Normally this space is for Win/Loss Records, Facts, & Stats for current WWE shows and past Pay-Per-Views. I never blog about current events or controversial news. But, as Eric Bischoff says “Controversy Creates Cash.” Since it’s the top news story of the week, I thought I would discuss the hot topic issue in the world of wrestling. Everyone is talking about Hulk Hogan, and his alleged racist statements that he made on a sex tape 8 years ago, and secretly released to the media, on Friday. These comments not only cost Hogan his job as a judge on WWE Tough Enough, but his entire career in World Wrestling Entertainment. All of his merchandise is gone and he has been erased from history. What he said was wrong and should never be said. I’m not defending him, but he was in a dark time in his life when those comments were made. That’s no excuse for his hatred & there should be ramifications for his actions, but he shouldn’t be erased from history. I was never a Hulkamaniac growing up because I always liked the wrestlers, like Ricky Steamboat, Randy Savage, & Bret Hart, and not the sport-entertainers, like Hogan. I always rooted for whoever Hogan was facing. So, I’m not saying this because I like Hogan but because you can’t deny what he did for wrestling and how he was the cornerstone of making WWE the top wrestling organization it is today.
Everyone has said that WWE, & Vince McMahon, in particular, are hypocrites for calling Hogan racist, when there has been racism in wrestling for years. That’s what made me decide to write this blog. Yes, there has been racism in wrestling and Vince McMahon was not the first to do it. In the 70s & early 80s, racism ran rampant in wrestling, especially in the South, in Crockett Promotions & in Bill Watts’ Mid-South. But those were the times then. When Vince McMahon turned the WWF into a national promotion in 1984, the racism came with it. I’m not saying it was right, but that’s the way it was. I was trying to think of an African-American wrestler that didn’t have a stereotype and I couldn’t come up with it. But, Vince was equal, with stereotyping all minorities. And that is what this article will talk about. I will only talk about the WWE from WrestleMania until today. I will not mention other promotions.
First, I will talk about African-Americans in wrestling. From the days of Junk Yard Dog to today with The New Day, African-Americans have always been stereotyped. There was the African savages like Kamala, who could only be controlled by his handler, Kim Chee, & Saba Simba, who was Tony Atlas, after “finding his roots”. There was the beloved Junkyard Dog, who was loved by all children, but his gimmick was a dog with a chain. There was Akeem, who started as One Man Gang, a tough white biker, who was brought to some dark alley by Reverend Slick, and was mysteriously turned into an African. Slick, himself, was a Jive Soul Bro, who debuted with vignettes, eating fried chicken. There was Virgil, the man servant of The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase. There was Bad News Brown, a street brawler from Harlem, who feuded with Roddy Piper. Piper painted himself half-black for their match at WrestleMania 6. There was Men on A Mission, 2 big black rappers. Then, in the late 1990s, during the Attitude Era, the 1st ever African-American WCW World Champion Ron Simmons, debuted in WWE, as Faarooq Asad, a gladiator. He then joined forces with Crush, a Hawaiian, & Savio Vega, a Puerto Rican, to form the Nation of Domination, a Black Panther-like group. Crush & Vega would then leave the Nation, to form their own groups, The Disciples of Apocalypse, a biker gang, & Los Boricuas, a group of Puerto Ricans. Faarooq would then bring in other black wrestlers, Ahmed Johnson, D-Lo Brown, Mark Henry, The Rock, & Kama Mustafa, who was originally a voodoo priest named Papa Shango, and would then become a pimp called The Godfather, who always had his “Ladies of the Night”, with him. They weren’t a full black group, since they had 2 white rappers, PG-13, & a Canadian, Owen Hart. Besides the Gang Wars with the aforementioned Disciples of Apocalypse & Los Borciuas, The Nation went to war with D-Generation X. During their feud, DX put on black-face and impersonated the Nation. You can’t get any more racist than that. During this time there was also Flash Funk, who was a dancer.
Then, in the late 2000, as we got more PC, WWE still had stereotypes in African-American performers. There was MVP, the big time athlete, that wanted to be in WWE to make money. There was Cryme Tyme, the tag team that was known for stealing things on the street and trying to steal stuff belonging to other wrestlers. There was Booker T, who though not a stereotype, but in his feud with Triple H for the World Title, Triple H said that “his kind” should not be World Champions. And today, we have R-Truth, the rapping wrestler, who had an imaginary friend named Little Jimmy, The New Day, the 3 men that preach to be positive & The Primetime Players, who dance about Millions of Dollars.
