MAULING IT OVER - March 4, 2023: No Laughing Matter
More controversial statements from Lacey Evans - this time involving mental health issues - have sparked a backlash from fans, media, and even some of her fellow professional wrestlers
By Mark Mahler - 04.04.2023
A lot of time in life with wrestling fans and wrestlers, the lines can get very blurry. Social media can play a big part in a character being hated or loved.
Part of the reason The Man got so over in her initial run was Becky Lynch used Social Media to perfect and the fans flocked to her and got her a place in the Wrestlemania main event. That’s just one case of success using social media. It helped build her feud with Ronda Rousey, built The Man Character, and was driving the fan into wanting more.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of negativity there for fans and wrestlers. People faking out fans pretending to be a famous wrestler. Fans harass wrestlers because they are looking for attention. I mean look at what happened with Sonya Deville and a stalker. That's not good, nor did she warrant that type of behavior, nor does any professional wrestler or people in the spotlight, after all, they are human too!
It’s no secret that a lot of people, not kids, not just adults, not just famous people, but all people, in general, struggled during the pandemic, and mental health issues grew ten-fold all over the world. People get bullied over their looks, or something they did, or said. It’s easy to be a keyboard warrior nowadays. Hiding behind a computer monitor and acting like your tough shit. I believe it got worse because politics and politicians all over the world have fallen into lies, conspiracies, falsehoods, and even people make physical threats and act on them.
The fact that people love to believe lies are good and if they say them enough maybe they will come true. It’s dangerous, not just for you, but for me, for everyone all over the world when toxicity at this level continues to grow. Now, I get this is a wrestling website, and we love to share our thoughts and opinions. I’ve written columns and articles for smaller websites for decades. I love chatting about wrestling. Don’t believe me, come follow me on Twitter @MGoose37 or follow me on Facebook Mark Mahler | Facebook. I have my own personal group that chats wrestling on Facebook that is private (2) Goosenest.net | Facebook ask me why. (Bullies and keyboard warriors.)
Ryan K. Boman @RyanKBoman, myself, and others started chatting about wrestling in 1997 at the CBS Sportline chat room. I would say this was in the infancy of the internet and chat rooms. That group slowly turned to web forums to talk. Unfortunately, people didn’t like the rules set forth and hacked the site and tried to destroy us. We came back stronger with Absolute Wrestling. It was short-lived because our webmaster (do you remember those?) tried to take our work and turn a profit and we got shut out, and he ghosted us. So we went to Goosenest.net for a while, but with no sponsors and no money, couldn’t keep it running.
A bunch of us hooked back up on Facebook and some on Twitter. Ryan reached out to me to ask if I would write for The Gorilla Position. I was honored Ryan contacted me and asked if I would write for him. A lot of my columns piss people off, I won’t lie about that because my opinions are based off what I see or don’t see wrestling promotions doing correctly in and out of the ring. I’ve praised those that I felt deserved it, I watch those that work their tails off in and out of the ring, and I enjoy in-depth storylines that give fans all the emotions you want in long-term storytelling.
So, let me get into why I’m writing this column this way.
Several times over, I’ve praised and tried to reason why the WWE doesn’t push someone like Lacey Evans correctly. Now, before I continue, I’m speaking about Lacey Evans as a character for the WWE, I do not know her personally, and I don’t pretend to know what she’s been through, even though the WWE has told her story about abuse and mental issues and challenges. I commend her for how she told the story and her perseverance. I really wanted to see Lacey as a face for the WWE and possibly work toward a championship run.
However, being a heel sometimes I think the lines get blurred, but that doesn't mean comments can’t be poisonous. Coming onto Twitter this past week and seeing Lacey trending because of a repost not sure if it was an endorsement or just her personal thought, but it turned a lot of heads the wrong way. I don’t want to rehash it, but the gist of this post is: I handle my mental illness with exercise, eating differently, putting purpose over pleasure, and making a lot of money…let’s stop right here, okay? Again, I do not endorse posts like this. If this is how someone handles their anxiety and mental issues, that is their opinion.
The majority of people fall into depression and have high anxiety because of money challenges, I’m not saying all, but the majority of people suffering tend to have money issues which cause anxiety and can be very harmful to one's self for several reasons over. Most people don’t wash away these issues with exercise or eating differently, they rely on medications. Prescribed by professional doctors, not wrestlers or influencers.
Again, I don’t know what prompted Lacey Evans to retweet this, but a lot of fans were hurt by it. If she is playing into her character, I get it…but that doesn’t mean I agree with it at all, nor do I respect it. Let me turn the tables here now. AEW’s own Bunny aka Allie had a response to anxiety and mental challenges that were posted. “Some of us manage our mental health issues with medication. To suggest that simply exercising, eating a certain way, working more; etc, etc, etc will cure your mental illness is harmful and perpetuates the notion that mental health issues aren't actual ILLNESSES. If anyone out there is struggling to do basic human activities due to their anxiety, depression, etc, you aren't alone. Please take care of yourselves and don't listen to the narrative that you are choosing to suffer. I know from experience that you are doing the best you can. Sending love to all of you”
I know a couple of years ago Real Rasslin editor Ryan interviewed Allie when she was in Impact Wrestling and it was one of the most heartfelt interviews I’ve EVER read. Allie is open about some of her challenges and even after Evans' comments posted her routine. But read the above comments from the Bunny. She is an advocate for mental health. Her approach to this was more delicate.
Heel or Face, Allie is the hero here folks for those that suffer in silence. She gave us a voice. One thing I will say to anyone and everyone is, to talk to others if you have challenges. Don’t hide them. I know it’s easier said than done, but there are people that will listen.
Talk to people, and reach out if you need help. I don’t know The Bunny on a personal level either, but I know her backstory from Ryan’s interview. I’ve watched her grow in the ring from Impact to AEW. I’ve listened to and watched her Vlog. I admire someone like Allie because she isn’t afraid to talk about her past. That takes guts! That takes courage! That shows outside the ring she is a real person and advocate for mental health for everyone.
I don’t know what Lacey Evans was thinking when she retweeted that post, but as a person that has dealt with different forms of mental health challenges and even physical challenges, I don’t condone her sentiments or the message that the post stands for. I stand with Allie and others that have a very realistic approach and attitude toward mental health issues.
I admire and appreciate her more than you can imagine because standing up to the big bully on the block doesn’t always have a good outcome, but knowing we have a caring Bunny on our side is all we need sometimes. Be less like Lacey, and more like Allie.