Friday, June 10, 2016

Was Donald Trump booed at the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame induction for his politics?

Trump Booed at WWE Hall of Fame Induction in Madison Square Garden
Donald Trump had to cut his acceptance speech short Saturday night during his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame after fans booed him at Madison Square Garden. Trump, a real estate mogul and longtime WWE supporter, was one of the five inductees into the prestigious WWE Hall of Fame during Saturday's ceremony. He was the only one to be booed.
Donald Trump's 2013 Hall of Fame speech
The WWE has considerable history with American Politics. Presidential Candidates have appeared in video packages addressing their coveted demographic. The White House also partnering with WWE for 'Get out the Vote' campaigns. Wrestling legend and former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura plotted to leverage WWE's ground game for Ballot access on his idle Presidential bid. Vince's wife and WWE President Linda McMahon mounted an unsuccesful campaign for a Connecticut Senate seat as a Republican.

Considering Wrestling's populist appeal you might think Trump was warmly welcomed at his 2013 WWE Hall of Fame induction. In fact he was booed. It's an unfair sample, the Hall of Fame Celebrity Wing is an absurd concept ripe for ridicule for fickle Wrestling fans. Whilst the ceremony was held in Trump's Liberal hometown New York, it wasn't immediately clear that a clash of politics was behind it.

When TV Guide pondered why Trump was booed at the Hall of Fame event, the handful of commenters offered that it was due to his idiocy. An incredulous charge as the foundation of Wrestling and Reality TV is taking High status idiots seriously. Even if that were the case with charisma being the currency in Wrestling, Trump should've been able to win the crowd over with his rhetoric. As former WWE commentator Jim Ross wrote "Trump is a natural-born communicator, a showman who seamlessly integrated into the WWE lexicon..."

Many sites at the time pondered as to why Trump was booed during their reporting of the event. The comments from 2013 offer a time capsule of the perceptions people had about Trump as a celebrity figure before this newfound gravitas as the Republican nominee.

"You're not even gonna let him [Trump] come out here before you boo him"
- Vince McMahon
WWE Hall of Fame 2013 (April 6th)
New York MetLife Stadium as part of WrestleMania 29

VINCE McMAHON: (2h 37m) There's so many ways I can describe Donald Trump. One that you may not be thinking of... Donald Trump is a Wrestlemania institution. It all started over a quarter of a century ago, it started when Donald hosted Wrestlemania IV at Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino...
When you think about it, second only to me Donald might very well be a great President of the United States
-- pause for a smattering of boos mixed with tepid applause --
Would I be a better President?
-- instant cheers followed by a "YES!" chant --
Donald's gonna find out soon that this is a very partisan crowd.
To show you how Magnanimous I am and how I never carry a grudge, its my distinct honor to introduce you to the newest member of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2013
-- murmur of boos --
You're not even gonna let him come out here before you boo him
-- "No!" chants --
I can assure you Donald Trump knows exactly what he's getting into so Ladies and Gentleman, my friend Donald Trump
-- no reaction as Trump's "Money, money" entrance theme hits. Slight boos as he approaches mic --
"Woah!? Tough, tough people."
- Donald Trump
DONALD TRUMP: Woah! Tough. Tough people. Thank you very much everybody... Now Vince has been trying for the last 6 years to break our PPV record. He's had some great people on but you know what, it's not gonna happen. The same enthusiasm and love you have for me tonight, I feel it. That's why you all came down to watch me get my ass kicked and my head shaved but it didn't happen so we're happy about that.
Now I have to introduce a few you really great people. My son Eric Trump, stand up Eric.
-- boos begin to which Donald nervously laughs --
My daughter and a really big Television star she's become. Ivanka!
-- cheers from the crowd--
Aaaay! Come here, come here Ivanka. Oh finally they like somebody in the Trump family. Well this is Ivanka, we're very proud of Ivanka and she does great on the 'Apprentice'. Do we agree? Aaaaaiee, good. Ivanka you turned the tide, thank you...
This is a major honor... and I consider this my greatest honor of all. I do, I really do. So for Vince, Linda and the whole family I just want to thank you all and I really do love you people. Even the ones that don't like me so much. Have a good time, thank you so much.