Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Take Five: Questionable Gimmicks in WWF/WWE
A future Classic Corner entitled "Wrestling With Masculinity" will delve further into the history of stereotypes and racial caricatures in professional wrestling. Creating this list was no easy task being that I literally had dozens of characters to choose from.
5. The Mexicools:
Juventud Guerrera, Super Crazy, and Psicosis are some of the most revered Mexican wrestlers the world over. However, once they arrived in WWE, they were repackaged as the Mexicools: three gardeners who transported themselves to the ring on a lawnmower...I'll just let that sink in for a minute.
Shelton Benjamin is probably one of the most naturally gifted athletes to ever step foot in the ring! A two time All American amateur, Benjamin entered the WWE as apart of the Team Angle tandem, which splintered into the Worlds Greatest Tag Team.Shelton soon became a rather hot prospect in the singles' division . And even though he was a former Tag Team and Intercontinental Champion, management still felt that he lacked that certain "IT" factor. So what did creative feel would be a surefire way to fill in that charismatic void? Make his "Mamma"his manager.Played by Thea Vidale, I guess Tyler Perry's plays were out of season, Momma served as Shelton's over protective and over weight matriach. Often emasculating him to the delight of no one, Momma would assit Shelton by distracting referees with complaints of "loss of breath", hence the reason she came to the ring with an oxygen tank, or hitting his opponents with her purse. The Momma character was clearly inspired by past "Mammy"like caricature that must of made Vince giggle with glee.
3.Akeem The African Dream:
Realizing that his One Man Gang persona was no longer successful, George Gary was informed by manager extraordinaire, The Doctor of Style... Slick(sigh) that he was indeed African and that it was necessary for him to get in touch with his roots in order for him to be more successful. What followed was by far the most...well, just see for yourself!
After the "transformation", Akeem would go on to speak in what sounded like the Ned Flanders' version of "Jive". To add insult to injury, Akeem was adorned in a dashiki purchased from Walmart while strutting like a rooster who watched one too many epsidoes of Solid Gold.
2. Cryme Tyme:
Attempting to to capitalize off the "Gangsta Rap" phenomonon, Cryme Tyme was comprised of Shad Gaspard and JTG. This "wily" tag team were allegedly two hustlers from the ghettos of New York who engaaged in such wholesome activities as evading police, selling stolen items for marginal profits and educating the WWE universe on street lingo and catchphrases. As if that wasn't enough, Cryme Tyme's motto, "Money, Money Yea Yea", would blare in the background as they would "crip walk" to the ring fully draped in gold chains, bullet proof vests and baggy jeans.They would even "throw up" gang signs to authentically show that they "repped da hood"! (Ugh, this write up is truly cringe worthy)
Back to the dark continent, just like Shaft! Kamla was herald as the Ugandan Giant from the darkest parts of Africa. Announcers would revel in his strength but repeatedly highlight his lack of intelligence along with his savagery. Apparently, Kamala had to be controlled by a safari handler named Kim Chee. Kamala spoke in sounds, as oppose to a recognizable dialect, and was so unintelligible, that he would often pin his opponents in the wrong postion (back as oppose to stomach up). Thankfully, Kim Chee was their to chastise him to the point that he would eventually pin his oppent in the correct manner.Kamla spent the majority of his career as a "heel",that means bad guy to you non wrestling fans, and never won any championship gold. Currently, Kamala, who now goes by his real name James Harris, is a double amputee who lives in poverty. All of his years of dedicated humiliation have gone unrewarded as Vince has not offered Jim any support during his time of peril!
Posted by Da CogNegro (Who is It?) at 7:16 PM