By Jason Powell
It’s been a week since the news broke that WWE suspended Titus O’Neil. Initially, they suspended him for 90 days. Then they cut it to 60 days. Jim Ross reported on Monday that they fined him in addition to suspending him. [I reached out to WWE to ask what happens to any fine money collected from talent. I was hoping to learn that they donate the money to charity, but they have not responded as of this update.]
The New York Post needed a good headline so they rounded up a bunch of tweets from random fans that somehow surmised that the suspension was racially motivated. I don’t even want to hear that Vince McMahon would not have suspended John Cena, Brock Lesnar, or any top white wrestler. The key words in that sentence are not “white wrestler.” The key words are “top wrestler.” Pick a wrestler of any race, color, or creed who has a shares a similar spot on the roster with Titus and the end result would be the same.
Ryan Satin of ProwrestlingSheet.com reported that Titus used the line “Ladies first” when he grabbed Vince because he felt Stephanie McMahon should have been allowed to exit before her father.
If that’s the case, then Titus O’Neil acted like an idiot. A chivalrous idiot maybe, but an idiot nonetheless.
Titus either did this because he thought being on live television was a great place to teach his boss a lesson in chivalry or because he thought he was being cute. The end of an emotional retirement segment on live television is not the best place to teach your boss a lesson in anything. The alternative that Titus thought this was the time and place to be cute is even more asinine. Did he really think Vince McMahon was going hear those words, slap his knee, and then share a good belly laugh with him? Come on.
If you disagree with this, then take the Titus O’Neil Test at work. The only requirement is that you must have an Alpha Male boss. I doubt you can take the test on television, but that’s okay. Just be sure to catch him when you are in plain sight of your co-workers and when you can tell that your boss is not in a joking mood.
As your Alpha Male boss swaggers by, grab his arm from behind and drop the “ladies first” line while nodding your head in the direction of any female walking in a group behind him. I don’t know if your boss will shove you, and I don’t know if your boss will suspended for 60 days, but I also don’t know that your boss won’t fire you on the spot for acting like an idiot.
Sure, I think it’s a bit much that Titus is suspended through WrestleMania. After all, his 60-day suspension is twice as long as a Wellness Policy violation. Still, people need to stop acting like Vince McMahon is a soulless monster who is punishing a man who did nothing wrong. Go ahead and debate the severity of the punishment, but stop claiming that no punishment was warranted. It was a stupid move by Titus O’Neil. He’s not a kid. He’s not a rookie. He should have known better.
It’s also quite possible that Titus O’Neil violated the terms of his contract, or some Internal Policy, which is meant to protect co-workers / talent from conduct that can be viewed as harassment.
For example, grabbing another talent unexpectedly while in front of the camera could be prohibited according to the fine print somewhere.
The internet fans are assuming this is all about Vince’s ego, which may not be true at all.
Reports on the matter have stated Titus realizes he dis something stupid and was willing to accept a release if they felt it was needed.
100% agree with your reasoning here. For all of the good that Titus does, this was pretty bad on his part. At the very least, I’m sure the lesson will be learned. If not, he’ll get walking papers next time..
On a side note, Titus is now more over than he ever was. Maybe Vince hasn’t gone as senile as we all think…maybe.
Vince has been known to play around and roughhouse with the boys. Titus was obviously just trying to lighten the mood, and I would think that he and Vince have to be somewhat close for Titus to feel comfortable enough to pull a stunt like that. Not trying to defend what Titus did, just saying that I feel like Powell is being a bit too harsh on Titus. I think it should be obvious to most that we wouldn’t even be hearing about this if it didn’t happen to be caught on camera.