FixCam: The Collision of Wrestling and Politics
The news that former Minnesota Gov. Jesse "The Body" Ventura was considering a return to the political ring, got The Fix to thinking about the best moments when two of his biggest passions -- wrestling and politics -- collided.
Our top five moments are below. Agree or disagree? Did we leave any one out? The comments section awaits.
5. Jerry "The King" Lawler runs for Memphis Mayor. The King, a well known wrestler before turning into commentator extraordinaire seemed to think his popularity in his hometown would translate into votes, and threw his crown into the ring in the 1999 mayoral race. The King, whose television ads were something short of spectacular, placed a distant third in the race. As the New York Times put it: "Mr. Lawler had hoped for a Jesse Ventura-style jump from the wrestling ring to the political arena, but his candidacy faltered, especially after he was indicted on charges of attacking a police officer this spring in a dispute over parking at the airport." Yeesh.
4. "Mr." Bob Backlund, one of the oldies but goodies from the earlier days of professional wrestling runs for Congress in 2000 as a Republican in a strongly Democratic Connecticut district. It was a shaky campaign (at best) and Backlund got less than 30 percent of the vote.
3. Hulk Hogan endorses and donates to Barack Obama's campaign -- one of the myriad celebrities to line up behind the Illinois senator during the primary season. It was John McCain, however, who best channels the Hulskter when he asks: "Watcha gonna do when John McCain and all his McCainiacs run wild on you?"
2. Nikolai Volkoff, the despised "Russian" wrestler who typified the Cold War sensibilities of wrestling in the 1980s, runs for a Maryland state House seat in 2006. Volkoff, who is actually Yugoslavian, gets 845 votes -- coming in fourth out of four candidates.
1. Ric Flair's endorsement of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee's presidential bid made national news and gave Flair -- the aging, golden boy of the squared circle -- another term in the limelight. It also added to Huckabee's image as an unconventional and unorthodox politician and gave all of us (or at least The Fix) an excuse to scream "WOOOOOO!" at inappropriate times.
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