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7 Incidents of racial insensitivity in the WWE

There’s still bad blood flowing
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Sudhir Bose

Eric Bischoff couldn’t have said it better – “controversy creates cash”. While older fans bemoan the sterile, sandpapered children’s bedroom that the mecca of sports entertainment has become, we are more than certain that even they, will treat what they’re about to read like WWE treats the topic of Chris Benoit.

We’re referring to the many not-so-hushed-up instances of racism that have inerasably spread across the WWE. While the WWE’s practice of pushing the envelope has a pretty high rate, there are times when everyone felt enough was enough.

The IWC may pride itself of being in the know about the actual incidents that originated a storyline, but trust me, that’s probably not even the tip of the iceberg.

What goes on backstage stays there, but sometimes, it causes an upheaval whose tremors are far-reaching. Here are some of the most controversial racism rows and angles in the WWE:


  1. Triple H tells Booker T to dance
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Like one of those songs that leave you horrified when you later discover their hidden meaning, this promo is sickening. If one were to listen on for a few minutes longer, he or she could find enough to spitball a flimsy defence that Triple H was knocking Booker’s WCW roots.

But the immediate impression is Triple H being akin to the guys that wore the insignia that (not infrequently) topped his favorite musician’s ensemble.

  1. JBL sends illegal immigrants back to Mexico
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The former Bradshaw’s newest incarnation was the kind that captured the audience's imagination and unfortunately, the wrong kind of sentiments. While undocumented immigrants have been a long-standing issue for the American administration, caricaturizing it is far from the brightest idea they could come up with. More so because of the fact that a large percentage of the WWE’s audience comprises of children.

  1. Vince says the n-word

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Well, we’re all uncomfortably familiar with Vince McMahon’s conviction that the WWE isn’t pro-wrestling, it’s cinema. IT IS NOT! Which means you don’t have the kind of creative license that lets you say stuff that’ll leave you hospitalized if dare uttered in flesh and blood.

The logic that penetrates a megalomaniac’s skull would have to be torturously sharp or something such. Don’t be tempted to laugh along with the couple of “hahas” you hear after Vinny Mac says the n-word.

  1. Michael Hayes – Mark Henry

Hayes is notorious for making racist slurs backstage

The WWE Hall Of Famer is notorious for being a loose cannon and a wildchild. This wasn’t the first time he courted disaster and we have a feeling it won’t be the last, even if we never hear about it.

The former Freebird allegedly threw around the n-word a lot backstage, with Booker T even talking about it once, though he laughed it off. And of all the people to say it to, he chose ‘The World’s Strongest Man’ Mark Henry!

Hayes reportedly said ”I’m more of a n*gger than you are” to Henry, who apparently let him live! Hayes can consider himself lucky that all he got was a 60-day suspension.

  1. Rowdy Roddy Piper’s blackface

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The facts that this happened back in the Wild West days of the WWE and Piper’s Yoda-like connection with the crowd shouldn’t make us overlook its distastefulness. The doom that follows when brake wires are cut somehow transmutes itself to volcanic pops in the WWE.

Piper’s aping of MJ was juvenile but he somehow made the save. His explanation, in an interview many years later, of why he did it was disjointed in the least.

  1. Hulk Hogan disapproves of his daughter’s boyfriend

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Hulk’s antebellum-era comments about Brooke dating Yannique Barker, a.k.a. Stack$, forced the WWE to leg drop the yellow and red juggernaut who was the company’s engine when it was making the steady climb to the top of the industry.

The fact that he wound up with $115 million and is rumored to be returning to the WWE just makes you wonder what kind of world we live in.

  1. Cody Barbierri getting away with just a slap from Alberto Del Rio

He’s probably “bussing trays” right now

Funnily enough, the top spot goes to a non-wrestler. Cody Barbierri, a former social media manager with the WWE, told former WWE Champion and legit tough guy Alberto Del Rio that he should dispose of his food tray.

Barbieri should consider himself lucky that all he got was a slap from the Olympic hopeful. Del Rio left the company in disgust but returned in 2015 after peace was made. Barbierri left the WWE in October 2014.

Edited by Staff Editor
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