But, WWE is also racist about Samoans. Besides The Rock & current superstars The Usos & Roman Reigns, every Somoan has been portrayed as wild savages. From The Wild Samoans, to Jimmy Snuka, to The Headshrinkers, & Umaga, they have all been uncontrollable monsters that wrestle barefoot. Snuka was the 1st time I remember where racism played in a storyline, as Roddy Piper hit him with a coconut on Piper’s Pit.
One Samoan that wasn’t portrayed as such, was Yokozuna, who instead was billed as a Japanese Sumo Wrestler, managed by the evil Mr. Fuji. All Japanese wrestlers were billed as evil people that hated America. There was Kaienti, who tried to chop Val Venis’ manhood after he was seen in bed with their manager, Mr. Yamaguchi’s wife. There was Kenzo Suzuki, who was originally billed as the descendant of Hirohito. And though he wasn’t Japanese, the aforementioned Crush “Pearl Harbored” his friend Randy Savage and joined the evil Mr. Fuji. Right there is another racist word. “Pearl Harbor” meaning attacking someone from behind, taken from when we were attacked from behind in 1941.
Next group to be made fun of was the Native Americans. All native Americans from Chief Jay Strongbow, to Wahoo McDaniel, to Tatanka were all the same. They wore face-paint, feathers, and did a war dance. Tatanka’s sacred headdress was stolen by Irwin R. Schyster because Tatanka didn’t pay the gift taxes.
Another group that was made fun of was Mexicans and all Latino people. The most famous was Tito Santana, who Jesse Ventura & Bobby Heenan called almost every derogatory name someone can call a Mexican, including calling him Chico & finishing move the Flying Burrito. Santana would eventually become a bull fighter, when he was re-named El Matador. There was Razor Ramon, a rich Cuban from Miami. There were The Mexicools, who were supposed to be gardeners, as they drove to the ring on the Juan Deere Lawnmowers. There was Los Guerreros, Eddie & Chavo, 2 members of the legendary Guerrero family, who’s gimmick was lying, cheating, & stealing, as they drove their Lowrider to the ring. There was Alberto Del Rio, the rich Mexican. There was Carlito & Primo, from Puerto Rico. Primo would then team up with his cousin, Epico, but they were then joined by a bull, El Torito, & became Los Matadores, 2 Mexican bullfighters, even though they’re Puerto Rican. The only Mexican wrestlers to not have a stereotype are The Lucha Dragons & Rey Mysterio. They even did an angle with John Bradshaw Layfield, hiding at the Mexican borders, stopping illegals from coming into the United States, which was then reused with Jack Swagger & Zeb Colter.
Other nationalities that were stereotyped in wrestling were all of the Anti-American gimmicks, like The Bolsheviks, Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov, The Iron Shiek, who would then move from Iran to Iraq to become Col. Mustafa, & join General Adnan & Sgt. Slaughter, who became an Iraqi sympathizer. There was the Mid-Eastern Muhammad Hassan & Daivari, who had men in black masks attack The Undertaker. That angle was quickly dropped because it aired the same day as the London Subway Bombing. They also portray Irish people as guys who like to fight, like Sheamus & Finlay & Italians as tough Mafia types, like Nunzio & The FBI, or idiots like Santino Marella.
But Vince is not only prejudiced with race but also creed, religion, & size. WWE always portrays homosexuals as really flamboyant personalities, like Adrian Adonis & Rico. There’s Goldust, who took it to another level. Goldust even wore black-face once to impersonate Shaft, from the movies. There’s Billy & Chuck, who pretended to be gay for a publicity stunt. Vince took on religion by challenging God to a match and beating him. He made fun of the Jewish religion, with Barry Horowitz, who always lost until he a fluke win over Bodydonna Skip. He made fun of developmentally handicapped people by creating the character of Eugene, & to an extant The Oddities. He made fun of physical handicapped people with his feud with one-legged wrestler Zach Gowen. He took advantage of little people, from the days of Little Tokyo, Lord Littlebrook, & The Haiti Kid, to today with Hornswoggle & El Torito.
That is all of the groups that Vince McMahon made fun or portrayed badly over the years. I know I have missed a lot of wrestlers, but it would be too long to include every wrestler that was a stereotype in wrestling. Another thing people have issues with is that the there has never been an African-American WWE Champion since The Rock, who is only part African-American. That is true, but every title has been held multiple times by all races & colors. If Vince was really a racist, nobody of color would have held a title in WWE. Today in 2015, we are in a different world, as society has changed. Society does not tolerate hatred for any color, creed, or sex. So, because of that, WWE had to take action against The Real American, Mr. America himself, Hulk Hogan. Hopefully, this won’t be the last time we see the Red & Yellow run wild in WWE again. Thank you for reading this.