10 WWE Gimmicks With Racist Undertones

In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull

Mark Henry Ivory D'Lo Brown
WWE

Ironically harmonious considering the fires the characters are intended to stoke, wrestling has maintained a uncomfortably close relationship with racism even as the world gradually grew cognisant of its ills.

Upon unexpectedly earning a shot at the WWE Title April 2017, Jinder Mahal picked at a largely healed scab by trying to spin the lukewarm responses he received as guttural and bigoted hatred due to his ethnicity. For the most part, WWE's own audience were substantially more sophisticated than the company had dared to imagine - when Mahal aimed similarly dated rhetoric at Shinsuke Nakamura, chants of 'That's Too Far' undermined the pathetically transparent heat-seeking missile.

It was admittedly the most on-the-nose the company had been with such a divisive trick in several years, such was the desperation to earn the gimmick a modicum or notoriety to justify the woefully misguided push. Cooler heads have prevailed in recent years to ensure Vince McMahon's long-held stereotypes aren't spewed out with such obnoxious frequency, especially with a lucrative licensing deal dictating far tighter taste parameters than ever before.

Despite a permanent absence of nuance in the organisation, some notes of derision and division have been thankfully stifled more than others. That's not to excuse WWE - that they were there to begin with was still the biggest problem of all.

Contributor
Contributor

Square eyes on a square head, trained almost exclusively to Pro Wrestling, Sunderland AFC & Paul Rudd films. Responsible for 'Shocking Plans You Won't Believe Actually Happened', some of the words in our amazing Wrestling bookazines (both available at shop.whatculture.com), and probably every website list you read that praised Kevin Nash.

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