The political arguments run rampant on Facebook. The debates over walls, immigration and female body parts spill into coffee shops and office break rooms. Your list of Facebook friends has probably dwindled as you emotionally un-friend those folks who rant about issues on which you disagree.
But if there’s one fact not of the alternative variety when it comes to the political landscape we currently find ourselves engulfed in, it’s this: President Donald J. Trump was on the receiving end of the most horribly botched Stunner in wrestling history.
For those new to the game, the Stunner is the most recognizable finishing move in World Wrestling Entertainment, delivered by one of the most popular figures of all time, Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Deadspin.com called the Stunner the most important wrestling move of all time, and Vince McMahon and the WWE somehow convinced Mr. Apprentice, future President of the United States Donald Trump to get his face smashed in by Stone Cold’s shoulder.
And he blew it.
Let’s dissect that faithful night in American history.
Setting the scene:
April 1, 2007. With the attraction to WWE in a slight decline, chairman and CEO Vince McMahon began utilizing celebrities and former wrestling superstars to draw attention back to the sport.
The Wrestlemania 23 marquee read “Battle of the Billionaires,” as McMahon and Trump talked smack and stood in the corners of wrestlers they chose to fight in the match. For McMahon, it was Intercontinental Champion Umaga. For Trump, it was ECW Champion and rising star Bobby Lashley.
The two added bonuses: Stone Cold was the special guest referee, and whichever billionaire won the match got to shave the other billionaire’s head. The intrigue of DT shaving that luscious wave from the top of his noggin brought 80,000 maniacs to Ford Field in Detroit, the second-highest Wrestlemania attendance in history at the time.
If you’ve ever watched a WWE main event, specifically a Wrestlemania main event, you understand that the poo eventually hits the proverbial fan.
Stone Cold was knocked out for several minutes thanks to some blows from Umaga. McMahon’s son Shane, executive vice president of WWE Global Media at the time, stepped in as replacement referee but clearly favored his father’s side of the fight.
Umaga nearly pinned Lashley before Stone Cold came to, delivered the first Stunner of the night to Shane McMahon’s face and saved the day. Stunner number two came on Umaga — repercussions for earlier foul play — and Lashley turned around and won the match.
Lashley and Trump pinned CEO McMahon to a chair in the center of the ring. Trump clenched an electric razor and buzzed McMahon’s hair down to the nubs as Stone Cold wiped the shaving cream from McMahon’s head with the CEO’s tie. A dazed, frazzled and bald McMahon eventually left the ring.
Stone Cold celebrated the only way he knew how, with middle fingers and a couple of cold cans of Steveweiser. Trump gave his lower-lip-poke-and-nod seal of approval, and Stone Cold went in for a congratulatory cheers.
The classic Steve Austin bait and stun.
A kick to the gut followed, and Stone Cold Steve Austin delivered the most devastating move in history to Donald freaking Trump.
But Trump blew it. He bent over before the kick was delivered, didn’t absorb the blow to the chin and fell over before the move was even complete. If Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was the Tom Brady of selling a Stunner, Donald Trump was the Johnny Manziel.
It was worse than the time Stone Cold stunned McMahon’s 57-year-old wife, Linda. Yes, nobody is safe from the Stunner.
I’ll give it to the Prez, though. On his popular podcast “The Steve Austin Show,” Stone Cold said Trump was fully on board with the Stunner. McMahon pitched the idea, and Trump’s people weren’t feeling it at all.
“You think it’d be a good thing?” Trump asked. “You think it’ll help? OK, I’ll do it.”
He was a team player. The Wrestlemania 23 ratings were through the roof, and a Stunner to Donald Trump was the catalyst.
So here we are, 10 years later. Trump is the only Oval Office occupant to ever have received a Stone Cold Stunner. Impressive.
But he’s also the only president to utterly botch a Stone Cold Stunner, and we mustn’t forget that.