Sunday, July 4, 2010

Five Count: Un-Americans

Happy 4th of July! It would be easy to name my top five favorite patriotic wrestlers, but how about the top five wrestlers that hate America?! The evil foreigner is a long-standing tradition in not-so-racially sensitive world of professional wrestling, but here are the five guys who did it better than anyone:

5. Yokozuna
Managed by an honorable mention for this list, Mr. Fuji, Yokozuna made us hate Japan all over again! Never mind that we were probably watching his matches on a Japanese television set and driving our Japanese cars to the arena, he hated America, dammit! Dominating as WWE Champion for nearly a year, ending Hulk Hogan's WWE career for nine years, and stopping the Mighty Lex Express, it took a Canadian to end his reign of terror. Oh and while the Lex Express is on my mind, I have to post this video:


4. Lance Storm
While his run as captain of Team Canada was way too short, and got Vince Russo-ized with stuff like "Saskatchewan Hardcore International Title" (S.H.I.T., get it?! And wasn't it even funnier when WWE did it again!?!?), the anti-American Lance Storm was hilarious. Storm's never exactly been known for his charisma, and WWE made sure to let us know that, but he really shined in his WCW days. I think if WCW had survived and wasn't run by people who make Uwe Boll look like a creative genius, Storm probably would've been a World Champion thanks to this gimmick.

3. Iron Sheik/Nikolai Volkoff
Iron Sheik deserves a spot on this list by himself, his entire career has been based around anti-Americanism, but my favorite was his tag team with Nikolai Volkoff. Remember, this was the 1980s, the nearing the end of the Cold War, Hulkamania and Reaganomics were sweeping the nation, and nothing made Americans more angry than Commies and Iranians! Naturally, in the very subtle world of wrestling, these two things were combined for maximum heat generation. Oh and what the hell, let's just throw Freddie Blassie in there too to turn an angry crowd into a rabid one. Nikolai singing the Russian national anthem, Sheik yelling at the crowd and Blassie just standing in the ring would send crowds into frenzies for years.


2. Muhammad Hassan
I've mentioned Muhammad Hassan before in my Unluckiest Wrestlers post, and while he may not have the lasting legacy of the previous wrestlers mentioned, there was just so much potential in this character. What made this evil foreigner so interesting is that he wasn't foreign, he was an American from Detroit, tired of the way he was being treated in the wake of the September 11 attacks. In my opinion, the best heels are the ones who speak the truth, they just go about it in the worst way possible, and that was the beauty of this gimmick. Hassan was absolutely right, Arab-Americans were (and still are) discriminated against, but he was also a total a-hole, which didn't help his case. Hassan's final promo was intense, controversial, but also brilliant and undoubtedly the best moment for the "evil foreigner" shtick.


1. Bret Hart
But as brilliant as the Hassan character could've been, Bret Hart and The Hart Foundation's anti-American work was superb from start to finish. The idea was simple, but for some reason had never been done before, these guys hate America, but they're loved everywhere else around the world because of it. Bret Hart was disgusted by the beginning of the Attitude Era and turned his back on American fans, but Canadians, Europeans, Asians, Africans, Australians, etc? The cheers were deafening. It provided some awesome TV moments, one week the Harts were booed mercilessly, the next they were national heroes. Easily the best executed evil foreigner gimmick and stands next to the nWo and The Four Horsemen as one of my favorite stables of all time.

2 comments:

  1. Hey Razor,

    Muhammad Hassan had unlimited potential as one of the top un-Americans. So sad to see such a worthwhile wrestler go in such an untimely fashion. Nice post here. Check out some of mine at http://www.adambockler.com

    Adam

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  2. I think an honourable mention should go to "Canadian Bacon" Scott D'Amore.

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