Earlier today, I learned, to my horror, that Awesome Kong had requested her release from TNA. At the time of this writing, she has not yet been given her release, so there's still time for her to change her mind.
So, yeah, I'm writing this pretty hastily.
Ordinarily, when a wrestler asks for his or her release from their respective company, the fans are left to wonder what their reasons were. In this case, any wrestling fan who follows the happenings of the business online knows exactly what Kong's reasons are.
Earlier this month, the nation of Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake, reportedly leaving hundreds of thousands of people dead. In response, many TNA representatives have since been making an effort to raise money to aid the victims of this disaster. Dixie Carter said on her twitter account that TNA had to help and has been asking fans who attend the iMPACT TV tapings to donate money to the relief effort.
Meanwhile, Awesome Kong has set up a fund raiser of her own -- Wrestlers 4 Haiti -- which raised over $5,000 within two days.
For the record, anyone wishing to give money to aid the victims of the Haitian earthquake, please send your donations via PayPal to Wrestlers4Haiti@gmail.com.
Unfortunately, there is one TNA employee that has not been on board with this. I am speaking of TNA's newest backstage interviewer, Hulk Hogan's close personal friend, radio shock jock and all around sack of human fecal matter, Bubba the Love Sponge.
Shortly following the earthquake, this man (and I use that word loosely) made the statement on his own twitter account: "F### Haiti."
He continued on, saying that the United States should NOT be bothering to help the people of Haiti despite TNA's stance to the contrary. He then went on his radio show and took things even further by saying that this horrific disaster was a good thing and actually advocated the countless deaths it caused as a form of cleansing and population control.
No, I'm not kidding.
Obviously livid at these shameful, classless remarks (hell, who wouldn't be?), Awesome Kong did what just about any of us would have done if we saw this lowlife in person...
She beat the crap out of him.
Unfortunately, they were backstage at the iMPACT Zone at the time.
This prompted Mr. Sponge to return to his mind-numbing crapfest that passes for a radio program and aim a number of disrespectful and derogatory comments at Awesome Kong, as well as belittle her concerns for the victims of the Haitian disaster. He was joined by Hulk Hogan, who proceeded to laugh at Bubba for being "beaten up by a girl" and then dismissed Kong's actions as her being menstrual.
A few days later, in a move that surprised absolutely no one, Awesome Kong requested her release from TNA.
Let's get a few things straight:
Was Kong wrong to take a swing at a coworker? Yes.
Should she be reprimanded for it in some way? Yes.
But did she have every reason to be pissed off beyond belief? Yes.
Did the dirtbag deserve to get his ass kicked? Yes.
And should Mr. Sponge be released from TNA before his asinine behavior gets the company more bad publicity than they can shake the Beautiful People's Ugly Stick at? Hell yes.
But from what I hear, despite all his despicable comments on twitter and in the media, despite numerous reports that most people backstage can't stand him, despite an online fan campaign encouraging TNA to publicly fire him (http://tinyurl.com/firebubba), and despite a flood of angry tweets directed at Dixie Carter, urging her to sever all professional ties with this SOB (twitter.com/TNADixie), there has apparently been NO talk within the company of firing him, from what I hear.
And why? Because he's Hulk Hogan's buddy. And as we've seen from the TNA product over the last few weeks, Hogan takes care of his buddies, even if it's at the cost of other people.
Instead, Awesome Kong may be leaving TNA over this situation. How is that in any way right or fair? It isn't.
I need to make one thing perfectly clear: as a fan and admirer of Kong, I support her 100% in whatever she decides to do. If she doesn't want to be disrespected in the media by her coworkers and wants to leave the company over this, then so be it.
But I'm writing this column to ask her not to.
When the Knockout division was first formed, everyone was calling Gail Kim the linchpin of the whole thing. But the truth is there were two linchpins. Gail was one. Awesome Kong was the other.
Gail's inaugural title reign, and by extension, the Knockout division itself, would not have been nearly as successful in those early days if Kong hadn't been the perfect yin to Gail's yang, the insurmountable obstacle for her to overcome. Then, after Gail left the company, Kong essentially carried the entire Knockout division on her back for months until Tara showed up.
In fact, one could say that Awesome Kong turned out to be even more important than Gail in a way. Gail was the figurehead of the Knockouts, yes, but Kong was the woman who made the Knockouts unique.
Look at the Knockout roster. Is there any woman on this roster, past or present, that individualizes it more than Awesome Kong? No. No one else even comes close. If Kong leaves, then there will suddenly not be a whole lot that truly differentiates the Knockouts from the WWE Divas.
The fact is, even if they're not willing to admit it out of fear of upsetting Hulk Hogan, TNA needs Awesome Kong. They need her a hell of a lot more than they need or will EVER need that talentless hack, Bubba the Love Sponge.
That's why I'm sending this message out to Kia Stevens a.k.a. Awesome Kong:
Please don't go.
Do you have good reason to want to leave? Yes.
But please don't let the words and actions of one infantile jackass sour you on a company that needs you whether they know it or not.
Have you been disrespected? Absolutely. But anything a scumbag like Bubba (and Hogan, for that matter) says about you -- in the media or otherwise -- shouldn't matter. When he says these things, they reflect badly on him, not you.
It doesn't matter what that walking crap stain thinks. It only matters what you think and what your fans think.
Your fans want you to stay.
Don't give this idiot the satisfaction of seeing you leave because of a situation that he instigated.
I'm sure you got a great deal of satisfaction from beating this guy up, but this is different.
Prove that you're a better person than he is.
Beat him that way.