"It ain't a white thing, it ain't a black thing, it's just a me kicking your ass thing!" -Stone Cold Steve Austin
The first wrestling match I ever saw had two black 'wrestlers' involved in it. Dennis Rodman and Hulk Hogan vs Karl Malone and DDP at Bash at the Beach 1998. (Does Karl Malone count as black?) The main reason I started watching WCW in 2000 was because of Booker T. Hell, one of the only reasons I enjoyed WCW in 2000 was Booker T as the world champion. As a kid, I always had an interest in the success of black wrestlers. Not because of a pride thing, but I was sick of having to be D'Lo Brown when my friends and I played WWF.
I've always paid attention to the small things when it came to black wrestlers. Why do they all have to have rap music entrance themes (I'm looking at you, Jim Johnston!). Why can't there be more than 3 black wrestlers in the Royal Rumble at one time (Nation of Domination aside)? Why couldn't Orlando Jordan be ANY other race?
But it's one thing I noticed that actually got me thinking: Where are all the main event babyface black wrestlers? WWE has never had a black wrestler win his first World Title as a babyface. I thought for a second that Darren Young had a chance to be the biggest star in wrestling if Vince changed his name to Juwan Cena, but that idea went away faster than Darren's career. I thought Kofi Kingston had a chance when he hit the biggest Boom Drop in his career in Madison Square Garden. Then, Randy Orton called him STUPID STUPID and his push ended faster than a Rodney Mack White Boy Challenge.
As of Vengeance 2011, WWE has 6 active male black wrestlers on their roster. Mark Henry, Kofi Kingston, JTG, David Otunga and Ezekiel Jackson. With Mark Henry's success as a #1 heel and R-Truth's craziness, they are out of the equation to be a top babyface. And with all due respect to the remaining four, we're more likely to see a Black Socko than seeing Kofi Kingston, JTG, David Otunga or Ezekiel Jackson main eventing Wrestlemania (credit to Rich for telling me about the non-existent African-American version of Socko). So, how can we help save the black wrestler in WWE? Hopefully you're listening Vince because I'm about to make you millions of dollars. What do you do with the four black wrestlers you have on your roster? Two words:
For those who don't know, Cool Runnings is based on the Jamaican Bobsledding team of 1988. I love Cool Runnings because it's a story about destiny, doubt, honesty and underdogs. But, to be honest, I only like this idea because I think it would be awesome to have 4 wrestlers come to the ring in a giant bobsled. Nevertheless, here's what I would do:
Derice played by Kofi Kingston
Role: The Leader
Major Similarity: Tons of talent, big smile, love for his sport and a hatred for the Swiss (In my mind, Kofi Kingston really hates Claudio Castagnoli.)
If you know the movie or just look at the picture below, it seems like Kofi Kingston would be a better fit for the Goofy Side Kick. But do you honestly want JTG to be the leader of ANY stable? Shave off Kofi's trademark dreads, give him back his old Jamaican accent and he'll look (but not sound) a little something like this.
Sanka played by JTG
Role: The Goofy Side Kick
Major Similarity: I can barely understand what either of these two say.
JTG has been a comedy character basically his entire career (if he means to or not), so this is a perfect fit for him. All we have to do is take the dreads Kofi cut off his head and put it on JTG. Now, that's a goofball waiting to happen. Plus, JTG talking in a fake accent might make me laugh or be more terrible than Booker T on commentary.
Junior played by David Otunga
Role: The Spoiled Nerd
Major Similarity: Rich, successful and boring
No one fits their Cool Runnings counterpart, personality-wise, moreso than David Otunga. They both have their spot because of someone they know. Both have oddly shaped heads. And both Junior and Otunga always ruin things for actual great athletes. This role was made for Otunga...which means he'll probably be terrible at it. Oh well, at least he still has Jennifer Hudson's money.
Yul played by Ezekiel Jackson
Role: The Enforcer
Major Similarity: (See picture above)
Two brothers who look like brothers. Enough said.
Irving Blitzer played by 'The American Dream' Dusty Rhodes
Role: The Coach
Major Similarity: They can turn crazy into Grade-A entertainment, be it helping Jamaicans bobsled or insanity on commentary.
Let's go through the Dusty Rhodes/John Candy comparisons. Both Men? Check. Both Fat? You betcha. White guys who could pass off as black men? Absolut....wait, just saw this video. Nevertheless, if Dusty Rhodes can get polka dots over, then he can get anything over. And what's better than Dusty acting all silly and fake Jamaican?
Ok, maybe this isn't the best idea to try to get four guys over as main event babyfaces. But you know what? It's something. And, like the quote says at the top, wrestling isn't about who's black or who's white (unless you're Canadian, then you're a heel), but it's about who can entertain us the most. And, after writing this whole thing, if I realized one thing: it's this