A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Jazz & Jacqueline
NEW JERSEY—As I go through the weekly ritual of watching World Wrestling Entertainment, I happened to notice three things that might get the African-American wrestling fan’s attention. Then again, I find that most African-American wrestling fans don’t seem to be hung up on any racial differences in the ring. Despite that, I’ll point them out anyway.
Starting with the two women of WWE, being Jazz and Jacqueline. It seems like they were going in two different directions, until this past weekend at Judgment Day. Jacqueline had become the WWE Cruiserweight Champion, courtesy of last week’s Smackdown. Well, that all came to a screeching halt when Chavo Guerrero, Jr. recaptured the belt from Jackie on Sunday’s pay-per-view. Well, we had to know it was too good to last. Jackie has had a great career, ranging from being a WWE Women’s Champion to being a trainer of Tough Enough, where Maven and Nidia went from nobodies to hardbodies in the wrestling ring.
As for Jazz, she still makes her periodical appearances on Raw, but if there is another women’s title in her future, I would love to know where and when. Just maybe the best thing for her would be to hook up with off-stage hubby Rodney Mack, who had been injured for months, but should return over the course of the summer.
In Booker T.’s case, while he’s doing well with his new gig on Smackdown, I don’t know if he will ever get past the legend of the Undertaker. As was evident by Judgment Day, the “dead man” still gets the top billing on that side of town. Really, the only way that will change is if Undertaker’s revised gimmick becomes old to the point where the writing team doesn’t know what to do with him, and that opens the door for Booker to become only the second Black WWE Champion ever. Of course, that’s a long way away. For all we know, those long standing rumors of Booker retiring may ring true. Stay tuned.
With the way Shelton Benjamin’s career has skyrocketed over the last month, you can only hope that he’s not on the way down. Much like the aforemtioned Booker T., Shelton has done a lot in a little bit of time, but his career reminds me of someone else who went unheralded for a very long time. His in-ring name was known as Junkyard Dog. Sylvester Ritter(JYD’s real name) was certainly qualified to wear a WWF(as it was known back then) title, but was never able to get better billing than his countout victory against Greg “The Hammer” Valentine at WrestleMania I in 1985. Shelton, don’t let it happen to you. You can definitely get more respect in other venues, should you decide to go that route. Make sure that Vince gives you a fair shake, because there are many people – including a first hand conversation with former WWF superstar Bad News Brown – who have worked for him, and will never say all of those words in one sentence.
On a programming note, NWA-TNA has finally struck a deal with cable TV giant Fox Sports Net. On Friday, June 4th, Total Nonstop Wrestling “Impact!” will debut on FSN stations around the country. NWA-TNA features such top stars as Jeff Jarrett, A.J. Styles, D’ Lo Brown, Ron “The Truth” Killings, and Konnan. This is a huge step for the company, who I’m sure that after 2 years, will tell you that they are still not “competing” with the WWE. Try telling that to one Vince McMahon. Well, as the saying goes, check your local listings for showtimes.
That’s my story for this week. Catch you next time – peace…