Wrestling tells stories using a vast array of characters. They have had men and women who are big, small, painted or simply foreign! Often a character would draw heat because they were proudly waving their country's flag and shoving it down the throats of fans from the United States. It was a tried and tested gimmick that the company used numerous times to great effect, whether it was the Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, Ludvig Borga or Rusev. All have been effective characters that dedicated their efforts to making their country look better than the USA. However, sometimes that person pretending to be foreign, such as Lana, aren't actually from a different country.
While pretending to be from Russia, Japan, Iran, or India, there are a number of wrestlers who are from North America that have had to act as though they were from another country. These portrayals are often filled with stereotypes that are not only offensive, but don't properly represent those countries in the right light. In fact, they misrepresent with characters that are not only offensive, but have on one occasion had the promotion encouraged to take a character off of television because of a backlash. While some may consider the portrayals comical, others have considered them insulting. Here are the 10 Wrestling Foreigners Who Weren't Actually Foreign.
10 Boris Zhukov
9 Eddie Guerrero
8 Rey Mysterio Jr
7 The Sultan
4 Krusher Khruschev
3 Nikita Koloff
1 Muhammad Hassan
One of the most controversial characters in the WWE was that of Muhammad Hassan. Hassan's character was that of an Arab American in a post-911 United States. The character received a lot of criticism because of its stereotypical portrayal of an Arab character, when in fact he wasn't Arab at all. Hassan was performed by Mark Copani of Syracuse, New York, who is actually, of Italian descent. Copani's character was dropped because of a controversial terrorism storyline that was being perpetuated by the WWE. It came to a head after the bombings in London, England when the network airing the WWE programming was pressured to remove the character from television. On September 2005, Copani was released from his contract and decided to end his career following his release. While the character brought a lot of negative attention, it didn't help that he wasn't actually foreign either.
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