Curtain Jerker: Zeb Coulter

17 Submitted by on Wed, 20 February 2013, 08:00

Well, some in the mainstream press are picking up on Jack Swagger and Zeb Coulter’s extremist views on immigration (or, if not extremist, at least uninhibited), which, if you remember JBL goosestepping in Germany 9 years ago, you know that Swagger’s closing in on the title, if not at WrestleMania, then sometime after.

Whenever any performer is judged by the media simply for “in character actions”, particularly if said actions are politically incorrect, that’s usually WWE’s cue to push the character even harder, since it elicited a response.

I have to ask: is Coulter’s gimmick really a big deal?

I mean, I’ve seen worse, from Piper making spear-chucking jokes about Mr. T, to Harley Race telling Ron Simmons he would’ve been nothing more than a glorified slave boy “in his day”. Hell, WWE was prepared to push Muhammad Hassan to the very title Swagger’s vying for, had UPN not had a hand in nixing the character after the Undertaker/terror cell angle.

I do wish WWE could come up with something better than a kneejerk angle with Swagger calling for deportation, and Del Rio and Ricardo, inevitably, doing slapstick bits to upstage them (you know it’s coming), but this is the direction they’re going. And they’re going that way for 2 reasons:

1) To make Del Rio look more heroic if/when he vanquishes that evil Swagger, since Del Rio is now Vince’s Latin meal ticket with Mysterio unreliable (not that I criticize that).

2) Anything that appeals to the base instincts of the lowest common denominator draws a reaction, and Vince like reactions, because enough of them might equal sustained interest. They’re a good diversionary tactic if used right, though I don’t see anyone tuning in just FOR this angle.

But what say you? Is WWE making a smart decision by pushing the political button?

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Justin Henry is WrestleCrap's inquiring newsman, thirsting for knowledge always. He enjoys the art of satire, as you'll find in many of his works here at WrestleCrap. Drop him a line on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/notoriousjrh) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/jrhwriting)
17 Responses to "Curtain Jerker: Zeb Coulter"
  1. Ben says:

    Generally I don’t mind racist shticks in wrestling. I absolutely loved the feud between JBL and Eddie Guerrero (with Kurt Angle temporarily being the GM). Seems to me that’s what they’re trying to recreate here, even though the elements are a bit mixed up. And it’s just not working for me.

    Alberto, aka Hispanic JBL, is a poor substitute for Eddie and I’m just not buying him as a babyface. Jack Swagger is simply no Kurt Angle, but one can’t help but compare the two. The outfit, the amateur wrestling background and him using the ankle lock makes it impossible. So not only is he a poor man’s Kurt Angle, his last couple of years simply were abysmal and I’m not buying him as a Wrestlemania-worthy heavyweight title contender.

    One thing, though. I think Coulter is great on the stick. That’s the one saving grace of all of this.

    Bottom line, I hate this angle, but not because of the political incorrectness. People are way too touchy about such things. So many real and serious problems in this world and they complain about silly rasslin. Laughable. Good. Let them. No such thing as bad publicity (almost). If only the performers and/or characters involved were more convincing…

    • Ben says:

      BWAHAHA. Good thing I wrote “ALMOST” in brackets after I wrote there is no such thing as bad publicity. Swagger’s arrest certainly proves that point. Well, bye, Swaggie. Sucks for you, dude.

      • AlexK says:

        I just got a mental image of someone calmly expressing his opinion, and then IMMEDIATELY GOING OFF THE DEEP END. Good job.

        • AlexK says:

          (Since I can’t edit comments: Apologies, I didn’t know replies are automatically in all caps. I retract my statement.)

  2. The Gold Standard says:

    The way Mr. Henry puts this article, you would think that Vince McMahon is the second coming of Andy Kaufmann. I personally have to agree, Vince likes a reaction. Doesn’t matter if it’s a good or a bad reaction, it’s a reaction.

  3. patricko says:

    What I find Ironic is WHO is decrying the angle. Fox News, and a fringe right wing pundit, on his website I believe.

