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Black pro wrestlers are shut put of the ringThe Rock is one of the few black pro wrestlers who has been successfully promoted.  (Photo courtesy of MGM Pictures)

By Adam Fenwick
Staff Writer

Professional wrestling is a profession dominated by the white race. Out of the four major wrestling promotions there have only been four Heavyweight champions that were black. I bet any wrestling fan could name one of them. The Rock. He is one of the very few exceptions to this surprising trend. In case you are wondering the other three black wrestlers to ever hold Heavyweight titles were Ron Simmons in WCW (known in the WWE as Faarooq), Booker T in WCW, and Ron Killings in the NWA.

Some may wonder exactly why this sort of thing is taking place in our society. One reason that I think it is taking place is because professional wrestling has become more sports entertainment than an actual sport. Wrestling companies are focusing more on entertainment than the wrestling itself.

This reminds me of a recent discussion in one of my English classes. We talked about how image sells. How often do you see a black person on the cover of a popular magazine? It is very rare even in today’s society. The reasoning behind that is the magazine producers think that the public want to see good looking white males or females. That has been the standard for as long as magazines have been being produced. I think the same concept applies to wrestling.

Most wrestling promoters want to draw in the big bucks. So they focus on what will sell the most tickets. Often times, that seems to be white wrestlers. Wrestling promoters are even taking gimmicks that would be more suited for black wrestlers and giving them to white wrestlers to use. A perfect example would be the WWE’s John Cena. Cena is currently using a rapper gimmick. Even though the rap music genre is predominantly black they gave the gimmick of a rapper to a white wrestler. Now I’m not taking away anything from John Cena as a wrestler but that gimmick belongs to a black wrestler.

However, there are certain professions where black men and women have yet to become a major influence. Wrestling just happens to be one of those professions. Wrestling promoters need to look at what the WWE did with The Rock and really think about giving more black wrestlers a chance to shine. I think that it’s going to take another break out star such as The Rock before wrestling fans and promoters really start to realize that black wrestlers can draw just as good or maybe even better than any white wrestler.

 
 
 
Black Line
 
  The University of North Carolina at Pembroke Updated: Wednesday, April 14, 2004
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