The prejudice of the human mind has it shackled to the stereotypical thought; unable to break free and unchain itself from these outdated, offensive, and often outrageous ideals that label and lampoon the ethnicities of the world.
These stereotypes remain ever-present in today's society despite years of education ... or perhaps it is the uneducated masses that maintain these social caricatures ... either way, they exist out of ignorance, cruelty, or comedic effect - the latter coming from a place of entertainment value - offensive to some, hilarious to others (reference Stephen Colbert and his Ching Chong Ding Dong character).
Naturally, in the professional wrestling world, stereotypes run full-throttle. This should not come as a surprise considering what professional wrestling truly is: a traveling freak show which often lacks any moral code.
At the end of the day, wrestling is a form of storytelling and every story needs its share of characters: the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly, the demented, the downtrodden, etc. The tale must be told in the ring. Of course, the characters we see enter the squared-circle are sometimes stale stereotypes.
The common work in the wrestling world is "gimmick." One is provided with a gimmick and then set forth into the system; attempting in vain to make it work no matter how terrible it may seem. Such is the way of the wrestler: no effort put forth into the bad gimmick ... no payday.
In this article we will take a stroll through the WWE vaults and dig up some of these bad gimmicks while also including some that remain active to this very day. The stereotype never seems to fade within the industry. Why is that? Anybody's guess. For one reason or another, these characters are deemed amusing by those who run the operation.
These are the top 15 worst stereotypical gimmicks in WWE history:
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15 Kerwin White
Chavo Guerrero will never be remembered as fondly as his uncle Eddie as it pertains to fans of WWE. Eddie was a bright, shining star while Chavo was really just another generic Cruiserweight.
In 2005, Chavo was repackaged as Kerwin White after "denouncing" his Hispanic heritage. Kerwin White was the typical Caucasian Conservative that is often associated with right-wing America.
Kerwin White was bland and while plenty of white people fit the description; not all are smug, clean-cut clichés of golf-course-goons.
The Samoan wrestler has been around for decades and has often embodied the same traits time and time again. However, when Umaga was introduces to the WWE audience, there was clearly a stereotypical element at play.
Umaga was made to look and act like a Samoan Savage - akin to The Wild Samoans - but more along the lines of a wild man escaped from the Islands who couldn't speak (aside from the occasional grunt) and was provided a handler.
13 The Quebecers
In the lovely Canadian Province of Quebec (where this article was written) things are not always postcard picturesque as social and political tensions often boil over due to language disputes and the unwillingness to cooperate.
Well, the WWE once gave their take on Quebec natives with Jacques and Pierre, collectively known as The Quebecers; a ridiculous version of accent-riddled Frenchmen who do not necessarily reflect native Quebecers.
Hopefully, somebody doesn't come up with the "bright idea" of forcing Kevin Owens to embrace his home Province.
12 The New Day
New Day ... Rocks? ... No, The New Day really do suck. The fans have it right. However, Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods are not to blame for this gimmick that fell flat from the start.
Three black men who love to clap and believe in the "power of positivity" not only borders on racism but is a tired cliché of African-American culture. The "happy-go-lucky" men who look past all injustice (Bad message to send to the youth).
The New Day could have been something better - something with a little more edge - but the PG Era reigns supreme once again.
11 The Godfather
All right, let's take this one back to the Attitude Era and the character of The Godfather. Yes, every sex-crazed teenage boy loved to watch The Godfather and his Ho Train enter the station but behind all that was an old stereotype.
There is really no way to sugar-coat what The Godfather was: he was a dealer of female flesh or if you prefer the bolder term: a pimp. The lavish-living seller of love came across as a cheap sports entertainment version of '70s culture.
The Godfather embodied all the stereotypical material required to make this list.
10 Hillbilly Jim
Southern folk are often the subject of much satire and stereotypical ridicule. The backwoods way of life is unconventional to those who were raised amid the thick and toxic city air.
Hillbilly Jim was positioned to perpetuate these Southern stereotypes as a slack-jawed-yokel of sorts who pranced around in his overalls and cowboy hat - never made to be much of a thinker but just a simple man - which does not fit the description of ever Southerner.
