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28.11.07 1226
The 7 - Pro Wrestling - D-Von the Evangelist
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Guru Zim
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#61 Posted on 12.4.02 1607.35
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1611.18
I just don't like the idea that there can be characters put out there, such as Ice-T portraying a pimp, which are off limits.

Why is it ok for Ice-T to call himself a pimp, wear a pimp hat, go to the pimps ball where Actual pimps look like the stereotype (at least for that night - source: Pimps up Ho's down, HBO) but for the Godfather to parody that character - it's racist or questionable?
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#62 Posted on 12.4.02 1614.37
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1615.47
Well, Ice-T actually was a street hustler and he has since glorified/spoken out against that lifestyle in his music and movies. I would call him more the real deal than playing a stereotype. But that's a whole other argument. Some jazz musician, I think it's Wynton Marsailles (sp?) has called most modern hip-hop a modern form of minstrelsy.

"American Pimp" is another fine documentary about pimping, if you're interested. And yeah, you will see some real pimps that put the goldfish-in-the-platform-shoe guy in "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" to shame.

(edited by asteroidboy on 12.4.02 1416)
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#63 Posted on 12.4.02 1615.00
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1615.49
So, I should lighten up because Mark Henry and The Rock, two examples out of the 20 or so black performers and 50 or so minority performers were portrayed in a positive manner. It looks more like the proverbial "throwing the dog a bone". I understand, it's 2002, and most people want to sweep that nasty little subject of racism under the rug and not deal with it. Sorry, that's not going to happen simply because it still exists, and some people are uncomfortable enough about it to speak against it. Even with your own examples, you illustrated my points. With the white guys, each one had positive points as well as negative:

Stevie: Devious and able to bend others to his will
Stone Cold: Kicks ass like no other
Angle: Olympic Gold Medalist
Tazz: Tough and competent

Until recently, the only positive aspects to Booker T's general character came from the internet crowd, not the WWF. Booker T was portrayed as a buffoon who couldn't do anything right (even though he is a former world champ).

Now, those of you "irked" by the "it's racist crowd"... Do you genuinely believe there is no racism present in the WWF at all?

As for Hogan's telling the kiddies to say their prayers, did he ever once say Jesus Christ? Everytime he named the "higher power" if ya weel, he called it the "Big Guy Upstairs" Who was this big guy? Bob the personal trainer? Sylvester Stallone? That can be a thread in and of itself: Who WAS the "Big Guy Upstairs"?

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#64 Posted on 12.4.02 1650.14
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1659.03
I'm going to try and avoid the English 101 class going on as best I can and simply put forth an idea...

From what I know based on Tough Enough and Beyond the Mat, the WWF usually try to get ideas from the personality of the wrestler they're looking at.

Case in point: Droz could vomit at will. So Vince says great, thats his gimmick, he's Puke.

So let's look at D-Von. I see a decent wrestler whose most notable non wrestling attributes are that he talks in the style of a televangilist and has a potential catchphrase in "Testify." If I had to come up with a new character for him that wasnt moving too far from his original in case of a need to return to the Dudleys team, a preacher would be the first thing that comes to mind, not because hes black but because of his character traits.

Why am I the only one who seems to think that THAT is most likely how they came up with his new gimmick, and not the color of his skin?

And please don't bother with the "well maybe not that character but look at this one or that one" replies, I'm talking about whether or not D-Von's new gimmick is an example of racist thinking, not Eddy's or Booker's or Funaki's.

*Fixed that last part so it hopefully doesnt sound quite as jerky.*

(edited by CxMorgado on 12.4.02 1754)

(edited by CxMorgado on 12.4.02 1803)
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#65 Posted on 12.4.02 1651.16
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1659.04

    Originally posted by EastCoastAvenger
    Everytime he named the "higher power" if ya weel, he called it the "Big Guy Upstairs" Who was this big guy? Bob the personal trainer? Sylvester Stallone? That can be a thread in and of itself: Who WAS the "Big Guy Upstairs"?




