The aftermath of the chaotic scene on Raw involving LaVar Ball and sons Lonzo and LaMelo ended with WWE issuing a statement late Monday night regarding a racial slur used by 15-year-old LaMelo.
With LaVar jumping around the ring and eventually taking off his shirt to confront The Miz, LaMelo used the slur twice on the live microphone at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. He was laughing throughout the segment, but the slur received attention on social media.
Sports Illustrated published a censored version of the exchange:
LaMelo Ball telling LaVar to beat up The Miz + LaVar bouncing off the ropes >>>> pic.twitter.com/LRIWaemJcP
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 27, 2017
“The inappropriate language used by a guest during the ‘Miz TV’ segment was not scripted nor reflects WWE’s values,” WWE said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.
According to Dave Meltzer in this week’s issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE officials backstage were immediately furious with the slur and wanted to rush out of the segment, Kevin Dunn in particular.
The screwups regarding how the segment was scripted apparently started when LaMelo was supposed to get into The Miz’s face when LaVar told him to handle his light work. When that happened, Miz, thinking on his feet, went back to talking to LaVar. Dunn was already “in a panic” so he ordered Dean Ambrose out about a minute earlier than originally planned as LaVar was running around with his shirt off.
As Ambrose came out, LaMelo said the words into a live mic and WWE immediately cut his mic. Backstage and in the production truck, people were freaking out and the PR department was “expecting a shitstorm,” which didn’t really happen.
WWE’s original plan was for the Ball family to be at ringside during the Six-Man Tag Team Match and perhaps get involved in some form, but they were quickly taken to the back.
WWE officials expected Lavar to have a “smoother” promo and for Lonzo to get a much better crowd reaction than he did. Meltzer was told that segment was much better when they did the practice run earlier in the day.
The Los Angeles Lakers had also made it clear that Lonzo could not touch anyone or do anything physical.