WWE Walks a Fine Line with Uncle Zeb

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[adinserter block=”1″]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 WrestleCrap.com.

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.

[adinserter block=”2″]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.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Well, as soon as that Zeb dude was saying how "They don't look like us.." I don't see how anyone could NOT see that as "racist." Besides, the angle is more lame, and incredibly out of date.

    I watch wrestling to escape, and not worry about my problems, and not worry about stuff going on in the world, and such. I want to just enjoy some entertainment. When I listened to the promo, I was feeling like "Didn't we already hear and suffer through all this stupid rhetoric during the Presidential campaign?"

    I mean, I don't watch the show just to hear the same stuff I already heard from politicians. I can hear the right winged rhetoric on Fox News if I wanted to hear it.

    It's just lame, and lazy writing on WWE's part.

  2. Americans are STILL rambling on about Uncle Zeb's promo? In all honesty, I listened to it once, thought it was so outrageously hilarious…and then forgot all about it. Besides, this was child's play compared to the Punk/Heyman mocking heart attack promo. I dunno, mocking death promos are more annoying than anti-foreigner/anti-American promos.

  3. Indie wrestler RJ Brewer must be thrilled with this, since it's a gimmick he's been running with (but as Meltzer always said, if you have a good gimmick, make sure to copyright it). As for Dirty Dutch, he will make the character better than it should be because he's such a good promo man. However, this does smack of past anti-foreigner gimmicks, such as Sgt. Slaughter doing the pro-Iraq gimmick during the Gulf War. I'm not sure if any gimmick that makes people uncomfortable is a good one in 2013.

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