If you were watching SmackDown Live last week, you probably caught that incredibly offensive promo, where WWE Champion Jinder Mahal compared Shinsuke Nakamura to Godzilla and Pikachu in the most racist way possible. For many fans, it was a low point in an otherwise solid show, but if you think about it, it’s one of the myriad times that WWE offended the sensibilities of its viewers in epic fashion.
As far as 2017 is concerned, Mahal’s rant on Nakamura just might be the most offensive WWE promo of the year. But it pales in comparison to these five other offensive moments in WWE history that we’re still having trouble forgiving them for.
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5. Roddy Piper In Blackface
By 1990, it had been several years since Roddy Piper was booked as a heel in WWE. But at WrestleMania VI, you could have sworn that Hot Rod was still acting like the evil host of Piper’s Pit who viciously attacked Jimmy Snuka with a coconut, among other dastardly things. As he cut a promo on antisocial heel Bad News Brown, Piper made reference to Brown’s African-American facial features, while also doing a dance move a la Michael Jackson, again to reference the fact that Brown is a black man. And he did it all while wearing blackface makeup on half of his body! Again, let us remind you that Piper was supposed to be the good guy in this feud.
4. Billy And Chuck’s Wedding
For a while, it even seemed as if GLAAD was all for Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo exchanging vows on WWE television as a storyline gay couple. The advocacy group was happy that WWE was ostensibly presenting a pair of out-and-proud characters and writing them well. But as we learned in their 2002 wedding ceremony, Billy and Chuck were never gay after all—it was actually a publicity stunt that had gone too far.
GLAAD was understandably very upset at the bait-and-switch WWE had pulled, but that wasn’t the worst aspect of the Billy and Chuck storyline. Rather, it was the fact that the two were booked as heels up until they spilled the beans on the gay ruse, and were turned face the moment they admitted they were really straight.
3. Brian Pillman’s Got A Gun
The late Brian Pillman loved to push the envelope as he tried to make everyone around him believe he was off his rocker. But there was one time he had gone far beyond the boundaries of good taste, and that was during that infamous late-1996 angle where his old friend, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, was so angry at Pillman that he decided to head over to his home and conduct a home invasion. The home invasion was one thing, but Pillman had gone as far as to brandish a gun on live television, dropping the F-word for good measure as shocked viewers tried to process the sight of one wrestler actually trying to kill another. The “Pillman’s got a gun!” segment was so offensive that WWE was forced to apologize and admit that it was all a work.
2. Katie Vick
You can use any number of negative adjectives to describe Vince McMahon‘s sense of humor. Oftentimes, the word is “childish,” “juvenile,” or any of those words’ variants. But sometimes, the word is “sick,” and that’s the least we can say about this angle. Allegedly McMahon felt it would be funny when the payoff to Triple H‘s taunting Kane about his old, dead high school girlfriend Katie Vick would be The Game wearing a Kane mask and humping a mannequin meant to represent Vick’s dead body.
1. Vince McMahon Says The “N-Word”
It doesn’t matter if the angle was planned beforehand, or that Vince McMahon was trying to reference Booker T‘s unfortunate WCW gaffe, where he accidentally called Hulk Hogan the “N-word.” The fact of the matter is, Vince McMahon did call John Cena that in a backstage skit during the 2005 Survivor Series pay-per-view. Of course, WWE made the excuse that it was a satirical skit performed by on-air characters, but a lot of viewers at home were definitely more incensed than Booker T (then King Booker), who dropped his “tell me he did not just say that” catchphrase in response to overhearing McMahon telling Cena to “keep it up, my [N-word].”
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