Long before he was inaugurated as the President of the United States, Donald Trump was a simple billionaire.
Back in 2007, the real estate mogul made a surprise appearance in the WWE – and became a big part of one of the most iconic moments in wrestling history.
Billed as a ‘Battle of the Billionaires’ Trump was pitted against WWE chief Vince McMahon.
Their long-running feud came to a head at WrestleMania 23 – Umaga was to represent McMahon and ECW Champion Bobby Lashley was in for Trump.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin was acting as a guest referee.
After a match in which Austin helped Lashley win – which led to McMahon’s head being shaved – Stone Cold hit Trump with his signature move, the Stone Cold Stunner.
During an interview with Complex.com, Austin explained how McMahon convinced the future President to take the move.
Vince says to me, ‘Steve, I’m going to see if I can get Donald to take the Stunner. I said, ‘you think?’ He says, ‘Oh yeah, it’ll be great, it’ll be great.’ He goes up to Donald and says, ‘Hey Donald, this is Stone Cold Steve Austin.’ I shook Donald’s hand. He goes, ‘Listen, I want to know if after the match, when everything is done, if Steve could hit the Stone Cold Stunner on you.’ Donald says, ‘You think it’d be a good thing?’ and Vince goes, ‘Oh, of course it would be. It would just blow the roof off the place.’ And Donald’s right hand guy was saying, ‘No, no, no! You don’t need to do this, we got other things to do!’ He’s trying to talk him out of it. And Donald says to Vince, ‘You think it’ll help?’ and Vince goes, ‘I promise you it’ll help.’ And Donald says, ‘Okay, I’ll do it.’
Austin says that the move didn’t look great, but it got the desired effect.
It wasn’t a picture-perfect stunner, but I give Donald Trump a hell of a lot of credit for being a man. He was a stand-up guy, he was there to do business and we did business, so I respect the man for that. If I see him giving a speech on the TV, I don’t think, ‘Hey, I gave this guy a stunner.’ We were doing business and we did business. The fact that he is going to be the next President of the United States, it’s a hell of a story.