I love wrestling. I have been watching it since I was but a tyke watching Hogan battle Iraqi sympathizer Sgt. Slaughter at the Richfield Coliseum. Some gimmicks, like Undertaker or Stone Cold, have been fantastic. Some moments, like Foley diving off the cell, are timeless moments that remind us why we love wrestling.
Then, there’s this garbage…
1. Vince McMahon Beats God:
Vince McMahon was in a feud with born-again Christian, Shawn Michaels. Rather than tastefully discuss religion, the WWE decided to dive right off the deep end into the world of questionable to offensive garbage. Marvel at Vince McMahon calling out HBK’s tag partner in a church! Thrill as Vince beats Shawn Michaels and, as a result, beats his tag team partner… God.
2. Eddie’s Death:
Eddie Guerrero was a beloved wrestler who – like many – passed away too soon. After a brief moment of honoring his life, the WWE dived right into offensive garbage, dragging his dead body through the streets (Note: Not literally, but see the next entrant!), and spitting on his life’s work. The highlight for me was probably Randy Orton telling Eddie’s good friend Rey Mysterio that Eddie was burning in hell. Lovely!
3. Big Show’s Dad:
Big Show’s dad died. That’s normally a sad moment in someone’s life. Luckily, the WWE is full of insane jerks. We got to enjoy a feud between the Big Boss Man and Big Show which featured the painful moment where Big Show was dragged around on the stolen casket of his own father, being pulled by Big Boss Man. Bonus points because Big Boss Man was basically driving the car from the Blues Brothers.
4. David Arquette Wins the Championship:
Offensive in a much different way than our other entrants on this list, David Arquette once won the championship held by luminaries like Ric Flair and Sting because of a movie promotion. David. Arquette. This is why WCW died.
5. Katie Vick:
Katie Vick was Kane’s date to prom. Katie Vick died. HHH told us all this didn’t stop Kane from having a, uh, sexual active prom night. If this sounds like something so offensive you want to throw up in your mouth, you’re in luck! We got to see a dramatic reenactment featuring HHH in a Kane mask and a blowup doll dressed as Katie Vick. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll vomit with rage.
6. Akeem the African Dream:
A very white looking man formerly wrestling as the One Man Gang was turned in an African by the Reverend Slick in a voodoo ceremony. It makes exactly as much sense as that sentence. To add insult to injury, Akeem moved around and talked like a movie stereotype for black pimps. At least he wasn’t in blackface…
7. D-X in Blackface:
D-X once had an admittedly sort-of funny parody of the Nation of Domination, a wrestling stable of all black wrestlers featuring the Rock. Unfortunately, they decided to do this in blackface instead of, say, hiring black comedians or just not doing it in blackface. But, hey, WWE is an equal opportunity offender! Because no one is left out of cultural appropriation!
8. Prince Albert in Yellowface:
As far as I know Matthew Bloom, aka Prince Albert, is in no way Japanese. He did wrestle in Japan for a while, though, so upon his return he became Japanese! It’s magic! The big white guy everyone knew as Prince Albert was not the martial arts master Lord Tensai!
9. Muhammad Hassan:
Muhammad Hassan was an Arab American wrestler. Not offensive. He was portrayed by a guy named Mark Copani… Now, I’m not saying he couldn’t have been Arab, but he’s an Italian American. Strike one: race stealing for a gimmick. Strike two was that, rather than being an intelligent angle involving post-9/11 thoughts in our country, Muhammad Hassan’s short-lived time with the WWE was full of implied terrorism. Terrorism.
10. Incest Isn’t Fun:
Several incest angles have been proposed or implied, but thankfully they never came to fruition fully. I still include this because I had to write that SEVERAL INCEST ANGLES were proposed or started. Rumors surround the idea that there was to be a McMahon family incest angle. The world’s most dangerous man Ken Shamrock has open stated that he had to reject an incest angle featuring his “sister” Ryan Shamrock. Oh, and recently Pirate Paul Burchill lost his pirate-ness and was involved in a story that heavily implied his sister was also in love with him. Like, really in love with him.
Remind me why I watch this again? Oh, right. All the fantastic moments like Randy Savage versus Ricky Steamboat or Stone Cold Steve Austin’s ECW promos. Those are the moments that bring true entertainment and pass from wrestling fans and into pop culture at large. Just try and forget that Vince McMahon has apparently approved more than one incest angle… that will make you throw up in your mouth.