Longtime WWE announcer Jim Ross apparently thinks that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin inspired President Trump, particularly in connection with the “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) campaign slogan emblazoned on the famous baseball caps.
Ross put forth this theory in a recent interview with Clay Travis on the Fox Sports Radio network.
President Trump is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame, class of 2013. He hosted Wrestlemania IV and V at the now defunct Trump Plaza in in Atlantic City in the late 1980s. Trump also played a key role in the so-called battle of the billionaires feud at Wrestlemania 23 in 2007, which culminated in WWE boss Vince McMahon getting his head shaved by Trump and guest referee Austin in the middle of the ring. See video clip below.
During the Fox Sports Radio interview, Ross explained that while he is not a fan of the Trump presidency (and never expected the former New York City real estate mogul to wind up as president), the future POTUS was very nice and polite to him through their WWE interactions. JR added that he thought that Trump wanted to be accepted by the wrestlers in the locker room as “one of the boys,” but felt out of place there. He likened it to the English teacher substituting for the cool football coach as the study hall monitor.
Donald Trump never really paid attention to WWE storylines, but he developed a great chemistry with Vince McMahon during the times he was around for a TV taping, Ross continued. Plus, Trump was inspired by both men, he claimed.
“I think McMahon influenced Donald a great deal. I think ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin identifying with the common man by wearing his baseball cap on television back in the day when other guys weren’t doing it, and it identifies with rednecks and especially us southerners, as were stereotyped—baseball caps were part of our wardrobe…Austin’s cap, I think, is where Trump got the idea of those red caps that said ‘let’s make America great,’ because he believed it identified with the common guy. And to a certain degree it does. But it’s kind of conflicting when you’re wearing probably a $10,000 suit and a red ball cap.”
Parenthetically, former WWE wrestler Virgil in 2015 claimed credit for Donald Trump’s brash persona, swagger, and self-confidence, noting that the former real estate mogul picked his brain for tips on showmanship.
In a January 2017 interview before Trump was sworn in as president, Jim Ross commented that he thought The Donald was a “unique cat,” and an egocentric workaholic such “that he won’t allow the nation to experience decline” while he is in office, ABC15 in Phoenix reported.
Vince’s wife, former WWE CEO Linda McMahon, is now the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Donald Trump says he came up with the MAGA catchphrase the day after the 2012 president election when he was thinking about branding a possible future White House bid. He promptly applied for a trademark, which became effective on July 14, 2015. To Trump, it was more than just a political fundraising and advertising slogan on a cap, he told the Washington Post. “It actually inspired me, because to me, it meant jobs. It meant industry, and meant military strength. It meant taking care of our veterans. It meant so much.”
Although Democrats like Bill Clinton have criticized the Donald Trump MAGA slogan as an alleged racially charged dog whistle, Bill Clinton himself used the same phrase in 1991 and 1992 campaign events, the Washington Times recalled.
Ex-WWE star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has also talked about running for president, but it’s difficult to believe that he would abandon his acting career now at the peak of his fame.
Do you think that it is plausible that Steve Austin inspired Donald Trump and the MAGA movement?
[Featured Image by Carlos Osorio/AP Images]