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The Atlantic Article on WWE Racism towards Blacks and No BLACK WWE World Champions

waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of SelfOn The Road to ZionPosts: 9,404 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited July 2014 in Off The Turn Buckle
Well it's look like the media have picked up on the Racism in WWE The Atlantic was the first to do an article on July 10th that was picked up by the Huffington Post.

Thirteen-thousand fans pack an arena in anticipation of big fights, championship bouts, and a whole lot of drama. The cheering melts to boos as a blonde woman takes the stage, curvy and intimidating, the kind of character you’d expect to see James Bond meeting at a cafe in Kiev.

“Foolish Americans,” she begins in a painfully fake Russian accent, prompting a "U-S-A!" chant from the Chicago crowd. She rips into them, speaking at length about America’s crumbling empire, declaring Russia the Earth’s sole superpower and Vladimir Putin its greatest leader.

This is Lana, the ravishing Russian, and she is berating the Americans, foolish though they may be, in order to hype up her associate Alexander Rusev, the Super Athlete. He’s an imposing figure, roughly the size and shape of a refrigerator, and he’s waving the Russian flag around as if attempting to swat invisible bald eagles. He will face off against Big E, a somehow even larger man, waving the American flag with equal ferocity.

This particular World Wrestling Entertainment match, see, isn’t just a couple of greased up guys pretending to fight: It’s America vs. Russia.

Professional wrestling, everyone knows, is theater. Its finishes are predetermined, its storylines are scripted, and its characters are a product of a team of creative writers. But “fake” remains a dirty word in professional wrestling fandom. This is because professional wrestling, in many ways, isn’t fake. The performers are real people and wrestling is their job, and WWE is a real company that makes a lot of real money. No, Rusev and Lana aren’t actually out to prove Mother Russia’s dominance over the United States, but what they do is real in the same way that the individual plot of a film might not exist, but the film itself exists.

Because of this, to many fans, it’s the stories that play out backstage—in really real life—that are the true draw of professional wrestling. Although Rusev’s victory over Big E in a little more than three-and-a-half minutes at the June special event Payback may read as Russia defeating America in the fictional universe of WWE stories, the real-world narrative playing out is much more insidious.

“Fake” remains a dirty word in professional wrestling fandom. This is because professional wrestling, in many ways, isn’t fake.
Rusev has been squashing black wrestlers almost exclusively since his debut back in April. Before Big E, there was R-Truth, who comes down to the ring dancing and rapping; Kofi Kingston, a Jamaican whose accent mysteriously vanished a year or so after his debut; and Xavier Woods, a legitimate Ph.D. candidate when outside the ring, but a funk-loving dancing machine within it.

Fans online remarked in amusement at the coincidence, at first. Kingston, Truth, and Woods are perpetual losers called “jobbers,” meant to get beaten by whoever the WWE brass have decided to push that month. Before Payback, even Big E joked in a tweet that stopping Rusev might involve putting back together the Nation of Domination, a controversial black-power faction formed in WWE in the mid-‘90s. That tweet was quickly deleted, and perhaps in response, the next guy Rusev beat had a lot less melanin in his skin, a Jersey Shore-inspired jobber named Zack Ryder.

But Rusev quickly returned to form, beating Big E at Payback. Rumors recently surfaced online that Rusev’s next major opponent will be another black wrestler, the World’s Strongest Man, Mark Henry. But Big E and Mark Henry aren’t jobbers like Kingston, Truth, and Woods. Big E had his own heavy push in recent months, enjoying a lengthy run with WWE’s Intercontinental Championship, the second most prestigious belt in the company at the moment, and Mark Henry was at one point legitimately considered the strongest man in the world. He’s an Olympian who has been with WWE for over a decade and has enjoyed two reigns as “world champion.”

Those scare quotes need an explanation. Mark Henry has held world titles before, but never the world title, the WWE Championship. From March of 2002 until December of 2013, there were two world championships in the company, one for each brand of WWE programming, the flagship Monday Night Raw and the B-show Friday Night Smackdown. For a brief period, WWE operated a third brand, a relaunch of ‘90s grunge federation ECW, and there were three world championships in the company. However, not even in WWE’s nonsensical universe can there be three different people who are supposedly champion of the world, so a hierarchy of titles formed. Fans recognized that since Raw was the flagship show, whatever championship was defended on Raw was the real world championship.

