Kenny King On The Limited Opportunities For Black Wrestlers

In an interview with Forbes, Kenny King and Shane Taylor spoke about the opportunities for black wrestlers in the industry, stereotypes and more. Here are highlights:

King on if he’s ever felt resentful of incoming black talent: “Not necessarily. When they first paired me and MVP together (in IMPACT Wrestling)and that wasn’t necessarily because it was a black talentI just felt like, initially, I felt like our gimmicks and our styles were too similar to work together and it ended up being fantastic. But you know, it’s just one of those things where I always you know, when I see somebody trying out or I see somebody getting a look, I always mentor or at least open my arms because like I said, I know if you’re there, I know what you went through.”

Taylor on what advice he’d give to wrestlers who want to own their characters: “Own your image, own your likenesses. If you want to make yourself an LLC, you can do that. That depends on your tax bracket. It’s beneficial the more you make, so that’s a catch 22, but doing all of that when you get to these major promotionsthen instead of them owning everything and owning youyou can lease your name and all of the things and your trademarks to them, they pay you for that. And then once you leave, you take all your stuff back. So you’re still making money off of who you are and they can’t. When you see so many guys that have done those deals, like Samoa Joe, when he went up to New York and all that stuff, he kept his name and now they’re paying him for his name. And then if he decides to leave, he keeps his name. You know, that’s how it’s like owning your masters in music, right? Like you set that and then you’re able to carry on and keep that income for yourself and build that wealth that you’re trying to accrue for the next generation.”

King on stereotypical characters for black wrestlers: “They write us as pimps or as shaman, bogeyman, all this other nonsense. Triple H gets to be The Game. He gets to be the cerebral assassin. He gets to be all of these things. And the emotional attachment is what you need to believe in a world champion. So you have to care about someone’s world, someone’s wellbeing, in order for you to get that push. It’s all about how we’re being represented and the people who are literally just kind of pulling the trigger.”


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