Jack Tunney.

It's kind of like my mythology class at college: every time we read about a goddess who is fooled by a god and made to look like an idiot, all of the chicks in the class scream "sexism!"
But if it's a male god who is tricked, beheaded, burned, crucified, castrated or made to look like a general dumbass, no one says a thing.
My point: sometimes we only notice things like this when we, personally, are offended. Some people on this thread are offended. Some are not. And both of those opinions are okay.
It's all a matter of personal perspective.
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#66 Posted on 12.4.02 1651.27
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1659.05
What a great thread!

I haven't heard such a high-level, intellectual dicsussion since I graduated from college.

Regardless of where you stand on the issue, you have to agree, most of the posts on this thread were well argued and presented.

Way to go Wieners!
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#67 Posted on 12.4.02 1653.08
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1659.06
i guess i'm not done with this thread.


    Originally posted by EastCoastAvenger
    I understand, it's 2002, and most people want to sweep that nasty little subject of racism under the rug and not deal with it. Sorry, that's not going to happen simply because it still exists, and some people are uncomfortable enough about it to speak against it.


yeah - on pro wrestling message boards~! you're quite the activist and well deserve those self high fives.




    Until recently, the only positive aspects to Booker T's general character came from the internet crowd, not the WWF. Booker T was portrayed as a buffoon who couldn't do anything right (even though he is a former world champ).


where are the positive traits for shawn stasiak's character? that's what i want to know.

and how about the way the fed has handled another former (wcw) world champion: ddp? they fucking killed him against the undertaker. (sarcasm)if he were black, it'd be racism!(/sarcasm)



    Now, those of you "irked" by the "it's racist crowd"... Do you genuinely believe there is no racism present in the WWF at all?


yeah, they completely played up the stereotype that japanese people idolize westerners with long blonde hair.



    As for Hogan's telling the kiddies to say their prayers, did he ever once say Jesus Christ? Everytime he named the "higher power" if ya weel, he called it the "Big Guy Upstairs" Who was this big guy? Bob the personal trainer? Sylvester Stallone? That can be a thread in and of itself: Who WAS the "Big Guy Upstairs"?


he wore a cross man. what the fuck do you think?
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#68 Posted on 12.4.02 1714.22
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1716.47
    Originally posted by CxMorgado
    I'm going to try and avoid the English 101 class going on as best I can and simply put forth an idea...

    From what I know based on Tough Enough and Beyond the Mat, the WWF usually try to get ideas from the personality of the wrestler they're looking at.

    Case in point: Droz could vomit at will. So Vince says great, thats his gimmick, he's Puke.

    So let's look at D-Von. I see a decent wrestler whose most notable non wrestling attributes are that he talks in the style of a televangilist and has a potential catchphrase in "Testify." If I had to come up with a new character for him that wasnt moving too far from his original in case of a need to return to the Dudleys team, a preacher would be the first thing that comes to mind, not because hes black but because of his character traits.

    Why am I the only one who seems to think that THAT is most likely how they came up with his new gimmick, and not the color of his skin?

    And please don't bother with the "well maybe not that character but look at this one or that one" replies, I'm talking about whether or not D-Von's new gimmick is an example of racist thinking, not Eddy's or Booker's or Funaki's.

    *Fixed that last part so it hopefully doesnt sound quite as jerky.*

    (edited by CxMorgado on 12.4.02 1754)

    (edited by CxMorgado on 12.4.02 1803)



Good points. As I've said, I don't think the preacher gimmick is racist, in its current form. But that could change.

With D-Von's whole "testify" thing, I think that the gimmick seems like a natural fit. Here's what I'm worried about - that they'll take it too far. And I think that the WWF has a bad track record of doing so, that's why people keep pointing out past history.



And FAB, just because DDP jobs doesn't make him the victim of racism. Nobody has said that it's racist for black guys to job. And if you have to go all the way down the card to use Shawn Stasiak as an example, you're really reaching. Guys like Booker are in much more of a visible buffoonish role than Stasiak has even been.

