Last week, WWE Superstar and one third of The New Day, Big E (Langston) –real name Ettore Ewen– tweeted out the above photo with the hashtag Black Excellence. The photo featured The New Day, Sasha Banks, and Rich Swann all holding their respective WWE championships. Most people reacted normally and took it as Superstars being proud of their titles, but some decided that it was racist, stating that a “White Excellence” post would have caused nothing but anger and outrage.
New Day’s own Kofi Kingston –real name Kofi Sarkodie-Mensah– responded to the criticism with the following statement on his own Twitter account:
“While much of the feedback has been positive, there has also been a lot of negative response with regard to the picture we posted illustrating Rich, Sasha, Xavier, E, and myself wielding our championship titles. Perhaps this is because many are in question of the motivation behind the post. It does not come from a place of malice, spite, or gloating. It comes from a place of joy and a place of happiness. We have a very strong sense of pride in being the Black People simultaneously holding championships in WWE. Historically in our nation, there was period in time where this would not have happened, followed by a long period of time where it became possible, but had not actually materialized. Now, we are in the time in which the possibility has become a reality.
Why does this matter? It matters because even though it is hard for some to fathom, the fact is that there are many people who feel as though it is impossible to attain certain goals because of the color of their skin. This is why we must acknowledge the color of ours in this instance. It is important for people of all races, but particularly people of color, and especially the youth, to see that it is entirely possible to achieve your dreams and aspirations regardless of your race. We are a shining example who want to be a source of motivation for others to believe in themselves and do the same.
Excellence is not the same as supremacy. #BlackExcellence is not meant to be divisive. For even if you do not fall into the specific category, you can still take enjoyment in our pride, because in the biggest picture, in a society that often focuses on the negative aspects of race relations, what has transpired with the 5 of us speaks positively to the progress we’ve made as a nation.”
Perhaps his words angered someone backstage because this past Sunday at RAW’s pay-per-view Roadblock: End Of The Line, New Day lost their titles, Sasha Banks was dethroned, and while Rich Swann retained, he was attacked by Neville after his match. Black Excellence was destroyed in just a couple of hours. There is no proof that any of the actions on Sunday were in retaliation to the Black Excellence post, but it does seem strange for New Day to drop their titles so soon after breaking the reign record, for Sasha to tap when she only had to last two more seconds, and for Neville to return as a heel. Was this just several bad booking decisions or did WWE have some other ulterior, albeit racially charged, motive behind the events? We will probably never know, but it should be noted that WWE and Vince McMahon have a long documented history of racism and discrimination within the company, on-air talent, and booking angles.
Looking back at Sunday’s show, you’d be hard pressed to say that race and pride didn’t play a least some small factor in how the pay-per-view was booked. Anyone who has watched WWE for years can tell you that racist events and actions have taken place in the past, leading up until now and still continue well into the current product. What do you think? Mere coincidence or did the young black talent on WWE’s roster suffer from more sinister sabotage? Let us know in the comments below!
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
After Seth Rollins and Finn Balor fought it out at Summerslam to become the first ever Universal Champion, Rollins tweeted out “More important than a title’s appearance is what it represents for the men fighting over it. You really let me down tonight, Brooklyn.” This was in response to the Brooklyn crowd booing the belt during their match and chanting things like “Hey… we want a new belt,” and “that looks stupid” among other things.
Mick Foley also put in his two cents on Facebook. He titled his statement “WHEN SMART FANS TURN DUMB” and said that Balor and Rollins had a great match; a match he was honored to watch from ringside, but “instead of that element of magic necessary to turn that great match into a classic, what Finn and Seth got instead was the stench of self-congratulatory snarkiness from a very vocal minority.” He tore apart the “couple thousand self-important fans who cared more about the cleverness of their own chants” and how distracting they are to the rest of the fans who wanted to watch a brilliant match.
Wrestling fans can make or break an experience. When the crowd isn’t into a match, you feel it. When they try to make the show about them and ignore what is going on in the ring, it hurts. These are athletes who are giving their all thanks to years of training and hard work, and here us fans are doing the wave or chanting for Michael Cole in order to be funny. I don’t care if the Universal Title was held together by duct tape and spray painted by kindergarteners; there was no reason for the Brooklyn audience to ruin an amazing match with their nonsense.
