Black Lives Matter In Pro Wrestling Too: Beatrice Domino, Champion Feature
By Dr. Mike Lano
I was e-talking to Karen and Phantom last month, wondering how long before someone (The Whiff perhaps?) tried to capitalize somehow (a tight dance that) on the Black Lives Matter, Stop police shootings of African-American people and other major problems in this country. Here’s hoping Trump won’t interrupt Clinton (if he does in fact show up for the last 2 debates) 59 or more times as he did Monday, while she tries to give her opinion, possibles to fixing these problems.
This beautiful African-American female athlete is kick ass in the ring, but at times shy and reserved backstage. She almost turns into another person once the bell rings. Or her true self comes out as she’s a great ring general already, even though she’s only been in the biz a short time. She’s that good and a joy to watch whether in singles or tags.
Days after 49ers backup (not even the main) quarterback Colin Kaepernick began first sitting, then kneeling when the U.S. Anthem (song) is played before football games; Beatrice (who said she had relatives in the Black Panther party hq’d out of nearby Oakland, CA, which Oakland Museum is opening a major exhibit on, that my wife chairs as her retirement job) Domino began doing the ’68 Olympic Black Power salute herself and also began raising her fist while kneeling (ala Kaep) especially during her ring introductions. Depending on the group, she’s either heel or face (she was getting the “heel” reaction from fans who initially booed her. Now many fans don’t know how to react and just applaud her for taking a stance on very real issues and doing so in an educative, peaceful way. So it’s more about joining and being involved in the discussion at large amongst professional athletes, rather than copying any Kaep mainstream trend.
And certainly not just a topical gimmick for her, because she told me she very strongly feels this way and to my knowledge, is the first in Pro Wrestling to join the growing number of NFL players, soccer stars, NBA greats, etc. of all colors doing this. Again, I was wondering if Vince/WWE would try to capitalize on this silent protest behavior somehow, although the full base of The Whiff still seems GOP and Trumpish. The NY Times in an article last week, again compared Trump to Vince McMahon (think the headline was “has the temerity of boisterous trash purveyor Vince McMahon”….) That was hilarious as was Trump yesterday claiming he “won a lot of polls, I won the CBS post-debate poll.” CBS was quick to post they’d conducted no such poll. Wonder if “Fake Billionaire who has no clothes” Trump already was full of it or if his involvement in pro wrestling added to his blusterious ballyhoo.
Only Jack Pfeffer would know for sure (Google him up).
*One last off-topic thought. We’re all accustomed to fans, whether at the great indies like PWG, APW, ROH, Evolve, Chikara, etc. chanting “this is awesome.” Or feeling like they have to. Sometimes it’s totally deserved and a nice compliment to the athletes doing their best to place the crowds. Occasionally at some of the crappier indies outside of California I’ve covered (no names), it’ll be two woeful guys who are trying their best, but maybe are stuck at the 2 stars level getting that “fan noise.” A week ago, the incredible Willie Mack (The Mack in every Wednesday on El Rey Network’s fabulous Lucha Underground show at 5, 6 pm PDTs) was in a superb tag match and fans began chanting “this is awesome.” Maybe a little too early in the match, although the action was indeed, 5 stars awesome by all 4. Shooting ringside I heard him say “and there it is.” I just cracked up. Not sure if Willie’s heard that a lot and maybe didn’t think he deserved it yet, or what. But the Wrestling Observer newsletter and I believe Figure 4 Weekly as well, have addressed this more recent phenomenon with fans, from smarks to casuals, at times feeling they have to chant current popular slogans at some point, and at every show. This is a tough subject to broach because who doesn’t want deserving athletes, killing themselves in the ring, to get some fan love? I’m guessing there’s just a right time for everything. Even a compliment for jobs well done.
Article & photo by Dr. Mike Lano