As billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump gets closer and closer to being the GOP’s nominee for leader of the free world, now is probably a good time to revisit one of Trump’s greatest feats: that time he clotheslined Vince McMahon, the president of World Wrestling Entertainment, then knelt over him, “beat” him for dramatic effect, and later shaved McMahon’s head.
It was 2007, and the signature rivalry of McMahon’s “Wrestlemania 23” was the so-called “Battle of the Billionaires,” pitting Trump against McMahon. WWE heavily promoted the “rivalry,” and Trump even appeared on a January episode to shower real money over the arena like confetti.
But it was Trump’s appearance on March 5 that really cemented his legacy in professional wrestling.
After tackling McMahon with a forearm “clothesline” move, Trump crawled across the floor to beat on him some more. Later in the show, Trump helped strap McMahon to a chair, then used an electric clipper to shave his head. It was both mesmerizing and gross.
Five years later, in 2012, Trump recalled the money shower scene and said, “I wanted to upstage Vince, and that’s never easy.” But “the fans appreciated Trump more than they appreciated Vince, because I gave them a lotta money.”
But when all the theatrics were over, it was Trump, not McMahon or the fans, who got a lot of money. According to IRS forms, Vince McMahon donated $4 million to Trump’s private foundation, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, the year of Trump’s “Wrestlemania” stunt.
Two years later, McMahon gave Trump’s private foundation another million dollars, when Trump reprised his role on WWE’s “Raw.”
Pretending to “buy” the wrestling franchise from McMahon, who often played the villain, Trump dropped lines that might sound familiar to anyone attending his political rallies today.
“I’m going to do stuff that’s never been done before,” Trump told a wrestling audience in the 2009 skit about his fake ownership of the franchise.
“I’ll really do something that’s never been done before,” Trump told CNN in December, about his very real run for president.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist,
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