‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin Recalls Donald Trump’s ‘WrestleMania’ Moment, Says He Still Can’t Believe Billionaire Took A Stunner

Given the level of controversial rhetoric in the present election cycle, it’s a safe bet that there are a lot of folks out there who would like to get physical with Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. But WWE’s “Stone Cold” Steve Austin once got the chance to do just that with the blustery billionaire and it’s clear that the memorable WrestleMania highlight is still one of the wrestler’s favorite moments in his noteworthy career.

Rolling Stone Magazine re-published excerpts from Steve Austin’s recent interview in Men’s Journal, in which the former WWE champion fondly recalled his big spot with The Donald at WrestleMania 23. Trump was on hand as part of an angle called “Battle of the Billionaires,” in which he tapped ECW champion Bobby Lashley to go up against Vince McMahon’s monster henchman, Umaga. Stone Cold served as the guest referee in a spirited bout that included a run in by Shane McMahon, as well as a dust-up outside the ring in which Donald Trump took McMahon to the floor, peppering him with punches. Trump’s man, Lashley, ultimately carried the day, earning the real estate mogul the opportunity to shave Vince McMahon bald in the middle of the ring. Donald celebrated briefly with Austin after the bout, but in typical Stone Cold form, he showed the crowd that he wasn’t in anyone’s pocket, taking out Trump with his finisher, the “Stone Cold” Stunner.

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The press event for WrestleMania 23 took place at Trump Tower on March 28, 2007 in New York City. [Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images]
“I showed up in Detroit for that and Vince had talked to me a little bit earlier in the day and said, ‘Hey, I’m going to go see if Donald will take a Stone Cold Stunner,’ ” Austin told Men’s Journal. “I was right there when he asked him. He goes, ‘Hey, Donald, I was wondering if in the end, do you mind taking Steve’s finisher?’ We had to explain to him what a Stone Cold Stunner was and Donald’s right-hand guy … was giving him a million reasons why not to take the Stunner, and what could go wrong, [how] it’s not going to look good.”

Despite the advice of his counsel, Donald Trump ultimately decided to go along with the plan, Austin added. The wrestler said he explained the move to Trump “in about five seconds,” and once they hit the ring, everything went to plan. Trump’s stunner, which capped a wild ride, garnered a huge roar from the WrestleMania faithful.

Asked if he ever thought that the man who took the Stunner at the end of their WrestleMania 23 segment would become President of the United States, Steve Austin replied with a resounding, “Oh, Hell no!”

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WWE chairman Vince McMahon has his head shaved by Donald Trump and Bobby Lashley while being held down by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin after losing a bet in the Battle of the Billionaires at the WrestleMania 23. [Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images]
Nine years later, WrestleMania 32 is on deck with a big card, but it does not seem likely that Donald Trump will be back for this year’s big dance as he is gearing up for the Wisconsin primary on April 5. Although he has dominated the entire GOP field since he announced his campaign last summer, Trump is in a desperate battle against Ted Cruz for the Badger State’s delegates and there are signs that his standing in national polls is eroding by the day.

Vince McMahon will play a part in WrestleMania 32, as he has a stake in a huge match between The Undertaker and his son Shane McMahon. Shane recently returned to WWE after a long absence. Bobby Lashley left WWE soon after the Battle of the Billionaires and has worked in MMA and TNA since then, landing TNA’s world championship twice according to WrestlingINC. Umaga, whose real name was Eddie Fatu, died in 2009 of a heart attack. As noted by CNN, Fatu had been released from WWE prior to his death after the star refused to attend rehab for substance abuse.

Donald Trump was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. In late 2015, a petition was launched via Change.org urging WWE to rescind the honor because of Donald Trump’s comments and behavior on the campaign trail. Over 10,000 people have signed the virtual petition to date.

[Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images]

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