During the Austin Theory vs. Akira Tozawa match on Raw last night (April 13), Jerry Lawler called a Tozawa senton his “ramen noodle moonsault”.
The spot & comment aren’t in the highlights WWE released of the match, but multiple Twitter accounts clipped it from the USA Network broadcast.
The problem here should be pretty obvious. Lawler’s playing with the same kind of material he’s always trafficked in - most famously during the Attitude Era. A lot of fans, this writer included, believe it’s important to leave those kind of “jokes” in the past. They’re offensive, unwelcoming, and reminiscent of wrestling’s history where every non-American performer was a villain defined by racial stereotypes.
Second generation wrestler and NXT Superstar Rachel Evers subtweet pretty much covers it:
Just a casual reminder that being a racist is not ok. Thanks for listening to my Ted talk. Have a great night.— Rachael Evers (@RachaelEversWWE) April 14, 2020
The defense for Lawler and his latest dated comment is mostly to attack the people criticizing it as “soft”. It’s a familiar back-and-forth, and very few minds are changed in the process.
But if we can stop calling one another racists and SJWs for a second, I have a question. Is there anyone who finds the “ramen noodle moonsault” line funny? Hell, it’s not even accurate. Tozawa did a senton. It’s one of his signature moves, something someone flown in especially to call his matches should know.
Is giving Jerry a live mic worth one potential viewer turning the channel, or a second of internet controversy?
As we’re often reminded, it probably only matters what one person thinks. If Vince McMahon thought it was funny or clever or a non-issue, nothing will change.
Anybody think anything is going to change?