During the latest edition of his Grilling JR podcast, AEW analyst Jim Ross spoke about the angle between WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and former United States President Donald Trump from WrestleMania 23.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
Jim Ross on the Vince McMahon and Donald Trump storyline at WrestleMania 23: “It turned out, as you said, amazingly well financially, attendance-wise, all those measurables. But it didn’t look like it had a lot of momentum jumping out of the box. It’s still WrestleMania, and I’m a big believer that WrestleMania – that word just exudes must-see. To have Trump there and Vince and the hair thing and all those issues, I thought it was gonna be big, but I didn’t know it was gonna be as big as we did it. And it certainly didn’t start off big.”
On Trump’s investment in the angle: “I was not a big fan of Trump’s presidency and I’m not gonna start talking about politics or religion, but [at the time], he had his TV show and he found a way into newspapers and the gossip columns and all these things readily. He was tremendous about self-promoting and he knew he was gonna go “over.” So, he was all over the place. I often wonder knowing his personality – of course, it was never a consideration he was gonna lose his hair, which still remains a mystery to mankind. What is that hair? How does that work? Where does it part? Where does it stop and start? But Trump was the key element in that whole deal. I know Vince paid him very well, it was way north of seven figures to be a part of the process. I think Trump got a package deal because he came on Raw a lot. I know I had a talk with Trump that night in Green Bay and his dorky kids around him. But he was invested in this deal. Here’s the thing about Trump, he didn’t want to look bad. He didn’t want to be perceived as a goof. He committed to it, which I was impressed with. To say that we would have had as successful a pay-per-view without Trump would be misleading.”
On what Trump was like backstage and Trump’s interest in the divas: “I don’t know if he’s a perfectionist, but he’s going to protect his image. I had several conversations with him and he kind of relied on me to translate some of the wrestling speak which I did the best I could. He seemed to me to be more interested in the divas than anything else on the show. ‘Who’s she? What’s that one?’ That kind of thing. But I can’t say that’s a mistake, he’s a healthy red-blooded American man and maybe sometimes his little head thinks for his big head. Hell, I don’t know. He was okay. He was protective, in that respect. His son, I can’t remember which one it was, was really scary, dorky. His facial expressions, like he was a secret service guy and he couldn’t beat his way out of a paper bag. But nonetheless, I didn’t have any real issues with Trump. I had more issues with him as president than I did as a performer at WrestleMania 23. He was okay, he was in a new land and he was not used to being in a new land. He’s used to being the emperor of the new land and he was in a different world. He was in Vince’s world, and he adapted and we did well.”