The Universal title design may not be what you wanted, but it doesn’t matter because you’re not the one who gets to carry it. It makes sense for Stephanie McMahon to want a design that is equal to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and the Women’s Championship; picking the same overall design makes them all equal across the board. Having the title be predominantly red also makes sense, as the primary color for Raw is red. Hell, they even changed the color of the ropes.
No one is watching wrestling or going to events to see the fans. We’re going for the wrestlers and for the experience. Fans definitely need to get involved; bring signs, dress up, chant and cheer, and be a part of the show. Fans do not need to hijack the show. Don’t bounce around a beach ball, don’t hold up some nonsense sign for an hour straight just so you can get on TV for two seconds, don’t chant for people who aren’t there, and don’t be an asshole. It’s easy to have a blast at a live event while still being respectful to the talent, those around you, and the audience at home (for taped events). Do everyone, including yourselves a favor, and have some decency and some tact.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
The Face To Heel family listens to many wrestling themed podcasts. The Steve Austin Show and The Ross Report are highly recommended. Colt Cobana and Chris Jericho also have fairly decent episodes, depending on who the guest is. And although they are all good in their own way, there’s one very big flaw that plagues most of them: little to no coverage or support is given to TNA’s Impact Wrestling product. They might come up in conversation, but nobody really puts effort into it. Throughout the industry, TNA has for some odd reason become the whipping boy, a place where hopes and dreams go to die. Sure, it has some quality memes and GIF’s that are fun entertainment. But what podcasts won’t tell you is that TNA, for all intents and purposes, is getting better. Now is the time to start taking them seriously again. Enter the newly christened King of the Mountain podcast, a show devoted entirely to none other than giving you a full discussion about all things TNA.
The shows intro is hilarious, with sound bites from Eli Drake being himself. YEAH! DUMMY! The first episode covers the June 21st episode, and includes such topics as Trevor Lee’s ring gear, an in-depth discussion about female wrestlers, AJ Styles, and a complete breakdown of every minute during TNA’s weekly broadcast. The second episode follows the June 28th broadcast. The third episode is where things really get good, discussing the glorious Final Deletion of Jeff Hardy for more than an hour. It brought back lots of wonderful memories as this was one of the best wrestling angles I’ve seen all year. The boys say Matt and Jeff have set the bar now, and you cannot argue with the facts. A fourth episode reviews the rest of the July 5th broadcast; and the fifth episode covers the July 12th broadcast, and now we’re all caught up. The fifth episode also introduces the idea of an ultimate wrestling roster. Each host will create their dream wrestling roster and fans will get to vote on which one is the best.
The show started off being hosted by BQ (an air force veteran) and Will. Kyle from The Daily Impact on Instagram joins them on the second episode, and the show only gets better with a trio. Each episode is anywhere between one to two hours, with the first episode running a little over 90 minutes. It’s clear from the start that they know their stuff. They talk like industry experts and the ideas being thrown around are solid. It’s not all TNA praise, though. They dissect and give their thoughts on anything that runs too long, doesn’t sell right, or just flat out doesn’t make sense. There’s no punches pulled in their coverage, but everything is kept professional and user-friendly. You don’t have to follow the dirt sheets to get what they are sending out into the airwaves. Each episode of the KOTM podcast breaks down every segment, match and promo during airtime, revealing things you might have missed or overlooked while watching.
I spent Monday and Tuesday at work powering through the first five episodes and I can put the F2H stamp of approval on this podcast. Subscribe now and catch up on the first five episodes. King of the Mountain podcast helps legitimize TNA Impact Wrestling. They made me feel proud to be a TNA fan, as opposed to keeping it to myself to avoid snickers and jeers of the hardcore WWE marks who’s only wrestling knowledge comes from Attitude Era catchphrases. KOTM is the real deal featuring real wrestling fans. It’s an easy listen and a good source for complete TNA coverage.
Sadly, there is no new episode of TNA on tonight. They moved to Thursday because of WWE’s gamble that anybody is interested in watching a live Smackdown. But, you can get caught up on the last few weeks of broadcasts prior to this Thursday’s new episode by checking out the King of the Mountain podcast. It doesn’t matter what platform you use, they got you covered. Check out all their links below to get their episodes on any device, and be sure to tune in each week as they drop a new episode.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker