Pro-wrestling star JTG was a recent guest on the Wrestling Inc. Daily to discuss his role in WWE’s Cryme Tyme, and how the gimmick was made to flip the typical black stereotype. He also discusses how WWE’s non-black writers had a difficult time scripting promos for the duo. Highlights are below.
How WWE wanted Cryme Tyme to flip the stereotype:
“I definitely understand. It definitely wouldn’t have flied in 2021, but during that time, the way Vince explained the gimmick to me, it made a lot of sense. I thought we were going to do something positive, because what he wanted to do when he first explained to me in our first meeting, he was like, ‘I want to take this thug image, the image that you guys got, and I want to flip it. When people see the stereotype, you know, they grab their purses or they check for their wallet. They feel intimidated. What I want you guys to do is when you guys come out be always smiling, be always having a good time. We’re going to flip that thug image so that when they do see you guys, you’re still going to do heel-ish things but you guys are babyface. When your music hits, little kids and people are dancing and having a good time in the audience.’ And that’s what we did. We over exaggerated the stereotype. We had fun, and when we did steal, we’d offer it back to the crowd. It was so engaging with the crowd. We had the look, we had the charisma, but Vince pretty much structured it properly so it made sense for the platform.”
On the angle where Cryme Tyme stole Lita’s belongings and sold them to fans:
“The Lita thing, that was fun. It wasn’t our idea. We just came to the building in Philadelphia, and he was like, ‘Lita’s retiring tonight. You guys are going to steal her stuff and sell it off to the fans.’ We were like, ‘Wait what? Alright. Is Lita okay with that?’”
On the writers having difficult times scripting promos for the team:
“It was hard for the writers to write Cryme Tyme because of our slang, and how we like to have fun with words, so we pretty much did our own thing out there. [The writers] would go to the Urban Dictionary or like, Slang.com or something like that. Like, ‘Is it cool to say this?’ ‘No, we can’t say molly wop. The kids are not saying that today.’”