Mark Henry held ECW’s world championship, and then Smackdown’s world championship. But despite having one of the most impressive resumes in WWE history, he has never won the top prize in WWE.

In the fictional WWE storylines, being the world champion means you are the best wrestler. But in real life, it means you are the best performer. The decision of who gets to be the titleholder simply comes from a team of creative writers with the final call going to WWE owner Vince McMahon himself: Who do we want to be the face of our company? Who do we think is good enough?

In its 62 year history, WWE has never chosen a black wrestler to hold its world championship.

That’s not Rusev’s fault, of course. He just showed up a few months ago, and the black wrestlers he’s effortlessly demolished during his short tenure are just a small fraction of all the talented black wrestlers who’ve never been entrusted to hold WWE’s most important big shiny belt. Rusev is just the flavor of the moment until proven otherwise, a guy in which WWE officials see potential, so they’re having him beat the rogues gallery of jobbers in order to bolster his credentials. Fans who jokingly ask why Rusev is beating up all the black dudes are missing the more pressing question: Why are so many of the black dudes jobbers?


Your best rapper saying 'YES, MASSA', when they beat 'em - HELL RAZAH


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BangEm_Bart iron man1eternal soldierCopper

Replies

  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 9,404 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Born Booker Tio Huffman Jr., the wrestler Booker T grew up in a rough neighborhood in Houston. He was the youngest of eight children raised by a single mother. Like many stories that begin this way, Booker fell into trouble. At the age of 22, Huffman and a friend robbed a Wendy’s where they worked, leading to Huffman being convicted of aggravated robbery and sentenced to five years in prison. Following his release, Huffman ended up a single parent himself, working in a storage company and looking for a way to provide a better life for his son.

    He found it in the form of professional wrestling. His first character was a military gimmick named G.I. Bro. He quickly hooked up with Stevie Ray to form the Ebony Express. In 1993, the team signed with WCW, WWE’s biggest rival throughout the ‘90s, and changed their name to Harlem Heat, with Huffman eventually taking the name Booker T, a name he would hold the remainder of his career.

    The difference between WCW and WWE was always a philosophical one. WCW’s roots were in the southern variety of wrestling, a slower paced, more technical style. WWE, then called the WWF, was based up north and leaned more to that region’s style of wrestling, based around colorful characters, a whole lot of pomp, and power moves. Conventional wisdom dictates that racial bias would be more often encountered in southern wrestling, but the opposite is the case.

    Booker T once came close to winning the big one. In the buildup to Wrestlemania 19 in 2003, Raw’s world championship was safely in the hands of Triple H, a performer named Paul Levesque who was playing a “franchise” character, a cocky bad guy who everyone is supposed to hate because he always wins. Triple H’s first character was named Hunter Hearst Helmsley, a New England blueblood. The franchise character was based on sports teams like the New York Yankees and the New England Patriots, teams that have been so good for so long that people are eager for someone to come along and dethrone them. Nothing more accurately describes Triple H in 2003. People were tired of him winning. They wanted an underdog, and that underdog was Booker T.

    As with many things in professional wrestling, the logic doesn’t hold up if you look at it too much. Booker T was, as he would put it, a five time, five time, five time, five time, five time world champion in WCW, a company that surpassed WWE in ratings for a significant chunk of the time he was champion there. But in order for the feud with Triple H to work, Booker T had to be convincingly portrayed as the underdog. But what on Earth would make Booker T the underdog against Triple H?

    Well, Booker T is black and Triple H is white.

    That’s it. That was the story line, almost explicitly.

    “Somebody like you doesn’t get to be a world champion,” Triple H told Booker T during a promo, a segment meant to build excitement for a match. Triple H made mention of Booker’s “nappy hair,” and claimed Booker was in the WWE to make people laugh, to be an entertainer rather than a competitor, to “do a little dance” for him.

