Those are the names of the top black wrestlers in World Wrestling Entertainment right now. Once upon a time all these men were top guys, even holders of champion belts! At this point in their careers they struggle for television time occupying the role of jobbers (wrestlers used to make other wrestlers become bigger stars). It’s time to bring some of these stars together in order to build on all their strengths and possibly expand their influence as performers. It’s time to rebuild a Nation, a Nation of Domination.
There are two ways for any wrestler or group of wrestlers can stand out — turn heel or join or start a faction. It’s about time for the WWE to do something with Big E, R-Truth, Titus O’Neal and Kofi Kingston that they know will work outside of losing to new talents they want to get over. Resurrecting the classic Attitude Era group known as the Nation Of Domination would be perfect.
If you were a WWE fan back in the late 90’s, you saw one of the greatest factions ever, a groundbreaking one led by the first black man to hold the WCW world heavyweight champion (Ron Simmons, then known as Faarooq) and featuring a rising talent known as Rocky Maivia, who became The Rock during this time and started on his path to wrestling dominance and mainstream stardom in a way unlike very few who’ve ever stepped in the squared circle.
I can hear a good deal WWE fans reading back this article right and saying, “the WWE is too PG right now for a gimmick like the NOD. There is no way the WWE would allow a bunch of black dudes to run around and throw the black power fist in the air while beating everyone’s ass!”
I say B.S. to that because current WWE standouts have built their careers out of similar stances in the ring, just coming from different angles. Zeb Colter, Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro were once billed as The Real Americans, pissing off a ton of people while calling themselves “real” Americans, mainly because they called anyone who wasn’t a white man a threat to the country. And how about the newcomers Rusev and Lana, who in no subtle way both got over as characters on the backs of black WWE talent? These are also two characters billed from Russia, blasting the USA in front of thousands of Americans and praising the virtues of Russian President Vladimir Putin every chance they get. In an overall environment like this why not let the brothas have some fun?!
In The Nation’s prime its members were Kama Mustafa, D’ Lo, Faarooq and The Rock. I would love to know what the original Nation thinks of the black wrestlers of today and the way they are getting promoted in WWE, probably not very highly. The Nation didn’t pull any punches in its time, fought anyone who got in their way, including some of the most “over” talents in the company, such as D-Generation X, with whom they had one of the Era’s best rivalries. The NOD even threw curveballs now and then, including taking on a white member in Owen Hart.
Another argument one may take from my stance is that the current wrestlers who would head up a NOD re-boot aren’t really on the level of the classic faction.
Well, Big E and Truth have each flourished as heels in the past and O’Neal is currently one right now and looking promising in that role, an easy transition would be on hand for the WWE Universe and uniting a group of outspoken black personalities would likely give each member of the faction an amount of heat they haven’t received yet in the highest level of wrestling.
The person to gain the most out of being a part of a re-established Nation would be Kofi Kingston. Kofi is a lovable, care-free, smiling performer known to put up a great fight but he never seeming able to come out on top. Kingston has held several championship titles in the WWE but he has never been put over like he could in this group. Big E and O’Neal could be the heavies of the Nation, providing its intimidating strength, R-Truth would be the group’s wild card, always there to start a fight and loving to finish them. Meanwhile, Kofi would round things outwith his high flying and fast-paced style that would begrudgingly amaze the WWE Universe because instead of doing what he does as a harmless Sean Paul-listening island dweller he’d now be a threat as part of NOD.
One new wrinkle that I would add to separate a new Nation Of Domination from the classic version is an added strong female persona, a woman or two who could hold her own in the ring and help the guys outside the ring. Two easy candidates to think of that would fit in the NOD would be Alicia Fox or Tamina Snuka, but I would go the less obvious route with one or both of the former Funkadactyls, Naomi and Cameron.
Yes, Cameron needs to work on her in ring skills but placing her on some solid cards with good diva talent and with a good angle to work with, she should be able to step up. In the case of Naomi, she has a huge personality worthy of a faction like NOD and her superior wrestling ability would put her in the middle of Nation matches and not to a fault.
Most factions in professional wrestling by bridging the present back to the past. In D-Generation X you always had legacy performers Triple H and Shawn Michaels and with The Four Horseman Ric Flair and Arn Anderson was front and center cementing that group’s legacy. In Mark Henry, the Ruler of the Hall Of Pain and the last active member of The Nation Of Domination, NOD would have a perfect bridge back to the Attitude Era.
Recently Henry has been battling injuries and could use a boost back in the limelight. The booking of Henry back into main event status would be easy: Henry steps to Big E, R-Truth, Titus O’Neal, Cameron and Kofi Kingston and explains to them how the black superstars back in his day would never take the crap they are taking now, being placed as jobbers and given no clear shots at meaningful titles. After a few weeks of teasing and instigating, the veteran would be able to convince the young bucks at following his lead to start a new nation, a new Nation Of Domination.
To have a true NOD, they have to be the baddest asses on the block, just like the originals. They can’t be a happy go lucky, fun bunch like the later versions of D-X. The WWE Universe would be better served in seeing Big E and Titus totally demolish anyone who crosses them in the ring, instead of Creative finding new ways to have them lose each week.
The WWE Universe needs to see R-Truth bewildering opponents with effective promos and crazy moves, not pop locking and dropping into splits for no reason. The Divas need to see what a true diva looks like when Cameron walks to the ring like a squared circle Beyonce. And no more smiles from Kofi, we need to see a man out there ready take care of business by any means necessary with all the skills available to him.
Leadership from an in-charge Mark Henry would surely show this new Nation means business and that kicking ass is what they do. So WWE, bring back the Nation because this era of wrestling is missing out on seeing what true Domination looks like.