wrestling / News

Chavo Guerrero Recalls Playing Kerwin White, Rikishi Discusses Inventing the Stinkface on New Podcast

October 16, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Chavo Guerrero Kerwin White

A new podcast features interviews with Rikishi, Neville, Chavo Guerrero and more about national identity and stereotypes in wrestling. You can listen to the audio and check out highlights below:

Chavo Guerrero Jr. on playing Kerwin White: “Everything you see in wrestling, it’s not really coming from the wrestlers. It’s coming from the writers. So the story with the Kerwin White character is me coming off a plane from Japan and Vince McMahon coming up to me and saying “Hello Kerwin” and I said “Oh what does that mean?” “Well today you’re going to denounce your Mexican heritage and you’re going to become a white guy.” So you’ve got two things: you can either say “No” and get fired, or you can say “Good, let’s embrace this character and let’s really do it”. If it was up to anyone of us, we’d all be John Cena or Batista and destroying everybody and being the champ. But it’s not. It’s up to Vince McMahon and there can only be one champ. With everyone else you have to make lemonade out of lemons. And TV is the same thing you have Alison [Brie], Marc [Maron] and stars of GLOW. Everyone wants to be the star and not the co-star but there’s only room for a couple of stars. And every federation you go to is the same thing. You just do what you got to do with your character.”

Rikishi on how The Stinkface was invented: “I was wrestling Ray Traylor, The Big Bossman, at a house show in Oakland, Alabama that night and I gave him a clothesline in the corner and I wasn’t actually looking at him. I can hear an old lady shout “Rikishi! Turn around and stick your butt in his face!” I’m in the middle of the ring and I see Bossman in the corner. And he said “Come on boy, stick your ass in my face” and I said “Really? Well here it comes.” I took my first step and the crowd roared. I took my second step the crowd got louder. The closer I got to him it was probably the loudest pop I have ever heard and when I turned around and his face was just the same level as my butt and I just paused there for a second. I wanted to hear and see how long I could make the fans sing and they sang and they sang and they sang and then all of a sudden “Bam!” I sat on him and the place just blew up. This was on a Sunday and the next night The Stinkface was introduced on Monday Night Raw.”

Court Bauer on which WWE characters he thought crossed the line: “I was there for the Mexicools and that was a racist joke made someone and all of sudden , within 12 hours, you have three guys that were earmarked to be part of reviving the cruiserweight division now part of a trio act with lawnmowers that to this day still offends people. I have friends in Mexico who still talk about how offensive that was and ask me if I had anything to do with it. I did not. I was hoping we would have a revived cruiserweight division. I’m sure there have been other examples in the last few years but that one really stuck out to me”

Neville on avoiding the British stereotypes often seen in WWE: “I’ve always tried my best to be a hybrid performer. I’m a fan of all those things, I grew up watching Lucha Libre, Japanese Style, American style and when I was training and working in the dojo in Japan I made a point of trying to learn to my best ability, learn every single style I could. So whilst I am British, whilst I am proud of my identity. I’m not going to parade around as a stereotype. I feel like I’ve made an effort to be almost all-encompassing, you know multi stylistic wrestling. I made a conscious effort not to be a stereotype.”