I’m a socially aware and community-active American citizen who’s also a one-time political science major and has lived through eight American Presidential elections. With these credentials, as well as a sound mind, clear head and rational reasoning, I can tell you that of all of the candidates running for the office of President of the United States in 2016, that Donald Trump — moreso than any other individual — is best suited for the position. I support no single choice in this race, but as a professional wrestling fan for nearly 35 years, it’s in The Donald’s link to Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment, as well as his keen understanding of the inner-workings of sports entertainment at its highest level that I feel he’s probably the most ideally suited for the task.
Before you believe this to be another article bringing French philosopher Roland Barthes’ high-minded essay about pro wrestling published in his 1957 book Mythologies to the table, I’m definitely not re-treading that track. Instead, it’s in understanding the core principle of pro wrestling — good always triumphs over evil — plus WWE Hall of Famer and multiple-time Wrestlemania participant and host Trump casting himself as the ultimate bad-guy heel that’s to be discussed. In being the ultimate bad guy, and in cannily shining a spotlight on all of the “good guys” (and women) that need to be highlighted in order for an American political revolution to occur, in doing the time honored task of getting the babyfaces over (aka making popular wrestlers more popular by creating a groundswell of support that culminates in the bad guy losing to the good guy in a match), he’s absolutely doing what’s “best for [the] business” of “making America great again.”
Trump’s plan can be broken down into three parts. Let’s call them “The Million Dollar Man,” “Mr. McMahon,” and “‘The Game’ Triple H.”
The Million Dollar Man
In 1987, top level journeyman champion Ted DiBiase debuted for the then World Wrestling Federation as “The Million Dollar Man.” The character was that of a rich businessman/socialite-turned-wrestler, who used his wealth to demean lower class people, intimidate competitors, and even go as far as purchasing the contract of Andre the Giant to eventually control of the WWF Championship — which he did in 1988, but also to purchase his own “Million Dollar Championship,” encrusted with gold and diamonds, in 1989.
Similarly, Donald Trump has become a rich businessman/socialite-turned politician, who for over the past four decades has used his wealth to demean lower class people, intimidate his professional competition, and now, in running a self-funded campaign, attempt to purchase America’s top political prize.
In 1996, WWF owner Vince McMahon looked up and down the roster of his then-struggling wrestling league and decided that of all of the choices to be the lead on screen bad guy in his company’s soap opera storylines, the most seasoned, prepared and able to deliver at doing the task was himself. For years, McMahon was a ringside commentator, and not known on camera as the chairman of the WWF. In order to install himself as the most villainous character in the company, as if out of the blue, during the company’s Survivor Series event, he ordered that a World Championship match end at an unscheduled time, thus “screwing” Bret Hart, the company’s then long-time and well respected World Champion, out of his championship and awarding it to his opponent Shawn Michaels. The event went on to be known as the “Montreal Screwjob.” When up-and-coming rabble-rousing redneck “Stone Cold” Steve Austin replaced the now departed from WWF Hart as the center of McMahon-as-character’s vitriol, the entertaining shenanigans between the two made Austin a bigger star, and led to the development of WWE’s “Attitude Era” TV ratings and income boom.
Comparatively, occasional political outsider Donald Trump announced his presidential bid in June 2015 — while borrowing a significant amount of McMahon’s bloviating swagger — at a press conference that, “[America] is in serious trouble. We don’t have victories anymore. We used to have victories, but we don’t have them.” Continuing, he said, “We need somebody that can take the brand of the United States and make it great again. It’s not great again. We need — we need somebody — we need somebody that literally will take this country and make it great again. We can do that.”
Continuing, he’s pulled what we’ll call “The American Screwjob” over the past few months by insulting both plus-sized and intelligent American women, Latinos, Asians, Muslims, President Obama, and pretty much anyone anywhere that disagrees with his caustic anti-liberal political stances. While there’s no definable proof if any political “stars” have been made, Ted Cruz did best Trump at Iowa’s Republican Caucus (Trump in a shrewdly executed classic pro wrestling bad-guy move noted that he finished in second after his advisers “told him he wouldn’t do well there,” so he “spent very little [campaign money] there”) and the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and current presidency of Barack Obama have all benefitted from Trump’s extremely right-wing stance.
