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Slam! Wrestling article on anti-semitism in pro wrestling


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http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2009/03/31/8956556.html

 

Really interesting stuff, figured I'd give it its own topic.

 

I presume that the two racists on the 24/7 Black History Month round table that Heyman is referring to are Watts and Dusty?

 

Odd that there's no reference to Madusa also being Jewish when she's mentioned or the fact that Cabana's name change to Scotty Goldman was clearly an attempt to "Jew up" the character.

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Funny how this story never once mentioned the word "Goldberg".

 

I presume that the two racists on the 24/7 Black History Month round table that Heyman is referring to are Watts and Dusty?

I don't think it's fair to paint Watts as somehow being racist against black people, when he was the promoter who essentially broke the color barrier using black stars and booked the first black world champion.
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Interesting article.

 

It should be said that while I haven't seen the Izzy Slapowitz shoot, I've seen some Slapowitz and watched some 92 Dangerous Alliance Heyman...and Heyman is working as much of an over the top jewfaced gimmick as Slapowitz.

 

Also

 

On WWE 24/7, they recently had two blatant racists talking about the importance of African American wrestlers," he uttered with disgust. "I am sure this was lost on a lot of people, because there's no way Vince [McMahon] would have allowed that scheduling if someone brought it to his attention. The problem is that there are people in a position to say something to Vince, but they don't care enough to say something because it doesn't affect them personally."

The idea that if only vince knew he would have stopped this from airing seems really weird.

 

Vince "Oh noes we can't have racists on our shows"

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I don't think it's fair to paint Watts as somehow being racist against black people, when he was the promoter who essentially broke the color barrier using black stars and booked the first black world champion.

He's a guy who in the late 80s referred to Muhammad Ali as Cassius Clay.

 

I've eaten in Ollie's in Alabama (the Barbque place that went to supreme court to keep place segregated). Ollie will tell you that he isn't racist either since he always hired colored people just he has the right to keep them for sitting in the restaurant and that that isn't a racist argument.

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I don't know how calling Ali "Cassius Clay" is the most damning indication of racism you can find. I suppose it is a "slave name", but you know, that is the name he had when he first debuted. Some people are going to call Paul Reubens "Pee-Wee Herman" no matter what.

 

You want racism?

 

Do blacks discriminate against whites? Who's killed more blacks than anyone? The fuckin' blacks. But they want to blame that bullshit Roots that came on the air. That Roots was so bullshit. All you have to do if you want slaves is to hand beads to the chiefs and they gave you slaves. What is the best thing that has ever happened to the black race? That they were brought to this country. No matter how they got here. You know why? Because they intermarried and got educated. They're the ones running the black race.

 

You go down to the black countries and they're all broke. Idi Amin killed more blacks than we ever killed. You see what I mean. That's how stupid we are. But we get all caught up in this bullshit rhetoric, And so, it's ridiculous what's happening to our country.

 

Lester Maddox (former Georgia governor and defiant restaurant operator) was right. If I don't want to sell chicken to blacks I shouldn't have to. It's my restaurant. Hell, at least I respect him for his stand".

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Watts was a racist but he also wasn't an idiot and was at least willing to put it aside if it made him money. In that sense he's a really interesting character, in that everyone and their dog says Watts is a racist, but he's also the guy that ran with Butch Reed as his top star, and ran Kamala vs. JYD because it made him huge amounts of money. Kamala for one according to his shoot interview thought relativly highly of Watts compared to every other promoter he worked for because whatever his issues with race were, Watts was still the only major promoter in the country that was willing to pay out big money to black wrestlers, and was able to seperate his personal feelings from his ability to do big business.

 

Watts loved money more than anything else and he wasn't eough of a mark to let anything get in the way of that. I'm not saying that excuses any of his opinions, but if I was going to point to a promoter that had issues with blacks in wrestling Bill Watts isn't the guy I'd use.

 

As for Watts and the Jews, I don't know. I know him and Paul never got along from moment 1 that they met. But it is an interesting article all the same.

