By now, everyone has either heard of or viewed the explicit photos or videos that had the internet rocked this past weekend and WWE fans and media reeling. If you haven’t heard about the recent incident involving Paige, Xavier Woods, and Brad Maddox, click here for the story.
So, clearly these photos and videos were taken years ago, said to be around the time that Xavier Woods, Paige, and Brad Maddox were in NXT. We all know that if you are in any type of entertainment industry, nudies and sexually explicit video are a big no-no. Things get leaked all the time, and despite the fact that they are young and this was during a time when they were all unknowns, there is a huge underlying need to always ‘be careful’. Having said that, I still feel bad for all parties involved. A lot of people partaking in things of this nature during a relationship and I hold no judgement against any of these three superstars. No true crime was really committed by any of the three, but a huge violation of their privacy that can affect their careers long-term by perpetrators trying to ruin lives and earn a buck did occur. And for those who did leak the photos, I do judge them.
I could care less what these three superstars do in their private lives as consenting adults. Do I feel sorry for them, despite the fact that perhaps they should have been more careful about keeping photos or videos around that could be incriminating lying around? I do feel bad for them and one cannot help but wonder what the future has in store for these three talents.
I’ll take Brad Maddox out of the equation. He’s no longer with the WWE, but it is being reported that he has erased all his social media accounts and is in hiding, so to speak.
Therefore, I will start off with Paige. She’s a young talent that was riding high on the WWE wave, until last year. Two-time Divas champion, cast member of Total Divas, was a judge on Tough Enough, had WWE Studio films under her belt: at a young age, she had a golden WWE Hall of Fame career on the horizon. Sadly, when she hooked up with Alberto Del Rio, things took a turn for the worse. Two WWE suspensions later, she is currently recovering from neck surgery, but things seemed grime (before the photo/video leak) that once she got back onto the roster, it wouldn’t be a heck of a climb back to experiencing success in the WWE after all her mishaps and hand slaps as of late. While there was a glimmer of hope that she may be back in the spotlight, thanks to The Rock’s production company producing a biopic on her family, Paige’s future did seem uncertain with the WWE. After all, one more suspension and she’d be fired for good.
Do I think the WWE is going to fire Paige with this recent leak? If they would have, I think they would’ve already done so. Besides, other than being highly unprofessional, Paige didn’t really do anything that was wrong. Still, all the opportunities she’s been given in the past might not come so easily, as they once did, if and when she returns to the main roster. I don’t think her career is ‘over’ by any stretch of the imagination; I also don’t think one mistake defines a human being or a career. But Paige does have a lot of work ahead of her. WWE is still a PG company and sadly, Paige’s PG image has been washed away with this current controversy.
Now one may argue that others in the past have experienced the same kind of situation, only to move to championship greatness. Fans can’t ignore the fact that Seth Rollins had nudes leak, only to move onto an incredible Wrestlemania 31 moment (and WWE Championship glory) two years back. However, the only difference is, his controversy, as scandalous as it was, was not as explicit as the videos and photos that have leaked out with Paige. He also did not use any WWE paraphernalia while taking the nudes; and I do feel that while Paige did not partake in the act of disrespecting the NXT Women’s title, the fact that it was part of one of the video/photos she was in, makes her just as guilty of disrespecting the NXT belt.
Now, onto Xavier. While his role in this whole scandal isn’t as significant as Paige’s – he too is still a victim and the repercussions on him might also be big ones. Of course the nudes and leaks are strategically released on the same day after Vince McMahon tweets Woods a congratulatory message on Twitter.
— Vince McMahon (@VinceMcMahon) March 17, 2017
We are two weeks away from Wrestlemania 33, the largest WWE event of the year, and New Day are hosting the grand pay-per-view. Alas, this is not a good time to be involved in a scandal. WWE crowds are notorious for being loud, speaking their mind, and those dreaded chants (some can be good for talent, some might not be so good). What will happen to Woods? There’s speculation that he may not be on RAW for the next two episodes before WM 33, in hopes that once he does hit Orlando, the whole scandal will have died down. Woods was reportedly absent from WWE house shows this weekend, and this might be one aspect of a larger plan to keep Xavier away in hopes that people will slowly turn their attention to something else. But, will it? And what does this mean for other New Day members Kofi Kingston and Big E? The three superstars have incredible chemistry and even taking one of them out of the equation creates an awkward situation. If Xavier is not on WWE programming, what to do with the other two – and would not including them on RAW for the next two weeks be fair? And even if they are included in programming … will the two be able to keep things going without their beloved third member? Will The New Day have that same magic?
At the end of the day, while this incident will affect Woods (and potentially Kingston and Big E), he had a co-starring role in this entire scandal and hopefully once everything dies down, will be able to move on with his career. Only time will tell.
A lot of questions that are sure to be answered as the weeks and months go by. And with other nude leaks promised on the way, it seems the WWE and their talent have a lot of issues to work through in the next coming weeks and months.