Hello. This is not going to be a lighthearted or fun announcement. This is tackling a serious dispute that has grown out of proportion and affected the community in a toxic way. This post is to stop the spread of misinformation and he said she said stuff and get everyone here up to speed because it's found a way to affect you guys.
First off, we're very extremely sorry it has gotten to this point. We tried various measures that have seemed to not work in the slightest and it's grown into something both quite malicious and draining. We hope that this is the only public post we have to make, since we like to keep our work private in most situations.
We're going to be talking about the drama that has occurred, primarily around cole1114, Holt, and AES General Manager MattTheDoctor.
In this post we're going to release all the info we have to you guys, due to the publicity of the event. We are also doing this because we believe that cole1114's intentions are to bring toxicity to our community through this anti-bully goal that has since lost it's meaning.
This will be a lengthy post, but it has to be lengthy in order to cover absolutely every detail we have learned. We want to be fully transparent with you guys, so let us get started.
===How It Started===
This started basically a few years back, because of some unsettled beef that cole and Holt had with Matt. In their point of view, Matt was a big jerk and was a bully. cole and Holt were not a fan of this action. During the 2013 year, cole left the AES website because of his own personal issues that he had. The team had recently given him a second strike. Holt tried to settle with Matt and claims he got a half-assed apology, so that beef was never truly settled. Thus, Holt and cole were not cool with Matt.
There were other users that had issue with Matt, such as Monty/Kondo, and CokeIbushi for their own reasons. Monty/Kondo also had issues with Phukfaic as well.
cole returned to AES during National-E Wrestling Day the previous year, having won the SDW Heart and Soul title in a big return. While his comeback time was brief, he also started to have issues with HatsuneNiko. Which resulted in punishing Niko because he was in the wrong. Despite this, cole left the site. He's claimed both to have leave on his own volition, and also be chased out. It depends on who you ask. Since then, those two still aren't on any good terms and can be public about it. Make note that during the punishment, we told Niko and cole to block each other and not speak to one another. That was how we decided to deal with that.
cole also formed a very tight friendship with BAStaracus, who is another former member of AES.
Now we're in survey time. To recap what the surveys were, they were user feedback surveys I wanted to bring back from last year that went over things like how the staff are doing, how did you feel about each other, site features, ect.
At this point or before, BAStaracus went to cole1114 who had left the site by then and claimed that she tried to come into apologize but was ran out by two members, one implicated to be Matt. This was brought up to me personally, and when I tried to get proof of this and promised to enact action, they chose to not give proof or pursue this. The staff team is under the assumption then that this did not occur.
(Note: A similar accusation occured when she was involved in nearly the exact same setup with Swerveface from /wooo/, that was shutdown by Red_Reddington of LOLWRESTLING.com)
Regardless, cole took it to heart, and got a group together for the surveys to finally be heard. He gathered Holt, Coke, and Monty. They then filled out their surveys and we were able to get a look at them.
We used these surveys to try and reach out to those affected. Since then we're happy to announce that we resolved the issues that Coke and Monty both had. Coke and Matt resolved their issues in about a day thanks to Coke reporting it, and Monty's issue was hashed out with Phukfaic after Phukfaic and Kondo resolved their issue. Those three users are on good terms with our team and we are glad that we were able to resolve their beef. Shoutouts to them for coming to an resolution.
Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for cole and Holt.
===The First Blowup===
This all came to a head on Twitter. Some staff users have a public twitter account and a private twitter account. Usually these privates are to talk about more intimate subjects such as their feelings, like if they're feeling majorly depressed, or angry, but just want a space to shout it out and vent. I think you guys know how these function. Public account is stuff you're fine with everyone seeing, private account is stuff you only want your approved followers to see.
There was a few venting tweets put out about cole and his situation, because to be honest with you guys, this is a fucking frustrating one. These tweets were leaked out to cole who went on to tweet about it. Regardless how you feel about people having venting sessions or not in private, there was quite a bit of drama due to someone leaking it out. Most of it was centered on who this person was and it led to a public blowup that involved myself and Stardy that I'm sure you are all aware about.
