After talking to Cam, I decided that I would restart my weekly recaps but with a twist. Rather than dig through the minutia of the product that is professional wrestling, I’d focus on the Black wrestlers. You know as well as I do there are some main event caliber performers of color who are pushed too late or never at all yet still manage to salvage a great career in the ring. So here’s our tribute to these good brothers and sisters.
For this first installment, I only watch the WWE product. (I’m working on the means to view other shows so sit tight.) Here is the good and bad and some questionable moments this week in Black wrestling.
We need a contender for the Raw Women’s Title in a few weeks, and what better way than a good old random draw gauntlet match? I was all in for this when Nia Jax running through the women’s division one by one leading to a main event featuring two sistas, Sasha Banks and Jax, putting on for the Universe. For Sasha’s part, I’m all in for this; we’ve seen them soften her up a lot since her last title run, and she needs a proper build if we’re going to even think about putting the strap on her. Nia is still gettin’ her strong woman on by not going lower than a knee even with the flurry of attacks Banks was able to muster. The modified Bank Statement didn’t look too hot from my pov, but it did the job in selling Jax as a powerhouse and Banks, a resilient contender for the title. Let’s hope they don’t throw this all away by having Banks dominated in a clean title match.
The Titus Brand is now Titus Worldwide, and my man, Titus O’Neil is booking title matches now. I don’t know how long Titus gonna keep taking the sassiness of Neville before he checks him, but Tozawa shot to the top of the lavender title division just off the strength of TW. Color me impressed when this leads to Apollo Crews getting strapped up. Dude has been a consistent filler match candidate for a good minute.
The New Day continues to print cash money, and they didn’t even wrestle. Now, I know I am biased on this one because I don’t want these guys to fall flat right now. Considering they referenced an infamous Booker T promo the night after a hot mic caught two well placed utterances of “nigga” almost made me flip out my chair. Then they announced they were challenging the Usos to a rap battle. I would gripe about this being a stereotypical play had this not been these two groups. If I have faith in anyone, I believe these five can make this entertaining.
If you haven’t seen the Velveteen Dream on NXT, you’re missing out. You may not here for his gimmick; sorry about your luck. Dude is one of the most androgynous acts I’ve seen in a while. His mannerisms are mixture of exaggerated feminine appeal and masculine force as he hits power moves and flaunts for the crowd. His top rope elbow drop needs work as it doesn’t look like it’s connecting, but it does come with a pinning combo that will make the “pause” dudes turn the channel.
Featured this week in ways not worth mentioning was Naomi and Tamina. One squashed her opponent in title rematch while the other was a place holder in rewinding of the women’s Money in the Bank match.
Let’s see, R. Truth got the breaks beat off him but not really after weeks of trading promos with Goldust. Their breakup has been as uneventful as their time as a team. I hope this was just a lame way to end this so that we don’t have to suffer trough more videos and any more matches. Even though they’re not wrestlers, the Ball Family (LeVar, Lonzo, & LaMelo) made an appearance to promote Big Baller Brand. I don’t know if LeVar paid, but I’m kinda interested in knowing who made the first call to set this bizarre moment into existence.
Apollo Crews and Ember Moon aka Em-bae were to faces not seen on the tube this week. Crews is notable because he’s working with Titus Worldwide or supposedly. Not seeing him in a suit or working as Titus’s hired gun was rather disappointing. Moon is bae of course so she’s always missed even when I’m watching Raw and SmackDown.
Roman Reigns got launched into an ambulance; Samoa Joe proved he is not afraid to get down and dirty with the Beast; and the Authors of Pain learned they will defend their titles against Heavy Machinery in a couple of weeks. The Maharaja Jinder Mahal proudly announced that he will defend his title in a Punjabi Prison, a match made known by the Great Khali.