WWE: Will a Black Wrestler Ever Hold the WWE Championship?

Leonardo SplinterSenior Writer IJuly 4, 2012

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 07:  A replica of the WWE world championship belt rests on top of Kyle Busch's #18 Z-Line Designs/WWE Smackdown Toyota prior to the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 7, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

WrestlingInc. has posted a video of an interview Arda Ocal conducted with former WWE superstar Nelson Frazier (who portrayed Mabel and Viscera).

In the interview, Frazier claimed the following (regarding whether there was any conversation of making him the WWE Champion at SummerSlam 1995):

Actually, Vince was leaning towards me (beating Diesel for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam 1995) but if anyone knows about the Kliq they can change things around and that's what happened. The finish was changed. Yeah, Vince was really leaning towards me but you can't stop the powers that be.

Interestingly, during his match with Diesel at SummerSlam 1995, Mabel yelled "I'm gonna be the first black champion!"

Mable lost, and to this day, there hasn't been a black WWE Champion.

What about The Rock?

The Rock is biracial: half black, half Samoan. Also, The Rock can pass as being just Samoan.

I'm not trying to take away The Rock's identity, but in this article, when I say "black," I mean those who cannot pass as being anything other than black.

Now, let's get back to the subject of black WWE Champions. 

Why hasn't a black man ever held the WWE Championship?

I'm not referring to the Tag Team Championship, Intercontinental Championship or World Heavyweight Championship, but the WWE Championship—the most coveted prize in the industry.

Why hasn't a black man ever held the WWE Championship?

Surely, there have been black wrestlers worthy of holding it.

Off the top of my head, I can think of Booker T, Mark Henry, Mable, R-Truth (when he turned heel last summer and feuded with John Cena), Ron Simmons and Bobby Lashley.

Was there anything wrong with putting the WWE title on at least one of those wrestlers?

You tell me.

Will there ever be a black WWE Champion?

Considering Mr. McMahon was open to giving the WWE title to Mable, I'd say maybe. However, if I didn't know any better, I'd say WWE has a "brown paper bag test" to determine whether or not a wrestler can hold the WWE Championship.

I first learned about the brown paper bag test in an African-American history class in college, but according to Nana-Adwoa Ofori,

The brown paper bag test was a ritual once practiced by certain African-American sororities and fraternities who discriminated against people who were "too black". That is, these groups would not let anyone into the sorority or fraternity whose skin tone was darker than a paper bag. Spike Lee's film School Daze satirizes this practice.  

Comedian Paul Mooney has referred to the test in one of his routines. He said, "At home where I come from, Louisiana, we have the saying for it: 'If you brown, hang around. If you yellow, you mellow. If you white, you all right. If you black, get back."

What do you think? Does WWE have a brown paper bag test? Will there ever be a black WWE Champion? Do you think any black wrestlers in WWE history have been worthy of holding the WWE Championship? If so, who? If not, why not?

Share your thoughts!



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