The biggest wrestling company in the world and the leader of the United States rarely crossed paths, but the few times they collided, it was pretty insane. From impersonators to the real deal, here’s nine times candidates for Commander in Chief met World Wrestling Entertainment!
Election Day is just around the corner, and millions of Americans will head to the polls to determine whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be our next President come January. While you’ve probably seen them on every news network and social media feed, there are some areas you expect to see shy away from showcasing politicans; like pro wrestling shows for example. In fact, Cheap Popcast, our Patreon-exlusive pro wrestling podcast, is (usually) Laser Time’s least political show, with the exception of this week’s episode where we discussed the very topic of this article.
Over the last two decades, WWE has made great strides to become more than just guys and gals fighting in their skivvies; they aim to make social commentary every so often. In fact, on multiple occasions, the WWE brought on Presidents, Presidential candidates, and (most often) political impersonators to capture the zeitgiest of the election season. In fact, both the Democratic and Republican candidates have appeared in person on WWE programming! With that in mind, we’ve collected the most outlandish instances of the WWE and politics crossing paths.
9 – Hogan for President
While WWE was eschewing politics during the Attitude Era (save an appearance by alleged Bill Clinton mistress Gennifer Flowers to interview The Rock), the ever-growing ego of “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan manifested itself in an ever-so-brief candidacy announcement. Like most WCW storylines of that era, however, it quickly fizzled into nothingness.
8 – TNA Meets “The Governor”
Even if they lacked the brand name of WWE, TNA Wrestling also got into the political spirit a decade later. In 2008, TNA debuted a wrestling character named “The Governor,” who had mannerisms and looked a tad like recent Vice-Presidential loser Sarah Palin. In true TNA fashion, it was too late, as former WCW women’s wrestler Daffney only STARTED imitating Palin a month after the election concluded. Never stop TNA-ing, TNA.
7 – Barack Obama(‘s Impersonator) Does The Spinaroonie
WWE seems to make most of its political jokes when the wrestling organization travels through Washington D.C. This was the case in June of 2011, when the Pay-Per-View Capitol Punishment took place in our nation’s capital. Beyond the gaudy-as-hell event poster that resembled a political cartoon and showcased future presidents Barack Obama and John Cena, an Obama impersonator appeared on the show for an extended period.
Like most WWE presidential dopplegangers, the not-good-enough-for-Saturday Night Live Obama impersonator came to the PPV to briefly talk to a disinterested crowd, but this Obama did earn some support when he reenacted Booker T’s patented “Spinaroonie” dance move.
6 – George W. Bush Meets Cryme Tyme
GWB was ignored for most of his presidency by the WWE; whether it was a tendency to stay out of politics in the first few post-911 years or an attempt by Linda McMahon to play it safe before her eventual Reblican Senate candidacy, GWB was usually out of WWE’s crosshairs, save one time when he was impersonated on WWE Raw.
In the weeks following Hurricane Katrina’s devastating effect on New Orleans in 2005, Kanye West’s comments about George W. Bush’s race relations were a hot topic, so WWE had the tag team Cryme Tyme (a team of two African-American wrestlers who often stole items from other wrestlers), which started with GWB declaring his love for the fan favorite tag team before accusing them of theivery.
Candidate impersonators fight in the ring and real-life appearances from our current and likely next President await you on the next page!