Do politics and wrestling go hand in hand? Well, it appears that way if an individual watches a lot of cable news, where Republicans and Democrats fill in for faces and heels, depending on whether one is a bigger fan of Fox News or MSNBC. However, the comings and goings on in American politics can have global ramifications that potentially impact the lives of the entire human race, as opposed to wrestling, where events are basically imaginary and meaningfully alter the lives of almost no one. So it’s best that the low-stakes world of pro wrestling crosses over into the high-stakes realm of politics as little as possible.
Still, let’s say it’s opposite day. Of all the countless performers known for their accomplishments inside the squared circle, who among them would be best equipped to run for office? And not even necessarily for president - they could run for senate, or town treasurer or city council in one of those local elections everyone forgets to vote in despite their far greater immediate relevance to their communities.
Wrestling and politics crossovers aren’t unprecedented, of course. Jesse Ventura did okay as governor of Minnesota and now he's a well known a celebrity commentator/pundit. Linda McMahon wanted to be Connecticut’s US Senator, but her campaign was a catastrophic embarrassment that forced WWE to go PG in an act of self-flagellation. “We are so sorry that I ran for senate, that we’re taking all the blood and cursing out of our show, so no one will watch it, because we obviously can’t be trusted with money, we the McMahons,” said Linda, in a historic press conference after her shameful loss.
So now, let’s take a gander at wrestling people who could potentially do a little better than Linda McMahon at politics. We deliberately left John Bradshaw Layfield off this list, because expertise at acquiring and enhancing one’s own wealth should not qualify one for public office and we’ll never forgive him for that ugly episode with the Blue Meanie.
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15 The Rock
Never underestimate the value of likability in politics. Who wouldn’t vote for The Rock? Everybody loves The Rock. Not only is he one of the most beloved wrestlers in the history of ever and ever, he’s also one of the highest paid movie stars, even though the criminally misunderstood and under-appreciated Southland Tales is by far the best movie he’s ever starred in.
Many Americans are confused as to how The Rock was one of the first in the nation who knew Osama Bin Laden was dead. They're unaware of President Obama’s triple-classified secret plan to fly The Rock into Pakistan, where he promptly found Bin Laden and effortlessly snapped him in half like a celery stick, with plenty of time left over to fly back to the US in time to tape Monday Night Raw. The Rock killed Bin Laden with his bare hands. The Rock loves America.
14 Mick Foley
On the same note, you ever notice how Mick Foley seems to make BFFs with virtually everyone he meets? That, or everyone Foley meets later claims to be close friends with the onetime Mankind, because Mick Foley’s friend is an impressive thing to be? As likable as Foley is all by himself, if he put on his Santa costume and ran for office, absolutely everyone would be hypnotized by the overwhelmingly adorable “Aw, shucks”-ishness of it all and line up at voting booths like zombies to vote Foley. Mick Foley is the real Santa Claus and Santa Claus should be in charge of the government.
Making the transition from wrestling to politics requires no small amount of professional versatility. So it follows that Diamond Dallas Page - who started his wrestling career as a manager, morphed into an in-ring performer, and currently works as a yogi - might be better equipped than most to switch specializations at a relatively late point in his career. Though the unnerving quality of his giant, exaggerated grin once helped him get over as a heel, Page’s leathery skin, bug eyes, and gargantuan teeth actually makes him look naturally slightly less menacing than most politically ambitions individuals.
12 Alberto Del Rio
Reality television show host and giant cyst in a toupee Donald Trump has gained much traction in the ongoing presidential primary race by promising to deport all Mexicans or people who look like Mexicans, as well as all Muslims and all individuals who could be mistaken for Muslim. If Trump picked Alberto Del Rio as a running mate and Del Rio stayed in kayfabe throughout his candidacy and tenure as the vice president, he could take Trump’s insanely attractive platform of Kicking People Out to the next level by promising to deport all the white people, black people, and other races in America. Together, Trump and Del Rio could bring about the fruition of the Founding Fathers’ dream of an empty nation where no one is allowed to live. George Washington would be an Alberto Del Rio fan, that's for sure.
Glenn Jacobs is an outspoken libertarian. Most of the time, libertarians aren’t inclined to vote because they believe government is fundamentally useless no matter who is in charge and the importance they place on individualism makes them disinclined to organize anything akin to a collective action or message. So they’re not much good for anything except reciting their philosophy and views on the internet. Jacobs could buck this trend by becoming a libertarian politician who does nothing except restate his libertarian values on the internet where like-minded readers can agree with him - and occasionally chokeslam someone. Kane is a chokeslammin’ libertarian who hates taxes.
10 Bob Backlund
Bob Backlund has never eaten marijuana, never swore in front of his children, smoked a cigarette, or engaged in physical sexual intimacy with anyone other than his wife. In the year 2000, John B. Larson defeated Backlund for a seat in the Connecticut State Senate, however the election ended controversially, as Backlund’s manager Arnold Skaaland threw in the towel while Larson held Backlund in the dreaded camel clutch. Sadly, Skaaland ceased to be among the living as of 2007, but the bright side of his passing is should Backlund run for office again, no one would be able to throw in the towel on Backlund's behalf when he inevitably finds himself trapped in yet another camel clutch. Bob Backlund will escape from the camel clutch, someday.