You're oversimplifying.

(edited by asteroidboy on 12.4.02 1518)
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#69 Posted on 12.4.02 1715.47
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1722.43



Hopefully this will be the last entry on this thread, so I'm gonna keep it simple.

Is there racism in the WWF? Of course there is, there's also sexism, and likely a host of other objectionable "-isms" as well.

Do we know that they were the driving force behind certian wrestler's personas or gimmicks, and that those wrestlers had no input into creating their characters? No, and until we do let's not assume, k?

You folks really need to calm down.
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#70 Posted on 12.4.02 1721.03
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1722.44
Shawn Stasiak: Son of a former champ, physically gifted, got the chicks to the point he was physically debilitated. Pretty good stuff!

DDP: Devious, focused, and unlike the burial of Booker T, JR never implied DDP was an inferior champ. Would you like a detailed description of where you can pound your sarcasm?

Kaientai: portrayed as rejects from a Godzilla movie, and that was the BEST thing the WWF could think of to do with them.

Many people wear crosses as a simple ornament, not as an expression of faith. I don't like it, but shit happens.



As for your expressions of anger and sarcasm... First of all, you don't know me, so exactly what makes you think this board is the only place I speak out about anything?! Activist? All I did was see something I didn't like and say something about it.

(sarcasm)But these were all good points though, Fabulous One! Keep up the good work! ;-)(/sarcasm)
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#71 Posted on 12.4.02 1727.02
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1727.32

    Originally posted by asteroidboy
    And FAB, just because DDP jobs doesn't make him the victim of racism. Nobody has said that it's racist for black guys to job.


but it is if you make them look foolish when they do it! like former world champion booker t!



    And if you have to go all the way down the card to use Shawn Stasiak as an example, you're really reaching.


apparently subtlety is lost on you. not every fucking character in the wwf has positive traits. unnerstand? where are vince and stephanie's positive traits? don't answer that.



    You're oversimplifying


the whole THREAD is oversimplified - it's about the idea that a black man playing a crooked preacher is racist!

edit: ...and east coast, the only things i know about you are that you act self congratulatory when you talk about racism and come off like a contrarian prick the longer the conversation goes on.

"someone who wears a cross, tells people to say their prayers, talks about the man upstairs and points to the sky while saying "thank you" might not be christian." if that's the way you look at it, i don't understand how you can have an opinion about anything, least of all racist media images.

for the rest of it, i'm done wasting my time with you.

(edited by Notorious F.A.B. on 12.4.02 1536)
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#72 Posted on 12.4.02 1736.53
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1740.53
Hmmmm, I dont know what to add to this because i feel a few things. Let me say that Im black and the D-von character doesnt offend me. I think it could be funny if done the right way. The same way its funny when Cedric the Entertainer does his black preacher act or Arsenio Hall on "Coming to America." I always chuckle when people get all up in arms on these boards about racism and sterotypes. When unless you are a minority you dont really know what is offensive and what isnt. Like I used to think that Eddy G's Latino heat character was offensive. but I had a buddy who was latino and he thought that was the funniest shit. Black and Latino comics poke fune at their people all the time, and its funny because they KNOW what theyre talking about. So does the audience. Im not saying that the WWF is on point with their comedy all the time, but people should lighten up. Sterotypes can be funny, its practically the basis of ALL tv. But true racism is ugly, and it aint funny at all. Vince telling D-von "I will never have your nigger ass headlining my show" is racism.
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#73 Posted on 12.4.02 1746.27
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1755.13
Wow, sorry I started this whole mess.

Let's get to some argument-discountin'.

