A family wrestling show has been axed after a video emerged showing a muscle-bound star urging at least 100 children in the audience to shout homophobic slurs at his rival in the ring.
Luke Douton, who ran the Al Snow Wrestling Academy (ASWA) Midlands which licenses the WWE superstar’s namelaunched an offensive chant of “big fat p***” in “support” of the Queen – which was repeated in unison by more than 100 children.
After MailOnline informed executives at the Prince of Wales Theater in Cannock, Staffordshire, of the wrestler’s homophobic tirade, it stopped further events with the company, which is “endorsed” by Snow, whose American wrestling school OVW was the subject of the Netflix documentary series Wrestlers. Snow is not believed to have attended the match.
The wrestling organization was due to hold an event at the venue this Sunday, November 1 – but outraged executives scrapped the show, which cost £12 for an adult ticket and £10 for a child.
Theater directors, who are in partnership with Cannock Chase and North Yorkshire councils, said they were “appalled” that a “homophobic slur” had been used at their venue, adding they would not work with anyone who “incites homophobic opinions”.
Wrestling promoter Luke Douton (pictured), who runs the Al Snow Wrestling Academy (ASWA) Midlands on behalf of the famous WWE star, was filmed starting a homophobic chant of “big fat p*** » repeated by more than 100 children in the Name of the Queen
After MailOnline informed managers at the Prince of Wales Theater in Cannock, Staffordshire, of the wrestler’s homophobic tirade, it pulled ASWA’s further wrestling events.
Luke Douton ran the ASWA Midlands wrestling school, which licenses the name of WWE superstar Al Snow (pictured)
At the ASWA Midlands wrestling match at the 427-seat theater in May last year, Douton – as his alter ego Layton Cole – launched into a homophobic tirade in front of stands packed with 150 children , according to someone who was in the audience.
“I drove to the post office and picked up a package and inside was a letter addressed to me that said, ‘Layton Cole, listen yeah.’ I promise, it’s is the case, he was saying “listen yeah,” Douton shouted into the microphone in front of the packed room.
“And it goes on: “Jonny Rose (his wrestling opponent) is a big asshole. “‘
The kids laughed at Douton’s comments before continuing: “And I couldn’t believe what I was reading, but I kept reading… He was like, ‘Big Tim Burns is a big dick.’ “
“In support of the Royal Mail and Her Majesty herself, I want to hear a crescendo right now: “Big fat p***!”
We can then hear the children repeating the song with and after Douton no less than ten times.
The witness, who also attended this spectacle, was outraged that the promoter of the fight, Douton, incited the children to shout homophobic insults. ‘I can’t believe children are shouting these things,’ he told MailOnline.
He said the room was “full of kids”, about 100 to 150 of them, mostly shouting “big fat f***” to Douton’s beat.
He added that his wife, who works with children, described the scene as “appalling”.
ASWA Midlands also runs a children’s wrestling school, which the witness to this incident described as worrying given its apparent attitude towards sexual minorities.
A spokesperson for Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles, which runs the Prince of Wales Theatre, told MailOnline: ‘We are appalled that this homophobic language and insults occurred in one of our venues.
“This was a private hire event using our facilities and was not witnessed by our staff at the time. As soon as we were informed of this incident, we immediately suspended the organization that had rented the venue and removed all future advertising for their upcoming events from our website.
“Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles does not support or work with any entity or organization that promotes homophobic views; we cannot stress this enough.
“We are proud to champion inclusion for all, as evidenced by the community engagement work we do every day.
Douton, as alter ego Layton Cole, said “Big Tim Burns is a big dick” during the wrestling match
At an ASWA Midlands event in May 2022 at the 427-seat Prince of Wales Theater in Cannock, Staffordshire, Douton (centre), who uses the stage name Layton Cole, launched into a homophobic tirade in front of a packed audience of at least 100 children.
Luke Douton admitted his singing of “big fat p***” was “probably a bit close to the limit”, when approached for comment by MailOnline, but blamed the “pressure” of the live moment and said he had overcome a “period of depression and self-loathing”.
He claimed to have “walked away from wrestling”, but at the time of writing, Douton’s wrestling alter-ego, Layton Cole, is still listed as part of the ASWA Midlands roster on its website.
The wrestler is also set to appear as Layton Cole at an event at the Tamworth Assembly Rooms in Tamworth, Staffordshire this Saturday September 30.
Douton said that, as far as he remembers, he made the remarks during a “promotion where my mind went blank and some stupid stuff came out that was probably a little close to the line.”
“But you’re live and under pressure, sometimes nonsense slips out,” Douton added.
“I thought afterwards that it was one of my worst performances, but it was an exceptionally difficult time and I was going through quite a lot of negative things which impacted everything for me at the time.
“Fortunately, I overcame this period of depression and self-loathing and gave up wrestling to devote myself to a profession that brings me a lot of joy. I made thousands of matches for almost 20 years, I’m sure they weren’t all perfect and not everything was done well.
“If over time I have made it possible for some people to escape from the bad in their lives for a few hours or to laugh when they need to, I am happy with that.
“I have done many shows for free for charities and low-income families. I’ve raised money for the Teenage Cancer Trust with events and lots of things like that. When I felt like I could do my part, I did.
“I tried my best guy.”
MailOnline has contacted Al Snow for comment.