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In one of my last columns, "Evolution of a Wrestling God", chronicled the career of one of my all-time favorite wrestlers -- the Texas brawler known as John Bradshaw Layfield. When I first sat down to write that particular column, I intended it to be something completely different. It somehow morphed into a biographical piece that I ended up being quite proud of. I decided to go with the flow and post it anyway with the intention of writing a follow-up piece to express my original concept. I know every Internet geek and his dog (or Gerbil) has their opinions on what WWE should do and I am in no way telling the high-priced soap opera writers in Stamford how to do their jobs, but man, do I have a great idea for YOU!
The wrestling industry has tinkered with the idea of putting one of their own in the White House for a very long time. Nobody ever thought it was possible until Jesse "the Body" Ventura was voted into office and became the controversial Governor of Minnesota. That's a long way from the presidency but after serving his term, political insiders were speculating that the ex-wrestler just might try to run for President in the future. He still might!
In 1996, former 2-time WWF World Champion Bob Backlund made a mockery of the idea by announcing his intentions to run for President of the United States of America on a live episode of RAW -- or maybe it was one of those "taped" live episodes. It came off as a completely ridiculous storyline that nobody, much to the dismay of the media-starved WWF, took seriously. President Bob "campaigned" at local arenas around the country for several months and then the election came and went without a peep from Mr. Backlund. The ironic thing about it was that Bob would have been a reasonable candidate if it weren't for being painted as a sophisticated lunatic!
In 1998, the legendary "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan was reaching for straws trying to keep his name alive and doing as little actual work as possible in the process. A storyline was conceived that included the "immortal one" announcing his intention to run for President of the United States of America. The ceremony conducted on a live Nitro was eerily similar to the one Bob Backlund gave on RAW several years prior. There was a much needed aura of legitimacy lent to this gimmick when The Hulkster confirmed his intentions on the set of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. At this point, the media picked up the story and WCW had quickly achieved what the WWF so desperately needed from the Backlund fiasco. However, the company known for flushing money and opportunity down the toilet with costly mistakes failed to capitalize on this and ended the idea with one flick of the finger. Hogan returned to wrestling on January 4, 1999 in the infamous one-finger victory over Kevin Nash to recapture the glorious WCW World Heavyweight title.
Since then, having a wrestler in the White House has been a laughable debate. People have joked about Vince McMahon running for office; God help us if THAT ever happens! I actually think Paul Heyman would make a good President. But there is one person who I think could pull off this publicity stunt and it would catapult the WWE towards astronomical proportions if they managed to pull it off...........
Ladies and gentleman, please welcome the esteemed President of these United States of America..... JOHN BRADSHAW LAYFIELD! ------- I can sense your laughter. I can sense your horror. But after I explain myself I know that I will be sensing your interest.
There's no doubt about it, John Layfield is a smart guy. He's very knowledgeable and extremely well spoken about the issues plaguing the World today. If he were President he would aggressively sort out the issues and take action where needed. He is a supporter of the troops and cares very deeply for them, as well as the country they defend.
I'll let you in on a little secret; I wrote this article about a year ago and got side-tracked and completely forgot about it until I found the Word file on my hard-drive today. Oops! Luckily it's still somewhat relevant despite the fact that all of the candidates have declared their intentions to run for President, and the all-important debates have already begun. Can you imagine JBL standing up there on the podium burying all the other candidates with his quick witted rebuttals? JBL has the knowledge and the confidence to go toe-to-toe, in the intellectual arena, with anybody currently running for President. JBL could be the moral conscience that America so desperately needs!
Of course, JBL doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of actually winning the election and moving into the White House. However, that isn't even the reason he would run in the first place. The purpose of JBL running for President would be to bring some much needed positive publicity towards the WWE to an enormous audience who has lost a lot of respect for the wrestling business over the past ten years. The Presidential election is the one thing that all Americans have in common. JBL could represent the WWE, and the entire wrestling industry as a whole, and prove once and for all that professional wrestlers are smart, well-groomed, intellectual and respectable citizens of the World.
Now in order for WWE to come out looking sensible at the end of this stunt, they have to be careful not to ruin it by injecting their idiotic twists into the story. JBL can occasionally appear on WWE television but he cannot do scripted angles. They can show video packages of JBL campaigning across the country. They could even run a one-of-a-kind WWE debate (hey if YouTube can do it, why can't WWE?). JBL, who has to drop the "gimmick," has to be treated as a dignitary and with the utmost respect and admiration.
All of this would cost Vince McMahon a lot of money, but we all know he has enough money to waste, and the benefits of such overwhelming publicity would be well worth the price tag.
So now I'm thinking about all the goofy movies that share this premise, but the story involved the candidate "accidentally" getting elected by the voters. Hey... it could happen!
by Brad Dykens (View/Submit your feedback here)..