In the end, Holt leaked these out to cole in order to stop corruption and bullying by staff members. Holt did try to talk it out in the AES Discord and talked about his lack of trust.
This led to Holt trying to get himself and cole to talk to Matt and try to hash it out.
===Matt and cole/Holt Try To Talk It Out===
Like with Matt/Coke and with Phukfaic/Monty, we went with the same approach to try and talk it out. However, due to cole's uncomfortably with Matt, they added in Laura as a mediator, and TBK was inserted to be on Matt's side as his request which they agreed to.
This is the full chat. Please be advised that one name is in fact censored as they didn't want to be dragged into this or be used as an example at any point and thus, despite their name being brought up, it has been censored in this pastebin.
These two mainly used the censored person, BA, Coke, and Monty as their big sources for their claims and had screenshots of Matt being particularly bad at handling stuff or doing a problematic Vince McMahon copypasta bit in 2011 in an era of AES where the site said we could have a show called Faggotmania.
Matt frequently brought up bad memory issues or had apologies for things relating to issues he had with other members outside of BA because of his temper.
In the end, they couldn't become friends or anything, but it was understood by the staff team that this issue despite not having as happy as an ending or resolution, that both parties could move on.
This is where it should have ended.
===The Blowup 2===
After having a talk where cole and Holt tried to stop the bullying of Matt. Twitter user Dave1307, a friend of cole, went to antagonize another Twitter user, Desperado aka @WheresChungy, because of a tweet about how Rusev Day was a not as good version of the Year of Luigi. This led to an argument where Dave mainly tried to antagonize Despy by bringing up old tweets and encouraging him to flare his bad temper which wasn't an unknown to anyone who knows Despy.
Cole got into the mentions, and started to blame Despy for getting antagonized saying "it's funny when you get mad" and defended Dave because "he was baiting people". That screenshot can be found here.
After hearing this down the grape vine of gossip, HatsuneNiko made a tweet as a jab at cole, who again, was blocked by Niko.
Holt then shared this info with cole, which then was reported to the staff team.
This got into the hands of NotTensai after cole began to call this out in a public area where he could see it. This led to NotTensai beginning a callout spree after cole began to call out former member Lazer, who is and was to our knowledge completely un-involved with the current situations. He eventually deactivated his account and has left to cool off.
===The End Result===
The end result of all this was another toxic public drama session where one side decides to blame the whole website. The other side can't really handle the barrage, and the real losers are you guys who were never involved in the first place. We are so sorry about this. We hope that this post can catch you guys up since it's basically become a public incident.
You may judge this situation on your own accord, but the staff team does have their own opinion on this.
On what could be seen as a legitimate attempt to right wrongs is no longer that in our eyes. We do not see cole as someone trying to fix the bullying issue, as his actions and words clearly contradict each other. We the staff believe he is trying to create a toxic environment on us in an act of revenge of some sort. We encourage everyone to not get involved with this toxic behavior and try to cut it out of their feed.
In the end, we did what we could, and unfortunately it didn't work so it has come to this. This post was for you guys so you no longer had to be dragged into a confusing situation where you don't know shit and only know that your friends are upset.
In theory, I could have just wrote this up for Discord and posted it in there but I wanna do it here so I can link it and it doesn't get buried with reactions.
Alright so obviously there was that whole dumb Twitter thing today that way too many people got into the crossfire of, including myself, and it was pretty bad. I feel bad it happened on Sam Gladwin's birthday because I love that dude and he's a good man. In theory, we should celebrate his birthday tomorrow as well.
Tomorrow is Day 2 of Sam Gladwin's birthday celebrations, y'all better respect it.
