Apollo Crews cut a fantastic babyface promo on the most recent episode of WWE Raw.
In my time covering professional wrestling, I’ve found one of the ways some wrestling fans undermine Black wrestlers is to say that they can’t cut promos or they aren’t charismatic enough. We all know what they REALLY mean. And one of the wrestlers who has felt the brunt of their racist double-standards is WWE Raw‘s Apollo Crews.
There is no doubt that Crews has been a charismatic performer throughout his career, but he was just never given anything substantial to work with in WWE. He flashed potential as part of Titus Worldwide and during a brief push in late 2018 and early 2019, but, other than that, he never really had the chances to show his quality outside of the ring.
But in 2020, Apollo heads into SummerSlam as the United States Champion in a huge rivalry with MVP – and the rest of the Hurt Business, for that matter.
Apollo won the US Title earlier this summer, and recently proved on WWE Raw that he is the rightful United States Champion, defeating MVP. But MVP blamed the lights going out on Apollo and started cutting a promo about Apollo being a “serial bad decision-maker”. (That’s a new one!)
Apollo Crews stared into MVP’s soul on WWE Raw
So in response, Apollo cut an absolutely beautiful promo on MVP. He asked MVP to confirm that he doesn’t care about Crews’ well-being or family. And then Apollo ripped into the Hurt Business. He said that he doesn’t care about Shelton Benjamin. Or Bobby Lashley. But he does care about MVP.
Then he delivered this line, “At SummerSlam, the only lights that will be going out, are yours,” referring back to MVP’s cowardly comments about blaming the lights for his loss on Raw.
There was so much intensity in Apollo’s voice in that promo. His stare into MVP’s soul was like the way Edge would stare into the camera when cutting promos on Randy Orton. Except this piercing glare was face-to-face, and it was a bad-ass, babyface champion telling a heel WWE legend that he was not backing down. He’s ready for an absolute fight at SummerSlam.
All those years of wrestling fans criticizing Apollo Crews as a performer, knocking his promo skills, saying he could never be a great champion, Those criticisms are all out the window now. He is ready to bring prestige to this title and prove that he’s a standout performer on Raw.
I just pray that Shelton Benjamin pinning him this week is a sign that WWE are playing an underdog story before SummerSlam, as opposed to any sign of Vince McMahon suddenly giving up on another talented Black performer. Because Apollo, as his promo showed, has all the qualities necessary to be the best US Champion in a long time.