The rise of Asian and Arab Wrestlers in WWE

by Naomi Clark-Shen

In 2005 on WWE’s weekly television show Smackdown, loathed Arab Superstar Muhammad Hassan kneeled in prayer and set five masked men on The Undertaker, in a terror-themed attack. It aired on the same night as the London terrorist bombings which killed over 50 people.

Muhammad Hassan smirks before sending masked men to the ring. Source: YouTube.

One of the most noticeable outcomes of this ‘taming’ was that wrestlers’ characters no longer had to centre around their ethnicity - but their ability. As a result, Asian wrestlers in particular began to rise to the top.

Shinsuke Nakamura faces off with then champion Jinder Mahal. Source: YouTube.

Asuka from Japan wins the WWE Women's Championship. Source: YouTube

Mustafa Ali is one of the best high-flying wrestlers in the WWE. Source: YouTube

The future looks bright for Asian and Arab wrestlers. No longer do they have to make do with playing the villain or being the butt of everyone’s jokes. Finally, they are champions, crowd-favourites – and heroes.
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Editorial / Adam Clark
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