With that said, I personally got really on edge and really panicing about the whole thing cause it was affecting some friends in a bad bad way, and I put myself in a situation where I couldn't connect with the staff team which really is a major fuck up on my part, so I did everything solo.
I really don't like how I treated Stardy just yelling at him, that was really fucking dumb. I don't like how Stardy went about it but all I did was yell SHUT UP cause I was in a bad headspace, and that's not an excuse for my actions, that's just how it happened.
That's really fucking unacceptable on my end, and I have told the Community lads to give me a strike for it.
Regardless of if they do or not, I still want to apologize. If I'm supposed to be a General Manager of this site I can't be wilding out and doing DUMB SHIT. I hope we can move past this. If you wanna hold how I acted against Joseph Stardy Best for the end of times, I won't blame you. I'm not gonna tell you to accept this or anything. That's all I got. I'm gonna try and relax and do some chill stuff like LOVE and FrancoRonpa and whatever.
Hey it's me! It's Francis Ugondus! The survey master! A week and a half ago, we opened up a survey for you all to take. We've gathered about 24 responses, which is about half the size of our community I think? I think it's a pretty good sample size to see how you are all feeling, and for this post, I'm gonna lay out everything in that survey so EVERYONE is on the same page, both the general community and the staff.
I'm not gonna talk about specific results and what not, but the general overall findings from the very negative to very positive responses we have gotten in this survey, and lay out some ideas for some solutions to problems and praise for what we're doing right and stuff. I will also break it down category by category as the same as the survey was, this unfortunately will be a bit of a longer post, I will have these sectioned into spoiler tags so you can look at specific categories.
Again, due to the nature of disclosing both negative and positive stuff, if people start witch hunting for who said what, that is not cool and we will take reports on it very seriously.
Alright, so, suffice to say, the majority of the people who took the survey love the eFeds and stuff related to writing your OC's and stuff. That's probably seems a bit obvious to say but it's worth pointing out if I go over everything.
This one was a very polarizing section. People who responded to the survey really dislike us, really like us, or think we're just doing a fine job.
Anyway, here's the general breakdown for each team.
General Managers: The majority of responses believe we've been just doing a nice fine job. Not perfect mind you, but we're getting along steadily. Some other responses ranged from we could have done better on some issues to "we super fucked up this one thing", which I think has merit seeing it go down behind the scenes. Another thing brought up by some users was some conduct issues they felt with members from this team, and we encourage you to call it out if you see it.
Number Rating Average - 7.7
Community Managers: Again, majority thinks they've been doing okay, however I seen some responses that seem confused in what they do exactly, which is fair. We want to try and communicate what everyone's roles, not just theirs, in a more easier manner, which is why the #info-box channel went through an update. With that said, they will try to be more active than they previously were and try to find a sweet spot where it's not overbearing but you know what they're doing. If you want a nice list of what each staff team does, check the #info-box. The other complaint is similar to the what I wrote in the General Managers about doing a big fuck up.
Number Rating Average - 7.2
Content Managers: Majority of you are really happy with this team. I will go as far to say myself that they've been pretty great in my opinion! (no bias) (probably bias). You guys seem to know what they do and how well they do it. The one general thing brought up is that the team has slowed down on the YouTube front which they know, and I know Sam has the AES Advent Calender happening which should result in more activity. So, a goal here is to utilize the YouTubes more.
Also, seems you guys were pretty happy with Tan's addition, so I'm going to shout her out here. GO TAN!
Number Rating Average - 8.2
What Each Team Does: It's a bit half and half. We believe half of you know what each does and the other half don't, so as explained in the Community Manager bit, we added it to the #info-box channel on Discord.
Restructuring Opinion: Half of you have no opinion on the matter either due to joining the site when it just got into effect or just not paying attention, 3/8ths of you think it has been positive, thinking we have better focus, and 1/8th are unhappy with it due to belief that we haven't had better focus with it.
