Induction: Nation of Domination, USWA version – Kareem Abdul-Jobbers

42 Submitted by on Thu, 16 April 2015, 20:23

USWA, 1996-7

During the 1990s, the WWF had a working relationship with Memphis-based USWA. Over the years, wrestlers like Razor Ramon, Ahmed Johnson, and Papa Shango passed through the promotion and won their Unified Title. In fact, in 1993, a heel contingent of Bret and Owen Hart, Randy Savage, Koko B. Ware, and Tatanka, all babyfaces in the Federation, feuded with hometown hero Jerry Lawler. Their leader? None other than “The Voice of the WWF,” Vince McMahon, who once wore the promotion’s belt around his “slivet waist” (I think he meant “svelte”) and laughed wickedly.

USWANOD-01USWANOD-01b

Clearly, USWA existed in a universe parallel to that of the mainstream wrestling promotions. I mean, where else could you see Giant Gonzalez and Bret Hart team up for a Sharpshooter?

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The weird relationship between WWF and USWA storylines continued all the way up to the latter’s dying days, when Memphis got its own offshoot of the Nation of Domination, and USWA felt it could improve Faarooq’s quasi-Black Power faction with Tracy Smothers.

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See, before Survivor Series 1996, the Nation of Domination was just a concept tossed around between Ron Simmons and attorney Clarence Mason. At that pay-per-view, the Nation made its first appearance as Faarooq’s entourage, consisting mainly of nameless suits, plus two familiar faces to Memphis wrestling fans: JC Ice and Wolfie D, better known as PG-13.   USWANOD-04 
 USWANOD-5b See, any nation worth a damn had to have its own rap song, and someone in the WWF was apparently impressed with the musical skills of PG-13, who made a few appearances in the Federation the year before (and were basically made to look like idiots against The Smoking Gunns). I guess the WWF felt it could trust PG-13 to make a family-friendly rap, since their MPAA rating suggested they would use the F-word no more than once.
Sure, there were lyrical problems from the get go, with the opening lines containing boasts the NOD never backed up:

We are the Nation/I’m alive and in color/
Don’t diss the man/ or we’ll bum-rush your mother.

Ahmed Johnson dissed Faarooq repeatedly, yet as far as anyone knows, PG-13 never laid a hand on Mrs. Johnson.

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(Coincidentally, “Bum Rush” was the unofficial nickname for Ahmed’s team with the Road Warriors)

USWANOD-07 But their induction into a revolutionary faction like the Nation of Domination gave Wolfie and JC the confidence to build their own Nation, confined mainly to the Mid-South Coliseum and the Memphis TV studio where USWA taped their shows. 
PG-13 running their own Nation offshoot sounds about as ridiculous as Stevie Ray leading his own division of the nWo, but stranger things have happened…
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(like Stevie Ray leading his own division of the nWo).

USWANOD-09 This version of the Nation differed from the WWF version in that in the USWA, every new member was given a new Muslim-sounding name.
While the WWF’s Nation was clearly trying to evoke decades-old images of the big scary black militant, mixing the Nation of Islam’s bow ties with the Black Panthers’ raised fist salute, USWANOD-10
USWANOD-11 …in its early days the WWF would only take the racial and religious overtones so far. The group’s theme wasn’t about politics, but mostly about how Faarooq was going to win wrestling matches. Plus, the next three wrestlers to join after Faarooq were white guys. 
(And as for leader Faarooq Asad, any reasonable wrestling fan today would assume that he first ditched his “slave name” Ron Simmons when he formed the black separatist group. Not so. He took on the name, “Faarooq” months earlier upon becoming a Roman gladiator.) USWANOD-12 
USWANOD-13  But in the USWA, the Nation bestowed upon its members new names to go with their new, militant identities. And all of those names were really, really stupid.
Take the grappler formerly known as Reggie B Fine: He was dubbed, “Kareem Olajuwon… USWANOD-14
USWANOD-15 …not to be confused with NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar…
…or Hakeem Olajuwon, then the starting center for the Houston Rockets. USWANOD-16
USWANOD-17 Big Black Dog became Hakeem Muhammad,
…also not to be confused with Hakeem Olajuwon (or Muhammad Ali).  USWANOD-18 
USWANOD-19 And speaking of The Greatest, the aforementioned and decidedly Caucasian Tracy Smothers took on the name, “Shaquille Ali.”
Now I have no idea where that name came from, honest!
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(I’m kidding of course. But what I really did have no idea about was the number of NBA beefcake pictures floating around online)

USWANOD-21  (And while he moonlighted as a black militant with a mash-up for a name, he continued wrestling in the WWF as Oklahoma’s Freddie Joe Floyd, itself a mash-up of the Brisco Brothers’ real names)
All that was missing was an O’Neal Abdul-Jabbar.
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(Not that Nation Members are or were the only wrestlers to mix-and-match celebrity names, of course. Consider Christian Cage, Heath Slater, and USWA’s own “Macho Warrior” Ric Hogan.)