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I'm not defending Bill Watts. But one thing that can't be forgotten is that Watts tried to screw Heyman out of a huge contract during a time when he was trying to make as many cuts as possible. I forget the specifics, but it was something along the lines of trying to nail Heyman for improperly using company funds. That turned into a big mess. I even recall hearing about Watts having JR spy on Heyman to try and find a reason to void his contract. Also, Heyman takes a a shot at Hayes, and those two were rivals on the writing team. So there may be multiple motivations for some of Heyman's statements.

 

That doesn't take away from the article, however. Heyman's mom was apparently an amazing woman so that was cool to read about. Also, big props to the Cabana picture in the ECF'nW shirt. I have an old ECW FanCam from Chicago with Cabana in the front row making faces for Gabe.

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Watts once talked about having a meeting with Leroy McGuirk and Grizzly Smith after a Superdome show with a monster gate and having Ernie Ladd sneak in to listen since McGuirk was blind and couldn't see him. At one point, McGuirk was asked what he thought of the show, and he replied "I think there were too many niggers on the card and too many niggers in the stands," to which Smith replied, "But I think the color of money is green."

 

Not saying Watts wasn't racist (I've never met the man) but he wasn't even the most racist man in the locker room that day.

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Interesting article. Some good insight into Paul.

 

Chhibber's style of writing the article is a drag to what Paul has to say.

 

The Watts stuff is always a load of fun. Born Again Bill who has seen the error of his racist ways is a hoot.

 

John

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Meltzer on one point:

 

After a televised wrestling show, the ratings came in, and Watts was livid," Heyman remembered. "This was during the storyline with Madusa [Miceli]. Our segment was the highest rated segment of that program ... and Watts says -- in front of a room full of people -- how pissed off it makes him that a Jew and a c--- drew the highest rating of the show. He felt it was the downfall of the wrestling business.

 

 

 

Watts was livid because the show did a crap rating.

 

For the record, the Madusa-Paul E. segment was the lowest rated segment on that show, not the highest makling that entire story somewhat suspicious.

Heyman's life parallels the journey of the archetypal hero as described by the renowned scholar, Joseph Campbell, in his "Hero With a Thousand Faces": Campbell says that a hero is not born as such, but begins his life in an ordinary way, and only starts his journey to heroism when entering a strange and different world. For Heyman, that world was the world of wrestling.

At my request, Heyman orders our meal for us, and reveals his genius as a menu-booker too: the dishes are all scrumptious, including latkes and borscht.

 

 

Oh, come on.

 

Good read generally.

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I don't see how Dusty could be considered racist other than being a product of his time. Hell, his whole gimmick was basically a white soul brother, which sounds racist but he was probably more over with the black audience than pretty much almost every black wrestler ever.

 

 

Like, I doubt Dusty was a dues-paying member of the NAACP, but in terms of racist dudes in pro wrestling I doubt he's even in the top 50.

 

 

Also, I was assuming the other racist Heyman was referring to was Michael Hayes in light of his comments re: Mark Henry.

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Hayes wasn't part of that roundtable. The cast of that roundtable was Bill Watts, Jim Ross, Dusty Rhodes, Tony Atlas and Teddy Long. Maybe I lack the understanding of what has to be considered racism but to me there was no reason to feel that this episode was full of racism. The only thing that can be criticized is that some people of the roundtable (mostly Rhodes and Atlas) tried to pretend that there never was any form of racism in pro wrestling (some crap about how in wrestling there never was black and white, only green).

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I don't see how Dusty could be considered racist other than being a product of his time. Hell, his whole gimmick was basically a white soul brother, which sounds racist but he was probably more over with the black audience than pretty much almost every black wrestler ever.

 

 

Like, I doubt Dusty was a dues-paying member of the NAACP, but in terms of racist dudes in pro wrestling I doubt he's even in the top 50.

