The WWE has taken a decidedly political turn after Vince McMahon took aim at President Barack Obama in a Monday Night Raw rant delivered by diva Lana.
McMahon has been vocal in the past with his criticism of Obama, using wrestling scripts to take digs at the president. That was the case again this week when the Ravishing Russian made fun of a video showing Obama working out in a Polish gym. The diva accused Obama of being weak, calling him a sissy and girly man.
Lana also said Obama would be no match for Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Wrestling insiders saw the script as a dig directly from Vince McMahon, who has not been shy in criticizing the president. The WWE boss has used other wrestlers to criticize Obama, including making fun of the president taking a “selfie” with European leaders last year.
Vince McMahon has been active in politics in the past, using the fortune he generated through the WWE to fund his wife Linda’s Senate run in Connecticut. Linda made two campaigns that cost the family a combined $100 million, but lost both races.
Some believe Vince still harbors bad feelings toward Obama for intervening in one of the races. The president did a political ad for Linda’s opponent, Chris Murphy, and helped push the race away from McMahon.
McMahon also has a general distaste for the federal government, which in 1994 brought him to trial for a conspiracy to distribute steroids to wrestlers. Later, the WWE was subject to a Congressional investigation following the murder-suicide of Chris Benoit.
But many wrestling fans found it tacky for McMahon to inject his own political views in the WWE. Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio noted:
“The Obama thing, I mean that’s Vince’s thing with Obama. I just don’t know. It kind of bugged me in a way, you know what I mean? Because it was not [subtle], like just the mentality behind it and everything, with Vince being so mad at Obama, it shouldn’t have been so transparent.”
The Obama criticism came after a string of bad WWE news for Vince McMahon. A shaky start to the WWE Network combined with a sinking stock price led McMahon to lose $842 million in net worth since Wrestlemania 30.
There have also been rumblings that WWE shareholders are growing tired of Vince McMahon and could be planning a coup to replace him as president. His strange obsession with using his wrestling platform to criticize President Obama won’t help at all, insiders say.