Is the WWE Going ‘Long’?

By Korbid Thompson
Updated: February 13, 2007
Theodore Long
Theodore Long

NEW JERSEY— In one of the more historic nights for African-Americans in pro wrestling, we have a new man running things, and an officially new champion amongst the ranks. Wonders never cease.

Well, first of all, I guess that congratulations go out to one Theodore Long, who was named as Smackdown general manager this past Thursday night. As I have stated in the past, Vince McMahon’s motives featuring African-American talent in the WWE have been questionable, to say the least. This time, for whatever the reason, he has seen fit to put long “in charge” of Smackdown, and we’ll see if the ratings will jump at least a little bit.

Booker T. is finally the United States champion. With the new changing of the Smackdown guard, Booker will have an interesting run, but it won’t be easy. Actually, he begins the Teddy Long era by winning an 8-man elimination match for the title. It looks like Vince has become trigger happy in giving another token to the Black folk. Go figure.

Turning to the rumor mill for a minute, it seems that Bret “The Hitman” Hart has been talking with WWE heir apparent Shane McMahon about a possible return to the company that made him a legendary name. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that in the end, no matter what Vince does; ala-humiliating Bret in Montreal back in 1997 by screwing him out of the back then WWF Championship, all is forgiven. Some things never change.

Going over to NWA-TNA, there very well may be a new superstar on the horizon. His name is the “Alpha Male” Monty Brown. He’s got a lot of personality, and he’s very well put together. However, will it be enough to get him over the top with the Jarrett family? Monty is currently involved in the #1 contender’s slot for the NWA Heavyweight Championship. So, there is definitely a shot for him. We’ll have to keep an eye on this situation, and see if he can surpass his fellow African-American and namesake, D’ Lo Brown.

Finally, there’s been a few missing in action personalities over the last year, with two of them being Ernest “The Cat” Miller, and “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry. With Miller, it could just be a matter of not finding the right fit with either WWE or NWA-TNA. As for Henry, injuries have held him back in the past couple of years. It will be a matter of him rebounding from those setbacks that will determine whether or not his wrestling career is finished. Coming out of the Olympic games 8 years ago in Atlanta, Henry did show a lot of promise, and he still has time to fulfill it, if he can.

That’s it for now I’ll catch you down the line with another “In The Black”.