Emma has recently returned to the WWE after 5 years away, but it was 2014 when she was fired by the WWE for the most bizarre reason.
Real name Tenille Dashwood, Emma was the first ever Australian woman signed to wrestle for the WWE. She took that honour in her stride, becoming one of the best female wrestlers in NXT with her matches against Paige inspiring the Women’s Revolution in WWE in 2016 (also known as the Diva’s Revolution). Before those matches, women were not seen on the same level as men but with the likes of Emma and Paige helping innovate a new style of wrestling, they put the women on the same level as the male superstars.
She made her way to the main roster in 2013 and was paired up with WWE Legend Santino Marella. The duo played an awkward pair, with their “will-they, wont-they” storyline going nowhere due to injuries suffered by Marella that eventually caused his retirement from wrestling.
She was touted for big things, given her fantastic wrestling ability compared to the “Divas-era” wrestlers that were currently in the women’s division. However, fans were shocked when the news came out in June 2014 that Emma had been fired by WWE for stealing an iPad case from her local Walmart in Connecticut – the same city as WWE’s Headquarters.
On Monday, June 30th 2014, WWE announced they had fired Emma from the company after she stole a $21 iPad case from Walmart. This came as a shock to everyone, as she was making good money wrestling for the WWE and would not need to steal such a trivial item. She was fired on the same day as Monday Night Raw was supposed to air with her a big part of the show.
The news was devastating to the budding career of the Australian star. Emma was in America on a working Visa which was conditional on her working for the WWE. With her firing, it was likely that before too long she would have to return to Australia, where the wrestling scene is nowhere near as strong as in the United States.
However, Emma was soon rehired. WWE reinstated her contract just two hours after her initial firing, after details about her arrest and shoplifting came to light. Her lawyer correctly argued that she simply forgot to scan the stolen item whilst on the self-checkout services in her store. Given that she had already paid for $30 worth of shopping in the same transaction, it is very likely that it was simply a one-off lapse of judgement that could happen to anyone.
WWE later altered the statement they had made when originally announcing her release. In the WWE article which first broke the news that she was being fired, they changed it to say, “WWE has reinstated Tenille Dashwood (Emma) but will take appropriate action for her violation of the law”.
Luckily WWE realised their mistake and Emma stayed with the company for three more years, before leaving to wrestle in IMPACT Wrestling and Ring of Honor. She joined WWE in 2022 at the behest of Triple H and aligned herself with her real-life partner Madcap Moss on Friday Night Smackdown.