Media covers Joe Gacy’s “woke” NXT character, WWE removes related content

Sep 23, 2021 - by Marc Middleton

WWE has removed all references to the new “woke” gimmick debuted by Joe Gacy on this week’s WWE NXT 2.0 episode.

As noted, this week’s NXT 2.0 episode saw Gacy come out and cut a promo on how the ring is a safe space, and NXT is home to the smallest microaggressions to the biggest grudges, but the ring is where differences are settled. He went on about how he brings a mindset of conflict resolution, and doesn’t need to use male privilege to get what he wants as he understands that life isn’t fair, but he believes we can achieve unity and tolerance for all, and he is the man that will show us how to achieve peace in the safe space that is the ring. He then lost to Cameron Grimes. Gacy worked the match while smiling at times, and offered his hand for a post-match shake. Grimes shook his hand but Gacy pulled him in for a hug and then left all smiles.

In an update, WWE has removed video from the Gacy vs. Grimes YouTube video, plus all related tweets. The video was also removed from the WWE website library. The only remaining sign of Gacy’s new politically correct gimmick is this week’s NXT photo gallery on the WWE website.

It should be noted that the Gacy segment is still available for viewing on the NXT 2.0 episode that was just added to Peacock and the WWE Network.

WWE received some mainstream press for Gacy’s new gimmick today as several outlets published articles.

FOX News published an article on the Gacy gimmick with a headline that reads, “WWE pins woke left with controversial new wrestler”

The New York Post picked up on FOX’s coverage, with a headline that reads, “WWE pokes fun at the woke left with new wrestler”

It looks like WWE deleted their related tweets and videos after the mainstream media coverage as the various articles linked to tweets that are no longer available. It also appears Gacy deleted related posts from his Instagram page as the mainstream articles used photos that were sourced from his Instagram page, but are no longer visible on his feed.

The FOX article noted, “WWE has just bodyslammed the woke left. In the latest broadcast Tuesday of NXT 2.0, which showcases the up-and-coming pro wrestling stars from its developmental system, WWE introduced a character called Joe Gacy, who immediately raised the eyebrows of fans in the arena and the TV audience when he started spouting some of the trademark rhetoric of the woke left.”

Elsewhere in the FOX article they wrote, “It’s unclear whether Joe Gacy will return or if he is a one-time WWE experiment. Critics may argue WWE may be attempting to generate some headlines as rival promotion AEW (All Elite Wrestling) has created loads of buzz with critically acclaimed shows, ratings victories in the key 18-49 demographic and recent high-profile signings of a string of former WWE stars. Vince McMahon, WWE chairman and CEO, has a history of capitalizing on politically charged issues. At the height of tensions between the U.S. and Iran and the Soviet Union in the 1980s, the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff became WWE’s most hated villains as they spewed anti-American rhetoric, waved the flags of America’s enemies and demanded fans respect the singing of the Soviet national anthem. In 1990, as the Gulf War began, WWE’s most despised star was Sgt. Slaughter, whose in-ring character had turned his back on the U.S. and had become an Iraqi sympathizer. In recent years, McMahon has avoided mixing politics and sports entertainment. His wife, Linda McMahon’s, role as administrator of the Small Business Administration under President Trump never infiltrated WWE programming. Trump’s past involvement in WWE and membership in its hall of fame have been downplayed. McMahon’s mantra has been to provide fans an escape from the everyday and put ‘out smiles on people’s faces.’ However, after the debut of Joe Gacy, the woke left may not be smiling too much.”

The NY Post also posted a YouTube video on the gimmick, which you can see below. The Dr. Steve Turley YouTube channel, which has almost 800,000 subscribers, also did a commentary video on Gacy’s new NXT 2.0 character.

Gacy has not commented on the new gimmick but on Wednesday he tweeted a photo of the hug with Grimes and wrote, “Thank you”

Gacy signed with WWE in August 2020 after the purchase of EVOLVE. He made his debut on the July 2, 2021 WWE 205 Live episode, defeating Desmond Troy in a qualifier for the 2021 NXT Breakout Tournament. He later lost to Trey Baxter in the first round. Gacy has worked a handful of 205 Live matches since then.

Stay tuned for more on the status of Gacy’s new gimmick. You can see related posts below:

4 Responses

  1. John says:

    This is why wwe will never be edgy again because people can’t even accept to have people parody other people in modern times without feeling sensitive and getting offended.

    I wish this character stayed, it is something fresh and new but cry babies can’t let us enjoy this.

  2. Pisto75666 says:

    Edgy= offensive. Faux Snooze doesn’t realize that while Iron Sheik and Volkoff were anti-American characters, they were parodies. They didn’t exist just to make fun of people. But then, the right’s always been terrible at humor.

  3. art123guy says:

    @John–The article didn’t say anyone complained. I wonder if Vince is more concerned with some people taking what was said to the extreme. Who knows? Vince has no one to blame but himself since he’s running NXT now.

    I watched the segment last night on Hulu. No mention on if they removed it from there.

    I think I’d be more concerned using the name ‘Gacy’, but hey, I live in Illinois so maybe that’s just a regional thing.

  4. Disgruntled Jobber says:

    @Pisto Spot on. Sheik, Volfoff, Slaughter all existed to give people a way to vent frustrations.

    @Art: Until now, I thought the fuss was all about the Gacy name. This may have been something Vince thought was going to work, after Grand Slam however, he may have realized he has to change gears and go in another direction as far as creative goes.

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