WWE and non American wrestlers

Discussion in 'General WWE' started by Stopspot, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. WWE claims to be a global company, catering to the entire world. But despite that, most non American wrestlers are booked as one of two things: Either they are a anti American heel (Antonio Cesaro, Bret Hart for a while) or they are booked as a stereotype of whatever country they come from (Hunico, Yoshi Tatsu, Funaki, Kozlov etc). Seemingly the only people that are except to this rule are the Canadians (but some American's might think Canada is just a rogue state or something) and the occasional Brit (Barrett isn't exactly a stereotypical Englishman). But why is this?

    Why can't the WWE just let non American wrestlers get characters not focused on their nationality or the fact that they aren't from America? If they were truly a global country than surely they wouldn't need to use stereotypes. Is it laziness on part of the creative team, Vince being slightly racist or some other kind of reason?
    Because it really isn't any harder to come up with a real character for a non American than it is to come up with a character for an American.

    Why do you think most non American wrestlers in the WWE are either booked as anti Americans or stereotypes?
     
  2. I think the perception is that Americans identify more with their own 'ilk' than anyone else and will likely find it easier to get behind them if they are either born in America or at least proud to live there now. Vince once commented in a 2004 episode of Off The Record that the reason Chris Benoit was now announced as being from Atlanta, Georgia (and not Edmonton, Alberta, Canada ) and Christian was announced as actually being from Canada is that Benoit was a baby face and Christian was a heel and that some Americans would have an issue with someone they're cheering for still being proud to be from another country.

    Weird logic because Bret Hart made no bones about being from Canada and did well in the traditional baby face role for a long time. He did say how he was proud to live in America but also would mention his Canadian heritage on several occasions. But Vince/WWE probably realize that many, many Americans have stereotypical conceptions of people from other countries and thus push non-Americans that way accordingly. Look at Muhammad Hassan. it was easy for him to get incredible heel heat given that Muslims were already a hated minority in America at the time.
     
  3. It is a pretty weird preconception that seems to be pretty WWE specific. TNA has Magnus as one of its up and comers, and they make no secret that he is British and a proud one at that. And some of the top talent on the independents are either European or Japanese. Guys like Tozawa, Cima and the no longer American bound Okada got/get insane reactions when they wrestle in America. Granted the independent crowds are a bit smaller but still. WWE seems to be the only wrestling company that needs to push foreigners as stereotypes.
     
  4. It's weird considering that other countries obviously pop big for names like Hogan, Austin, Cena and the others, most of whom are usually American. One would think if non-Americans can pop huge for Americans, the same could happen the other way around.

    Along with Bret Hart, British Bulldog was also a rare exception who made no secret about how proud he was of his heritage, which was coming from England.
     
  5. Americans do pop for non American wrestlers, but not the standard WWE crowd it seems. As I said, guys like Tozawa, who is Japanese gets major pops and cheers from American crowds, just because he is sickeningly charismatic and has an insane work rate.
     
  6. Racism i suspect is a big factor in why they are given stereotypical gimmicks and a result as too why so many have limited success. They had that whole stupid and demeaning badly dubbed gimmick for Taka.
     
  7. What was the name of the one Japanese guy who had that mystical Buddhist monk gimmick? He's the only guy I remember from Asia who treated seriously. He even feuded for the WWE championship I believe.
     
  8. [​IMG]

    jinsei shinzaki or Hakushi(wwf) is this the guy you mean?
     
  9. That's the Asian!
     
  10. I liked the Evil/Dubbing gimmick that Taka and Funaki had in 2000. It was hilarious.

    I liked Hakushi, though I don't remember him ever feuding over the WWE Championship... Not that that would have said much, Mabel and Tatanka feuded over it as well. 1995 was a terrible year.

    I also wouldn't say it all comes down to Americans being slightly xenophobic, remember that Rey Mysterio is Hispanic and has always been very over and popular with the audiences. Eddie Guerrero too, though his "Lie, Cheat, Steal" was a play off the stereotype that a lot of Mexicans are thieves, but they at least turned it into something that was fun to watch. It would have been seen in a different light if he had done that spiel as a heel.
     
  11. Kofi Kingston isn't considered that way, neither is Justin Gabriel, and many other superstars.
     
  12. Kofi Kingston was only born in Ghana. He was raised in America so he is practically an American. Justin Gabriel hardly has a character anyway.
     
  13. Rey and Eddie are easily explained. A large percentage of the American population is Hispanic. And wrestling is very big in the Latin American countries, so offering the Latinos in the USA a face for them to cheer for in the biggest promotion in the united states will logically make those characters successes and when they gain momentum with the minority crowd it will then carry over to the majority crowd (aka whitey). American Xenophobia is a factor. If I went to America most people would likely think I am or do one of the following: Work at Ikea, play hockey, don't know a word of English, make meatballs or that I am a communist. Common stereotypes about Swedish people in America (as explained to me by my family in Utah). Just like they would think that Crayo would probably have horrible teeth, only drink tea and be a wuss (common American stereotypes about Englishmen).
     
  14. To be fair, those are probably all true. :haha:

    In all seriousness, as I mentioned in my first post, I guess it does mostly come down to xenophobia on the part of many Americans, though there are exceptions. But there's exceptions to every rule.
     
  15. Of course there are exceptions to every rule. Some wrestlers from non American countries manage to make it without stereotypical gimmicks, Regal for example. Being British has always been a part of his character, but never the defining trait which has instead mostly been his dastardliness.
     
  16. Maybe it's just lazy booking to do with it. It's much easier to just let a character roll on with stereotype then to actually think of a creative gimmick for them, and with the stereotype gimmick it works for them(not saying it draws) because it "supposedly" comes natural. I think that they should be more diverse about their gimmicks, I think it's stupid to label all of them with stereotypes instead of being creative and giving them a gimmick that could be all around, like a monster gimmick, a rich gimmick, or anything. Of course I don't really think it's bad to add nationality to the gimmicks, like a Swiss rich gimmick, a monster African gimmick and whatnot, it's still adding something else, other then just being stereotypical.

    I think they should step down on using to many stereotypes. It's not going to draw them in(unless it's something like Eddie and Chavo's gimmick) unless it's their home country, and WWE is mostly in the US, so they should also focusing on helping them get over, over here.
     
  17. Didn't Sgt. Slaughter have an anti-american gimmick at one point?
     
  18. Yeah. He was an Iraqi sympathizer when WWF tried to cash in on exploiting the Gulf War in '91. It drew nothing but "change the channel" sort of heat.
     
  19. But he did apologize to America.
     
  20. Yes, once the heat was gone. He obviously wasn't gonna stay like that forever (the Iraq War ended shortly after he turned heel anyway.)
     
Verification:
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