I tweeted early last fall that Trump was cutting Ric Flair promos. Lambert at NakedCapitalism noticed back in the winter that Trump was strategically breaking political kayfabe. Since then, I’ve been collecting tweets, stories, and anecdotes on Trump’s appropriation of wrestling, with an aim to write a big thing about it.
Alas, the project got way too big for me and I dithered too long; everyone gets it now and people much better and industrious have already written about it. Still, though I haven’t been following the news (or been on Twitter) since Bernie got cheated, I always look for relevant stuff on the Trump-wrestling connection on youtube.
Here’s one of my 1980s childhood favorites from Memphis CWA Wrestling, Dirty Dutch Mantell (aka WWE’s Zeb Colter, an anti-immigration, Vietnam War veteran, super-patriotic character) telling an interviewer his Trump story (at about 7m45s):
At Wrestlemania 29 I went out and did [my] promo…”We The People,” and [Trump] was there….he was in the [owner’s?] box. So later on I went back [to] sit in the viewing area, and [Trump] walked up to me – I saw him walk in with his two sons and Ivanka, his daughter – beautiful girl – and anyway, he saw me and he came over and he [extended his hand] and he said, “fantastic! fantastic. I loved your interview.” And then he walked away. But what he did [is] he watched it and he basically took “We The People” and is using it today…he just stole the gimmick. Gimmick infringement – a big case of it. Did you hear my name mentioned [in Cleveland at the RNC]? Noooo. He should have let me do the Ted Cruz [role], I would have endorsed him – I’m mad at him but I still would have endorsed him.