 Oxford Kama Prospective members had to recite the confusing Nation of Domination pledge, which read, “I pledge allegiance to the Nation of Domination for which it stands, under one nation under Faarooq, with liberty and justice for no one.” In other words, we were to understand, the Nation of Domination stood for the Nation of Domination, which was under the Nation of Domination, which was under Faarooq. It’s too bad Oxford Kama wasn’t around to proofread this mess.
Excuse me: Oxford Kama Mustafa oxfordkamamustafa
USWANOD-25 But if creeds weren’t your thing, that was fine, too. Even cowboys got to hang with the Nation without having to officially join.
Unlike the WWF’s NOD, which became an expressly and exclusively black faction by mid-1997, the Nation that PG-13 was building in late ’96 was open to all colors of people: black, white, and even blue. USWANOD-26
 USWANOD-27 The only common thread was an allegiance to Faarooq, who, as you may have inferred from the pictures in this induction, never ever appeared in the USWA. So PG-13’s Nation of Domination wasn’t about race or religion; it just happened to change every new member’s name to a mangled version of a black Muslim sports star. Once PG-13 had run out of famous black Muslim athletes to steal from, they decided to delve into other famous African-Americans.
The Spellbinder, best known to WWF fans as Phantasio, the wrestling magician… USWANOD-28
USWANOD-29  …became Elijah, as in Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad.
The former Spellbinder’s commitment to the cause was strong enough to warrant changing his name, but not strong enough for him to stop wearing his mime face paint. USWANOD-30 
USWANOD-31  Every great faction needs a manager, and the USWA Nation was no different, recruiting skinny white manager Randy Hales (best known for, according to Doug Gilbert’s infamous shoot promo, allegedly smoking crack in the TV control room) was rebranded, “Randy X.”
I suppose “Randy Malik El-Shabazz” would have been too much of a mouthful for Dave Brown.
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USWA interviewer Dave Brown, seen here with Richard Simmons.

  

All of this nonsense would have been excusable had this version of the Nation been played for laughs, but amazingly, the stable was played completely straight, actually dominating TV tapings and even capturing numerous titles in the promotion, including the company’s “world” heavyweight title.

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So, come to think of it, contrary to the headline for this induction, this group lived up to the name, “Nation of Domination” far better than the WWF’s version ever did.

And you thought the USWA’s Nation was just a joke? Think again.

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PS: They also re-named Jacqueline, “Moesha,” after the UPN sitcom starring Brandy.

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He also runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell. Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com
42 Responses to "Induction: Nation of Domination, USWA version – Kareem Abdul-Jobbers"
  1. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    Great induction- even the title made me laugh!

  2. Scrooge McSuck says:

    USWA is treasure trove of crap. I thought WWF’s Nation sucked, but the USWA version is like the Job Squad by comparison.

    I need to track down some USWA for that cross-promotion rivalry with WWF from ’93.

  3. JSH says:

    Loved the Richard Simmons line

  4. Christopher Olsen says:

    You could probably induct 95% of the USWA’s entire history.

  5. Doc75 says:

    the USWA-SMW feud perhaps to be inducted in the near future?

  6. John Matrix says:

    Not really related, but last night I had a dream that I was a butler at the McMahon estate. Everyone was scared to death of Vince.

    • Jimbolian says:

      That’s weird, I had a wrestling-related dream last night as well as I was in WCW in the mid 90’s and threw Arn Anderson through a concrete wall to take his place in the next match only to get my ass kicked by Nash, Hall, and Syxx in the ring. Oh, and somehow Hulkster, Flair, Jeff Jarrett, and some other guy were best buddies and were all in the 4 Horsemen.

  7. John C says:

    Anything with the doofus combo of PG-13 should have been called The Nation of Abomination. Tracy Smothers must have the most versatile career of any wrestler. Wild Eyed Southern Boy, militant Shackille Uhlee, horror movie character/wrestler in Japan, Full Blooded Eye-talian member. If he could have been a Dungeon of Doom member, or a Ding Dong or Arachanman just to pad out his gimmicks list.

  8. Hulk6785 says:

    So, Tracy Smothers is a black Italian?

