Comedian Sean Smith, with the help of Pixel Brain Productions, presents the three main black archetypes in pro wrestling: the black savage, the happy black wrestler, and the angry black wrestler. I thought I did an okay job showcasing the ten most stereotypically black wrestling characters back in February, but Sean Smith does a way better job here. Especially with the nuances of each character. And even though it’s hilarious, it further compartmentalizes these stereotypes into three smaller groups. My heart goes out to you and your incessant dancing, Kofi B. Koko Funk Doctor.
Even after a year rife with bad press regarding their racial politics and lack of a black world champion, the WWE has decided to make good through their WWE Network by honoring Black History Month. Only problem is, it’s a pretty half-assed job. As someone that’s not familiar with the PYT Express I was hoping for something more than some random promo of them at an airport where you can barely make out what’s being said, or what the damn point is. And I appreciate the callback to Booker T.’s Ebony Experience days, but I could’ve come up with at least 50 other videos showcasing Booker T.’s accomplishments. And then there’s the backstage bit involving Cryme Tyme, probably the least offensive one that exists of them. Which bring me to this list. While WWE likes to pat themselves on the back for how far along they think they’ve come in portraying African-American wrestling characters, I’d like to provide 10 reminders of how far they set them back as well.
Oftentimes, a foreign wrestler who has such a strong hatred for America that it could only be remedied by moving to the U.S., joining the WWE, and fighting American wrestlers in American cities, with the occasional tour to other countries where they’re still booed, will sometimes turn babyface once they realize that America isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be. Usually, the foreigner’s xenophobic stance on American culture is gradually pacified by an American friend. Or, in the case of Tajiri and Kozlov, someone who speaks English better than they do. More often than not, despite how talented the wrestler is, assimilating to American culture means letting your guard down and becoming the comic relief. Because when we Americans aren’t busy trying to run foreign people out of our country, we’re usually laughing at them.
With Alexander Rusev making his second WWE wrestling debut, only this time on Raw, it only seemed fitting to take a look back at wrestlers who paved the way for him with their bare feet. Wrestlers who also just happened to be ethnic, and from some wild uncivilized place where shoes, and more importantly wrestling boots, are a luxury.