WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of former WWE CEO Linda McMahon to head the Small Business Administration is the result of a long relationship with the professional wrestling executive which not only includes business, but the kind of outrageous antics associated with the televised sport for the last 30 years.
From hosting the legendary Wrestlemania IV and V events at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City and getting ‘stunned’ by Cold Stone Steve Austin, to shaving the head of WWE CEO Vince McMahon (Linda’s husband) on in a “Battle of the Billionaires” ringside, Trump’s own penchant for political theater and ‘yuge’ entertainment seems like a match made in heaven — or at least for reality TV.
He was even given his own place in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.
In one staged incident, Trump claimed he bought “Monday Night RAW” from the Connecticut-based WWE (formerly World Wrestling Federation) empire built by the McMahons. It turned out to be an elaborate hoax but the company’s stocks reportedly fell nevertheless, proving that some publicity stunts can have the opposite effect.
Nevertheless, it would seem that after years of trying (Linda McMahon lost two bids for U.S. Senate) to meld two ancient coliseum sports — politics and professional wrestling — together in one spectacular triumph, Trump has done it. Whether Trump’s press conferences with world and congressional leaders will be staged like the infamous “Piper’s Pit” of the golden WWF days, remains to be seen.