5. Yoshi Tatsu’s ECW Debut
Who remembers Yoshi Tatsu? He had such an awesome theme song back then. In Tatsu’s ECW debut, he was set to go one-on-one with “The Gold Standard”, Shelton Benjamin, however, before their match took place, Benjamin cut a short promo mocking Tatsu’s Japanese nationality in a series of racial stereotypes. He began by mimicking a Japanese accent while talking to Yoshi Tatsu, which was quite funny to hear admittedly but also not so funny at the same time. Benjamin even threatened to call Godzilla on Tatsu if he didn’t keep his distance. Benjamin was not done there as he then proceeded to further humiliate Tatsu by bowing at everyone, performing a crane stance and even a sumo pose. Although Benjamin was just doing his job as a heel, the whole segment crossed the line a little and it was an unnecessary way for Benjamin to generate heat, having to resort to racial stereotyping. Eventually, Benjamin got what he deserved as Tatsu landed a roundhouse kick to the head of Benjamin and pinned him for the victory, the last time Tatsu actually won a match.
4. Randy Orton’s Promo On MVP, Kofi Kingston and Mark Henry
In an episode of the “VIP Lounge”, MVP’s own interview segment, Randy Orton came to the ring with The Legacy and delivered a promo on MVP, Kofi Kingston and Mark Henry that had some slightly racial overtones, let’s just say. In fact, the promo, in essence, was just one big racial stereotype. Orton began by calling MVP, Kingston and Henry “nothing but a couple of low class street thugs” and then went on to say that Mark Henry “stole” a victory the other day. Orton then said that MVP was the “definition of the common criminal”, or in Orton’s case, “the common ‘crinimal’”, which was a reference to MVP’s past run-ins with the law. Orton closed the promo by saying that The Legacy and himself were born in the business meaning they belong here, whereas “the only place where [MVP, Kingston and Henry] belong is the hood where [they] came from”. Some may argue that Orton was just being a heel, however, using racial stereotyping in order to generate heat is a little too far, don’t you think?
3. Jinder Mahal’s Promo On Shinsuke Nakamura
If Jinder Mahal’s first promo on Shinsuke Nakamura wasn’t bad enough, well… his second promo on the September 19th episode of SmackDown Live was beyond tasteless. In fact, the promo was a plain mockery of Nakamura’s nationality filled with stereotypes and even contained some racial slurs. During the promo, “The Modern Day Maharaja” talked about how the “the fine people of Japan” “feast on felines” and “dine on dolphins” before making fun of Nakamura’s facial expressions all while the Singh Brothers were laughing hysterically… well, trying to at least. At one point, Mahal poked fun at the way Nakamura speaks and looks by saying “You always ‘rook’ the same” which did not go down well with the crowd. That was not all, as Mahal then proceeded to call Nakamura “Mr. Miyagi”, the Japanese Karate master from the original Karate Kid movies while the Singh Brothers were mimicking martial arts moves. Even fans in the crowd were heard chanting “that’s too far” which says something. One thing’s for sure though, the promo solidified Jinder Mahal as a true heel, however, you have got to admit that it went a little too far. Far enough that the promo was the only segment from the SmackDown Live show to not be uploaded on the WWE YouTube channel. Let’s be honest, we all know who was really behind that promo…
2. Triple H and Booker T’s Feud
After winning a Battle Royal to become the number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Booker T came to the ring to express his excitement, however, was interrupted by the World Heavyweight Champion at the time, Triple H. Triple H came to the ring accompanied by “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair and cut a controversial promo that had some racial connotations. Triple H started by saying how Booker T was confused about his role in life and let Booker T know that “’somebody like you’ doesn’t get to be a World Champion”. ‘People like you’ don’t deserve it”. He then went on to say that Booker T was not a competitor but an entertainer, there to dance and make people laugh before making a snide remark about Booker T’s “nappy hair” and ridiculing his past accomplishments at WCW. Throughout the promo, Booker T looked so pissed and understandably so. The whole promo was uncomfortable to watch and was later brushed off as Triple H referring to Booker T’s criminal past but we all know that was not really the case. The racial remarks continued in the weeks leading up to their title match as Ric Flair told Booker T to chauffeur him and Triple H around as well carry their bags as that is something he is “qualified to do” and in another instance, Booker T confronted Triple H backstage, to which he threw a dollar bill at Booker T, asking for a towel. The feud eventually culminated in a match at WrestleMania XIX (19) where Triple H emerged victorious. Of course, he did.
1. Vince McMahon Says The N-Word
In a backstage segment at Survivor Series 2005, “The Chairman” Vince McMahon dropped the n-word out of the blue, which left fans in utter shock. During the segment, Vince McMahon goes up to the then WWE Champion, John Cena, or should I say “The Doctor of Thuganomics” as he was known as back then, and asks, “What’s good in the hood?”, trying to impersonate a stereotypical black person from the streets. Cena replies with, “Just holding it down, trying to take care of business” referring to his WWE championship, to which McMahon unexpectedly says, “Keep it up, my n*gg*!” McMahon then struts past a stunned Booker T, whose reaction is priceless and sums up perfectly what we were all thinking. Booker T was probably included in the segment as a joke to when he accidentally dropped the n-bomb when cutting a promo during his days in Harlem Heat. Although Vince McMahon used the word in a comedic fashion, the word whatever the spelling is categorically and historically a racial slur and should not have been said in the first place. If McMahon tried to say that word nowadays, he would get into a world of trouble that’s for sure.