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Monday, August 17, 2015

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Can We Not... Volume One: A New Nation (of Domination)

By Speed on the Beat

Photo Credit: CagesideSeats.com/WWE.com

Ok, I'm taking a sabbatical from WIRTB Reviews for a while. I need to take some time to flush the crap out of my system. I mean, I did review a lot of it. So, in the meantime, I want to explore a couple other things. The first of which is an experiment where I look at a common "IWC" request and attempt to determine, to the best of my knowledge whether it's something we can do or if it's something we should say "can we not?" to.

Every time there is a new black wrestler in WWE, there is an uproar as to what'll happen with him (or her, but it's usually him, sadly enough). Some will argue that he'll end up shuckin' and jivin' from the jump, thuggin' and buggin' while rappin' and snappin'. Others, they argue that he's going to just be in low-card hell until he gets released, unless he begins to thug/bug/snap/rap/etc. Others, still, suggest an alternative.

"Why can't [New Black Wrestler] lead a new Nation of Domination?"

For those who don't remember (for shame), the NoD was a minority-centric stable in the mid-to-late-1990s in WWF. It played off the racial tensions of the era and even played a part in propelling The Rock to superstardom. It also gave us the WWF Race Wars storyline, one of the most cringe-worthy pieces of turd I've seen in WWF--and we're talking a company who had Triple H and DX blackface it up as the Nation. However, the Nation was great in that era. Why? Wrestling wasn't "PG." I know, I know. That's something you'll always hear from people. "Wrestling wasn't just for kids back in the mid-to-late-1990s. That's why angles such as the NoD worked." But, it's true. The Nation worked because it was different and it felt real.

Yes, today's #BlackLivesMatter era of racial injustice and tension would be great storyline fodder for a group of black wrestlers together. We almost got it with New Day. However, it'd also feel forced, as if WWE is just saying "hey, guys. Here's some blacks. You like angry blacks. Look at the CNN ratings about the #FreddieGray riots! Well, here's our toothless send-up of that tension, led by our latest black guy who could do something." Which is, to a degree, what happened with New Day. And, if you let some look at the situation, it's what should happen with Apollo Crews (the former Uhaa Nation).

Crews has the potential to be that first black wrestler who isn't just angry, isn't just a goofball who dances on command. I mean, there's got to be something better for black and minority wrestlers to do other than shuck and jive or be angry at everyone who isn't black. Right? RIGHT?!

I dream of a day when black talent can get over--and stay over--not because they're black wrestlers (and that's all we see/that's all bookers et al focus on), but because they're wrestlers who excel at their craft who just happen to be darker than your average main eventer. I dream of a day where a minority who isn't The Rock holds the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, even if he isn't a grinning, baby-kissing babyface. But, until then? I've got to say...can we not do another Nation of Domination?


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