Last night on Monday Night Raw, WWE upped Lana's Anti-American rhetoric by having her take personal potshots at U.S. President Barack Obama, in particular the footage that was secretly taken and leaked last week of him working out in a Polish gym. The Ravishing Russian claimed that the United States was led by a man who oozed weakness, dubbed Obama a sissy and a girly man who would be no match for the strong, virile, superior political powerhouse Vladimir Putin, and finished her rant by concluding that he was a flaccid, ineffectual leader. Watch the unpatriotic character assassination below:
As is so often the case with WWE storylines, it's more than just empty words designed to drum up a cheap reaction, instead reflecting some of WWE owner's Vince McMahon's real-life beliefs. Clearly, McMahon dislikes Obama's policies. Why else would he have allowed his wife to erode his own personal fortune in the ultimate long shot of becoming a Republican Senator in his left-leaning home state of Connecticut? Equally, a bodybuilding fanatic who graced the front cover of Muscle and Fitness in his early 60s would find it uproariously funny to see an enemy of his lifting such light weights in a geeky fashion.
Indeed, Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio thought the angle was pretty tacky and a mean-spirited way for McMahon to vent his anger at the President:
"The Obama thing, I mean that's Vince's thing with Obama. I just don't know. It kind of bugged me in a way, you know what I mean? Because it was not [subtle], like just the mentality behind it and everything, with Vince being so mad at Obama, it shouldn't have been so transparent.... With the weights and everything, Vince's mentality of in-shape and somebody else's, you know what I mean...? If Obama at his age, if he's going to train, it's probably for stamina as opposed to weights and overdoing it. I just felt that making fun of that was bullshit."
McMahon's suspicion of government, of course, dates back to being tried by Federal prosecutors for a conspiracy to illegally distribute steroids to his wrestlers in 1994. That loathing only worsened when WWE's Wellness Program was investigated in late 2007 by the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform after the Chris Benoit double murder suicide. Even though the investigation had cross-party support, McMahon personally blamed the committee's Democratic Chairman Henry Waxman for the intrusion and didn't enjoy the subsequent ticking off the company was given.
Barack Obama played no part in the public scrutiny of WWE at the time, but given that he was in the same party as Waxman, he was tarred with the same brush. Soon after he became President, McMahon would sometimes cut promos on Obama in creative meetings, blaming him for the collapse of the U.S. economy, even though the banking crisis that had caused the business crash had happened before he assumed office.
Around the same time, Linda McMahon began her ill-fated political career that saw her blow $100 million on two unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaigns. Inevitably both her Democratic opponents, Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, attacked her time as WWE CEO, including the company's terrible track record on substance abuse, the culture of death within the wrestling industry, their arguably erroneous classification of wrestlers as independent contractors rather than employees, and even their tax history. I'm sure Vince McMahon despised every minute of it, especially having to stand faithfully in the background, whilst privately fuming, as his wife Linda had to graciously concede defeat again after another electoral hammering.
Although there was plenty of people for Vince to be pissed with at that poor showing, Barack Obama would be up there, as he did a political ad putting over how much he needed Chris Murphy as a partner in the U.S. Senate and hoped that Connecticut would support him, when the race looked a lot closer than it ended up being. Clearly, Vince hasn't forgiven or forgotten Obama for that last minute intervention.