Disclaimer (probably the first of many): I’m white so chances are I might say something stupid here but I don’t mean for it to be stupid.
I’ve been thinking about this for awhile. This week wrestling fans have been trying to get the Divas more attention. Longer matches, more respect. I agree with all of this and then some. Wrestling has long loved the blonde champions. But any other option seems few, far between, and a struggle to come by.
Recently there was a rumor that WWE is looking for a new Hispanic star to appeal to that community. Rey Mysterio is most likely gone, Alberto Del Rio is definitely out and Sin Cara never caught on. WWF and WWE has appealed to the Italians, Irish, Hispanic, but where are the great Black world champions?
I’m talking about the classic long running WWE title. The winged eagle. The spinner belt. All of that. That classic belt has never been won by a black man. (I know what you’re thinking, and I’ll get there in a minute.)
Booker T and Mark Henry held the World title in WWE. The absorbed WCW/Ric Flair belt. The WWE-ECW title was never a world title. If anything it was equivalent to the Intercontinental or US title. However, it is within these titles that the glass ceiling for black wrestlers emerges. Many of the black wrestlers with unlimited potential reach these mid card titles and are never given another chance. Whether they’re not good enough, or the fans don’t get behind them, or a hundred other reasons – none of these men have stepped up to that WWE title level. Kofi Kingston, Big E, Ezekiel Jackson, D-Lo Brown, Ahmed Johnson, Marc Mero, Bobby Lashley, The Godfather, Shelton Benjamin, MVP, R-Truth and I’m sure I’m forgetting people. I’m fans of many of these guys. I’m sure you’re a fan of lots of them too. We could both argue at least a name or two that should have been given at least a try at the top. But alas, no.
Which brings us to the Rock. I am not counting the Rock as a Black world champion for two reasons. One, I remember the whole “is Tiger Woods black” argument from a few years back and I just don’t feel like dealing with it. Two, if WWE is going to build up Roman Reigns’s Samoan heritage and drag out the Rock because he is family (and thus also Samoan) then that is putting Samoan first, not his father’s genetics.
So where are the Black world champions Vince?
Personally I think Titus O’Neil is one piece away from becoming a major star in WWE and the next potential man to step up.