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Bill DeMott On Allegations And WWE Resignation: It Was Fish Or Cut Bait, I Decided To Cut Bait

Bill DeMott explains his mindset when he made the decision to resign from his position at WWE.

During a recent interview with Steve Fall for, Bill DeMott was asked about the persona he presented on Tough Enough and how it influenced the public — and wrestlers’ — perception of him.

“I think it’s easy to point [the finger] and for people to say ‘he’s done this, he’s done that.’ Then their backup is ‘You’ve seen him on TV’ but you’re talking to people that hired me back because of what I did. But when you walk in the door, you already have a target on your back. No matter who it is, when you’re replacing someone or doing something,” DeMott explained, “especially in the wrestling business where everybody is already walking on eggshells and everybody is already trying to think of what they’re doing wrong instead of doing their job, in my opinion — but I had that bullseye on my back. I learned that years ago from JJ Dillon in WCW. He said when you’re in a position of having to make decisions and tell other people what to do, they automatically think you’re the one doing it to them, so you’re the dickhead, you’re the person that’s killing their career and you’re the person that’s responsible for them failing.”

In 2015, Bill DeMott was initially accused of making racial and homophobic remarks and physical and verbal assault. One other incident, referred to as the “naked stinkface incident” on social media, involved a photo that showed DeMott laughing as he “forced” trainees to do the aforementioned move in the ring.

DeMott told Fall that he was cleared by the company during an internal investigation into these initial claims, but social media played a role in the decision he had to make.

“I already learned that in my career, so when I came back the last time, when I took over FCW which then turned into NXT,” DeMott explained, “I already knew, you already knew it had a shelf life before social media and all these things. But the funny thing about the allegations was when they came out the first time, there was a full investigation. The company comes out and says, ‘We found none of this to be, to hold any water’, but social media was so on fire that [WWE] didn’t want the heat. They didn’t want the heat and I don’t blame them. NXT was just starting to tour the states before it became really big, so we were on our first tour of the states outside of Florida.

“And the truth is — I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again — I made a promise to Paul [Levesque], Triple H. I know what the business is, I’ve been through it. I’ve been through the good and bad, the ups and downs and all of that. I would never do anything to embarrass him or this company. So when everything came about, you have two options,” DeMott said. “Fight and add fuel to the fire, because now you’re going to be spending all your time doing that which means you can’t do your job, which means nobody’s focused on what they’re doing. Or you go, ‘You know what? I appreciate the time. I’m gonna step away and let everybody keep moving on.’”

Bill DeMott says his wife sometimes says she wished he would’ve defended himself, but he countered by saying defending himself would have meant he did something wrong.

DeMott said he was an employee of WWE, not an independent contractor, and running all of developmental, which highlighted he was doing something right. He said success doesn’t live and die on one person’s opinion, and his critics probably didn’t belong in the business if they thought everything he said held so much weight. DeMott said he was still a cog in the wheel and not the ‘end-all, do-all’ of WWE, so it was a ‘fish or cut bait’ decision and he decided to cut bait.

“I was being directed a certain way on how things should be done. That’s the way I approached it and when push comes to shove, like Dusty says, ‘Fish or cut bait.’ And I decided to cut bait.”

The initial allegations against Bill DeMott were made public in a letter published online on March 3, 2015 by Austin Matelson, now known as AEW’s Luchasaurus. WWE denied the original claims in the letter and issued a statement that the company conducted a full investigation and “was unable to validate the claims.” Three days later, DeMott officially announced his resignation from WWE and denied the claims made against him.

Bill DeMott addressed the stinkface incident, also referred to as the “jelly donut scandal”, during a June 2015 episode of Talk Is Jericho. DeMott said wrestling has always been about doing ridiculous and this particular incident was part of “Make-a-Deal Friday”, where trainees would make a crazy deal to get out of their Friday workout after a Thursday TV taping.

Bill DeMott went into more detail about the incident on a 2018 appearance on Hannibal TV, where he said the trainees made a deal where they’d give someone else a “squisher bare-assed with a jelly doughnut in their mouth.” DeMott says the photo was shared online six years after the incident took place.

DeMott said it was not the smartest deal he’d ever made but it was funny, and it was an agreement made by everyone. He says the photo was weaponized “six years later somebody who was let go from the company and wasn’t satisfied” and it painted a different narrative.

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