The association between WWE and President Donald Trump, the most wrestling president since Abraham Lincoln, goes back decades. WrestleMania 4 and 5 took place at Trump’s Atlantic City Trump Plaza venue, Trump has been a fictional owner of the company in an on-screen role on Monday Night Raw. WWE owners the McMahons donated heavily to Trump’s campaign, Linda McMahon serves on Trump’s cabinet as head of the Small Business Administration, and Vince McMahon’s newly announced XFL relaunch seems like a response to NFL player kneeling protests that so irked the President in 2017. Trump is a member of WWE’s prestigious Hall of Fame.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin has stunned 46 percent of the people in this photo, including the president. pic.twitter.com/GKkz0cjB5d
— Dan McQuade (@dhm) February 15, 2017
Despite all of this, WWE has recently claimed impartiality in the political arena, keeping any reference to Trump off of last week’s Monday Night Raw 25th anniversary celebration. But casting doubt on WWE’s claims, a new rumor from Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Radio show claims that the return of Trump’s greatest pro wrestling ally is imminent.
At WrestleMania 23, Donald Trump faced off against Vince McMahon in a main event titled Battle of the Billionaires. Both men’s hair was on the line at the match, with the loser agreeing to have his head shaved. But McMahon and Trump didn’t face off in the ring themselves. Each chose a champion to do the fighting for them. For McMahon, Umaga took up the cause of keeping the WWE Chairman’s hair intact, while Trump placed his fate in the hands of Bobby Lashley.
Lashley won the match, giving Trump his grandest victory of all… until the 2016 election.For the past several years, Lashley has been wrestling for WWE competitor Impact Wrestling, but he’s now a free agent, and the current scuttlebutt sees Lashley making a return to WWE sooner rather than later, potentially for a feud against current WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar.
If Lashley does indeed return, how will WWE be able to continue to ignore his most memorable moment? The company will likely be forced to publicly acknowledge its on-screen history with the President of the United States, and any match Lashley takes part in will surely be watched closely by President Trump. Notoriously loyal to his allies (until he needs to throw them under the bus), Trump will likely take a close interest in Lashley’s success. And if Lashley isn’t successful in his matches against Lesnar, how might the President react? Would it be seen as a blow to Trump’s ego for his former champion to lose a match?
These are questions we may soon see answered if the rumors of Lashley’s return are true. It’s unlikely we’ll see Lashley before WrestleMania, so we can expect a few more months of a Trump-free, non-partisan WWE. After that, the company may be forced to choose a side. And is there any question which side they’ll choose?