You have managed to name exactly ONE allegedly "racist" character. Booker T. Know how I counter that? Three letters: DDP. Both guys were in the exact same position when they came in, both guys are in the exact same position now. And geez, I must be mistaken but I could've sworn that many many people believe Booker's lack of push, buffoonish character, etc. to be the product of his WCW heritage. But hey, I'm sure that argument served it's use in other threads, so why not come up with another here? Talk about your revisionist history, ECA. You're floating a bunch of nebulous crap out there and expecting people to buy it. Hey, guess what? It's garbage! Booker T was pushed upon his arrival, moreso than DDP, moreso than anyone else from WCW. Only when he feuded with the Rock did the commentators get on him, and-gasp!-he's a heel. And your Stasiak thing was pathetic. you think his treatment was good upon his arrival? Ugh, gimme a break. Want me to argue point by point, example by example? When was Eddie Guerrero made to look like a total buffoon, any more than, say, Test? But I'm arguing with a brick wall here, so what's the point?

Second, the thing about Regal/Bradshaw stereotypes not being racist? That's BULLSHIT. Racism is defamatory of character and a grouping of people together based on their race under a negative banner. Guess what? Many, many Brits would take offence at being labelled a high-class snob with general disdain for those lower than him. I know, I freakin' live here. Racism is nothing to do with the colour of your skin-I've said that before. It can be towards whomever. Your argument is like saying "well, we can ignore women abusing male spouses because hey, that problem ain't too big". It's BS.

Bottom line, I'm gonna be honest. I'm real pissed off at a lot of people on this thread, because it seems they think they can use something as powerful as racism sparingly. You can't ignore one form of racism and cry out against another. That's racism in and of itself, and you know it. I'm not going to start a flamewar, but I'm trying real hard to be nice about this and it's becoming harder and harder to succeed at that. ESPECIALLY considering that this was sparked off by one skit involving a character that was even terribly overacted, let alone hideously stereotyped. I think I'm gonna bow out before this gets me too angry. It seems that some guys aren't happy unless every black, Asian, or foreign character is protrayed completely normally, with no characterisation whatsoever. Hey! They could all be "fun-loving guys", like Chaz from New Jersey! News for ya: wrestling is based on outlandish, OTT characters. Booker's one is not that of a stupid black fool, he is, as some have said, a textbook heel. He's a coward, he cheats to win, etc. etc. But just because he's black, OHHH suddenly that's racism. Would his skin even be an issue if he was white? Course not.

Hysterical moralising feeds racism. Seeing racism where there is no real sign of it just makes the problem seem bigger and harder to control. Leanr it, if you wanna fight racism. Otherwise you might as well join the PTC and crusade against every other mysterious ppercieved injustice out there.

And ECA, id someone who says say your prayers, wears a cross and talks to the sky might not be Christian, then a black crooked preacher in ONE THREE MINUTE SKIT might not be a cliched racist character.

(edited by oldschoolhero on 12.4.02 1549)
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#74 Posted on 12.4.02 1752.39
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1759.01
How exactly did I act self-congratulatory in the least?! All I did was state my opinion, and not fucking back off with my tail between my legs when you disagreed.

What exactly is untrue about the statement, "Many people wear crosses as a simple ornament, not as an expression of faith."?

As for wasting your time, you basically came out here, layed the sarcasm on thick and insulted me. I had every right to tell you to eat shit, but I responded with relative civility. You chose to be a total asshole. So, with absolutely no feelings of guilt, I can now tell you to go fuck yourself. :-)

EDIT: Old School, what is so nebulous here? I started the thread asking if anyone else thought the gimmick could ever be over, and it quickly turned into a discussion of rascism in the WWF, basically leaving the original subject in the dust. I'm less pissed off about the discussion itself than the heat directed my way for expressing an opinion.

(edited by EastCoastAvenger on 12.4.02 1858)
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#75 Posted on 12.4.02 1755.08
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1759.02
hehe... I think it's ironic that ECA is one of the poeple most up in arms about this racism thing... he's got an Ice Cube quote on all his posts!

Here's a little quote from Ice Cube, for those of you who aren't down with NWA or Da Lench Mob:

"Yo, turn him over wit a spatula
Now we got, Kentucky Fried Cracker
Mess with the Cube, you get punked quick
Pig, cause I'm the wrong nigga to fuck with!"