    It’s fictional. But that excuse wears thin when the fictional racism lines up perfectly with the real-life racism.
    The crowd ate it up, and loud “ASSHOLE” chants rained down on Triple H. The next week, Booker T gave an impassioned talk about his past, about how he’s overcome every obstacle that has been put in his way in his life, and how he was going to beat the odds again at Wrestlemania 19 to become the world champion. It was, in one sense, brilliant storytelling. Hollywood is chock-full of plots that involve scrappy minorities overcoming racism to accomplish their dreams. With Triple H as the franchise, and the franchise’s job being to eventually lose to the underdog, fans were thoroughly in the corner of Booker T. The storybook ending just made so much sense.

    And then Triple H won. 1-2-3. There was no cheating, no controversial finish, no ambiguity about it.

    There’s real-life drama and then there’s fictional drama. WWE’s response to allegations of racism, misogyny, homophobia, and ableism have always been the same: It’s fictional. But that excuse wears thin when the fictional racism lines up perfectly with the real-life racism.

    Triple H the character said somebody like Booker T doesn’t get to be a champion, and he was right. Nobody like Booker T has ever been WWE’s world champion. For whatever reason, WWE’s decision makers decided that Booker T, and every black athlete before him and after him, is not the kind of guy they want as the representative of their company.

    The only person of African descent ever named world champion was Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, a special case. Half Samoan and half African-Canadian, Johnson identifies as Samoan and comes from a line of famous wrestlers. As WWE's first third-generation fighter, he was allowed a narrative that reflected his specific family history, not the mere fact of his race.

    In a statement to The Atlantic, a spokesperson wrote, "WWE is a global entertainment company committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide."*
    Your best rapper saying 'YES, MASSA', when they beat 'em - HELL RAZAH


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    BangEm_Bart eternal soldierCopper
  • Already Home_17Already Home_17 Posts: 14,466 ✭✭✭✭✭
    this article didnt point out anything the casual wrestling fan didnt already notice
    i said it before, as sad as it sounds cena's rapping gimmick is the closest we'll get to a black wwe champion

    MeesterYoung Gunner
  • eternal soldiereternal soldier Posts: 2,781 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm not holding my breath. But I believe Paul will one day allow a black man to hold the WWE title. Again, I'm not holding my breath.
    BangEm_Bart Copper
  • BangEm_Bart BangEm_Bart Posts: 9,503 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Unless youre talking about Paul Heyman, I disagree.

    HHH has always been a racist egotistical bitch behind the scenes. From his quarrel with Goldberg and WCW to whatever.

    The Rock is the reason why Goldberg wanted to come to WWE and why he was the force he was. Both Rock and Goldberg share equal opportunities on what wrestling should be.

    HHH is a racist bitch from new england that only promotes a whitewashed society.
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  • BangEm_Bart BangEm_Bart Posts: 9,503 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Goldberg even promoted Booker T and helped him get his push in WCW. WWE is heading towards a steady decline unless they promote equal opportunity and great storytelling not based on stereotypes and racism.
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  • CockMcStuffinsCockMcStuffins Posts: 1,970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Of course the wwe turns to "the all American, American" white boy swagger to put the Russian savage down after the good for nothing, shiftless niggers couldn't get it done
    BangEm_Bart 5th LetterCopperwillhustle
  • CopperCopper The WickPosts: 49,283 ✭✭✭✭✭
    TNA needs to revamp a few things and be a serious threat to WWE....I have been feeling a type of way about WWE for a while and can't watch it without the sideeye
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    BangEm_Bart sobekGorillaWitAttitude
  • GorillaWitAttitudeGorillaWitAttitude Posts: 3,566
    I've came to the realization that there won't ever be a Black WWE Champion. Also, before you say Dwayne Johnson he's Samoan and Black. I mean a full Black WWE Champion. It's sad that TNA capitalized on that for the second time before WWE. In my opinion, Shelton Benjamin should have been the first Black WWE Champion or MVP. Tell me what you think.
    "The Ideal American"

    $tayRichROLLIN
  • DupacDupac Retired PurgatoryPosts: 68,309 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2014
    there will be one before the end of the year.....

    it's starting to get too much media attention, and they're gonna fold to the pressure

  • GorillaWitAttitudeGorillaWitAttitude Posts: 3,566
    Oh snap I didn't see this thread. Just close mine then mods.
    "The Ideal American"

