WWE Walks a Fine Line with Uncle Zeb

The wrestling world continues to buzz about the Uncle Zeb Coulter promo from WWE Monday Night RAW. Zeb is the new manager of Jack Swagger who is positioned as a radical right-winger obsessed with keeping illegal immigrants out of America. Family fun for everyone!

Zeb is a returning WWE character from the 1990s who had a brief stint as Jacob and Eli Blu’s manager. Zeb is actually longtime pro wrestler Dutch Mantell, known for his long tenure in the Memphis territory and a brief run as one half of the Kansas J-Hawks in Jim Crockett Promotions. Dutch is a good guy who I have spoken with several times over the years and I couldn’t be any happier that he is getting a spot.

The character though is a different story. Quite honestly I don’t understand how anyone in the creative area could think that this is a drawing premise in 2013. The majority of WWE fans are families and kids and I don’t know many kids that fell all that passionate about illegal immigration. This one is certainly destined for

But is it wrong? Have the WWE crossed a line here? So far I’d say no. Zeb didn’t actually say anything racist at all in my opinion. He just came off as a bitter old-timer upset with illegal immigrants. Now if Zeb starts using racist insults than I would feel much different. As it stands today I really don’t see anything wrong with the angle other than it’s weak.

It would appear that they are moving in the direction of an Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger feud. I have heard some speculate that the match would take place at WrestleMania. The sad part about all of this is that Swagger is talented enough to get over without this. To me, Swagger has been the one guy they’ve missed on the last few years. How they can’t figure out what to do with this guy is beyond me. Nonetheless, Swagger is now reduced to running around with his dad’s radical right wing friend.

It’s been a long time since racist angles worked in pro wrestling. Lines have been danced on but most of the time those kind of angles just seem boring to me. It also isn’t talking to your audience. Dutch is one of the best promo men in the business. He’ll get the idea across better than just about anyone. I am just not sure if the idea he is selling is one that anyone is willing to buy.

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