Lacey Evans returns to WWE television this past Friday on Smackdown with the latest version of her military-inspired presentation. In real life, Evans is a Marine veteran, and WWE has attempted to capitalize on that fact in a variety of heel and face iterations of the blonde-haired star. This latest version includes a drill sergeant’s hat with a big cobra planted right down the middle, something many interpreted as an homage, or rip-off, depending on who you asked, of WWE Hall of Famer Sgt. Slaughter.
It is common in pro wrestling for stars to adapt moves, monikers, or gear that pay homage to the wrestlers who inspired them. Before Kevin Owens was running around Raw dropping people with stunners, Steve Austin was doing the same thing during The Attitude Era. In that instance, the imitation was willingly passed down but in other instances, like The Young Bucks’ use of Shawn Michaels’ Superkick, it is not. In the case of Evans paying tribute to Slaughter with her new look, it would seem it does not come with his, or his family’s, approval.
“No. This is NOT okay,” Slaughter’s daughter began on Twitter. “@WWE Who the f-ck does @LaceyEvansWWE think she is?!? There’s only 1 @_SgtSlaughter, there’s only 1 Slaughter Daughter, and she’s just a poser.”
“Your daddy’s biggest fan,” Evans fired back. “A United States Marine. And a bad Mfer. (American flag emoji) you know who I am. And where to find me.”
The bad blood between Evans and the Slaughter brood did not end there. The Sarge himself saw the battle his daughter was embroiled in and decided to jump in the proverbial foxhole with her.
“Lookout @LaceyEvansWWE,” he began. “You’ve Got @_sgtdaughter Pissed. She’s One Tough MF’er. I Know Jarhead I Trained Her & Like ME She Takes NO Prisoner’s ‘There’s Only 2 Ways Out Of Camp Slaughter On YOUR Feet or In A Ditty Bag, An Itty, Bitty, Ditty Bag’ YO JOE”
“Between your hips and her ability, the chances of anyone in your bloodline to put me in a bag is 0,” Evans responded. “When you birth someone who can carry your legacy or take me out, call me. Until then, salute me. Like the real Marine I am. Rah.”
It is worth noting that the “real Marine” line at the end of Evans’ last comment is likely a reference to the fact Sgt. Slaughter has no actual military background. While he has presented himself in the past as someone who served as a Marine and drill instructor, there is no substance to those claims.
WrestleVotes has jumped into the discourse to add some clarity to the situation. The popular insider pro wrestling account notes that back in January, WWE pitched Slaughter the idea of doing a series of vignettes with Evans where he would mentor her and pass on his patented Cobra Clutch submission maneuver. Slaughter apparently “adamantly” turned down the offer, with no further explanation given.