-from "The Wrong Nigga to Fuck With"

but then, Ice Cube's a minority, so I guess it's okay for him to be racist...
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#76 Posted on 12.4.02 1807.46
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1809.57
I'm not "up in arms" Like I said before, I'm more worked up about the fact that everytime I say something about this subject, someone wants to jump in with sarcasm, trying to convince me otherwise, or outright insults.

And, I think Hogan worships himself more than anything else.
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#77 Posted on 12.4.02 1815.27
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1817.08
OSH, you're still talking about stereotyping and generalizing, when you're talking about upper-crust, tea-sipping snobs. Let's compare that to shuck-and-jiving and stupid, which Booker T has been portrayed as (remember that bit where he wore the glasses to look smarter?? And oh, how the faces and announcers gleefully goofed on him for that!) Which one do you think is more negative? You can't compare the two! It's about power, it's about control, it's about a group of people that's been subjugated by another for hundreds of years. That's what racism is. Calling all Texas beer drinking redneck or all Candians Chris Benoit marks or all Englishmen tea drinkers isn't the same thing.

And it can be argued with *tons* of evidence that the WWF plays up stereotypes (not necessarily a bad thing), but sometimes with an undercurrent of racism. Like ECA said, look at all the minorities on the roster and look at how many are portrayed positively. And do the math. And if you don't think something's wrong with that, then keep your head stuck in the sand.
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#78 Posted on 12.4.02 1828.11
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1828.16
I don't remember if we had a discussion like this here or in the politics forum, but my complaint with the WWF (and WCW) concerning racism is a lot less about the characters and a lot more about who and what they choose to hype and put over.

Without getting into a discussion about "what gimmicks are racist?" most gimmicks in the WWF get tried out with the crowd, and then either scrapped or kept going based on the reaction. Saba Simba flopped. The Godfather didn't. In my opinion, both were pretty racist. But the crowd, for better or for worse, decided to accept one and not the other. It's a rare case that Vince keeps something going that the crowd isn't behind, and usually because it's a personal thing with him (Steph and RTC come to mind).

On the other hand, for whatever reasons, I definitely think that the WWF (and WCW) hypes and puts over black wrestlers less than comparable white wrestlers.

Look no further than the APA. JR nearly has an orgasm every time Bradshaw sets foot in the ring. But Faarooq? Lucky if he gets a "Faarooq sure can wrestle" from JR. And Faarooq is about twice the wrestler Bradshaw is if you ask me. Plus he's a former World Champ to boot. Maybe it's because Bradshaw's from Texas and JR likes Texans? Booker's from Texas. So's Eddy. When was the last time they were "Hoss's?" There was a really good article on slash about this that got a link in another thread. Actually, here's the thread.

In the WCW racism suit, the case wasn't about offensive gimmicks, it was about Black/Asian wrestlers not getting hyped. That's more of the problem if you ask me. If the crowd accepts and likes offensive gimmicks, complain about the crowd, not Vince. But not hyping and giving an equal opportunity to minority wrestlers is all Vince's fault.

Moe
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#79 Posted on 12.4.02 1853.05
Reposted on: 12.4.09 1859.01

    Originally posted by asteroidboy
    look at all the minorities on the roster and look at how many are portrayed positively. And do the math. And if you don't think something's wrong with that, then keep your head stuck in the sand.


OK, we'll try this:

Booker T: Negatively. He acts like a complete idiot. The only positive is that he's always considered an Upper Midcarder

Chavo Guerrero: Positively. He hasn't really been on WWF TV much as of late, but he's looked pretty sharp on TE, and nothing's been done to counter that.

D Lo: Negatively. Hasn't been on TV, but he's been in a gang, a pimp, and in a turban over his WWF career.

D-Von: Positively. For the most part as a Dudley. We don't know enough about his curent gimmick to say otherwise.

Eddie: Negatively. Latino Heat. Though, the WWF has certainly shown him to be a very intellegent and devious wrestler. We haven't seen enough of him this go 'round to make a more informed opinion.

