Mishandling NXT Stars
Oh boy. This is a hot topic for wrestling fans.
To hardcore WWE fans, NXT has been the hottest brand in the company for nearly five years, creating some of the biggest stars on Raw and Smackdown such as Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and the Four Horsewoman, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Bayley. While those Superstars were able to move to the main roster and eventually become major stars in the WWE, the list of former NXT standouts that have made minimal impact on the main roster sorely outnumbers the success stories.
On rare occasions, such as Alexa Bliss and Elias who struggled on NXT, some have flourished and had major success on the main roster. However, names such as Ricochet, Robert Roode, Samoa Joe, Andrade, Shinsuke Nakamura, and the recently released list of EC3, Eric Young, and former NXT Champion, Bo Dallas were essentially assigned to lower to mid-card feuds, making little to no impact with the WWE Universe. Some had opportunities but were often used as stepping stones for talent such as Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns.
There’s no way Triple H is entirely thrilled with how his “NXT kids” are booked once they make it to Raw or Smackdown, but let’s hope that changes sometime soon.
Racism and Stereotypes
Vince McMahon is in his mid-seventies and while he is seen as the far and away greatest wrestling promoter in the history of the industry and a pioneer in wrestling, some of his ideas over the years haven’t exactly… kept up with the times.
Racism and racial stereotyping in wrestling have been major issues for years, often used at the expense of lower to mid-card wrestlers used as “comedic relief.” WWE is well known around the world and has fans in basically every country that has access to WWE programming. With that said, WWE is also well known for “stirring the pot” when it comes to using non-American wrestlers or People of Color to provide comedy at the expense of their backgrounds and cultures.
Looking back at the early to mid-2000’s in the WWE, the impressive Luchador trio of Super Crazy, Psicosis, and Juventud Guerrera were packaged together as “Mexicools” that rode lawnmowers to the ring. Despite all the storylines prior to these examples, Japanese wrestler Akira Tozawa was re-packaged into a “ninja” gimmick, complete with his own pack of “ninjas” to accompany him. These gimmicks are cheesy enough as it is, but that they are racial stereotypes makes them beyond unacceptable.