Pro Wrestling

POLL: WWE and Donald Trump – A Hall of Fame Problem

WWE’s Hall of Fame is a revered institution among wrestling fans. With WWE controlling most of wrestling’s recorded history at this point, it is a place where the greatest wrestlers ever can be enshrined and honored, and the induction ceremony is an exciting and integral part of WrestleMania weekend every year. Over the years, the WWE Hall of Fame has inducted a laundry list of legends, and to be named to the Hall is considered one of the greatest accomplishments in the wrestling busineses.

WWE’s Hall of Fame is a joke that has no physical location and is made up of whomever Vince McMahon thinks is worthy. Sure, he’s recognized great wrestlers, but he’s also set aside spots for his personal cronies and yes-men, shut out those who he had a beef with until they came crawling back to beg forgiveness, and pandered shamelessly to celebrities who barely had anything to do with WWE, in exchange for potential mainstream publicity. And most recently, WWE has shown that a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame can be fleeting, if there’s a chance that you do something that could potentially cause public embarrassment to the company through association.

Amazingly, both the previous paragraphs are true. And that’s why WWE finds itself at a crossroads with their Hall of Fame, as it relates to one of their strongest supporters and one of the most recognizable public figures in the world right now, Donald Trump.

Only one person in history has ever been removed from a sports Hall of Fame, when the National Hockey League bowed to pressure from multiple sources and removed Alan Eagleson, who was convicted on multiple charges of fraud and embezzlement related to his job as head of the NHL Player’s union. Meanwhile, in the past year, WWE has, at least temporarily, removed two people: “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka and Hulk Hogan. Snuka was removed once it was announced that he was going to be arrested and tried for his role in the death of his girlfriend in the 80s (it should be noted that the trial has not yet begun and Snuka has not been convicted on any charge anything as of yet). Hogan, meanwhile, was under massive public scrutiny for racist remarks made during a sex tape that was released to the public (which Hogan did not know was being made). The important thing is that WWE has created a precedent for their Hall of Fame which clearly shows that an inductee can be removed, and that they are more than willing to follow through on that precedent, no matter who that inductee might be.

Which brings us to Donald Trump, who was recently inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame for his involvement in the company over the past three decades. Trump Plaza provided the location for both WrestleMania IV and V, and Trump himself was part of one of the most-watched WrestleManias in history, when he managed Bobby Lashley against the Vince McMahon-sponsored Umaga at WrestleMania 23. Trump is also currently campaigning to become the Republican candidate for the President of the United States. Over the course of his campaign, Trump has made a series of blatantly hateful remarks about people of other races, genders, and religions, just to start. He made these statements knowing that they were being recorded and made available to the general public. By the metrics that WWE itself has established, the only course of action that makes sense is to remove Donald Trump from the so-called “Celebrity Wing” of their Hall of Fame.

Through his many words and actions, Donald Trump has shown himself to be a terrible human being. However, Trump is somehow still receiving massive support for his Presidential campaign, something that should make you weep for the future of our species, but something which also makes it far more unlikely that the publicity-obsessed WWE would actually take a stand against a potentially massive political ally. But by making themselves the gatekeepers of preserving the alleged dignity of their Hall of Fame, by showing that a WWE Hall of Fame induction can be revoked for any justifiable reason, WWE has put themselves in an awkward position. By their own actions in the very recent past, they should definitely removed Donald Trump from their Hall of Fame. But at the same time, a significant percentage of the population still, for some reason, supports Trump’s words and actions, and WWE taking such a strong stand could expose them to a public relations nightmare.

So, here’s where you get to have your say:

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle is an avid wrestling and film fan. He's been writing about WWE, movies, and video games for Goliath since 2015.