Why its time for the WWE to put the belt on a BLACK MAN
The topic of possible racism within the WWE have always been a controversial topic within the company for quite sometime. Black wrestlers whom have either worked for the company or in the industry from Kamala, Tony Atlas, Ahmed Johnson , New Jack and others have accused the WWE of racial prejudice among their wrestlers and purposely keeping potential rising black wrestlers down the totem pole in favor of white ones.
The accusations were once reignited weeks ago when a former WWE writer brought more of the accusations into the forefront by publicly accusing members of the creative writing staff and their writers including Michael Hayes for being racist towards certain wrestlers. Many are quick to deny the accusations and will claim its due to the fact that the wrestlers themselves either have ego problems, injury prone, or just won’t charismatic. The track record among the company speaks for themselves as it shows that not only the company practices possible racism but placism. So many guys have gotten strikes over and over and have still maintained their spots in the pecking order, Many have been awarded pushes despite crude behavior and total unprofessionalism amongst their peers. The sudden De-pushes of talented wrestlers such as R Truth, Kofi Kingston, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, and once Mark Henry proved to help no matters either for the company’s credibility. Especially when you see guys like Randy Orton, Batista, Brock Lesnar, and Edge whom have not only broke violations on a professional and personal level with the company and their wrestlers receive awarded approval and title reigns over and over again.
What should serve as a further wakeup call is the fact that the WWE’s Golden Boy John Cena is still struggling to become accepted as the new face of the new era for the company. What should have been Cena’s most triumph moment and biggest accomplishment in his resume'(defeating The Rock at Wrestle-mania 29) were instead met with nothing but disdain, disappointment and heavy boos. Inspite of the fact that Cena’s character and act have been tried within the past couple years, The WWE continues to push him as the lead face and the ratings are continuing to be either stagnant or more of the same.
I’m gonna break down the reasons on why now is the time that the WWE should allow a black man to grab the imaginary brass ring and be the face of the company. Not the champion of the 2nd and 3rd level show(Smackdown or NXT) but the champion of the FLAGSHIP show Monday Night Raw:
The WWE also need to look no further than history and numbers within their own company and notice that The Rock(a black man) was the company’s biggest draw. Even though Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan were major draws for the company, The Rock succeeded where the two of them along with many others have struggled and thats take his brand to the next level in Hollywood. The Rock’s success in Hollywood gave the WWE that crossover mainstream attention that they sorely wanted for Wrestle-mania 27 when the card was sorely lacking star power. The Rock’s appearances on Raw, Mania 27, 28, and 29 along with Wrestling in Survivor Series, Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber not only gave them the boost that they sorely needed but it also proved that The Rock is possibly the biggest draw in Wrestling today. The Rock is a prime example of someone who was given a chance to shine and really made a brand for himself. Those who want to doubt the numbers need to check the buyrates themselves:
When Mark Henry signed to the WWE in 1996, It seemed that he had a bright future ahead of him. He was big, strong, he had mainstream coverage due to his participation in the Olympics and fit the kind of look that the WWE looked for at the time. Diesel, Yokozuna, Vader, Mabel, Ahmed Johnson and others were leading the big man era so it would be only right for Henry to fit in with the mold. He had also signed one of the highest contracts in WWE history so it looked as if he was gonna be a major player.
His first babyface run ended up being a major flop so they turned him heel and aligned him with the Nation of Domination which would have been perfect for Henry to gain an edge. But as hope would have it, The company would instead make a mockery out of him. Instead of using that opportunity to build Henry as a dominant monster, They turned him into a walking side-show. They placed him in embarrassing storylines of him making out with transexuals, helping old women give birth to plastic hands and being basically a sideshow joke for the past decade. It doesn’t help that freak injuries would come out of the blue when it looked as if he was gonna receive a push but then again so did guys like Edge and he remained on top.
It would get much worst for Henry as he would one day become buried into oblivion by the Big Show whom mauled the World Strongest Man as if he was a weakened lamb . It looked to be the end of Mark Henry’s career as we know it as he would be carried out of the arena after Big Show’s beatdown.
