The last time WWE had a champion of Asian descent was 1987 and it was Ricky Steamboat as Intercontinetal Champion. With the amount of talent from Japan and of asian decent you'd think WWE would have had more asian champions.
In today's day and age when we might be about to elect the first black president, and finally after centuries and decades of predjudice towards people from different countries and ethnicities, we as a country are finally making strides to treat everyone equal with the same equal opportunities.
That is however an exception if your in WWE.
While African Americans have had moderate success in the world of wrestling.
With the likes of Ron Simmons being the first black world champion during his WCW days.
To Rocky Johnson and Tony Altas being Tag Champions.
To The Rock being the first WWE world champion of Black/Samoan decent.
To current stars and champions like Shelton Benjamin, MVP, Mark Henry, and TNA's Booker T, who was the second person of African American descent to be World Champion in WCW.
Then there's the Latinos of the world of wrestling.
They have been long associated with pro wrestling.
Those of Mexican and Latino descent have had long and elustrious careers in wrestling winning many championships.
The likes of Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Pedro Morales, Hector Guerrero, Chavo Guerrero, and Chavo Jr have not only been major stars, but many of them have revolutionlized the style of wrestling and have permanently put a flair or lucha libre style into mainstream American wrestling.
The list of different countries, and it's people's and there impact on wrestling can go on and on.
We all know what Canadians have contributed to wrestling.
But then there's the one group for some reason who have never gotten the deserved push and respect that other nationalities have.
And those are the Asian stars of American wrestling.
Which in itself is an oxymoron.
While people from the isles of Samoa have long been associated with wrestling and have also made many many champions.
The people of Asia, have never gotten a foothold on a WWE/WWF world championship or major star status here in The United States.
Which in my opinion is not only a shame but a crime.
To further show my point, why is it, the last champion of Asian decent, who really is from Hawaii was Ricky The Dragon Steamboat.
I for one loved Steamboat as kid.
Steamboat had great athletic ability, and a great personality.
Yet after a short stint as I-C champion and an inablity to come to an understanding with WWF that he needed time to be with his wife who was about to give birth to his son, and soon after having one of the most exciting matches in Wrestlemania history he was gone from WWE/WWF.
It seems NWA was always more open to promoting Japanese and Asian stars.
Not only did NWA snatch up Steamboat and had him in one of Ric Flair's most memorable fueds of the late '80s, they made Steamboat a World Champion. NWA often had cross promotional matches brining stars of Japan to work events as well.
Now while some will argue with this article and say the reason there hasn't been any major Asian/Japanese stars in WWE, is because they are all tied up working for Japanese promotions and enjoy being big stars there, I will argue this:
That may be true but why hasnt any Asian American, or Japanese American wrestlers who are home grown and trained, made it to the big time, and made it into main event status?
I'm not going to buy ignorant sterotypes that it's because they arent built for wrestling and are too small.
Because if that were the case then why is New Japan wrestling so popular and why are there so many Asian and Japanese wrestlers who enjoy long and title filled careers in Japan?
Clearly that leads one to believe that the problem therein lies with the American promotions, and more specifically WWE not willing to train, nurture, and promote Asian American wrestlers.
WWE sees Funaki as a sterotype joke.
Here is a guy who has been with WWE since 1999-2000 and all they can do with him is make him a jobber to every up and coming wrestler since 2000.
And to add insult to injury, they only have given him storylines where they make fun of his inabilty to grasp the english language.
Based on tenure this guy should have been a main event star by now.
Then there was Tajiri.
He had a great amount of steam building in 2001 then after 9/11, WWE turned him heel and within several years he was but a memory.
The other problem is WWE only seems to know how to promote Asian stars one way.
As stereotypical "I dont speak English" and as a joke or for comic relief.
Imagine if every single african american star WWE has ever had was promoted and forced to take on the gimmick of Cryme Tyme.
Surely people would cry racism rightfully so.
But no, this has happened time and time again to Asian stars, and everyone seems to ignore it.
I love Bret Hart.
But I remember Bret crying foul for not wanting to drop his belt in his home country and his national pride as a Canadian.
Imagine though being Asian and in WWE.
If Bret thinks he had it bad and had no sympathy for his national pride and hertitage imagine how every asian wrestler has felt.
And those are few and far in between.
WWE poorly promoted Gail Kim, yet she went on to be TNA's most popular and charismatic Knockout.
I cant wait to see what WWE will do this time to that poor girl.
I'd like to go on and on about all the asian stars who never got a world title or taken seriously but unfortunatley WWE hasnt even given many Asians a job in WWE.
We can't forget Mr. Fuji, who was successful as a wrestler in the '60s.
THE 1960s PEOPLE!!!
Then he went on to be a successful manager in the 1980s, as what?
A sterotype gimmick as an Asian, who wore a Charlie Chaplin outfit and hit people with his cane and threw powder in opponents faces.
So for every group who has raised an eyebrow or made a stink at WWE for something outlandish.
(The Al Snow head toy in Wal-Mart)
The Bulemics of the world who thought Mankind's finisher mocked bullemic's finger in the mouth to vomit move
I say this to everyone.
How about the Asians?
Maybe one day WWE can find and promote a talent of Asian descent and make them a world champion.
God only knows they havent done anything other then humilate Asians so far.
Oh sure they have Ricky Steamboat working for WWE, but what are they doing with him?
Having him train and help other wrestlers.
Until the day when there's a WWE Asian star, I'll have to continue to remember Ricky The Dragon Steamboat as he climbed the ropes and did a flying bodypress onto Macho Man Randy Savage.
And how his hand was raised in the Pontiac Silver Dome infront of 93,000 people being announced as the new Intercontinetal Champion.