Induction: Slam Master J – To quote Eric Bischoff, “Hip-hop meets kick-butt!”

20 Submitted by on Fri, 26 April 2019, 21:32

WWE, 2009

Fans who watched WWE between 2007 and 2009 – why, I have no idea – may remember the country-fried tag team of Jesse and Festus.

Most fans would recognize big Festus as Luke Gallows of the Bullet Club or the Good Brothers.

What fans might not know is that his partner Jesse, like Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, and Ted DiBiase, Jr., is the son of a wrestling legend. – in this case, Terry Gordy.

After breaking up his tag team, WWE was determined to make Terry Gordy, Jr. as much of a star as his father was for the company. And the best way to do that was for Jesse…

…to join Legacy? Of course not!

It was for Terry’s Kid to take on a stale, awful gimmick. You do remember that his dad was The Executioner, right?

WWE thought they had a winner of a new comedic gimmick for Jesse: a clueless white guy adopting black culture in a poor attempt to be cool.

Unfortunately, this idea was so played out by 2010 (and, frankly, decades earlier than that) that Slam Master J’s new persona was dead on arrival.

It was during a segment featuring Cryme Tyme that Slam Master J was first inflicted upon the WWE Universe. Cryme Tyme, as you no doubt recall, was an African-American tag team with a twist, and that twist was committing crimes.

On the premiere webisode of Cryme Tyme’s “Word Up”, Shad and JTG, along with Eve Torres, taught the viewers the word, “jackin'”. Whoa now! No wonder this segment was internet-only.

Actually, the word was used in the sense of theft. Cryme Tyme explained that the last thing you wanted to have happen was for someone to jack your swagger…

…meaning to steal your style.

(or to flop as world champion)

Cue Jesse, who introduced his new urban persona by cutting one of the most annoying promos in history:

“Yoyoyoyoyoyoyoyo yo! It’s ya boy Jesse, AKA Jee-zy. Ya know, Jeezy? Up in ya house, but not too cheesy. A little too sick, but not too snee-zy. Down an’ dirty on the flo’ but not to grea-zy! Jeezy!”

See, the “extremely Caucasian man using black slang” bit is only funny if the Caucasian in question is being 100% serious. Case in point: Mean Gene Okerlund, who will be missed by his homies.

Somebody should have told Jesse not to culturally appropriate, but to instead be culturally appropriate. Uh, yeah.

Jesse was given the creative moniker of “Slam Master J”.

See, wrestling had already had a Rap Master…

…and a Grand Master…

…but never a Slam Master (except for the Saturday Night variety).

Slam Master J now hailed from “The ATL” – I think that’s the nickname black people use for Hotlanta.

Slam Master J made his first in-ring appearance against Charlie Haas, picking up a surprise victory to a mixed crowd reaction:

Some of the fans *hated* it, but most were completely indifferent.

So why did Slam Master J flop when just a decade earlier, Too Cool were massively over?

Well, for one thing, Too Cool got a pretty chilly reception initially. And unlike Slam Master J, they debuted as heels, which was the appropriate thing to do for a team whose gimmick was that of massively annoying posers. 

Now take a look at Slam Master J, supposedly a babyface: who would ever want to cheer this dweeb? No cool music, no dance moves, no funky fat man…

…just some moron wearing a jute rug on his head. At least Too Cool got to wear extensions…

…poor Terry Gordy Jr. had to wear his real hair like this, 24/7!

Slam Master J certainly didn’t impress the fans, but he did work real hard to impress Cryme Tyme, even spray-painting Teddy Long’s portrait of Vince McMahon on a dare…

…for which he was punished by being demolished by Kane, to the crowd’s amusement.

Almost as embarrassing as Slam Master J himself was the commentary that accompanied his matches. 

Todd and Matt (two names that don’t exactly scream “hip-hop”) debated the finer points of Slam Master J’s gimmick. For instance, was it Slam Master or Slam Masta? The former, rhotic pronunciation was the correct one, said Matt Striker.

The commentators would compete to see who knew more about hip-hop. Once, they argued whether a particular move was “dope” or “fly”. The worst part was that Matt Striker was ostensibly the straight man in the situation, having to put up with the wannabe Todd’s foolishness before quoting old-school rap lyrics to assert his preeminence as WWE’s most authentic black voice.

Yes, this Matt Striker was quoting Run-DMC and Grandmaster Flash.

(as opposed to this Matt Stryker)

Hmmm… Grandmaster Flash…

…Do you think he took his name from Slam Master J?

Slam Master J even got his own web series on how to be a G, telling women that going home with him was like eating a Snickers bar, an analogy that ended up being not nearly as lewd as it could have been.

Surprise of surprises, the Slam Master J gimmick wore thin real quick, so WWE put him into a tag team.

Now, Terry Jr.’s dad was part of two notable tag teams: the Fabulous Freebirds and the Miracle Violence Connection. I mention this fact mainly as an excuse to type the words, “Miracle Violence Connection”.

Slam Master J would have no such luck, being paired up with Jimmy Wang Yang. After all, why not stick the white guy who thinks he’s black with the Asian guy who thinks he’s white?

