Jacob Ruffo

Jacob Ruffo is a junior journalism major and columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at jruffo@kent.edu

As a casual political mind, I don’t watch too much of CNN or similar channels, but one thing I do see all the time is Donald Trump’s name.

Trump is always in the headlines. Good or bad, that doesn’t matter to a lot of people. All they see is his name. This “look at me by any means” approach is similar to a technique used by another company that skyrocketed in popularity about 18 years ago.

This company has a fruitful relationship with Trump and even has him in their Hall of Fame. I’m talking, of course, about the WWE.

Way back when it was the World Wrestling Federation, Wrestlemanias four and five were held at the Trump Plaza, and he made an appearance on screen at both.

Since then, the World Wrestling Federation went through a drastic content change, known now as the “Attitude Era” and they made many headlines.

Their cornerstone show, Monday Night Raw, was almost pulled off of the USA network multiple times due to this shift. The content was risqué and violent. They were in the news constantly, but at the same time a huge upward shift in ratings came.

Whatever the headlines about the World Wrestling Federation said, positive or negative, it got people to watch.

Fast forward to 2004, when Donald Trump had another interview on a now WWE Pay-Per-View, Wrestlemania 20. A few years later, Donald Trump was actually incorporated into a storyline.

This eventually lead to Trump being in the corner of Bobby Lashley, putting his iconic hair on the line opposed to WWE Owner Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania 23 in the “Battle of the Billionaires.” His most recent appearance on Monday Night Raw happened in 2009 when he “bought” the June 29 edition of Monday Night Raw and ran it commercial free.

The reason Trump always puts himself in headlines is obvious. He learned from the best. He’s taking what he learned from his time in the squared circle and applying it to his own no holds barred, falls count anywhere contest.

Trump and McMahon’s great relationship, in and out of the ring, has helped mold his campaign strategy immensely in my eyes. Each man’s larger than life on-screen personality has as much in common with the other’s as their real life personalities.

The two even share the same catchphrase: You’re Fired.

Trump is doing the exact thing McMahon did when he wanted to reach his high point. He put himself in the news, for better or worse, and let the people see what he has to offer. It worked for the WWE, and whatcha gonna do, when Trump-a-mania runs wild on you, brother?

Jacob Ruffo is a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at jruffo@kent.edu.

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