It took a while, and the manner in which they’ve done it is pretty low-key, but WWE has acknowledged the fact that Hall of Famer Donald Trump was elected President of the United States last week on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
The company updated his profile page on their website to include his victory in the Electoral College and the job he’ll assume on Jan. 20, 2017. The references to Trump’s political career and achievements have been highlighted by this writer:
He’s a captivating billionaire who has gone into battle in both the boardroom and the squared circle with equal aggression. He’s a pop culture icon who has seen his self-satisfied smirk on hit TV programs, major talk shows and countless magazine covers. Most of all, he’s an outspoken alpha male who gets his greatest pleasure from uttering two words: “You’re fired!”
And no, we’re not talking about Mr. McMahon.
Donald J. Trump, the most famous businessman in America-turned-U.S. President-elect, has been recognized as an innovator in the worlds of real estate and reality television. And how could you miss him? The Donald’s surname — now synonymous with wealth and power — has been emblazoned in giant gold letters across skyscrapers and high-rises in the biggest cities in the world. But Trump has also been making a consistent impact on WWE since the days when Andre the Giant was still king.
The Donald’s Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, N.J., hosted both WrestleMania IV and WrestleMania V — the only venue to present The Show of Shows two years in a row. Since those unforgettable nights, Trump has remained a familiar face in the front row of WWE events, but it wasn’t until 2007 that the billionaire got in on the action.
In January of that year, The Donald interrupted Mr. McMahon’s “Fan Appreciation Night” on Raw and dropped tens of thousands of dollars from the rafters of the arena onto the WWE fans below. Red-faced that a rival would steal the spotlight from him, Mr. McMahon challenged Trump to a “Battle of the Billionaires” at WrestleMania 23 with the stipulation that the loser of the bout would have their his head shaved bald.
A record number of viewers tuned in to watch The Donald back Bobby Lashley to victory over Mr. McMahon’s Umaga and subsequently shave the WWE Chairman’s signature mane in the center of the ring.
The business magnates locked horns again in June 2009 when Trump purchased Monday Night Raw and immediately announced that next week’s show would air commercial-free and that every WWE fan that who purchased a ticket would be given a full refund. The trademark Trump PR public relations flourish nearly made Mr. McMahon’s head explode and forced him to buy his show back from The Donald for twice the price.
Following this on-screen rivalry with WWE's Chairman, Trump focused beyond his ever-expanding real estate empire and Emmy-nominated reality television show “The Apprentice,” embracing the world of American politics. In November 2016, Trump culminated his campaign against key contender Hillary Clinton and was elected into office as the 45th President of the United States — the first time in history a WWE Hall of Famer would ever hold the distinguishing title of U.S. Commander-in-Chief.
The changes are notable in their subtlety from a company who is usually anxious to tout every accomplishment from a celebrity with whom they’re associated. That’s almost certainly recognition on their part that drawing attention to an election which has generated strong positive and negative responses from around the world would anger as many customers as it would excite.
What’s really interesting is the mention of this being “the first time” a WWE Hall of Famer’s been elected President.
Do they smell what candidate Rock might be cooking?