When it comes to growth, black women in wrestling have many similarities with their female counterparts. However, they have a few things going for them that no one else in the company has. Certain insults, passive-aggressive remarks, and outright critiques are directed at them without any connection to any of their abilities or drawing power at all. For decades, black female wrestling fans have heard and absorbed very unsettling remarks about their looks, personality, and ethnicity. Because they occur on a regular basis in our day-to-day lives, we’re more aware of them than you would think. This subject has much more to offer than I could ever explore in a single essay. So let’s take a look at some of the trends that have accompanied every black woman who has donned wrestling boots.
Not Receiving Merchandising Deals When They’re Champion
As more women in the industry are given opportunities to demonstrate their drawing power via merchandise and branding partnerships outside of the wrestling companies that they work for, fans begin to recognize who isn’t getting those chances. Even if they are champs.
As a side note, Jacqueline and Sable were two of the most hyped-up women’s champions in 1998 when the title was reintroduced in the WWE. One of the most important cash crops was Sable, which ruled the roost. You name it: appearing in advertisements, on the covers of magazines, and at award ceremonies as a guest star. There was no T-shirt or action figure contract for Jacqueline during their dispute, unlike Sable. Jacqueline never made any public appearances or appeared on any magazine covers.
The Fighting Phenom, Jazz, was champion multiple times throughout her unstoppable run in WWE during the golden age. The championship was hers when she entered Wrestlemania 18. There was still no merchandising or even a pre-taped package highlighting her journey like a champ before one of the greatest matches of her life for her to take. Trish, on the other hand, had a far more impressive entrance. Although Trish was in her own country, Jazz still deserved a spectacular entry since she was the champion. Even more so when it’s Wrestlemania, for crying out loud.
In retrospect, it’s fair to conclude marketing was harmful to women as a whole. Lita and Trish, on the other hand, had action figures, t-shirts, and DVDs of their own. WWE, RAW, and Divas magazines often featured them, as well as appearances on Mad TV, Dark Angel, Cribs, and other programs. Jazz was just seen as the champ on paper.
Not Having The Champion ‘Look’
Even if a black female wrestler goes to great lengths to get the “champion appearance,” such as dyeing or flat ironing her hair or dousing her attire in bright colors, she will almost always be informed that she does not. Although Trish Stratus has faded from the public eye, she is still viewed as a model for women’s champions. When, in reality, people with her characteristics make up a tiny minority of the global population or even in a match of professional wrestling.
Despite this, any black woman who wants to wield the title must conform to the distorted image of what a black woman should look like. Until recently, black women had to get rid of their curls, afros, and braids in order to ascend the corporate ladder and be recognized as a champion. Naomi has indicated that she has always admired her natural hair, but that she was instructed by FCW that she should model her style after Naomi Campbell, which she has denied. Naomi was only able to rock the internet with her magnificent Afro puffs in the 2020 Royal Rumble when she began to advance in the WWE’s hierarchy. This footage went viral, and many black women, even those who don’t even watch wrestling, were overjoyed to see such positive representation in the mainstream media.
One Black Woman Every Few Years Rule
It is quite tragic that even in the year 2022, fans of women’s wrestling can point to one or two black female wrestlers who they grew up watching on one finger. Not only that, but these ladies were not working in the same industry at the same time, which makes it much more tragic. The first time we saw a black woman on our television screen, or even on the independent film scene, it was like seeing an eclipse. You couldn’t move your eyes because you didn’t want to miss anything. Women wrestlers that are blonde, redhead, brunette, or seductive crazy white are always present in the rosters of professional wrestling organizations that promote women’s wrestling. That’s what most people in the organization think of when they talk about diversity. That is what we refer to as black female wrestling fans, who are waiting with bated breath to see if and when a roster including a varied mix of black women would be announced. WWE and Impact have become better at this over the last several years, so there is some promise for the future here.
Colorism In The Industry
Despite the fact that this is a sensitive subject, it must be addressed. A lot of black women who are successful in wrestling have either a racially ambiguous appearance or are light enough and have softer characteristics that are more acceptable to the general public. This is a problem that even exists inside the black community. Most people are unwilling to acknowledge that this is a problem. As a result, firms managed by elderly white males will undoubtedly want their black female employees to have a style that they consider to be “universal” and “exotic.” In this broken society, lighter skin will always be preferred over darker complexion because of its perceived superiority. According to this viewpoint, pro wrestling is no different from any other type of entertainment.
Throughout history, black women’s views and thoughts have been controlled and pulled apart. AEW’s Big Swole was not the first black woman to have her beliefs and thoughts condemned for expressing them. Big Swole’s experience in AEW was not the first time that a black woman’s opinions and thoughts were questioned. They are constantly treated as though they are just meant to be content with their situation. We’ve also seen black women being verbally abused out of nowhere, with no one intervening to protect them. In addition, they are constantly provided instances of how other women are succeeding in the firm, and if they have any problems, it is because they did not strive to do their best job. Alternatively, their demeanor kept them back. The hostility of a white guy, on the other hand, is usually applauded. They are seen as rebels, and they are even invited to appear on someone’s program or to participate in an interview series in order to express themselves.
It is white males who are portrayed as the heroic figures who are taking on the wicked capitalist business with its bloodlust. In the UK, Naomi was referred to as the N-word on their European tour when she turned heel a few years ago. No one is saying anything right now. Naomi is going through a difficult period in her personal life as a result of difficulties that her husband is dealing with, and she is being tormented to the point that she has had to take a mental vacation from using social media.
Sweet Georgia Brown was forthright in her account of the cruelty she suffered at the hands of the Fabulous Moolah. Everyone believes she is resentful because she hasn’t been as successful as she would have liked. As soon as Dark Side of the Ring begins to play and Luna says the same thing, as well as other white female wrestlers from the 1980s, everyone is ready to believe her. They even express pity for the other person. Recent social media attacks on Jade Cargill for just enquiring as to ‘Why black women in wrestling are despised?”, resulted in her being vilified. She was advised to shut up and stop asking stupid questions like this since we live in a post-racial society in which things like this don’t happen anymore, and that Sasha Banks and Naomi were champions in the wrestling world.
We are demonstrating that this treatment of black women must change and that it must happen immediately, with the help of increased support from black female fans and those who are allies for black women. Black women bring in a lot of money in any market, but particularly in the wrestling industry. As a result, we understand our value. We are aware of the power of our voices to effect change, and we will not remain silent any longer.