Farooq: Positively. At the beginning as Farooq Asaad, yes, it was bad, but he's since become an average joe, which is not at all terrible.

Funaki: Negatively. INDEED.

Godfather: Negatively. He's been a Voodoo priest, a gang banger, and a pimp. Not exactly a stellar resume. He's also been a censor, which isn't really that bad.

Haku: Negatively. Typical Samoan with a hard head gimmick.

Jackie: Positively. She's a tough woman who's not afraid to down beers and hang with the boys. Nothing wrong with that.

Jazz: Positively. A dominate women's champ who doesn't take any crap. Nothing bad there.

Maven: Positively. Smart and Lucky. They make a big deal about how he was a teacher before 'living his dream'. I don't see anything wrong with that.

Mark Henry: Positively. Ok, so his last gimmick blew goats, "Sexual Chocolate" wasn't exactly racially friendly, but his current gimmick as "The World's Strongest Man" is a positive.

Rikishi: Positively. Not his wild Samoan days, the "Makin' a difference days" were pretty stupid, but not terrible. But dancing fat man isn't racist, it's just what he is.

The Rock: Positively. Always strong, considered to be one of the best champions ever. No negativity at all her, post Nation.

Tajiri: Negatively. This is a tough one, because it hasn't been SO bad, but his early stuff with Regal showing him as unintellegent and subservient to Regal was bad enough.

Taka: Negatively. Overdub gimmick, while funny, was short sited.

According to my supremely informal survey, there are 9 positve gimmicks among the minority wrestlers and 8 negative ones. No excuse for the negative ones, but an interesting dichotomy there. You may feel free to agree or disagree with my assessments however.
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#80 Posted on 12.4.02 2036.29
Reposted on: 12.4.09 2038.07
Moe: I think in regards to your point that the WWF hypes white wrestlers more than non-whites, I think that's not really accurate. First you point to the APA. And I'll agree, Bradshaw gets put over more than Farrooq. However Bradshaw is younger and actually a bit bigger, both of which fry the WWF's bacon. Also Bradshaw has been JR's personal project for years seemingly, so he's gotten pushed over many people of all races.
As for the point in general, I think the problem lies more in the fact that outside of the black wrestlers and to some extent the Samoan ones, most minorities are small, and we all know how much Vince loves to push cruiserweights. We have in the last 5-10 years:
Heavyweights
Rock - No question on his push.
Booker T - Put Austin through table in very first night. Co-main evented Summerslam. Feuded with Rock, Austin, Angle. Very high upper mid carder.
Rikishi - Upper mid carder. Sadly was given push as part of an angle that was quickly aborted (hitting Austin with the car)
D-Von - Many time tag team champion. Routinely called part of the greatest tag team in WWF history.
Godfather - Part of huge feuds as Papa Shango (gimmick cribbed from the independent scene, anyone remember Rasta tha Voodoo Mon?), pushed far beyond his skill in pimp gimmick.
Mark Henry - Oft-injured but well pushed until his complete lack of skill became apparent even to the WWF.
D-Lo Brown - Seemed on the fast track until he paralyzed Droz. Multiple time champion, had fairly high profile feuds.
Farrooq - Portrayed as one of the toughest men in WWF. Pushed as equal to anyone in the federation physically. Also portrayed as a good guy usually.
Haku - Stuck in a late 80's gimmick he never could quite escape.

Cruiserweights:
Kaientai - Squashed by the oddities.
Essa Rios - They tried to push him, but Lita got far more over than him.
Chavo - Tough Enough gig is cool, but really never done much else.
Tajiri - Never figured out what to do with him.
Eddy - Pushed somewhat hard, but in a gimmick that was pretty stupid. Though how much of the lack of push in retrospect may have been due to him being on the junk.

So what I get from all this is something we've all known here forever...Vince doesn't know what to do with cruiserweights. As really, which minority heavyweight would you say was not pushed commensurate to their abilities?
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