Who would have thought that a three-hour RAW that included CM Punk cutting a promo and being on commentary would have the most controversial comments come from A.W. of all people?
The man formerly known as Abraham Washington accompanied his Primetime Players to the ring last night on RAW as Titus O'Neil took on Kofi Kingston. This match was probably being done to bring attention to their tag team rivalry, which could lead to a match at SummerSlam in a few weeks.
O'Neil was fending off Kingston and caught him in mid-air. After O'Neil slammed Kingston viciously to the ground, A.W., who is equipped with a headset microphone connected into the P.A. system, uttered the following words:
"That's what I'm talking about. Did you see that? (O'Neil barks in the ring) Titus O'Neil is like Kobe Bryant at a hotel in Colorado. He's unstoppable!"
Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole seemed speechless about the comments themselves, ignoring them directly, but they did talk about A.W. and his ownership of All World Promotions.
A.W. would stay quiet for a minute or two after the comments, almost knowing that he would be in hot water backstage for what he said. There were a few generic compliments about the strength of Titus O'Neil that would pop up a little while later.
A.W. was then involved in the finish of the match, where he got the attention of Kingston, took his shoe off, said "Yo mama!", and threw the shoe at Kingston.
Kingston would be distracted enough to walk into a Clash of the Titus and a loss to O'Neil. A few statements from A.W. right after the match included talk of how they were the next tag team champions, but it appeared that A.W.'s microphone was cut off after that. I would imagine this was done to avoid another statement from A.W. similar to the Kobe Bryant comment.
The comment refers back to a 2003 incident for the Lakers star, who was accused of sexually assaulting an employee of a hotel Bryant was staying at in Colorado. The accuser refused to testify in court, which helped dismiss the lawsuit in September 2004. There were also settlements out of court to fully settle the case.
Right after the commercial break, Michael Cole would apologize for the comments made by A.W., but the backlash has already been felt. Mentions associated with A.W.'s registered Twitter are flooded with negative reactions from WWE fans. Here are just a few of those comments.
"@AccioHenryAFC: @AWPromotions Nice rape joke on Raw, I hope you get suspended"
"@BrianNeall: Hope @awpromotions is enjoying begging to keep his job tonight. Moron"
"@rickyrules16: We wish you best of luck in your future endeavors, Mr. @AWPromotions"
"@Cujo06241: @WWE Seriously, @AWPromotions comments" were absolutely uncalled for!"
"@BKRevive: @AWPromotions Did you know, you just got yourself ken kennedyed #BestOfLuckInYourFutureEndeavors"
A.W.'s Twitter followers remain rather steady at roughly 15,000 followers, but it isn't his social media stats are at stake. It's his employment altogether. Do these comments get A.W. fired? Probably not.
We've seen big mistakes and verbal vomit from superstars in the past. Being that it is nearly a ten-year-old reference helps, because it isn't a fresh wound. It was also a crowd in Cincinnati, which begs the question of why it even seemed like a good time for A.W. to say it.
This will likely be some punishment for A.W. for this, but it cannot come at the expense of Titus O'Neil or Darren Young.
Unless they told A.W. to say the line, they have nothing to do with it. Maybe A.W. gets removed from his post for a time as the manager of The Primetime Players, but it probably won't lead to a firing due to him being the mouthpiece for a rising tag team that WWE is trying to market.
If this was a few months ago, A.W. would probably be gone as quickly as he came.
However, he is involved in a storyline here. Regardless, you can expect a Twitter apology from A.W., but not much more from him about the matter. He's probably getting a major tongue lashing about it and will be getting his lines in the future written for him. That creative control will have to be revoked from A.W. before something like this happens again.
Young and O'Neil will hopefully not see their push affected by this event. They are a part of the rise in tag team action in the past few months, so a punishment for them would not only seem unjust, but would also take the whole division a step back.
Let me know what you're thinking about the matter by commenting on this article, voting in the poll or sending me a tweet on Twitter to continue the conversation.