In two consecutive weeks, the WWE chose to go an interesting route with the storyline that involves WWE Champion Jinder Mahal and the number one contender for his title, Shunsuke Nakamura. Instead of discussing who's better, who's going to win or focusing on their in-ring skill, the WWE has sunk to a time-honored tradition of using culture, heritage and differences to highlight (or in this case, lowlight) this feud. It's not gone over well with the WWE Universe and now has caught the eye of mainstream media who have blasted the WWE on their approach.
Marissa Payne from the Washington Post has reached out to people who were in attendance the second time Jinder went on a racist-filled rant promo. In this instance, among other insults, Mahal referred to Nakamura as "Mr. Miyagi." and the response was loud chants of "that's too far" by the WWE Universe.
If anyone was at last night's WWE #SmackDownLIVE in Oakland, please contact me for a story about racist promos. firstname.lastname@example.org— Marissa Payne (@MarissaPayne) September 20, 2017
The story has been picked up by a number of other media outlets including Deadspin who completely blasted the segment, calling the motive for these promos disturbing, vile and unnecessary. The argument is that focusing on race adds nothing to the feud, and it takes away from the two talented wrestlers trying to sell their match at Hell in a Cell.
The result is that the WWE has noticed the stir these segments created and issued a statement. Suggesting this is not the first, nor will it be the last time the WWE tries this type of writing, WWE said, “As a producer of such TV shows, WWE Corporate is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.”
Clearly, the WWE isn't getting the message from WWE fans and media. These types of promos may not be new to the WWE, but they are odd in a "PG" environment and definitely in poor taste. They're not adding anything to the story and choosing to have a wrestler who hails from India poke fun at a wrestler who hails from Japan is about the strangest time WWE would choose to take this approach.