As we revealed last Sunday night, Jack Swagger's recent repackaging as a real American patriot whose views have become twisted by listening to his borderline racist and extremely xenophobic family friend Zeb Colter was an idea the WWE creative team likely stole from the success of Lucha Libre USA's anti-Mexican immigration heel RJ Brewer.
By taking on such a controversial gimmick, the former bland technical wrestler "Hurricane" John Walters managed to do the impossible - become an independent wrestler that got mainstream publicity, most notably having a segment dedicated to his new character on ABC's Nightline.
WWE seeing how such a no-name in their eyes could so easily get ink written about him decided they wanted in on the act too, which quickly paid dividends. Plenty of folks in the conservative media and on Twitter have already taken the bait and got themselves into a tizzy over WWE portraying two Tea Party sympathisers as racist heels, which the company responded to by issuing a statement to the Hollywood Reporter that basically said calm down suckers, it's only a fake storyline for entertainment purposes.
Which begs the question how did the originator of the gimmick, RJ Brewer, respond to WWE stealing his thunder? By milking it for all it was worth on his Facebook page a few days ago, of course:
"This will be the only time I respond to the questions I have received regarding WWE "stealing my stuff." I have been wrestling for Lucha Libre USA for almost 3 years and have been using that platform to speak against illegal immigration from the start. I have been featured on CNN, Fox News, The Geraldo Rivera Morning Show, front page of the LA Times, front page of the BBC, and most recently, ABC... Nightline. I knew it was only a matter of time before someone else took advantage of my press and success. For me to complain would say I am against capitalism, and that is not true in the least. The reason I have done what I have done is because this is not some silly wrestling storyline, this is real. My feelings are magnified for the camera and the live audience, but what I say comes from the bottom of my heart. This is why I was invited to the Sheriff Joe Arpaio walk, and asked to be a guest speaker at Rusell Pearce's (author of SB 1070) fundraiser. They say the most sincere form of flattery is imitation. I say imitation is suicide, because to try to be what someone else really is, is only killing who you are. Our audience is Latino, our wrestlers are Latino and that is why RJ Brewer is so effective. I don't need a mouthpiece. I don't need a machine behind me. I don't need human growth hormone and/or to be protected by a phony drug test only to be thrown out like yesterday's garbage when I am finished. RJ Brewer will always be 100% real, no matter how hard someone tries to diminish that. All I need are my views and a platform to spread them, and so far, that has worked just fine."
Though the shots at the WWE Wellness policy weren't wise, Brewer likely felt a sense of vindication when his copycat in Jack Swagger got arrested for a DUI, possession of marijuana and speeding just hours after he had made his post.
Speaking of Swagger, his only saving grace might be that his current angle continues to get a lot of media attention with stories in The National Post, The Huffington Post and The Atlantic Wire over the last 48 hours. Of course, those exact same pieces all mention Swagger's recent run-in with the law too, which is something WWE would not want publicising.
That might explain why the latest rumours regarding Jack Swagger's current WWE status are that the company is thinking about rebooking the WrestleMania lineup over the incident, so things don't look good for him in the short term at least.
If that does indeed happen, then expect his manager Zeb Colter to be immediately transferred over to another heel, because this angle has rare momentum in the public eye and WWE wouldn't want to squander it.
According to Dave Meltzer in the Feb. 25th, 2013 Wrestling Observer Newsletter, "NBC is already working on a story" about the Colter character, while WWE have contacted Alex Jones, yes, the same right-wing nutjob who blasted the promotion for creating a racist wrestler to demonise the Tea Party, to potentially appear in an angle with Zeb at WrestleMania 29.
This should mean that Dutch Mantell's future is thankfully safe and secure, even if Jack Swagger's is not.