WWE should consider flipping the script. How about an intellectual Southerner? The wrestling version of William Faulkner.
The character of Virgil was created to purposely poke fun at Dusty Rhodes - who had been a major star in the NWA - and whose real name was Virgil Runnels. This character was meant to mock Rhodes and his affinity for African-American culture.
Virgil was brought into WWE as the bodyguard/personal assistant of Ted DiBiase - coming across as a subservient butler type who catered to every need of DiBiase. This gimmick was unflattering to say the least and was certainly walking some kind of thin line.
Virgil was a bad idea from the start.
8 Papa Shango
Charles Wright is the man who played the character of Papa Shango and has already appeared on this list as the very same man who played The Godfather; making Wright a long time stereotypical performer.
Papa Shango was introduced as a voodoo practitioner who would carry a skull to the ring and place "spells" on his opponent in witchdoctor fashion - a character that scared children and bored adults.
Somewhere on this planet - in hidden corners - there are those who practice these spiritual traditions and the feeling is that WWE got it completely wrong.
Kamala was another "wild savage" gimmick put forth by WWE where the man in question was perceived to be less of a man and more of an animal - some kind of crazy Ugandan beast.
On an episode of Tuesday Night Titans, the audience was made to believe that Kamala had eaten a live chicken on air. Kamala was made to seem stupid at all cost - often unsure of the proper pinning technique and having to be instructed by his manager.
Obviously the WWE had a firm grasp on the Ugandan people and their way of living.
Kaientai was an entire stable of Japanese wrestlers who could have been brought into WWE in a much more dominant fashion considering the traditions of Japanese wrestling. However, WWE chose the stereotypical route.
The group was eventually cut down to two members (Taka Michinoku and Funaki) and as a tag team, the duo were mocked with lip-synced promos perpetrated by Shane McMahon in a vain attempt at humor.
If only WWE knew how to properly execute with international talent.
One Man Gang was once a brute performer who blew through the lower-card in WWE. While never finding much success at the main event level, One Man Gang was a much better character than his successor.
Bring in Akeem, the African Dream. According to the storyline, One Man Gang was actually of African decent and planned to embraced his roots. Thus, a change in look and attitude.
Akeem would speak with a terrible black accent while wearing African garb and dancing like a buffoon. Such a bad gimmick.
4 Saba Simba
Tony Atlas is a WWE legend who helped push the color boundaries of professional wrestling during his career; becoming - along with Rocky Johnson - a member of the first African-American WWE Tag Team Champion.
However, years later, Tony Atlas would be reintroduced to the WWE fans as Saba Simba - a far cry from the man who once held one half of the Tag Team Championship and an absolute disaster of a gimmick.
Saba Simba was supposed to be a Ugandan Warrior but the character came across as pure racist. The WWE needs to leave Uganda alone.
3 Muhammad Hassan
In the post 9/11 world, the issue of terrorism has been an everlasting fear that does not seem to subside. While some chose to remain quiet and stay away from certain hot-button topics, the WWE jumps at the opportunity.
Muhammad Hassan was an Arab American character who was said to be faced with prejudice and stereotyping all over the country whole posing as a stereotype himself and further distancing rational conversation.
There had to be another way of making Muhammad Hassan work while maintaining the controversy WWE sought and staying away from another stereotype.
2 The Mexicools
The Mexicools (Super Crazy, Psicosis, and Juventud) were supposed to be the Mexicans who were tired of the stereotypical portrayal of Mexican in the United States but were really just another stereotype all along.
The group were placed in skits that were meant to parody the views of the Mexican people. However, these skits were just a confusing mess of incoherent humor that once again was perceived as funny to somebody backstage.
Great Mexican wrestlers reduced to ridiculing their own heritage and for what purpose?
1 Cryme Tyme
What was with the misspelling of Cryne Tyme? Chances are some old white guy (Vince McMahon) thought that would come across as something cool. McMahon really needs to accept the lame nature of his being.
Cryme Tyme were a tag team made up of JTG and Shad Gaspard - a duo that WWE wanted its fans to believe were some grand satirical gesture or social commentary but there were simply a played-out stereotype of street thugs.
The real crime here was the dated concept of the black criminal.
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