Following weeks of teases and rumors hinting that WWE was planning to revive the old Nation of Domination stable, it appears that the company’s creative team has quietly decided to put the angle on the shelf.
As cited by WrestlingNews.co on Tuesday, Dave Meltzer recently appeared on Wrestling Observer Radio and explained the seemingly random guest spots of former NOD members Ron Simmons (aka Faarooq) and Mark Henry on Monday Night Raw. Simmons, who led the original incarnation of the faction in the 1990s, was shown last week having a conversation with MVP and Bobby Lashley. Henry, meanwhile, appeared in a pair of backstage segments on this week’s Raw where he was featured speaking to Drew McIntyre, and later on to Bianca Belair and Ruby Riott.
According to Meltzer, the two Hall of Famers were specifically invited to recent tapings for the Nation of Domination angle, which had apparently been scrapped at the time of his report.
“So I guess they just figured since Mark Henry is there, they just put him on TV for no reason.”
Rumors of a rebooted version of the NOD first started swirling last week as MVP continued recruiting members for his stable, which also features Lashley and Shelton Benjamin and is officially known as The Hurt Business. Other Black wrestlers, including Apollo Crews, were rumored to be joining the collective at some point. However, a subsequent report from The Inquisitr explained that the planned revival allegedly led to some backstage concerns from people who felt that bringing back a Black militant-themed faction was a tone-deaf move, especially if the group would be portrayed as heels on television.
Speculating on what could be next for the apparently scrapped creative plan, WrestlingNews.co wrote that there’s still a chance WWE could revive the Nation of Domination in the future since company chairman Vince McMahon has been known to “[change] his mind all of the time.” However, the outlet noted that it’s indeed possible there were certain individuals who convinced the boss that it wouldn’t be a “good look” to launch racially charged storylines amid the current situation in the United States.
Throughout the years, WWE has been criticized for its portrayal of Black wrestlers on its programming, as reported in 2014 by The Atlantic. Aside from the Nation of Domination, gimmicks such as Cryme Tyme — the tag team featuring JTG and the late Shad Gaspard — have been mentioned as examples of how the company supposedly focuses on negative or controversial tropes when coming up with on-air characters for African American performers.