Emma released by WWE (UPDATE: … and then reinstated)

Emma NXT WWEIn what must be perceived as something of a shocker, Emma (Tenille Dashwood) was released from WWE earlier today, two days after her arrest for sixth degree larceny which we covered in yesterday’s Roundup.

Dashwood was held by officers in Hartford, CT after allegedly attempting to steal an iPod case worth $21. Her attorney argued that it was a mistake and she had simply forgotten to pay for it when going through the self-service checkout at Wal-Mart. Fast-tracking the case, she appeared before community court yesterday and was ordered to do one day of community service, which seemed pretty forgiving.

Before the sentence was revealed, WWE released a statement saying “WWE is aware that Tenille Dashwood (WWE Diva Emma) was arrested for shoplifting. Ms. Dashwood is ultimately responsible for her personal actions.” It was claimed that WWE did not see it as a big matter and that it would all blow over very quickly – though those assertions were vastly incorrect, as the company has taken the step of getting rid of the 25-year old Australian completely.

Dashwood started training in 2003 at the age of 13 but had to slow down in her later teenage years because of a shoulder injury. She moved to Calgary, Alberta, Canada to train with Lance Storm in 2007 and again in 2011, appearing on TV show World Of Hurt. In between those stints, she wrestled in Australia for places like PWA Australia, for SHIMMER in the US and also for Extreme (now Elite) Canadian Championship Wrestling under the moniker of either Tenille Tayla or simply Tenille before being signed to WWE in March 2011 – though she wouldn’t relocate to Florida for 14 more months as she had surgery to repair her shoulder.

Rebranded as Emma, she was portrayed as a clumsy deluded dancer who lived in her own world. She started out as a heel but her gimmick endeared her to the fans who turned her baby face and saw her compete in the finals of the tournament to crown the first NXT Women’s Champion, but fell to Paige. The pair fought again in February at the ArRIVAL show with a similar result, but by that point she had made her first appearance on the main roster.

Renee Young Emma NXTStarting out in the crowd, she raised the ire of Summer Rae and sided with Santino Marella in a comedy gimmick which did her no real favours and didn’t allow her to showcase her abilities. Her final match was on NXT’s May 30 where she, Paige and Bayley defeated Summer, Charlotte and Sasha Banks.

The release also comes just a couple of weeks after she worked the media circuit in Australia to hype WWE’s shows in the country next month, where she would be returning as the triumphant hero. Clearly, that scenario is not going to happen anymore.

It all comes as somewhat of a shock to us especially when you consider what other wrestlers have got away with in the past. For example, you could argue that it’s nowhere near as bad as Cameron allegedly trying to bribe a police officer after being pulled over in Florida on suspicion of drink-driving. However, the location may be key as Emma’s arrest happened in Connecticut – the same state where WWE is based. Perhaps it was perceived as an embarrassment to the company so it made an example, however a US visa can be revoked if the holder is found to have engaged in any criminal activity. The latter situation is not necessarily the case here, but visas have been known to be revoked in other cases for that reason.

UPDATE: The plot thickens. Less than 3 hours after announcing her release, WWE has now reinstated Emma:

Upon further evaluation, WWE has reinstated Tenille Dashwood (WWE Diva Emma) but will take appropriate punitive action for her violation of the law.

This is a very confusing situation.

– Photos by WWE

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