myself. Here is the slam, as you can see I’ve protected him.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.
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Sha Samuels put out a genuine apology and covered his actions, while Bodom blamed the referee then deleted his Twitter account when footage emerged of the physicality in question.
At this point Josh Bodom’s twitter account has not been reinstated and no public apology has been issued.