Trump and Wrestling

I had quite a weird but interesting thought earlier. For some reason, I was thinking about American wrestling, and it’s strange, real-yet-fake relationship to reality. It’s clearly a type of performance, but claims to be real; it’s obviously pantomimic, but seems to  take itself  deadly seriously. The people who watch and follow it, especially in America, seem to see it as valid as any other sport, and insist that  what they are viewing isn’t a pre-planned, convoluted live action punch and Judy show but real. That implies a cultural suspension of disbelief, where an entire group of people actively chooses not to believe  what is in front of them in favour of an obvious fiction. I wonder: can we see the same culture in supporters of Donald Trump? There too we see the same absolute refusal to believe in what everyone else is  obvious, and the same ultra-masculine, violent, angry approach to reality which seems to prise bravado over substance.  I wonder if the  type of culture which underpins American wrestling can be seen  in support for Trump. Could one somehow explain the other? After all, Trump himself appeared in an episode of wrestling, and  behaves almost like a wrestler, projecting an image of himself onto the world full of  bluster and boastfulness, yet which is ultimately a fiction. I must say I find it very strange indeed, and the way it seems to prise violence and confrontation over respectful, nonviolent approaches to life quite worrying.

2 thoughts on “Trump and Wrestling

  1. I think there is a lot to be said regarding Trump and his relationship with wrestling. The owner of the wwe is one of Trumps biggest doners and has had a close working relationship with him going back years.

    Many wrestlers will talk about working as a heel (bad guy) and how they have to in someway justify their evil actions to help portray the character. Many of the best heels (in not just wrestling, but films) are the ones where you agree with the reasons as to why they are pissed off, but not their actions. You also have the monster heel (kinda Michael Myers in spandex), the flamboyant sexy heel etc. Thinking about it Trump is the worst kind of wrestling character; the smug babyface (basically Triple H in the early 00’s or John Cena throughout most of his career). The smug babyface in recent years is the person hand picked to be “the guy”, despite most fans not liking the character. The smug babyface rarely looks weak or scared, always look strong and rarely at risk of losing and importantly pertain to care about the fans, but (to most viewers) are clearly in it for themselves. Despite a majority of fans vocally objecting to this character, he continues to be pushed as the guy. Why? Usually because he’s popular with kids and idiots who like to buy his merchandise.

    When i first started replying to this I was trying to work out what kind of heel Trump is, but it turns out he is working as a babyface. Just the worse kind of babyface going. The one who most intelligent people find repulsive.

    It should also be said that the vast majority of adult wrestling fans realise (even our US counterparts) that it is a pre-determined and choreographed sport. Its just we are in on the joke. Now the ones that do think it is a real fighting contest, they definitely voted Trump.


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