Although he thinks the elevated profile of women’s wrestling in WWE is “a positive reflection of shifting social norms,” 27-year-old Braden Larson of Cleveland fears a harsh backlash if he openly states that he still doesn’t particularly care for women’s matches.
“I mean, I think it’s nice that the women are getting their own pay-per-view and everything, but it just doesn’t really appeal to my personal tastes,” Larson said. “I said that on Twitter, and a bunch of people called me a misogynist.”
Larson holds a number of opinions about women’s wrestling, which he believes are based in common sense, but have sparked heated backlash in online forums.
Among his most controversial opinions:
- “I find men’s matches typically more exciting and hard-hitting, by virtue of their larger physiques and power-based move-sets.”
- “The announcement of Evolution was interesting, but calling it ‘historic’ seems like hyperbole. I mean, it’s still just silly pro wrestling, not a significant geopolitical event.”
- “I grew up watching predominantly men’s wrestling, so perhaps my preference for men’s matches is based partly on nostalgia.”
- “Rather than giving women their own pay-per-view, wouldn’t it be more progressive and egalitarian to give them equal screen-time on normal pay-per-views, thereby not segregating talent into different modalities based on gender — which, when you think about it, is actually contrary to the concept of equality?”
After expressing such comments in an online wrestling forum, Larson was accused of hate speech and banned from posting.