    • John C says:

      If it worked for J.T. Smith, why not.

    • Mister Forth says:

      Worked for Gustavo Fring.

      • Jimbolian says:

        When it comes to questionable ethnicity/races in wrestling, anything goes. Just look at the list:

        Giant Machine (Andre the Giant pretending to be Japanese)
        Super Machine (Demolition Smash pretending to be Japanese)
        Kerwin White (Chavo Guerrero pretending to be white)
        Akeem (One Man Gang pretending to be black)
        Yoshi Kwan (Chris Champion pretending to be Chinese or Japanese since WCW only billed him from “Asia”)
        Kurrgan, Recon, and Tank (Robert Maillet, Bull Buchanan, and Mantaur pretending to be South African)
        Yokozuna (a Samoan pretending to be Japanese)
        Curly Bill (Virgil pretending to be a white cowboy)
        Jamie-san (Jamie Noble pretending to be Japanese)
        The Berzerker (John Nord pretending to be Scandinavian)
        Black Blood (Billy Jack Hayes pretending to be a medieval Frenchman)
        The Sultan (Rikishi pretending to be an Arab)
        Aldo Montoya (Justin Credible pretending to be Portuguese)
        Avatar (Al Snow pretending to be Asian or something)
        Kwang (Savio Vega pretending to be Japanese)

        ….and the list goes on people.

        • John C says:

          Also Linda McMahon (cyborg pretending to be human), Lazer-Tron (human pretending to be a cyborg), New Breed & TT2K (present day jobbers pretending to be future jobbers), and The Miz (human? pretending to be a wrestler…sports entertainer).

        • Black Maynard says:

          to be fair, Justin Credible really is of Portuguese descent. But let’s not forget Los Matadores (Puerto Ricans pretending to be Spaniards), Camacho (Tongan pretending to be Mexican), Razor Ramon, Col. DeBeers, and practically every “Russian”.

        • Alan says:

          Super Machine was actually played by Ax aka Bill Eadie. The WWF didn’t bring in Smash/Repo Man until early 1987 when Randy Colley aka Moondog Rex flopped as Smash. Darsow was previously known as Crusher Khrushchev in the NWA. I guess Darsow was an American playing a Russian.

  9. Cameron A. says:

    The USWA’s “world” title was the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship. NOD members won the USWA Heavyweight Championship, the secondary belt.

    I realize that’s quibbling over terms. At the end of the day, the Lawler bloodline was the REAL Nation of Domination.

    • Art0Donnell says:

      Whoops! I thought Spellbinder had won the Unified title.

      Although a few months later, Lawler lost his Unified title to Tank, formerly known as Mantaur.

    • Mister Forth says:

      It’s as confusing as WWE having 2 World Heavyweight Championships.

  10. Down With OPC says:

    “Coincidentally, “Bum Rush” was the unofficial nickname for Ahmed’s team with the Road Warriors.” That’s it, the site’s over. Nothing will top that.

  11. Sean Bateman says:

    Poor Tracy Smothers, Ron Simmons and Spellbinder/Phantasio, All three great talents reappearring in this finely penned induction by Mister A. ODonnell. Bravo, good sir

  12. AdamX says:

    Just imagine how parades Smothers has to march in, poor guy.

  13. Hulk6785 says:

    I wish they had kept taking names from NBA players even if they didn’t sound Muslim.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, the newest member of the Nation Of Domination: Muhammad Al John Stockton.”

  14. Thomas Moffatt says:

    Ahmed Johnson had to be the can’t miss prospect who missed. Seriously, apart from his mike skills, the guy had the look, physique and at one point incredible agility – so what went wrong?

    • Art0Donnell says:

      Probably that kick from Faarooq that ruptured his kidney.

      At that point, he had been IC champion for a month and was scheduled for a WWF title shot the night after Summerslam 1996. Then again, he also got injured in the month leading up to his planned PPV title match against The Undertaker in 1997.

    • Guest says:

      Probably the Wonton Beef Stew :V

  15. Doc 902714 says:

    So Vince McMahon was also USWA Champion in addition to being a future WWE and ECW Champion. Whodathunkit?

  16. Surfer Sandman says:

    I like how you referred to Bill Dundee as Richard Simmons, Big Cheese.

    Well done, sir!

  17. Sean Bateman says:

    The USWA Nation of Domination = The Nation of Jobberation

  18. Mariano Fernandez says:

    The USWA, and nobody mentions the “Macho Warrior”, RIC HOGAN, YEAH!

  19. Mike W says:

    Has Macho Warrior Ric Hogan ever been inducted?

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