Restructing Opinion Average: 6.8
AES Rules: In principal, they're good, but they need both updating and better enforcement. A general complaint with the rules is that it feels like sometimes it can appear that we play favorites and not punish some people while others get the snap. I was one of the people who took the survey and expressed similar sentiment. I blame both our previous unorganization (which I believe we've found a solution by adding a task checkbox in the Staff Discord but we'll see how that goes) along with some lack of assertiveness. I believe this to be the top priority to fix because it can cause an feeling in people that we play favorites, which can lead to "oh man the staff can probably get away with everything too" which some responses on the survey by various people have indicated that this is a feeling of some members, and I think that needs to be rectified immediately. I don't think anyone wants to be on a site like that.
We will try to work on this the best we can. We will try to update these rules as well.
How Often Do You Watch eFeds?: The majority 1/3rd response was that the survey takers said they tried to watch as often as they could and catch up with the Network/VODs in the event they missed something. Not far behind is watching and catching up with stuff they're only personally interested in, then the other responses combined made up the last third.
How Often Do You Read Promos?: The majority answer here was only stuff they were interested in along with the 3rd highest being that same answer with the addition reading stuff for the fed they run. The 2nd majority answer is reading everything.
Favorite eFed Game?: Majority has no preference, 2nd highest was Fire Pro, then lower than that was Next Gen 2K.
How Well Do You Fit In? Average: 3.4 Majority of you feel like you fit in well, but it isn't like a commanding majority as there are a good chunk of survey people that feel below that average. I won't disclose much further than that.
How Do You Feel About The Size Of The Community?: You guys are pretty happy with the community size and either want it to be this size forever or just add a few more people.
Is there something you wish the community did more or less of?: This is the big one, the call out post of the whole website.
I'm gonna list some stuff at least multiple people pointed out and not singular ones or ones that contradict each other.
- More being respectful toward each other and less dumb fights over shit (like JINDER MAHAL). - Less shitposting and bits. - More communication and connecting and talking with each other and not splitting off into separate Discord servers. - Less memes about real world events and other people's misfortunes. - More people expressing their own honest feedback/opinions regardless if their positive or negative on promos, characters, ect. and not relying on more vocal members to be the only ones to do so. - More varied streams/Synchtubes. - More pro-activeness to do their own content i.e. their own analytical stuff like the Power Rankings and other stuff. Which kinda goes hand in hand with the honest feedback/opinions post.
There's a few more like more goofy efed stuff which contradicts with ones like more serious efed stuff so that's gonna cancel each other out. But, those are some that were repeated in the response.
What are your current feelings on the community?: The majority opinion in the responses say that you guys are pretty happy with the community in general. Obviously you won't mesh well with every single fuckin' person not just here but on Earth, which is something which was said by a good few, but that's just the nature of things isn't it?
Is there any feature you think you can add to the forums?: Majority of you guys didn't have ideas, however I'm gonna share some of the ones that are possible by people who aren't admins.
- A Superstar Of The Month type deal where we give an extra spotlight to a cool character and showcase them! - A Masterpost that collects the major storylines from each federation in a brief readable summary of what's going on in a macro sense to help out new people.
Is there a subsection or subforum you want added to the forums?: Basically everyone said no, which is not surprising since the Discord has kinda overtaken the forums as a community hub. However, I would like to say every example in that question is a section already, and I saw some of you answering those. Kinda weird.
Is there any improvement you can think of that would benefit the forum?: Again, most said no or some minor tweaks that the admins could do like making the Discord link more visible or removing Chatango, however, there was another idea expressed in here that I will share.
- Maybe a super thread with links to "required reading/viewing" or best ofs so newbies can catch up or important fed stuff that's happened in the past without having to go dig for it. Maybe even a monthly event like /wooo/ used to do where they'd vote for their favourite matches of the past to be added to the /wooo/terion collection, except with AES matches, promos or entire shows, just to give new people a starting point to go off of.