But what turned into a proper burial turned into a major career re-serge on the behalf of Mark Henry. Mark Henry came back from this beating more relentless, vicious and entertaining as ever. He started destroying wrestlers left and right while inducting them into his personal “Hall of Pain”which was Henry’s victim’s list. This is not only living out his true untapped potential but also giving the people what they wanted to really see.
Henry representing a different look and a fresh change for Smackdown. The fans got tired of seeing big giants crying, smiling, and dancing. They got tired of seeing the same ol faces like Edge, Randy Orton, and Big Show dominate the Friday night scene. When Henry came back more focused, more ruthless, and vicious than ever, He single handlingly brought back the role of the dominant big man alpha male. Never smiling or kissing babies, He’s out there kicking butt, taking names and talking alot of trash doing it. It’s what the people whom were sick to their stomach of the Rated G catering relished for.
Mark Henry had the distinctive theme music from Three 6 Mafia, he could talk well on the mic and with the right opponent can have great matches when necessary so when offered the ball, Henry ran with it and scored touch down after touchdown thus winning the title in the late summer of 2011.
Even though Henry’s run was short-lived, It’s good to see him finally get the recognition and chance he truly deserved to take the ball and run with it. Even if it’s the World Heavyweight Championship instead of the WWE title, It showed that people are really to embrace a black man as to being the face of the company.
The WWE have invited many blacks to participate with their programs from Snoop Dogg, Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, Chad Occocinco, Shaq, and even Al Sharpton. It seems as though as despite of bringing black athletes, actors, and rappers to become involved with main events that they still can’t shake that stigma of racism within the company. The truth is there are MORE black wrestling fans than the company think exists so if their smart they need to start taking black prospects and pushing them if they’re willing to go that far.
They tried catering to the Latino market by giving Eddie, Rey Mysterio, and Del Rio pushes, They even gave Great Khali who’s more limited than a one leg elephant the title over talented and more deserving guys like MVP and Shelton Benjamin.
Theres gonna have to come a time where they have to come to grips with reality and realize that putting the belt on a talented black man over a mediocre white wrestler is the best thing for business when the time is right.
We have witnessed guys like R.Truth whom was doing his best work with his psychotic heel act with Cena and was on the verge of being one of the top heels of the company before the company played it safe and cut his legs. Shelton Benjamin whom had 3 clean wins over Triple H along with a runnerup for MOTY with Shawn Michaels could have broke out but for whatever reason had his legs cut and demoted. MVP was the next prospect, He had the look, the hip hop appeal, the Jim Jones catchphrase which was apart of his gimmick(Ballin) along with being a great wrestler have his legs cut and of course We can’t forget how Randy Orton had Kofi Kingston’s 2009 push demoted.
Lets not forget the tragic burial of Booker T in 2003 by Triple H and Ric Flair during Booker’s run to Wrestlemania. It seemed that Booker had two things going against him more so than the other guys and that being him being black and him being from enemy territory(WCW)
From the gate they tried to make Booker look like a fiddle or a fool. Getting beat down in Supermarkets by Stone Cold, Being teamed up with Goldust as a joke act and being pushed down from World Title Contender to tag champion/US Champion status for almost 3 years before receiving a push for the World Title(hence Smackdown) in 2006. Booker didn’t even talk like himself, He talked more of a European and it came across as their trying to make him look like a fool. But to Booker’s credit and how talented he truly is. HE MADE IT WORK.
The moral of the story is to not promote racism with this entry but to more so discuss possible placism that the WWE continue to practice. Not only do it seems black wrestlers suffer but Indie wrestlers(CM Punk, Daniel Bryan) along with wrestlers whom come from other promotions(Most of WCW, TNA and ECW) seem to fall victim to that form of practice as well. The sad part is the mentality is whats leading to the decline of ratings within the moment and why Wrestling may not be the hottest topic anytime soon.
A TALENTED black man whom has a passion to succeed for the business is a start for a change that the fans are truly requesting for. He would not only bring a new audience but also different coverage from media outlets that white wrestlers couldn’t tap in.