WWE Hall of Famer Rick Steiner removed from wrestling convention again over alleged transphobic remarks

Steiner was accused of making 'hateful' comments toward transgender wrestler Gisele Shaw in April

WrestleCon reversed its decision to invite WWE Hall of Famer Rick Steiner to its showcase next month as the pro wrestling world focuses its attention on SummerSlam in Detroit.

The wrestling convention initially decided to reinvite Steiner to its show months after Steiner was accused of using "hateful phrases" toward transgender female pro wrestler Gisele Shaw.

WrestleCon owner Michael Bochicchio made the reversal Sunday and explained that Steiner apologized after the incident and that he felt like the former wrestler "learned a lot from his huge mistake."

WrestleCon backtracked on its invitation.


wwe hall of famer rick steiner removed from wrestling convention again over alleged transphobic remarks

The pro wrestler known as Rick Steiner, middle, in photo at left, and Gisele Shaw. (Cherokee School Board/Getty Images)

"When we allowed Rick Steiner to return to our Convention as a vendor guest of Tony Hunter Promotions, we did not adequately take into account the impact his past words from our last event still held in the LGBTQIA+ community," Bochicchio wrote on Twitter. 

"We initially allowed him to return because 1) We still feel that people deserve a second chance. 2) Rick did make an apology to all parties that chose to be present. 3) We lacked any type of code of conduct/harassment policy that clearly defined our expectations as a convention participant."

Bochicchio wrote on Twitter that he had a discussion with SB Nation’s OutSports blog and Brian Bell, host of the "LGBT In The Ring" podcast, on Monday and agreed with them that they wanted some kind of public apology from Steiner "at an absolute minimum."

"Because we understand this issue required great urgency, we gave Rick Steiner 24 hours to make such a statement. Unfortunately, there is not currently and we do not expect to receive such a statement, and we have therefore made a decision to revoke our permission for him to attend," Bochicchio added.

WrestleCon also announced a code of conduct and anti-harassment policy.

"We will continue to improve upon this code of conduct over time and with the cooperation of others. We understand and appreciate that there will be many differences of opinion among our participants, and we want to create a safe and enjoyable space for everybody at our Conventions," it said.


"At this time, we have partnered in solidarity with other Wrestling industry Convention leaders, notably Starrcast, Wrestlecade, and The Gathering (Charlotte Fanfest) who also agree to adopt and adhere to a similar code of conduct for their events."

Steiner, whose real name is Robert Rechsteiner, is a member of the Cherokee School Board in Georgia. He didn’t immediately return Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

wwe hall of famer rick steiner removed from wrestling convention again over alleged transphobic remarks

Gisele Shaw attends Fandom Party at SDCC 2022 presented by Paramount+ at Hard Rock Hotel San Diego on July 21, 2022, in San Diego. (Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Fandom)

Shaw initially made the allegations in a statement posted to her Twitter account in April. Shaw wrote that Steiner’s "hateful phrases" were "quite shocking and disheartening."

Shaw came out as transgender in 2022. She has been a mainstay on the independent wrestling circuit for several years.

Steiner, 62, is mostly known for his career in World Championship Wrestling in the late 1980s and mid-to-late 1990s. He and his brother, Scott Steiner, were tag-team champions seven times. Their tag-team was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last year.

Ryan Gaydos is a senior editor for Fox News Digital.

Authored by Ryan Gaydos via FoxNews July 19th 2023