He was Dick Murdoch's sidekick for 25 years. IIRC, it was their jokes that led to Andre letting his joke out that led to the confrontations with Bad News Allen.
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Also, wasn't Dusty known for telling promoters they didn't need to fill their one black wrestler quota when he was around - because he could draw the black fans himself?

 

Well he usually did, does that make him racist?

 

 

Also I have no doubt that a man referred to as Captain Redneck was not at all unfamiliar with dropping n-bombs and whatnot, but that doesn't make Dusty racist. I'm sure we all have a friend or co-worker we hang with that's a little too loose with certain terminologies.

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Racism and Anti-Semitism aside, that article really is hilariously stupid. "He was a master menu orderer"? Wow, why not say, "He ordered me exotic Jew Food!", since that was his point. And a hilariously dopey one at that. Latkes and Borscht are some wild new cuisine to this guy? Really? Did he baffle his palate with bagels and lox, and wash it all down with mysterious matzah ball soup? Were there macaroons? I hope Paul saved the gifellte fish for next time...cause that's a hell of an aquired taste.

 

I want to have a Seder with Paul Heyman. I'm not Jewish, but I love the ceremony and have conducted it many times for my Jewish patients in the Nursing Homes I've worked in. It's one of my favorite things I do.

 

And when I think Joe Campbell lecturing a class or talking to Bill Moyers about the Hero figure...I think of Paul E. Dangerously.

That whole thing read like Paul E. working some clown. I'm not saying the problem isn't there, but that was a laughably dumb article, generally.

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The idea that if only vince knew he would have stopped this from airing seems really weird.

 

Vince "Oh noes we can't have racists on our shows"

Paul Heyman sucking up to the McMahons so he can continue picking up a pay cheque after the money marks behind his latest projects run dry should come as no surprise.

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  • 2 months later...

To who have gotten their hands on the new Colt Cabana shoot was he talking about Steve Williams here:

 

Other Jewish wrestlers SLAM! Wrestling contacted refused to on the record about hearing anti-Semitic remarks during their professional wrestling careers. One who did go on the record about this is arguably one of the most talented American wrestlers today, Colt Cabana (www.myspace.com/coltcabana), who recently parted ways with the WWE, where he was known as Scotty Goldman.

After being convinced by mutual friend, Sonjay Dutt (myspace.com/sonjd), Cabana gave SLAM! Wrestling his first post-WWE-release interview. He said over the phone that Paul Heyman's ECW was a big influence on him becoming a wrestler. "Paul E.'s success helped me prove the point to my family that another Jew had succeeded in the world of wrestling, and that I didn't have to become a doctor or lawyer like everyone else [in our Jewish social circle]."

 

But like his role model, Cabana also described similar experiences Paul E. had as a minority in the world of wrestling. Cabana says, "When I was in OVW, one of my WWE trainers called me 'Kike Cabana,' in front of everybody! I looked at him like he was some kind of moron. It was one of the most ignorant things anyone could ever do. I'll never forget that."

 

Cabana concluded, with a great deal of anger, "the WWE is part of corporate America, and for [one of their employees] to call me 'Kike Cabana' in front of everybody was one of the most anti-Semitic things I've ever experienced."

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Coulda been Steve Williams. He never actually discusses this on the shoot, just that Williams was an asshole and he talked about Jesus constantly. Also Snow was an asshole, although I'm not sure of his religious beliefs. From his description of Robert Gibson, if it were him he would have just said it as a bad joke though.

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Posted Image

 

Hmm. This isn't what I expected Izzy Slapowitz to look like. I was expecting short slicked-back hair and a nice suit. But I was thinking more along the lines of "Jewish lawyer." Also, those aren't "Jew curls," they're pigtails. Appropriate that he spent most of his career in ICW, because he looks like he could be the third Poffo brother.

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How have you never seen a promo for Slappowitz?

 

isn't what I expected Izzy Slapowitz to look like. I was expecting short slicked-back hair and a nice suit.

He's working rabbi/kabbalistic religous leader gimmick not lawyer gimmick.

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