During his recent appearance on The Ringer’s The Masked Man Show podcast, new WWE Champion Big E was reminded how his victory over Bobby Lashley on this WWE’s RAW marked the first-ever instance of a Black man defeating another Black man to capture WWE’s top prize.
Big E said that although he was proud of being a part of history, he hoped that Black men holding world titles becomes “commonplace” akin to Black quarterbacks in the NFL.
“Yeah, and I’m glad it is becoming more commonplace,” Big E said. “I think of it in many ways like the Black quarterback discussion in the NFL, that I feel you don’t hear much of anymore because there’s so many. That’s what I hope. I hope it becomes so common, we just get so used to it, that ‘Oh, of course, it’s just a really dope wrestler, who happens to be Black who has the world championship.’
“I love having these conversations. I think they are definitely worth having, because I think representation does matter, and the thought of Black kids who want to be pro wrestlers and don’t look at WWE programming and think, ‘Oh, there are no Black people doing this at a high level, so maybe I’ll do something else.’ I think knowing, like, ‘Oh, there are a lot of people who look like me who can do this.’ I think that’s awesome. It’s really cool.”
In conclusion, Big E said that a plethora of Black wrestlers are enjoying success in WWE because of their talent level, and not because “a quota needs to be filled.”
“When I look around, I don’t see Black wrestlers who are being put in positions merely because a quota needs to be filled,” Big E emphasized. “I look at the Sashas, Biancas, Lashleys, Kofis, Woods, Keith Lees, Street Profits and say, ‘no, we’re just really dope. We just bring a lot to the table.’ We’re all our own men and women, we’re unique.’
“Some people wanted to compare Street Profits to New Day. No, they’re not (similar), they’re their own men, and they’re incredible at what they do. That’s the thing I love seeing.”
— The Ringer (@ringer) September 17, 2021