9 Vince Russo
Much is uncertain when it comes to Vince Russo. Is he a creative genius who engineered the virtually sacrosanct Attitude Era of the WWE, or is he a clever BSer who’s good at accepting credit for stuff that maaaybe he wasn’t vital to thinking up or implementing? The truth may lie somewhere in the middle, but what’s germane to this list is much of the same can be said about likely future President of the United States Hillary Clinton. Is she a tirelessly hardworking politician who, despite layers upon layers of institutionalized sexism in American politics, rose to prominence and will be remembered historically as an even better president than her husband? Or is she the frickin’ Antichrist? Maybe neither of these things are true. Maybe both of them are true! But if there’s anything that can be said about Vince Russo or Hillary Clinton, someone has already said it, whether or not it's true. In politics, ambiguity is great.
8 Stephanie McMahon
Linda McMahon ran and lost a bid to become one of Connecticut’s U.S. Senators. Mostly, this was due to Connecticut voters assessing correctly that Linda McMahon would make a crummy senator. The Billion Dollar Princess would probably make an equally worthless senator - but that doesn’t mean she isn’t far more electable than her mom. Stephanie McMahon wasn’t even in her 20s yet when her dad almost went to prison for forcing The Ultimate Warrior to do steroids. Her age distances her from all kinds of nasty baggage her mom’s opponents used to shut down the McMahon family’s political ambitions. Plus, during her feud with Daniel Bryan, Steph demonstrated her unquenchable hated for vegans and people who worked their way up from the bottom, which should endear her to Connecticut republicans.
7 The Insane Clown Posse
Some have speculated that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is actually a front perpetrated by Trump and Hillary Clinton to humiliate and divide the Republican Party, guaranteeing the 2016 election will go to the Democratic nominee - presumably Clinton. While TheSportster doubts this theory (we have no idea how a new Clinton administration would benefit Trump), wouldn’t a similar plan work even better if either member of the ICP ran for office on a conservative ticket? The band made their unexpected religious affiliation clear with 2009’s “Miracles,” and if Democrats want to make Republicans look even crazier and stupider than they do by themselves, all they would need are six magic word - “F@#$%ing magnets - how do they work?”
We don’t really have a good reason why Sabu should enter politics, but we’d kind of like to see him switch to a safer career. Dude’s totally still at it after 20 plus years and when he’s not on the cusp of getting legit killed in the ring, he’s getting buried by indie promoters and having to spend time denying their stories. As an individual widely known for in-ring violent behavior and out-of-the-ring drug use, his ascendancy to political influence would be the greatest overcoming adversity story in the history of America. Failing that, maybe WWE could give him an outside consultant job wherein he’d pull a tidy salary by staying home and talking to someone on the phone every once in awhile. That would work too!
5 The New Day
We might not have the best understanding of what goes into the daily lives of public servants here at TheSportster. But we know for sure that they’ve got to make a lot of speeches. Big E Langston, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods have established that they can do a speech, or a “promo,” as it’s referred to in wrestling parlance, for a solid 17 minutes. Plus there are three of them, which means they could hold three public offices at once, which is two more than they would be able to hold if they were only one person.
The only WWE faction capable of matching such a feat is The Wyatt Family and they are too bad at taking baths to be good politicians. The New Day take plenty of showers and use lots of deodorant, and other products that make them smell nice, which The Wyatt Family does not.
4 Paul Heyman
Apparently we’re not the first website to wonder what would’ve happened if the former Voice of the Voice of the Voiceless had entered politics instead of wrestling, nor are we the first to think it might be a field to which Heyman may have an innate aptitude. Assuming he is, as facetoheel assumes, left-leaning as far as his political ideas, the Democratic party is currently in need of a really loud, sort of crass guy to help counterbalance plethora of loud, sort of crass guys on the other side of the proverbial aisle.
3 "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
Back in 2014, the mainstream media noticed that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin endorsed same-sex marriage on a podcast recorded months prior. About a year later, the U.S. Supreme Court declared all bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Is it a coincidence that marriage equality became the law of the land after SCSA said he was all for it? No, it isn’t. Homophobes everywhere realized that if they kept trying to deny equal rights to their fellow Americans, they’d face the wrath of the Stone Cold Stunner. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin destroyed homophobia forever.
2 Jim Cornette
Although Joey Styles was a better announcer than Jim Cornette gives him credit for, Cornette was correct when he pointed out that Styles sounds like an idiot when he talks about President Obama and doesn’t know what “Marxist” means. Cornette is an atheist. Remember back when we were stupid children who thought wrestling was "real" and we had one friend who kept telling us it was “fake” and we just screamed and screamed and told him to shut up, until years later when we realized he was right all along? Religious people are like how we used to be, except their pro wrestling is God, and atheists are the smarmy friend they’ll be apologizing to in seven years if Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye use science to prove God never existed.
1 Val Venis
According to the Drug Policy Alliance, 1.5 millions Americans were arrested for nonviolent drug offenses in 2014 and, in 2010, more than half of all drug arrests were for possession of small quantities of marijuana. Wouldn’t it save everybody a lot of money and/or energy and/or time in prison if we just made marijuana legal and let all of those people out of prison right now? Since his wrestling career has wound down a wee bit, Sean Morley’s devoted his energy to legalization advocacy. If anybody from the pro wrestling world is suited to help shut down the pointless and miserably failed War on Drugs and put a dent or two in the Prison Industrial Complex, it would seem to be The Big Valbowski.
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