Trump Uses Pro Wrestling’s Playbook

The New York Post‘s Miranda Devine is the latest to observe that “Donald Trump has modeled his presidential persona on WWE pro wrestling.”

“The banter, the jokes, the trash-talking, the catchphrases, the crowd manipulation, the belligerent patriotism, the villain-slamming: It’s all straight out of a preordained WWE storyline.”

“His Twitter feed, with its outlandish, self-aggrandizing dramas, is an extension of the WWE theme.”

“Is Trump a good guy or a bad guy?

‘He’s a heel to some. He’s a babyface to others,’ says ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, once the greatest wrestler in WWE history, who now hosts a podcast drawing 2 million downloads and a USA show, ‘Straight Up Steve Austin.’

Trump seems to have modeled himself on Austin, who was an anti-authoritarian, blue-collar, cussing heel who didn’t care how he was perceived and was so admired by audiences that he ‘turned face.’

Like Austin, Trump’s persona is champion of the underdog, ‘the People’s Billionaire,’ the ‘heel’ who picks fights and always prevails.

‘The crowd know it’s fake but they believe, just like if you went to a movie.’”

— “Trump took a page out of the WWE’s playbook,” Miranda Devine, New York Post

Before his casino bankruptcies, Donald Trump sponsored two WWE WrestleMania extranaganzas in Atlantic City, and took an active part in the promotional hijinks. His efforts earned him a place in pro wrestling’s Hall of Fame before he jumped into the political arena.

Pro wrestling’s actual playbook can be found in the tricks & tips for players of WWE videogames: “Anyone who has watched even 10 minutes of WWE programming knows that talking and charisma are just as important as in-ring skills.”

Those skills:

Self-Promotion: A monologue promo with the goal of increasing popularity. You might get interrupted by another Superstar, engaging in a ‘promo battle’.
Call Out: You call out a Superstar for a ‘promo battle’. This is a way to start a rivalry with someone. There is a chance the Superstar may decide to not come out.”

These moves involve “mic skills”:

“Brawl: Attack the opponent during a Promo and transition into a Brawl.
Taunt: Gain some time to think about what choice to make next during a Promo.<
Stare Down: Temporarily reduce the amount of points the opponent can earn …. during the next node of Promo.”

There’s also career advice:

  • “Change your move-set, abilities and skills every few months. You have to show the WWE Universe that you’re not the same boring WWE Superstar week after week. Equip and try out some new abilities and skills to make you stand out. Changing your move-set is equally important.”
  •  “Win at run-ins. This means being the last man standing during a pre-match or post-match run-in. For mid-match run-in make sure the WWE Superstar you are supporting wins the match.
  •  Do not quit out of anything. You will lose any scoring or rewards potentially gained from a match, promo, or run-in.”

Sound familiar?


Short link:

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: