For better or worse, wrestling and stereotypes go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. For example, the evil foreigner, who is only evil because he is foreign, like the current champ, Jinder Mahal.
Savages, farmers, foreigners, and dimwits – wrestling knows no bounds when it comes to portraying stereotypes and preying on fans’ preconceived notions of those thoughts, they might pull back if completely offensive, but seemingly it will be a trend in wrestling that never seems to stop.
Obviously, we all know by now, that these guys are merely okaying roles and are not anywhere near as stereotypical as they seem on TV, if at all.
Here are 15 Superstars with stereotypical characters from the past and what they’re up to now.
Take three of the best luchas from the late nineties and early aughts and bring them to Vince McMahon and what do you get? Three Mexican wrestlers made to look like cholos riding lawnmowers to the ring – not very stereotypical or racist at all.
Super Crazy, Psychosis, and Juventud Guerra, who were all already in ring luchas for WCW and ECW, debuted as a group in mid 2005, riding a John Deere lawnmower while ripping us gringos for for stereotyping them. So guys acting like their stereotypes were fed up with being stereotyped decide to be their stereotypes.
While their tenure was short lived, Juvi did manage to capture the Crusierweight title before getting let go in early 2006. For fans that still can’t get enough of “the Juice.” Juvi appears on the podcast, “Keeping it 100,” while Crazy and Psychosis are both working for AAA in Mexico, and indies all over the world.
14. The Bushwackers
Just because Vince saw you as a babyface doesn’t mean that you weren’t stereotyped. Cousin Luke and Cousin Butch had a decent run in the mid – eighties as the vile heel team, The Sheepherders for Crockett. But after meeting with them, according to Bruce Prichard, he saw them as a babyface team and re-branded them as dimwitted, fun loving savages.
But oh boy, did the younger fans love them! They’re fun loving antics didn’t garner them titles but they still wound up having one of the more memorable Hall of Fame induction speeches in years.
After spending a few more years on the Indies, including coming to ECW as Dudley cousins, Butch retired in 2001, is living in New Zealand and is the Commissioner for Kiwi Pro Wrestling. Luke is still wrestling and lives in Florida, perhaps he can head to NXT and teach the kids how to get characters over.
13. The Mountie
Dudley Do-Right and Jacques Rougeau – the two most famous members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. But Canada was none too pleased with Jaques or the Mountie, so when he and Pierre Oulette formed a tag team, they were simply known as the Quebecers, clearly still doing their best to look like the RCMP force.
Despite what Kevin Owens might say, Rougeau was a fairly respected in-ring performer – whether as a single or with his brother Raymond or Pierre and while most can’t speak to who he is on a personal level, he will be remembered as one of the premier performers of the late eighties and early nineties.
While they were around for quite some time before coming to the WWE, it was there that Dick Togo, Mens Teoh, Taka Michinoku, and Sho Funaki, had their greatest American success in WWE as Kaientai, a group of Japanese thugs, who threatened to chop off Val Venis’ “pee pee” and being “Evvviiiilll,” dubbed by Shane-O Mac himself.
They honestly didn’t do a whole lot in their tenure stateside but die–hard fans will forever be grateful for Kaientai bringing us “Smackdown numba’ one announcer.”
But just because WWE waters shored up doesn’t mean the group hasn’t run inJapan and had various reunions over the years. Togo actually still works, most notably for Japan’s DDT promotion, Taka is still going strong as well in New Japan where he just finished second – to last in his Super Juniors Block. As for Kung-FuNaki, hj’s still with the WWE on their Japanese announce team and serves as an interpreter and serves as an interpreter for Hideo and Shinsuke.
11. The Godfather
Charles Wright went through a few of bad gimmicks before finally clicking with the WWE Universe as The Godfather. First as Papa Shango, a stereotypical Voodoo priest, and then a proto – UFC style Kama, the supreme fighting machine, but then came The Godfather and the most fun train ride on the planet. Sure at one point,. He he became The Goodfather and renounced being a pimp, but that was clearly not going to last for long.
After living the gimmick for so long, the Godfather did what any wrestler playing a pimp would do – started running a real life strip club. He has been running Cheetah’s more or less since retiring. Oddly enough, he’s not the only wrestler working on the strip – Disco Inferno works at Sapphires…imagine that version of the Monday Night War!
You could have bet the farm you would see Eugene on this list. After all, the guy might be one of the last decidedly un-pc gimmicks ever created. While never clearly stated, Eugene was clearly special needs and heels would dog him for it. Younger fans were into Eugene through, big time.
Nick Dinsmore played it to the hilt, using a silly wave and a fanboy mark’s dream move set. Eugene was the WWE’s answer to Mortal Kombat‘s Shang Tsung, who could morph into any character and use their move set.
Dinsmore is and was an accomplished wrestler, but was let go originally in 2007 for failing drug test number two, and while he’s had a few sips of coffee with the company since, has not been able to get back full time. He has consistently worked Indy shows and runs one of his own, Mid-West All Pro wrestling in South Dakota.
9. Muhammad Hassan
When the Iron Curtain was still up during the Cold War and we had enemies in China, Russia, and their allies – wrestling easily and obviously capitalized on this with evil foreign character like Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik would be the most notable examples for modern era fans.
But in today’s world, where uber PC reins supreme, characters like Muhammad Hassan, in any iteration are hard to get over naturally, because the heat they’re getting are more disgusting that the WWE is even trying to this kind of character in the “safe space” world. Funny enough, the guy isn’t even Arab, he’s an Italian-American.
When the London bombings occurred in 2005 happened, UPN, the network that used to air SmackDown demanded the character be taken off TV. Hassan retired pretty early, and as of last year he has been named as part of a class action lawsuit involving traumatic brain injuries and for all intents and purposes has lived a low-key life ever since.