“The Game” Triple H
In 2002, WWE’s financially gangbusters “Attitude Era” truly drew to a close as net earnings for the company in that year were $2.53 million, a 79% decline from 2001’s $11.93 million total. The Undisputed WWE World Heavyweight Champion for most of 2002 and 2003 was Triple H, the then decade-long wrestling veteran whose gimmick was that he was “The Game,” meaning that he was the absolute best professional wrestler in the world, bar none. Having said gimmick meant that every competitor he faced — from World Championship Wrestling ex-pat muscleheads Goldberg and Scott Steiner to WWE Hall of Fame performer Shawn Michaels, acrobatic legend Rob Van Dam and more all met with humbling defeats. However, it’s his absurd scripted storyline confrontation with Kane, aka a seven-foot tall grappler and storyline “brother” of the legendary Undertaker, where the bounds of good taste most likely associated with an article discussing Donald Trump in 2016 become important.
In the weeks preceding the match between Triple H and Kane, Triple H claimed that teenaged Kane had killed his crush — a high school cheerleader named Katie Vick — in a car accident. As well, he claimed that Kane (the driver), raped her corpse. After threatening to show the damning footage, Triple H instead showed himself, dressed as Kane, simulating necrophilia with a mannequin dressed as “Katie Vick” in a casket.
Comparable to Triple H, Donald Trump is attempting to become the American President at a time wherein America’s far outdistancing WWE’s 2002 profit loss, as the country’s economic debt is currently soaring towards $20 billion. As well, Donald Trump is aiming at being “The Game,” too. If elected, he may not be the best, but rather, as Triple H oftentimes is as well, the most reviled leader in the world. As far as crushing all of his opponents, beating Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic half of Congress and left-leaning liberal American citizens definitely tops defeating a man in a pro wrestling contest best known to the world as “Big Poppa Pump.”
Could President Donald Trump go one lower than WWE and insinuate even worse fallacious sexual improprieties than necrophilia against his political opponents? Given his recent attacks against Hillary Clinton “enabling” her husband Bill’s sexual improprieties while he was President, we shouldn’t be surprised if it isn’t already “scripted” in Trump’s now quite obvious WWE-style playbook to happen.
In conclusion, here’s facts about the three pro wrestling legends we just named.
- “The Million Man” Ted DiBiase was so reviled as a bad guy that when he wrestled “good guys” like “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and lost to them, his losses against them elevated those babyfaces to higher levels of popularity and renown.
- At present, Vince McMahon has returned to WWE television as a bad guy foil for current championship-level good guy performer Roman Reigns in order to try to recapture the box-office drawing power of the Steve Austin/Mr. McMahon feud that dominated the WWF in the late 1990s
- While as a “bad guy,” Triple H’s losses to performers including The Rock, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle, Randy Orton, Dave Bautista, John Cena and more were key in all of those stars reaching another level of stardom that began them along the road to mainstream acclaim.
Is Donald Trump “The Game?” No. But he’s certainly damned good enough at being the quintessential pro wrestling bad guy who can kick off America’s eventual “good guy comeback” of “being great again.”
Marcus K. Dowling is a Washington, DC native, veteran journalist and entrepreneur with a decade of experience in both industries. As a writer, Marcus’ words have appeared online and in print for a plethora of outlets including VICE, Complex, Mixmag, DJ Mag, the Washington City Paper and many more. As an entrepreneur, he’s had a role in establishing successful global online radio stations, music industry PR and management groups and startup websites. Furthermore his expertise has also allowed him to work alongside Red Bull, Mastercard, Al Jazeera and others, plus be quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Billboard Magazine.