Would you care for a revamp of the forum store we have?: Alright, I will be real. This is something I personally added in because at some point, I wanted to do it and I wanted to gauge interest. It's an even split between Yes, No, and Maybe. Since it's not an overwhelming yes, we'll probably focus on the other stuff listed in this survey first.
How necessary is being apart of the AES Discord?: A majority of you believe it's pretty necessary, though not completely because Big Man Sean is proof it's not 100%. It's also made it easier for people to connect rather than in the past in the Skype days.
Is there any channels you would like added to the AES Discord?: Everyone but two people said no, and one of those two people was me doing a joke. One person suggested a character-discussion channel, so if you guys want to add a character-discussion channel as that one person suggested, then you can think over it.
Is there any channels you would like removed from the AES Discord?: Certainly not the promo-discussion-and-feedback one. We heard you loud and clear on that and we will take the L. The other suggestions were merging the video game channels and either removing or merging the robot wars channels.
How do you feel about the AES Patreon?: Half of the responses are "we're too poor to donate", which is defo okay. I'm glad you made that choice instead of being financially irresponsible. Another few people were not interested and most of the others donated and were happy with it with an exception.
Do you have any ideas for new incentives?: Majority of you didn't have any ideas but one of them was commissioning art from actual artist people. That one might be a bit weird with artist's having different prices and Patreon tiers are static. But that's a good one to consider. One of you forgot your response and wanted a reminder to get back at us so here's the reminder if you're reading.
Do you think we should change or get rid of some incentives, and if so, which ones?: Majority of you again didn't have any ideas, but one of them was reworking or replacing the game streams one since Dan isn't really on the site anymore. Not a lot to say on this one.
Forums: 8.3 General comments: Search feature is a little butts and mobile site issues like spoiler tags not working.
Discord: 7.5 General comments: Mainly stuff already discussed in the community section.
eFed Streams: 8.7 General comments: Guys are doing good, however one lad would love another streamer.
Radio Armbar: 7.7 General comments: The majority of commenters either don't use it or don't use it much but find the thread useful and find it nice to have.
Synchtubes: 7.1 General comments: The majority of commenters want more of these. I think the site's members could be more proactive in just finding shit to watch. The @everyone and @here tags work in there for everyone for the sole purpose of letting everyone on the site host them whenever they want. Try to find something to watch with friends lads!
The AES Wiki!: 7.1 General comments: The majority of commenters are talking about either "I should update my stuff" or "stuff isn't updated". If more active, it could be a great resource but alas, the barrier to entry might feel real high. High potential but needs more work. Maybe having some people be dedicated Wiki contributors or something would help?
Anything we had in the past you want to be brought back or reworked, as for example, the stream page?: Majority again, had no ideas. But, here were some from the few that did.
- Custom emotes in the chat. - Costume Contest where people dress up as e-Fed wrestlers (but not your own as to not be TOO EZ) - Promo feedback raffle - Someone misses the chat archives. Me too man.
Any COOL ideas for stuff to add on, as for example, the AES Wiki this year?: Again, majority didn't have any ideas, but here were some of them from those that did.
- Maybe a subsection on the Network for non-eFed things, like archived gaming streams, and another subsection for past Radio Armbar radio shows?
- I did suggest an "AESVEVO" type of thing where people can listen to people/show themes on YouTube or somewhere else where we don't get copyrighted. (I assume so you can also pick the songs you wanna listen to as well.)
- The stuff I said about a super thread of recommended/important promos, shows and matches would be neat. (this idea was above)
- I like the idea of the AES Network actually having a 24/7 stream on twitch with retro shows and specials would help bring the site new people. -- Hi, Tan swooping in on Francis' nice write-up to provide an in-depth response to this one. The long answer is we can't do it directly as it would require a dedicated server (significantly beyond budget, sadly), but we're looking into what we can do without it being an actual stream. Twitch's vodcast feature is something we're planning on running some tests with in the near future, and we're given to understand that the feature will be expanded in the future to allow playlists to run on cycle, so watch this space!