8. Kerwin White
Even when the stereotype is “Waspy McWasp” and doesn’t offend anyone who isn’t isn’t any less stereotypical. If you haven’t met him yet, ladies and gentlemen, meet Kerwin White, aka – proud Latino, Chavo Guererro, Jr. denouncing his heritage in favor of the Anglo way, which meant being a superficial white conservative Anglo male who rails against anyone not like him.
The gimmick was short lived however, since Eddie would die a few months later and it made Chavo dressing as Kerwin even more in poor taste than it already was. Chavo would stick with the WWE for a few more years before heading to TNA and is now currently producing Lucha Underground and just like his uncle Mondo, is training girls for Netflix G.L.O.W. series.
7. Phineas I. Godwin
A backwoods pig farmer or crazy devout cult member, both are pretty standard fare for Dennis Knight, because he played both during his time in WWE, but Phineas was a bit of an old school stereotype that we don’t see a lot anymore – slack jawed yokel farmer who doesn’t seem like he can read, write, or learn how to speak English real well.
During the early ’90s, Knight along with his on screen cousin Henry had gained a small cult following as Tex Slazinger and Shanghai Pierce but as The Godwins, they achieved that special WWE fandom using Vince dust (perhaps that’s what was in the slop bucket).
Want to meet a walking talking offensive stereotype – its Akeem, the African Dream. Long thought to be a rib on the American Dream, Dusty Rhodes, Akeem As we all know, was actually, the One Man Gang who had found his true nature in deepest, darkest Africa via Harlem, where Slick had found him.
If anyone in NXT is questioning how to get their character over, look no further than Akeem and his big giant blue hat. While fans and commentators might have been scratching their heads, Akeem soldiered on an never played the role ironically, making George Gray one of the rare wrestlers to get not o one but two unique characters.
Nowadays, the bug guy is still performing from time to time but unfortunately is also been named in the ridiculous concussion lawsuit against the WWE that alleges the company withheld information about concussions and how they affect us during a time when no one knew. Hopefully, even though he is suing, he’ll get honored in the Hall of Fame one day.
The African savage beast that could not be controlled or reasoned with. The man stuck in time where only fierce warriors like him would survive – until The Undertaker and a casket arrives and the warrior becomes a scared little baby and heads for the hills, but I digress. The Ugandan giant, Kamala was one of the most memorable characters of the Memphis territory and on the grand WWE stage as well.
Once on the big show, the cannibal wrestled everyone including a cage match with Andre, Hulk, Jake Roberts, and the aforementioned phenom. Since there was only so far you take this character so far, Slick of all people would try to humanize him before he went off into the sunset.
He’s had a tragic life ever since, sadly most recently and crushingly – having both legs amputated due to complications from diabetes. To offset the costs, Kamala has written an autobiography and also relies on disability checks and selling homemade chairs.
4. Saba Simba
Why is the Ugandan giant gimmick revered and beloved, while another is looked at as an outright racist? Who knows?! The answer is the same as any other nonsensical situation in the business – because wrestling, that’s why. But Tony Atlas actually does credit the god-awful gimmick of Saba Simba with saving his life, since he was homeless at the time when Vince threw him this bone.
The gimmick didn’t last long (perhaps he should have feuded with Kamala), and featured Atlas wearing “traditional” Ugandan warrior garb. But ever since, Atlas has luckily been able to stay clean and stay in the company being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006 and was part of one of the first shows on the network – Legends House.
We’ve had racial stereotypes and character stereotypes but seldom do have any sexual stereotypes. Second generation star, Shawn Stasiak debuted as Meat, a sexual slave for Terri Runnels and Jacqueline – PMS. Meat was essentially their gimp, and was run ragged by the ladies whenever he’d lose.
You’ve ever seen the dimwitted and or henpecked husband in a sitcom before, this was WWE Attitude’s answer to that with their own spin on it. The doofus got to hang out with Terri all day and decided to screw himself out of a job by supposedly tape recording locker room talk between the boys. He wound up jumping to WCW and was one of the young bright spots on the fast sinking ship. He would get the opportunity to come back, but he still never reached the heights of his World Champion father, Stan Stasiak.
2. The Iron Sheik
Before he left Iran Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri was a good amateur wrestler who had tried out for the Iranian Olympic team in 1968 before moving to the states and was the assistant coach of the US team throughout the seventies, while training with Verne Gagne for the pro circuit.
He took his experiences growing up in Teran, Iran and utilized the American’s feeling towards to the Middle East to garner supreme heat as the Iron Sheik and even wound up as WWE champion in the process, being the guy who would drop the belt to Hulk and jumpstart Hulkamania.
The guy has had an interesting pre-pro wrestling life and now thanks to reading his ridiculous rants on twitter has found a way to stay relevant as most of tweets evoke some sort of laughter. Somehow it has actually turned the guy into a sort of folk wrestler.
1. Cryme Tyme
You know things are going to get dicey when WWE throws up a disclaimer before your vignettes aired. That’s exactly what happened when JTG and Shad Gaspard debuted in 2006. They were a parody of “thugs” who would steal things from other members of the roster and auction them off to the crowd.
The gimmick was exactly as tasteless as you’d think it was an although they got it over, it was stranger watching “thug life” every week on a show supposedly written for kids.
A few years at the top is all you need to keep your career going – JTG still works on the Indy scene and has written several books, and even got to act in the film Bad Night. Gaspard has done better for himself on the acting scene, starring as Jack Johnson on stage in Pugilist, the first black Heavyweight Boxing Champion.
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