Photo via WWE.com
One could be conspicuous of the news because you’d imagine that WWE.com would want to break this story, but Darren Young’s admission to TMZ that he’s gay has media calling him wrestling’s Jason Collins. Hardcore pro wrestling fans know there have been several gay wrestlers who haven’t hid their sexuality, but this is the first time to my knowledge of a pro wrestling coming out publicly.
Fans may remember Orlando Jordan whose character in TNA was bisexual, but I don’t remember him being out of character and coming out as bisexual.
WWE has historically had gay characters and played them as heels who the crowd would whistle and boo at. Some remember Adrian Adonis from the mid-to-late 80s. They’ve also had characters such as Goldust who pretended to be gay to make other wrestlers uncomfortable which helped him win matches. But when he admitted that he wasn’t gay, it turned him into a babyface.
There was the Billy and Chucky wedding that got them some exposure for having pro-gay characters on TV that turned into a farcical angle. I’m not sure why they even excepted the exposure knowing how they were going to end that storyline.
Watch as Darren Young comes out. It doesn’t seem planned, though I wonder if TMZ had inklings of his sexuality and specifically targeted him.
TMZ found John Cena out with Nikki Bella and confronted him with the news. Cena didn’t know Young had come out, but supported him. That had to be weird for Cena knowing the truth and being bombarded by TMZ cameras, wondering in the back of his mind if he accidentally outed Young.