(Throw in Kwang, and you’ve got yourself a stable)

The new duo, when they did make it onto TV, served mainly to put over the Hart Dynasty and provide the announcers with more opportunities for truly dumb commentary. For instance, did you ever wonder whether Jimmy Wang Yang, being partners with Slam Master J, would start saying, “Yo Yo!” instead of, “Yee haw!”? Todd Grisham did.

Slam Master J was not long for television, making only one appearance in 2010 in the pre-show battle royal at Wrestlemania 26, before getting cut from the roster.

As far as WWE was concerned, Mr. Biscuits and Gravy ended up being just another ham-and-egger.

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He also runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell. Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com
20 Responses to "Induction: Slam Master J – To quote Eric Bischoff, “Hip-hop meets kick-butt!”"
  1. Paul M Oparka says:

    Sounded like Striker called him Jam Master in that one clip.

  2. NextChamp says:

    Funny how this gimmick didn’t work at all and yet John Cena started off with the same gimmick. Crowds cheered for Thuganomics Cena returning at Mania this year. But people probably forget how annoying and how overtly stupid the debut of that character was.

    • Tempest Fennac says:

      Cena turned heel when he started doing the Vanilla Ice stuff too, didn’t he? If that was the case it probably helped a bit.

      • Chris V says:

        Yes, they let him be a heel, which did help with him getting heat for being so annoying when he first took up the gimmick.

        However, they also let Cena develop a more edgy character with his rapper gimmick, as it continued.
        Look at his feud with the Undertaker.
        That really helped Cena get over with the gimmick.
        He wasn’t just an annoying white guy pretending to be another Vanilla Ice anymore.

        Jesse never moved beyond being an annoying jobber.

        • Tempest Fennac says:

          I never saw that feud sadly. I can see how being booked competitively against a main eventer would ultimately help though.

          • Chris V says:

            Certainly.
            Check out some of the rap promos Cena cut on Undertaker leading up to their match though (if you can find them), mocking the Undertaker’s history.
            The one that especially stood out was the one where he cut a rap promo while standing in a flaming pentagram, referencing the Satanic Ministry Undertaker.
            I’d say that really changed perception about Cena’s gimmick.

            • Tempest Fennac says:

              I forgot to check this thread for a while so I’ve only just seen those promos. This is another reason why the gimmick worked for Cena while flopping for Slam Master J.

  3. Braeden says:

    What’s really crazy is that he actually had a similar gimmick in DSW before even being called up as Jesse. He was Ray Geezy, teaming up with the preppy, sweater vest wearing black wrestler Damien Steele, as the team Ebony and Ivory.

  4. Don townsend says:

    ^again, take note……Thuganomics Cena started off heel. Too Cool, heel. Road Dogg, heel. Also take note, those guys were entertaining. The crazy thing was Cryme Tyme WERE over AND faces the whole time they were jackin’ folks’ swagger.

  5. Mighty Vastardikai says:

    He’s less Grandmaster Flash and more Grandmaster B.

  6. Sean Bateman says:

    poor son of a Freebird

  7. C Boz says:

    This induction and character remind me of a year-long running gag on “Married with Children”. Bud, in an attempt to be cool, tries to take on a rapper persona. He calls himself Grand Master B – but his sister Kellie (Christina Applegate!!) always alters the name when speaking with or about him to make him look even more foolish. My favorite is when she calls him “Bed Wetter B”. All sympathy to people who wet their beds due to medical or psychological matters. But that was hilarious. And in its own stupid way so was this character, especially trying to get over as a face. Boo yah!!

  8. CF says:

    I am not exactly the Greatest Espouser Of Politically Correct Sentiments — I tell jokes which would make Andrew Clay say “Dude, back it off” — and *I* am Offended by this…. 🙂

  9. Lee W. says:

    I can’t help but get the feeling that Vince didn’t like Terry much and considering that he was dead by this point, it had to be his son who was going to have to cop the crap (at least for the senior Gordy he got to hide behind a mask as the Executioner)

  10. CP says:

    Wasn’t Too Cool’s original gimmick that they were gay for each other, and then it evolved into the poseur thing that got them over?

  11. Christopher Haydu says:

    Unless I missed it, how has nobody brought Bling Bling Buchanan? I’m surprised that a pairing with Recon from the Truth Commission didn’t kill John Cena before he could get over. The fans went on to take John Cena’s seriously, but I don’t think anybody took Bull Buchanan seriously in a white guy hip hop role. So, John Cena was pretty lucky that he got over with the fans. That said, I think Vince McMahon just enjoys seeing white guys act like black rappers as much as he loves hillbillies because we’ve seen it with so many different characters.

  12. K7 says:

    Holy crap. Right on the nose with Kwang.

    Call it the Appropriation Association.

  13. Jack Wagon says:

    “Slam Master J even got his own web series on how to be a G”

    Unfortunately, as Enzo would remind us a few years later, you can’t teach people how to be a G.

  14. Captain Obvious says:

    See, wrestling had already had a Rap Master…

    PN News. Has he ever been inducted Yo Blubber, Yo Blubber Yo

    & Saturday Night Slam Masters is the greatest SNES wrestling game of all time. That is all.

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