Some of the greatest superstars of all time have been fortunate enough to hold the coveted WWE Championship inside the squared circle.
But one thing fans don’t really consider when it comes to champions is the race of the champion; we’re pleased when our favourite superstars hold the belt, and not too happy when superstar we think aren’t worthy of holding the gold, is the WWE Champion.
But an article by ‘The Atlantic’ has raised the big and controversial topic, is there really a racism problem in the WWE?
Some would argue that this is an unnecessary and sensitive topic to bring up, but when you look deeper into the cause, the website does have some strong points to bring up a case.
Let’s get one thing clear though, the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship are two separate belts.
As prestigious as they both are ever since the WWE bought WCW; this automatically meant that the WWE Championship would be the main champion whilst the World Heavyweight Championship will be the secondary title, this is why we’ve seen guys like Dolph Ziggler and Christian hold the gold in recent years, because the WWE Championship is another step up.
There are exceptions, superstars like Randy Orton, Sheamus, Triple H and Chris Jericho have helped elevate the prestige, but it can never replace the WWE Championship.
We already know that there have been African-American World Heavyweight Champions, Booker T is a prime example and most recently Mark Henry proved to be a dominant champion; but neither man managed to take home the WWE Championship.
The Atlantic have clarified that The Rock is a special case when it comes to holding the WWE Championship, but other than that in the WWE’s impressive 62 year history, no African-American has held the WWE Championship.
Is there a problem?
So, is there a racism problem? Or is it simply because The Rock is leaps and bounds better than other African-American talent the company has signed?
Let’s take a look at what fans would argue about the most, the gimmicks. Is the WWE doing themselves any favours by having Cryme Tyme play the role of stereotypical street thugs, we have had R-Truth playing an almost-schizophrenic rapper who thought there was a big conspiracy against him, Vince McMahon even used the ‘n word’ to Booker T’s face on live television with no punishment – granted it was to draw heat from the audience.
CM Punk mentioned Brodus Clay during one of his infamous pipe-bombs about him shucking and jiving for the kids, Brodus Clay was told to say he was born to shuck and jive, Triple H told Booker T back in 2003 that he believes guys like Booker T don’t deserve to be champion, with his nappy hair, he’s there to entertain and told him to do a dance for him.
Randy Orton told MVP, Kofi Kingston and Mark Henry that they’re only street thugs and they belong in jail. Again, a perfect way to draw heat but is all of it really necessary. In a 62 year history, is The Rock the only African-American superstar who was worthy enough to become WWE Champion? Most recently fans have realised that Rusev has only been taking out African-American talent, R-Truth, Xavier Woods, Big E. with a Mark Henry feud in the works.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what we think as fans, the WWE decide on who is worthy to be WWE Champion, and by the looks of it, it doesn’t seem that they believe any African-American is worthy to carry that burden.
At first I didn’t think it was a major problem, but I think when you consider many factors it does seem that there is a trend and the WWE could have changed this but refused to do so. We’ve even seen The Miz headline WrestleMania as a WWE Champion, when the WWE could have capitalised on Kofi Kingston’s massive push a number of years ago against Randy Orton.
MVP was a fantastic heel, he could have held the gold without a problem, at least once.
Booker T is a prime example of somebody who should have a WWE Championship in his record; but for some reason several World Heavyweight Championships was the most he would achieve in his brilliant career.
No fan can have the audacity of saying no African-American other than The Rock deserved to hold the WWE Championship, it’s all down to the WWE who have a superstar, a clean slate and then the destiny of said superstar is in their hands, they either succeed or they fail miserably; they can make anybody a star.
Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin are two others that had what it takes, especially Benjamin who was one of the most gifted athletes in the company, his gold standard gimmick was perfect for him to eventually become the top guy; but it was never meant to be.
When you have a 62 year history, and only one African-American has held the WWE Championship, it shows that this superstar is the greatest out of them all and deserved it more; or that there really is a problem in the WWE.
On the other hand, you can’t dispute the fact that The Rock is great, possibly the greatest of all time so his WWE Championship reigns were justified because he had it all and backed it up, he succeeded and the risk of making him champion paid off successfully.
It’s either that, or the fact that the WWE is simply a popularity contest, if you’re popular, you’ll become champion.
If you choose to look even deeper, then you have a case with Latino’s as well, lying, cheating and stealing with Eddie and Chavo Guerrero; or even the Los Matadores gimmick.
So it would seem that The Atlantic do have a valid point in raising these racism concerns, and if you are interested in reading the full article; you can click here.
WWE fans – what are your thoughts on this? Is there really a racism problem in the WWE? Or are we reading too much into it? Have your say in the comments section below and come discuss all things WWE with me on Twitter @RazK28.
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