  • GorillaWitAttitudeGorillaWitAttitude Posts: 3,566
    DWO wrote: »
    there will be one before the end of the year.....

    it's starting to get too much media attention, and they're gonna fold to the pressure

    Like who though? I wished that R-Truth would have gotten a run.
    "The Ideal American"

  • DupacDupac Retired PurgatoryPosts: 68,309 ✭✭✭✭✭
    titus imo.....

    they gonna push him soon....either him or someone from this new black stable.....

    i thought henry was gonna get a complimentary run when he dropped that epic heel turn promo against cena

  • waterproofwaterproof Conqueror of Self On The Road to ZionPosts: 9,404 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Titus or Mark Henry. Kofi got potential but that Gimmick really messed him up, I don't know if he can ever come back from that
    Your best rapper saying 'YES, MASSA', when they beat 'em - HELL RAZAH


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  • BangEm_Bart BangEm_Bart Posts: 9,503 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Shelton Benjamin, yes.

    MVP, no.

    WWE does not know how to pick champions because they're too fixated on the racist ideologies of the "American Way".

    Big E would make a good champion in this era but he needs to change up his image a little. Be more tougher and aggressive in the ring (more clotheslines, shoulder tackles, a dominant submission move) and change up his attire sometimes, to something similar to Dean Ambrose. A dragon sleeper, tazzmission finisher would win him a lot of popularity. Also, he needs to stay away from the mic and be a pure powerhouse/brute that rephrases that actions are louder than words.

    They need to repackage him. Have him face the Wyatts, get beat real bad and then turn him into a monster and then take them out one by one. Cena tries to help him and gets fucked up by Big E for being in the way.

    Shit, I need to be a writer for TNA since WWE doesnt hire black people for nothing more than coons.

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  • Chi-Town BullyChi-Town Bully Posts: 29,218 ✭✭✭✭✭
    waterproof wrote: »
    Titus or Mark Henry. Kofi got potential but that Gimmick really messed him up, I don't know if he can ever come back from that

    They will never give it to Mark Henry since he's too injury prone. I agree with you about Kofi, I wouldn't even take him serious as the top guy.

    They need to change Titus into a serious threat, stop all that barking shit or he'll be a midcard performer for life
  • DupacDupac Retired PurgatoryPosts: 68,309 ✭✭✭✭✭
    he a que dog.. he ain't stopping that barking shit

  • jonojono Right fist = power, left fist = unity Posts: 30,085 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Shelton Benjamin, yes.

    MVP, no.

    WWE does not know how to pick champions because they're too fixated on the racist ideologies of the "American Way".

    Big E would make a good champion in this era but he needs to change up his image a little. Be more tougher and aggressive in the ring (more clotheslines, shoulder tackles, a dominant submission move) and change up his attire sometimes, to something similar to Dean Ambrose. A dragon sleeper, tazzmission finisher would win him a lot of popularity. Also, he needs to stay away from the mic and be a pure powerhouse/brute that rephrases that actions are louder than words.

    They need to repackage him. Have him face the Wyatts, get beat real bad and then turn him into a monster and then take them out one by one. Cena tries to help him and gets fucked up by Big E for being in the way.

    Shit, I need to be a writer for TNA since WWE doesnt hire black people for nothing more than coons.

    FOH MVP >>> Shelton Benjamin and I think they both should have been champion.

    I don't think we will see a black WWE champion for at least another year or two. They won't deviate from pushing Reigns so you will have to wait until at least after WM.

    Unless they put it on Mark Henry nobody else is in position to even challenge for it.

    All that said, it's gonna end up being Big E, if anyone on the current roster.
    @SoulTrain4 *FMOT*

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  • Haast EagleHaast Eagle Posts: 51
    I've came to the realization that there won't ever be a Black WWE Champion. Also, before you say Dwayne Johnson he's Samoan and Black. I mean a full Black WWE Champion. It's sad that TNA capitalized on that for the second time before WWE. In my opinion, Shelton Benjamin should have been the first Black WWE Champion or MVP. Tell me what you think.

    Why when a mixed person does something he or she doesn't count as black but when it's something negative he or she is black?

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