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Head-On Collision: The original Rufus Jones and the birth of a Black pro wrestling stereotype

Amongst the most pervasive and damning stereotypes of 1970s and 1980s pro wrestling, the Black-wrestler-does-headbutts routine blurred the lines between homage and continuation of racist tropes. This was true regardless of whether it was self-sustained by the Black wrestlers themselves, or suggested by bookers, promoters or other wrestlers as simply something a wrestler who “looks like you” is expected to do in order to get over with an audience. Whatever the reason was, everyone from the Junkyard Dog, Tony Atlas and SD Jones to Koko B. Ware and even Tyree Pride demonstrated some semblance of an imperviousness to cranial pain.

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