    See, not because it’s offensive, or because Zeb and Jack are saying something abhorrent, but because those that are complaining feel that the WWE is mocking… them.

    If WWE was mocking, say, those in favor of gun control, or in FAVOR of massive immigration reform, then we’d not be hearing from the likes of Fox News.

    And if the crowds were going nuts in SUPPORT of the Jack and Zeb, and they were overnight face sensations, the same whiners would be lauding the angle, because it’s clear that the american people embrace that message….

    I’m glad that Dutch Mantell’s going to get another Wrestlemania pay day, and Swagger needed someone to do his talking for him, but overall I don’t like the angle because, for me, it’s a bit stupid, and very boring, and won’t really end in a payoff I care about.

    WWE has got to be lovin’ the free publicity.

  4. Joseph S. Hasan says:

    If it was the only way to have Dutch Mantell headline a WrestleMania . . .

    It was not dumb of them to push the political button inherently, but I think that soon, I will change my mind as Vince will not leave it at just relatively harmless talk. It will get tasteless. 27 years of fandom has taught me this all too often.

    • patricko says:

      good point, Joe. aprox. 27 years of fandom has taught me the same lesson. it WILL devolve into something even more objectionable….

  5. Superstarl says:

    I can’t say that I’m a fan. Wrestling has relied on stereotypes for a long time. This is just their latest right-wing redneck stereotype. Do I like it? No. Like you said, it panders to the lowest common denominator. There are more interesting and complicated characters to be created. Will it ever go away? I doubt it. Its just the way the business operates. It makes creating characters that people understand and react to easy. I sincerely doubt we’ll get past evil foreigners, dumb rednecks, prancing gay men, and black people from the hood anytime soon.

  6. Steele says:

    Yes, it is worth getting upset about. This sort of stuff is too real for wrestling, and it’s presented in too real of a way. It could be upsetting to Latin-American fans, and feel like they can’t watch wrestling because they feel insulted to. The fact that there has been worse doesn’t make it good to do this.

    I don’t have an issue with him having a racist guy in WWE as a bad guy. What I do have an issue with is just how close to actual racist, inflammatory rhetoric Zeb Coulter gets.

  7. Clifton says:

    I still think the babyface change for Alberto Del Rio was way too sudden for him to be taken seriously as a hero babyface. I have nothing wrong with his character, only the way he transitioned from the dastardly heel to the angelic baby face. Hell, WWE even switched him back to a heel for the Christmas show, then immediately had him resume being a babyface. Way to confuse your fans even further.

    As for the angle, I don’t have much of a problem with it. There have been angles like this in the past in WWE, and we’re probably going to see more of them. Just don’t try to say this is some kind of original angle because it definitely isn’t.

  8. John Rike says:

    Take a look at how many foreign wrestlers there are in the WWE and consider how the WWE loves to have a star for various countries (example: Great Khali for India) This ‘gimmick’ is something that will give Swagger a regular purpose on Television as the big bad ‘American’ against any guy who is from another country regardless if they are a face or a heel. In this day and age, it’s genius.

  9. Joey says:

    I think Zeb is unneeded, but he certainly will not harm Jack’s current run. By aligning Zeb with the already established heel, this is WWE’s subtle way of saying but not outright saying that Zeb’s behavior is wrong. But if Jack manages to get over in certain areas, all WWE has to do is play coy and not make any comments about it. While I personally think this could have been done a different way, Vince still has found himself a win-win situation. Plus, free publicity from both sides of the argument won’t hurt.

  10. ReReallyrPeteGas says:

    To be honest, I’m more worried about a Mark Henry/Great Khali match at WrestleMania.

  11. Down With OPC says:

    Wonder what’s going to happen now after Swagger’s arrest.

  12. Juice211 says:

    With Swagger recently arrested, it will be interesting to see what happens next….

  13. bret_owen99 says:

    I find it strange that WWE is having to apologize to the people it is mocking in this angle, but ‘Mexicools’ was ok?

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