World Wrestling Egwyl: 5 of the most offensive moments in wrestling
By Kyle Sutherland, egwyl editor
What’s not to love about wrestling, it’s got violence and kickass music, dudes jumping off of ladders and slamming through tables, all set within a ridiculous, over the top soap opera style story. It’s awesome and I love it.
But that’s not to say there haven’t been some cringe worthy moments in the sports history, there has, there’s been a shed load. So many in fact that in the interest of time I’m only going to be looking at 5 of them here today, so let’s get ready to run wild with the cringe as we look at 5 of the most offensive moments in wrestling history.
- Chavo Guerrero becomes Kerwin White
If you’re a wrestling fan or have ever watched WWE programming then there’s a good chance you’ve heard the name Guerrero and with good reason because the family is legendary.
Over 3 generations starting in 1937 when big poppa Guerrero, Gory debuted members of the Guerrero family have worked in just about every major wrestling company in the world, most notable is maybe WWE hall of famer and champ Eddie Guerrero who after his tragic death in 2005 became basically the patron saint of wrestling fans.
But Eddies nephew Chavo jr has also made a name for himself in the WWE and other promotions across the world including TNA wait I mean Impact Wrestling, no I mean GFW, ok wait now it’s Impact again, ok.
But what I can never forget is the time the WWE saddled a member of one of wrestlings royal lineages with one of the most offensive and stupid gimmicks of all time, changing Chavo into Kerwin White.
This was a truly hateful gimmick; Kerwin White was essentially a caricature of a suburban white American man. He drove a golf cart to the ring, dyed his hair blond and generally acted like an entitled racist dick.
Kerwin routinely made suggestive remarks to any wrestlers who weren’t white and even had the ludicrously racist catchphrase “if it’s not white, it’s not right”. Remember this was being said by a member of the most famous MEXICAN wrestling family.
The gimmick was dropped after Eddies death and hasn’t really been mentioned ever again something which disappointed precisely no one.
- WCW mocks medical disability with Oklahoma
Jim Ross, or good ol’ JR was for many of us the voice of the WWE from his joining the company from WCW in 1993 and during that time he’s had to put up with his share of abuse.
He’s been attacked by wrestlers, forced to kiss his insane boss’s arse on live television and even had an angle where he was set on fire! (Seriously can you imagine a day in HR at WWE? must be insane).
But one of the most offensive angles regarding JR wasn’t even in WWE but WCW after he left the company, enter the main villain of the tale Ed Ferrara.
Ferrara was a commentator for WCW as well as holding a variety of other positions and decided to take a stab at Ross, who had become at this point a well liked member of the enemy team over at WWE and that’s when we got to meet Oklahoma and oh sweet Christ was it awful.
Oklahoma was a character Ferrara played which was essentially an exaggerated impression of JR’s voice and mannerisms.
Now there’s nothing nessecarily wrong with that, after all WWE had produced their own skits where they mocked WCW talent. But what we need to remember is that Ferrara imitated everything about JR, right down to the Bells Palsy a form of facial paralysis he suffered from.
This went from being a good natured joke to mocking medical impairments so fast and offended fans and wrestling insiders alike, promoter and manager Jim Cornette actually challenged Ferrara to a legit fight over it.
Ferrara would continue in WCW for the rest of its lifetime whilst JR went on to become one of the most beloved figures in the WWE and a WWE hall of famer in 2007, so at least there appears to be some justice in the world.
- Hornswoggle, it’s funny coz he’s small!
Wrestling has a long running tradition with using little people in its shows, it’s one of the lasting remnants from the industries carnival origins. Whether you found characters like the creatively named Puppet the Psycho Dwarf funny or entertaining or neither is your business but WWE really took things too far with Hornswoggle, 4 foot 6 of pure unbearable.
He debuted as an unnamed little person who would interfere in the matches of Irish wrestler Fit Finley and as he was unnamed was given the charming name of that little bastard by the announcers, thanks for teaching everyone at homes kids casual swearing.
Oh and did I mention he dressed as a leprechaun? Because he was a dwarf, Finley was Irish and of course they made him a f***ing leprechaun.
The weirdest thing about this character was just how many high profile programmes he was involved in, he hung out with DX, was revealed to be Vinnie Macs son for a short while and was even GM of Raw!
Then of course we have the really offensive moments, like when he won the WWE Cruiserweight title a belt which had been held by some of the greatest wrestlers to walk the Earth. Not only that but Hornswoggle was the last champion as 2 months after he won the belt it was retired.
That has to seriously be the most disrespectful treatment of a proud title ever… well at least up until what Paige did to the NXT Womens belt, eugh.
- Necrophilia is funny in WWE… apparently
In 2002 WWE star Triple H was world champion and feuding with Intercontinental Champion and literal man mountain Kane, with a match for both titles set to occur at the October PPV so naturally we needed a storyline to build up the animosity between the two.
What we got was what is known as one of the worst, most cringe inducing, face meltingly bad storylines of all time, the Katie Vick storyline and holy s**t Batman! It was awful.
The story that eventually emerged was that Triple H had uncovered the horrifying truth of Kanes past, just for anyone who doesn’t know, Kane is a man who appears to have been sired by a bear and would often attempt to set people on fire see Jim Ross above. Point being he’s already a pretty scary dude.
But instead we were forced to sit through this god awful farce wherein Triple H revealed Kane had caused a car accident which led to the death of young Katie Vic and that he had had sex with her corpse afterwards, what a great time to be alive and a wrestling fan.
The worst of the worst however came after Trips claimed to have actual footage of the act which turned out to be a tape of him climbing into a coffin and simulating sex with a doll, this is the man tipped to be the next head of the WWE by the way so expect great things to come.
- Addressing Racism by being so so bloody racist
On September 11th 2001 4 planes were hijacked by terrorists linked to Al Quaeda with 3 being crashed into US landmarks including the Twin Towers in New York City.
It was a cowardly act of brutality which cost the lives of 2996 people and shocked the world, case in point everyone remembers where they were on 9/11.
Following the attacks hysteria and fear combined to lead to mass discrimination towards people of middle eastern descent particularly at airports, a societal issue which we still see today 16 years later.
So who better to tackle this complex issue than the WWE, enter Muhammad Hassan.
Muhammad Hassan was an Iranian American wrestler who appeared in the WWE in 2004 with the gimmick of an Iranian American who was sick and tired of being treated like a terrorist and a criminal in his own country; a crusader against racism and discrimination.
Except for the fact that he was the bad guy.
Hassan would come out to a theme song in Arabic, attack the good guys and then kneel down to pray after inflicting a cowardly attack.
The character reached his worst moment on July 4th 2005 when he led a group of men in camo gear and black ski masks in an attack on the Undertaker, they beat and choked Taker whilst Hassan knelt and prayed.
3 days later the London bombings occurred and a lot of executives in WWE went “oh no”.
The character was written off tv not long after and has never been mentioned again but a valuable lesson has been learnt, don’t take on complex racial issues unless you know you can do it right, and if you can’t don’t just throw your hands up and say “well hell lets just make him a terrorist”.