Randy Orton set the wrestling scene ablaze over the weekend by pushing a critique of how independent wrestling matches often play out.
Indy wrestlers have come out swinging at The Viper, but he's doubled-down on the controversial stance. The whole dispute arose after Orton manually retweeted a fierce takedown of the independent scene that took aim at how every match follows the same pattern.
Fans are chirping about it, the entire independent scene has felt a ripple effect via responses, and even current and former WWE superstars have opened up about the topic. Even someone who left the WWE universe behind like CM Punk did had something to say about it.
Punk, who made the transition from independent scene darling to WWE megastar, didn't directly go at Orton. Independent wrestler King Ricochet tweeted about how grateful he was to make a living off of the "amazing art" of wrestling.
Ricochet's tweet was a response to Orton supporting a shoot on the independent scene. Punk manually retweeted Ricochet's thoughts and added a few of his own:
It's become a bit of a bitter standoff, with independent wrestlers and fans on one side and what could best be described as the "older guard" standing their ground on the other. Ultimately what matters is whether fans enjoy it, and there's definitely an appetite for both styles.
The controversy began when Orton retweeted this message, along with the word dive:
It escalated from there as the WWE Champion's words hold weight in the wrestling community. The 13-time champion is a textbook WWE champion, developed from within and rising to the top of the industry rapidly.
Orton has since posted an "apology," which is just about anything but an apology. He laid out some harsh truths about the difference between the WWE and indepedent scene, comparing the $5 million the WWE made off 11 shows to the small scale of the smaller promotions:
Former WWE champion and Evolution member Dave Bautista couldn't resist passing along what his former stablemate had to say:
Divegate will surely come to pass, but clearly it's ruffled some feathers. Orton's in a fortunate position and talking down on workers who weren't afforded some of the opportunities he was. It's also fair to respect that Randy also knows a thing or two about the business.
Either way, hopefully wrestling fans who enjoy either or both styles can continue on their merry way now that Orton started a small civil war on Twitter between the big machine and independent scene.
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