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WWE wrestler roasted for being a hypocrite after calling a trans fan “evil”

Val Venis is a bald white guy with a goatee. In this pic, he makes a fist and wears a black t-shirt while sneering against a purple background
Former WWE and TNA wrestler Val Venis Photo: Cropped image by Roberty Bejil via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 2.0 license

After retired pro-wrestler Val Venis criticized World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) star Cody Rhodes for supporting a young transgender fan, social media commenters reminded Venis that he too had many young fans watching him years ago when he played an over-sexed adult video star in one of his past pro-wrestling storylines.

On Tuesday, Venis — 52-year-old former WWE and Total Nonstop Action (TNA) wrestler whose birth name is Sean Allen Morley — posted an altered image on X of Rhodes smiling and holding a trans flag in an arena while standing next to a happy young fan.

The image posted by Venis placed dripping letters on the flag that read, “Ha ha ha. Kid, keep being you. My master wants to meet you. His name is Lucifer. You can call him Satan. Stay of your path of self glorification and enjoy your life. And remember, tell Satan, Cody Rhodes sent you.”

In the caption accompanying the picture, Venis wrote, “Keep AFFIRMING evil into the minds of the fans that pay for your paycheck @CodyRhodes. Why do you hate your fans so much that you would fool them into never realizing their own salvation?”

Commenters on X began roasting Venis for stating that Rhodes was inappropriately influencing children. They pointed out that, when Venis first appeared at WWE in 1998, he played a sleazy adult video performer who was tied up and stripped bare (with his buttocks showing) and nearly castrated by a samurai-sword-wielding rival after sleeping with another wrestler’s wife — Venis later said he avoided having his genitals chopped off because of “shrinkage.”

Though the affair, the wrestler’s wife, and the castration were all just part of a fictional WWE storyline, social media commenters reminded Venis that many children watched it all on TV. His other storylines also involved sleeping with his rivals’ fictional wives, dumping one of his mistresses after she got pregnant, receiving oral sex from a woman while addressing fans from the driver’s seat of a sports car, and hosting a sex advice videocast called Sex U.

One commenter, @princeofdelair, criticized Venis, writing, “Dude, you played a character who was supposed to be a porn star on television directed at children.”

Responding to a similar criticism, Venis wrote, “I never once encouraged kids to become porn stars. I play that character the exact way it should be played. I played the part of an immoral, unethical, slimmy porn star. The exact way a porn star should be portrayed.”

Another commenter, @JBvTheWorld, wrote, “…but you literally benefitted from it. Got a platform from it. And whether you want to admit it or not, you were seen AND an influence because of it. You’re actually apart of the problem you’re preaching against. Acknowledge that. Meanwhile, Cody’s done nothing wrong.”

Venis responded, “So u are so stupid, u cannot recognize a difference between playing a FICTIONAL CHARACTER and a REAL CODY AFFIRMING A REAL KIDS REAL MENTAL DISORDER???? GOT IT. You’re an idiot. I could play the part of a cold-blooded murderer. But I will never murder anyone, you absolute moron.”

Yet another commenter, @ogreboy6, pointed out that Venis continues to sell shirts that refer to himself as “The Moneyshot Man.” A “money shot” is a slang term for a scene in a sexually explicit adult movie in which a male performer ejaculates.

Venis’s comments echo those of other transphobic right-wingers and Christians, like former Fox News host Tucker Carlson and hate pastor Jack Hibbs, who have called trans identity “Satanic.” Many transphobic politicians and activists have also claimed that trans identity and gender dysphoria are both a form of “mental illness” that should be cured in any way that doesn’t affirm a person’s trans identity. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that trans identity is not a mental illness.

One commenter, @gldensouplvr, expressed appreciation for Rhodes, writing, “[Transphobic Christians almost] caused me to kill myself, but people like @CodyRhodes and The Elite [All Elite Wrestling (AEW)] have helped me survive my darkest time. They accept their fans for who they are and they love their fans.”

Venis has made transphobic comments in the past. In January, Venis called trans pro-wrester Nyla Rose “a man who lives life pretending to be a woman.” When Rose won the AEW Women’s World Title around February 2020, Venis criticized her, misgendering her and saying that she had unfairly “cheated” and taken the title from “real” women.

At the time, he wrote, “I’d make a MAN out of Nyla Rose [in] short order.” He also began saying “Hello biological ladies,” as his new catchphrase and called Rose’s defenders “fascist,” claiming he was more tolerant of Rose and the trans community than “delusional Social Justice Warriors are of freedom of speech.”

Rose responded to Venis’s criticism by saying that she had made him “relevant again.”

On February 18, 2020, Rhodes defended Rose and slammed Venis, saying, “I think it’s disappointing if you’re perhaps someone who grew up liking Val Venis… I don’t know if anyone knows who Val Venis is anymore. It’s disappointing because I don’t think he actually means the terrible things he puts in writing. I think he’s just trying to get a booking. We’re not booking Val Venis and you’re not getting booked anywhere near us.”

“When you hit the ball back you’re giving him oxygen and I’m not giving Val Venis any oxygen about Nyla Rose,” Rhodes continued. “It’s 2020 everyone should love everybody, you know what I’m saying? In some capacity — I know it sounds super hippie of me, but it’s just how I feel today.”

In July 2023, Venis wrote that he would no longer be publicly pro-wresting because “LGBTQ+++XYZ nutjobs like to threaten promoters for booking me. In January 2021, Venis — who has previously expressed belief in the anti-LGBTQ+ QAnon conspiracy theory — was temporarily banned from Twitter (now X) for violating their child sexual exploitation policy after posting a photo that he claimed showed President Joe Biden’s adult son Hunter Biden having sex with former President Barack Obama’s underage daughter Malia Obama.

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