In 2005, Christy Hemme was surprisingly released from her contract with WWE. It caught a lot of people off guard since she was well-liked by co-workers, keen to improve in the ring and a fixture on television. Of the company’s prospective female talent, Hemme appeared to have a tremendous upside.
The release happened on December 5, 2005, shortly after WWE officials asked her to relocate to Louisville, Kentucky to continue her in-ring training at Ohio Valley Wrestling — OVW served as WWE’s developmental promotion at the time. Hemme had done everything asked of her, including baring it all for Playboy in a highly-publicized pictorial — she asked her father for his permission before doing the photo shoot.
With news of her sudden departure from WWE, the internet rumor mill went into overdrive. It was rumored that Hemme had ‘acted inappropriately’ around Triple H. Word got back to Stephanie McMahon, who, needless to say, was less than pleased with Hemme’s ‘excitement’ about traveling with her husband and his traveling mate, Batista.
The rumor has been attributed to Wade Keller, who reported the following in the Pro Wrestling Torch newsletter:
“The word on Christy Hemme’s sudden release is that on a recent tour she acted inappropriately toward Triple H, and word got back to Stephanie McMahon. There are a variety of stories going around, none of which directly implicate Hunter for doing anything physical. Apparently, though, Stephanie wasn’t pleased that Christy seemed excited about traveling with Hunter and Dave Batista on the trip.”
So how inappropriate could she have acted that led to her being fired?
According to Hemme, the company cited budget cuts and the creative team having nothing for her as the reason for her dismissal. She released the following statement on December 20, 2005, addressing her departure from WWE:
“Hello everyone! Thank you so much to everyone who has and is still supporting me. Even though the partnership with WWE and I did not end very will [sic], I am truly thankful for the experience. All I can say at this time to clear up some of the rumors, there was no battle over money. Money was never my motivation for working. Truth is that I was completely dedicated to the company and believed in everything I was doing. I trusted it. I was willing to put my personal life aside to give everything I had to what I was doin and become better wrestler/performer. I was told that I was a budget cut and creatively they didn’t have anything for me. I am very disappointed in the WWE, where I learned a very important lesson. I am a very determined person with a huge amount of engery for my life and my career. Everything happens for a reason and anything that has happened in my life that has knocked me down has only built me back up stronger. I feel stronger than ever and I am hungry for this huge future before me. Again, THANK YOU soooo much to everyone who has believed in me and is supporting me.”
In 2008, however, she gave a much more cryptic answer in an interview with the official website of her employer, TNA Wrestling.
“My departure from WWE was on my own terms because I stuck to my guns on my morals and values as a human being. I knew in my gut that it would be the end, but I also knew that carrying guilt for knowingly doing something against what I believed wasn’t worth getting ahead. Leaving broke my heart … but doing the right thing is something I will always be proud of.”
During an in-studio interview with Keven Undergaro on The Tomorrow Show in July 2016, Hemme was asked to talk about her untimely departure from WWE. The former wrestler, however, still would not give a specific reason for why she was let go.
When asked if she left the organization on her own accord, Hemme responded, “It wasn’t on my own accord.”
She recalled, “[WWE] asked me to move to OVW to train and I was like ‘Yes!’ I get to go train! Like I want to go work hard, I was really excited. And then when I got there, I was there for maybe a week and then I got the call that I was released. And I was heartbroken. Crushed.”
When asked why she was released, Hemme said, “There’s stuff that I just don’t need to go into, but I have said it before. I’m a strong woman that lives by my morals, and if you ask me to do something that’s not within my morals I will say no. So once I put that, you know line down, that’s when I got the ax.”
She was then asked, “Was it one specific incident or did you say no to a bunch of things and then you feel they just got that vibe about you?”
Hemme responded, “It was one specific incident, so I’m just gonna leave it at that, ’cause I don’t need to go into details.”
She added, “It was not a wrestling-related risqué thing, I did Playboy (laughs).”
When pressed on the issue further by Keven Undergaro, Hemme would only say, “It’s just behind-the-scenes … politics, politics.”
According to a report published Friday in The Wall Street Journal, Vince McMahon allegedly paid millions in hush money to a former female wrestler with whom he had a coercive sexual relationship and who was allegedly not brought back to WWE after spurning further sexual advances from the executive.
McMahon allegedly paid $7.5 million to the former wrestler, who claimed that McMahon coerced her into giving him oral sex, demoted her and then decided not to renew her contract in 2005 after she resisted further sexual encounters with him. The wrestler and her lawyer reportedly negotiated a non-disclosure agreement with McMahon in 2018.
Three other female performers who were on WWE’s main roster in 2005 parted ways with the company that year. They are Dawn Marie, Jackie Gayda and Molly Holly. WWE released both Dawn Marie and Gayda along with several other male wrestlers in July. Holly requested her release from WWE in April, which was immediately granted. This would indicate Hemme as the woman in question since she was the only female main roster performer to have been demoted and released in 2005.
The Wall Street Journal report details a total of $12 million allegedly paid out to four women over the last 16 years to quiet allegations of McMahon’s sexual misconduct.
Hemme, who is now 41 years old and a mother of three boys and two girls, is no longer involved with the professional wrestling industry in a regular capacity. On April 1, 2016, she announced her departure from TNA after spending 10 years with the organization as a wrestler, ring announcer and member of the creative team. She made a guest appearance last month at Slammiversary as a ring announcer.