WWE News

Dutch Mantell Recalls Being Told To Say Controversial Line By Triple H

Dutch Mantell twirls moustache

Former WWE Manager Dutch Mantell has revealed a conversation he had with Triple H about a controversial line he didn’t want to say in a promo.

Between 2013-2016, Dutch Mantell was portraying a heel manager in WWE known as ‘Zeb Colter’. During his time managing Jack Swagger – now AEW’s Jake Hager – Colter would espouse anti-immigration beliefs and claim to defend free speech while repeating the catchphrase “We the people” at every opportunity.

However, on one particular occasion, Mantell thought the rhetoric of his alter-ego was going a step too far. Speaking on Sportskeeda Wrestling’s ‘Smack Talk’, the wrestling veteran told the story of a time WWE wanted him to use “affirmative action” as part of one of Colter’s diatribes.

“Zeb Colter was supposed to be the right-wing radical, but the way I was doing my interviews, it made sense, and a lot of people were agreeing with me. They wanted me to go out one time and I was talking to Titus and Darren Young. [WWE management] wanted me to say what I got against them is ‘affirmative action’ and I went ‘Guys, I don’t wanna say that.'”

He explained to them that he felt using that phrase would make Colter an outright racist, destroying the character. However, when he raised his concerns with Triple H, the ‘King of Kings’ told him to leave it in the promo to see how it played out with the audience.

“They said ‘Oh yeah, that’s what they want you to say.’ I asked ‘Why?’ I said ‘I guarantee you, when I go out there and I say that, now I’m racializing – I’m just making Zeb Colter a straight out racist.’ They said ‘Well, do this,’ and I then went to Triple H and said ‘Hey man, you’re gonna kill this character,’ and he did say this: ‘Okay, say it. If they don’t respond then take it out.'”

Mantell felt he was vindicated following the promo being met with silence.

“I said ‘Get ready to take it out because they’re not gonna respond to this’. Nobody wants to hear it. I don’t care who you are. They don’t want to hear it. I went out there, and I said that; you could here not a pin drop. It got eerily quite. I know what they’re saying, you could read their mind. They’re saying ‘Oh God don’t take it this way, Please don’t lean into it.'”

During his time as Zeb Colter, Dutch Mantell went on to add Cesaro to his stable. Cesaro and Swagger, as the ‘All Americans’, failed to make much headway in the tag team division. Following Cesaro leaving the group, Colter and Swagger briefly turned face in a feud with Rusev – now AEW’s Miro. Part of the feud saw Rusev break Colter’s leg, writing him off of WWE TV for some time.

H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the above transcription.