David Starr has created quite the name for himself not only with his work in the ring but his outspokenness outside of it. Starr spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast where he was asked how he would describe David Starr.
"There are so many different directions I could go. Could I go with the standard millennial that hates myself or the standard pro wrestler that loves myself," asked Starr. "I'm just a guy who loves pro wrestling. I'm very political; I wear my emotions on my sleeve and I wear my politics on my sleeve. I guess the best way to describe myself – and this is such a disingenuous thing to say – but I feel like I'm a genuine person. I say what I think and believe and I allow people to judge me for it."
Starr was embroiled in a controversy with ROH where they asked him to take down a video before a scheduled match against Jay Lethal in Israel. Starr talked about that situation and why he has a problem with ROH's parent company, Sinclair Broadcasting.
"They didn't communicate with me. I was booked through an indie promotion and first I was supposed to wrestle Ilja Dragonov, but he wasn't able to do it because WWE doesn't allow anyone with an Israeli stamp on their passport to really be on their roster because Saudi Arabia doesn't like that," stated Starr.
"Then they said they could get Lethal and they got him by going through ROH because he has an exclusive contract with them. Then ROH decided they were going to put the world title on the line and I was like, 'Okay. This is a big opportunity for me to speak about these issues that I think are important.' They didn't like me doing that and had me pull the promo. They insinuated that they would pull Jay Lethal from the show if the promo wasn't pulled."
Since Lethal was already paid and had his expensive flight booked and hotel accommodations made, Starr wasn't going to put IPWA in a bad situation so he agreed to pull the video even though they both agreed he wasn't saying anything wrong.
"My main issue after that was that ROH decided to take the title off Jay before the match happened and they went on their website, had not spoken to me, and attributed a quote from me which is ridiculous. Then after saying on their website that the title would be defended whether Jay was champion or not, then they decided to change the title and not get their champion on the show. So they lied. They lied to the Israeli fans that are there and they lied to the world," said Starr.
"Anyone who has some sort of a connection to Sinclair Broadcasting is morally reprehensible."
Because he isn't afraid to speak his mind, Starr feels that the door is closed to him at WWE and ROH.
"Yeah, absolutely I do. I've heard from some people that things have been said directly and I know that. I'm not afraid and don't have much to lose," said Starr. "I'm very fortunate that I have been saving money my whole life and I do have a supportive family if need be. I'm fortunate to have systems in place where I know that I'm gonna be okay no matter what."
He added that he has been able to pay off his own bills off of pro wrestling for four years now and he has no desire to ever take a paycheck from ROH because it has "Sinclair Broadcasting" written on it.
"And I'm fairly certain that the WWE door is closed and I'm not concerned about that because if I was there, I would have to sit down and shut up and just take the money. I don't think I could actually do that as I would feel like I'm betraying myself," revealed Starr who added that he's taking on the tact of speaking loudly from the outside and not the inside of a promotion like WWE.
"We have to keep speaking truth to power. That's such a cliché at this point but it's the truth. We have to come together and acknowledge these shortcomings from these major corporate entities and show where they are anti-labor. Someone has become a billionaire [Vince McMahon] off the backs of laborers who are currently broken and have no financial recourse and that's egregious."
Unsurprisingly, Starr isn't thrilled about WWE taking Saudi Arabian money as he calls their government an atrocity. He also said that a much stronger statement would have been made by Saudi Arabia wanting a show, offering a ton of money and being told "no."
Starr then said that WWE is speaking out of both sides of it's mouth in regards to its Women's Superstars and that planning women's events around their Saudi shows is just to distract from the Saudi shows.
"It's a mask. They don't care about the women's rights issues. Stephanie said that philanthropy is gonna be the No. 1 business motivator or something like that. They are using that to try and say they're not so bad. But they take money from an oppressive regime that executes homosexuals or anyone that's not heterosexual," stated Starr who then brought up the American journalist who was murdered for speaking out against the Saudi government.
Starr added that it would still be wrong to take the money in the first place but WWE haven't even used it to pay their workers more or offer them benefits. He calls WWE's actions obscene and brought up that 15 of the 19 hijackers from 9/11 were Saudi Arabian.
"F*** that. Ridiculous and it's offensive," said Starr.
David Starr can be followed on Twitter @TheProductDS. Starr's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. In it Starr discusses pro wrestlers' rights, how to unionize pro wrestlers, his controversial ROH promo that was pulled, WWE's shows in Saudi Arabia, WALTER, WWE NXT UK and more.