How accessible is AES for new members? Average: 6.4 I think it's safe to say that this has always been one of the fundamentally challenging things to pull off the way this site has been structured for five years. While projects like the AES 300 which evolved into the AES Wiki have been efforts to solve this, along with more ideas to solve this issue up above like masterthreads, it's always been a huge undertaking. Plus there is the hurdle of learning what the community is like, what are some of these in-jokes??? What do these AES ads mean??? Plus there's been sentiment about how hard it is sometimes to get into some feds right as you join. Though places like TANW and JJBA seem to aim to aid in that.
The challenge is making that hurdle easier to get over.
How accessible is AES for Fed Heads? Average: 6.9 Now, I'm gonna be real, something's feels a lil weird about this one, as the most answered option was 5, followed by 10, and then 9, and then every other number outside of 6 has one vote each, supported by a good chunk of the comments saying "not a fed head, can't rate". I don't know if this average is accurate.
Regardless, the majority either said they didn't have a fed so they couldn't properly rate or that the process was easy, with other comments seemingly to be about personal issues they have faced. The only other thing pointed out was how AES's shared universe may make it hard for people to fully get into the site, which is fair, but however, DangerZone Wrestling Academy got off without a hitch so, if you wanna make a self contained fed, you're all invited to follow in that fed's footsteps sort to say and do your own crazy thing. I'd sign up for it!
How accessible is AES for Streamers? Average: 7.0 I feel this is another poll skewered by the amount of 5's given due to not having experience in it. Most comments usually go to "I don't know lol." Which is fair enough. The other comments have relayed about the ease of getting access to getting a streamer for their show or becoming one. There isn't much to talk about here.
How accessible is AES for starting your own community project? Average: 7.0 Unlike the previous two, I feel this is an accurate average. A good majority of comments seem to say "You just gotta start something and it'll usually work out" and that it's something that's encouraged, with one of you hoping to start your own thing! Which I encourage. There's also a small chunk that believes that you need to be perceived as popular to get any traction with it. We hope to keep encouraging those who want to do stuff like Power Rankings or take on the mantle of the Superstar of the Month idea, or something from the past like the Open Forum, and try to make it as easy as possible to start up and make it feel wanted, regardless of who you are.
Any concerns with anything in AES you want to address now? Many of you said to have expressed your concerns that you've had earlier in the survey, such as the unenforcement of rules, the community being nicer to each other, more communication, admin conduct, and other issues brought up.
How was the survey and what can we do to improve on it for next time? People thought it was long! I was like "eh it's not too bad" AND THEN I HAD TO WRITE UP THIS RECAP, IT TOOK TWO DAYS. I will definitely try to shorten it for next time. The other one was about the amount of mandatory responses. I will defend this option in that it was supposed to force you to try and think about it, and that in the survey description, putting "IDK" was a valid answer. However, that's something we can probably cut down on too, but this one will be a lil harder.
Now that's everything. mostly fully disclosed. Hopefully we can use this as a stepping stone into seeing what we can aims towards trying to change or what things we should stick to. The point of this survey was to find areas to grow in and do it with everyone having a voice instead of the staff team saying "oh well we can add a wiki or something" and that's that.
Obviously you can disagree with some of this survey people, or you might feel a little bit uncomfortable with some stuff that was disclosed, however, to make some change happen, you gotta feel uncomfortable sometimes. I hope you guys digest this with an open mind and ask yourself how this survey affects you and make your own personal decision on if you wanna do something with this survey, if anything at all.
With that said, thank you for taking the time to do this survey the last week or so! I hope this can be a very helpful tool to help with the guide to the future.
Team LOVE def. #TopGuysDeJapon Kasumi Moore eliminated Rick Trent Big Boy Gladwin eliminated Kasumi Moore Marie Connor eliminated Snakeman Marie Connor eliminated Big Boy Gladwin Marie Connor eliminated Francis Ugondus