WWE Wrestles With Foreign Stereotypes In The Ring

July 30, 2017 - WWE



NOEL KING, HOST:

There’s a code new bad man in a universe of pro wrestling, a universe that thrives off of being provocative. Reporter Arun Venugopal of member hire WNYC has some-more on a wrestler who wears a turban and hates America.

ARUN VENUGOPAL, BYLINE: The wrestling universe was repelled – repelled – when Jinder Mahal became WWE champion in May, though not these guys.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED COMMENTATORS: Number one. Number one. Number one. India array one.

VENUGOPAL: Those are a WWE’s Hindi-language commentators. Jinder Mahal, a Maharaja, is of Indian descent, as his name might suggest. He is physically huge and only mean.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JINDER MAHAL: Randy Orton is only like all of you. He’s only like America. He’s on a decline.

VENUGOPAL: The throng boos and shouts U-S-A since distinct a man he beat, Randy Orton of Tennessee, Jinder Mahal’s a unfamiliar place, definition Calgary. Yeah, he’s indeed Canadian, though he wears a turban, and he gloats in another language.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MAHAL: Foreign denunciation spoken).

VENUGOPAL: Punjabi. In a parlance of pro wrestling, Jinder is a heel, a bad guy. Dion Beary is a author and wrestling fan and has been closely following Jinder’s ascent.

DION BEARY: He is unequivocally good during digging into America is losing a mark as a personality of a world.

VENUGOPAL: To China and to India. But it’s all for a best, we see, because…

BEARY: At some point, a American cowboy is going to float in and take a wrestling behind from a foreigner.

VENUGOPAL: Foreign heels have been around forever. There was Abdullah a Butcher aka a Madman from Sudan. But spasmodic things have spiraled out of control. Take a story line about an Arab-American character, Muhammad Hassan. In one match, Hassan assimilated a garland of masked group – basically, Middle Eastern extremists – as they kick his competition and choked him until he was unconscious.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED COMMENTATOR: What a ruin is going on here?

VENUGOPAL: That episode’s still intolerable and aired in 2005, a same day a array of self-murder explosve attacks went off in London in genuine life. Muhammad Hassan’s impression was fast disappeared. Jinder Mahal thinks it’s best not to take wrestling too seriously.

MAHAL: People know what we do is only entertainment.

VENUGOPAL: we held him on one of his off days.

MAHAL: While you’re a WWE program, we can forget about your real-life problems and whatnot.

VENUGOPAL: And even, he says, benefit some informative bearing on a way. There have been real, live bhangra dancers during his events and music.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Anybody offered tickets?

VENUGOPAL: Tonight, Jinder’s fortifying his pretension in Rochester during a Blue Cross Arena. we asked fans what they make of him. This is Todd Eardman.

TODD EARDMAN: we have to be blunt, it’s a brownish-red storyline. If we need controversy, give a brownish-red man a belt and, oh, we don’t like me since I’m this. No, we don’t like we ’cause we don’t like you. You’re not that good (laughter).

VENUGOPAL: Inside, we squeeze some drink and fries and a play of Dippin’ Dots. Jinder’s confronting off opposite Mojo Rawley, and he’s in critical trouble.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED COMMENTATOR: And Mahal scrambles to a bottom wire here in…

VENUGOPAL: But then, something supernatural happens.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED COMMENTATOR: And demeanour during Mahal – right opposite a eyes.

VENUGOPAL: Jinder comes from behind and…

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED COMMENTATOR: Oh, and a coloss (ph) from Mahal finishes off Rawley.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

VENUGOPAL: And he wins. The Maharaja triumphs nonetheless again, and America contingency lick a wounds. Of course, for some fans, it’s some-more difficult than us contra them. Rashad Fulton is Muslim and brought his kids.

RASHAD FULTON: Once they turn aware, afterwards it’s a review to be had.

VENUGOPAL: What’s a review to be had?

FULTON: That – what they’re selling, good contra bad. There’s no good and bad. It’s politics. Because on a side, we consider that we are a good guys, though in all honesty, we might be a wrong ones.

VENUGOPAL: But for other fans, it’s only a matter of time before a good man – an American – brings a wrestling pretension behind home. For NPR News, I’m Arun Venugopal in New York.

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