The WWE’s GarbageGate scandal (trademark pending) is a wretched reminder of what a dump the promotion is to work for. The shitcanning of former Head of Talent Relations Mark Carrano appears to have been a long time coming and the WWE fired him while jumping on an opportunity to make itself look good.
In case you missed the story, longtime WWE employee Mark Carrano (as opposed to wrestlers who are classified as
indentured servants independent contractors) was canned allegedly for the way he returned recently released WWE Superstar Mickie James’ personal belongings. Here’s the tweet that got everything started:
Nasty way to do business right? At least that’s the picture the WWE’s top execs are painting things as even though that may not be the case. WWE’s Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon quickly responded to Mickie’s tweet:
Although Stephanie didn’t mention Carrano by name, “Dinosaur” Dave Meltzer discussed the situation in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter:
Mark Carrano, the Senior Director of Talent Relations, was let go by WWE on 4/22 after a public embarrassment when Mickie James-Aldis noted that after being fired last week, her belongings that the company had were sent back to her in a garbage bag by Carrano.
WWE officials couldn’t seem to express their outrage and disgust via social media with Mr. Stephanie McMahon tweeting:
However, it seems like the WWE’s practice is nothing new. This week’s Observer reported:
Another talent noted to us, “Talent who is let go, if anything of theirs is left behind at arenas, it’s boxed up and sent back to their homes. I don’t think sending it in a garbage bag was to be mean. It was done in a way that was just like stuff in a bag, put it in a box and get it back to them. But it could be interpreted as disrespectful during an already hard time as a released talent. Which in Mickie’s case she felt it symbolized that was all she was worth, which is not the case! But yes, it could have been handled better.”
The practice does not appear to be new as past female Superstars who were released such as Gail Kim and Maria Kanellis complained about their personal items being treated like trash. Since this is nothing new, why is the WWE so concerned with it? While this is speculation, I would argue Carrano was possibly released due to other alleged problems and the WWE used this as an opportunity to fire him and make itself look like a progressive company that protects the rights and dignity of its wrestlers and staff (which as anyone familiar with the WWE knows, couldn’t be further from the truth).
Gentle reader, the WWE’s continued pattern of treating both its wrestlers and staff like garbage has been documented throughout the years whether it’s wrestlers being misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees, massive releases and layoffs during the pandemic, or the WWE restricting wrestlers from making money on third-party platforms such as Cameo.
A number of wrestlers and former WWE personnel have commented on Mark Carrano’s shortcomings and apparently, it was only a matter of time before he got the ax. According to Wrestling News’ Paul Davis:
A WWE source told us that there was a feeling from some in the company that his days were numbered once John Laurinaitis was brought back to work alongside Carrano as the Head of Talent Relations.
Davis went on to report that:
A source within WWE told us, “Carrano gave them a reason to fire him because we all knew once Johnny was back that Carrano would be out soon. He had a lot of enemies and I think he was going to be out soon anyway. I don’t think anyone is too sad to see him go. People were seeing that Vince was getting tired of him.”
Carrano seemed to have his share of critics, including former WWE Superstar Darren Young who tweeted:
Former WWE referee Mike Chioda also discussed Carrano:
“He is a smart mark, not his first name, but a smart mark to the business. He knows anything and everything. He couldn’t look you in the eye. He wasn’t straightforward with you. I didn’t believe him. Even when he called me, he lied to me that day when he called me to let me go. I believe he was one of the guys who put me up on the chopping block. I know it didn’t come from Vince and Stephanie who said, ‘Let’s cut Mike Chioda and cut his payroll because his payroll is so huge.’”
While it sounds like Carrano could be someone who can’t understand normal thinking, it’s also clear the garbage bag policy was in place for some time and while it may have been misinterpreted, there should be no misinterpretation that the WWE used this as a convenient excuse to can Carrano and make itself look like a white knight. What do you think? Let me know in our comments section or on Twitter.