Nine years ago, Vince McMahon and Donald Trump sorta squared off in the "Battle of the Billionaires" at WrestleMania 23, a match that featured their handpicked representatives – Bobby Lashley and Umaga, respectively – fighting to protect the most famous manes in the business.
Yes, it was a "hair vs. hair" match, and you can probably guess who won (no one messes with the Donald's moneymaker). But since the stakes were high, WWE decided to pull out all the stops, appointing none other than "Stone Cold" Steve Austin to serve as special guest referee for the fight. Shockingly, that lead to conflict, as Austin doled out his devastating "Stone Cold Stunner" finisher to just about everybody in the ring – Trump included.
Of course, at the time, he was just the guy who fired people on TV, not the scourge of the Republican Party. And that development has put Austin in some pretty exclusive company – he could become the first person to ever Stun the President of the United States. And as he recently told Men's Journal, that's a possibility he hadn't even considered until fairly recently.
"Oh, hell no! I'll say this: I showed up in Detroit for that and Vince had talked to me a little bit earlier in the day and said, 'Hey, I'm going to go see if Donald will take a Stone Cold Stunner,'" Austin explains. "I was right there when he asked him. He goes, 'Hey, Donald, I was wondering if in the end, do you mind taking Steve's finisher?' We had to explain to him what a Stone Cold Stunner was and Donald's right-hand guy – I don't remember his name, but everybody that high up has a right-hand guy or a posse or whatever – was giving him a million reasons why not to take the Stunner, and what could go wrong, [how] it's not going to look good.
"Donald and Vince had a relationship – I believe they're friends – and Donald said, 'Sure Vince, I'll take it.' I briefly explained to him in literally five seconds how to take it," he continues. "We went to the ring, we did the match, and at the end we did the Stunner and it wasn't the greatest Stunner in the world but I give Donald Trump a lot of credit and respect for doing something like that that he didn't have to do. But to answer your question: I had no idea back then that he would be a candidate to be President of the United States."
No one did, Steve.
You can (and should) check out the rest of Austin's interview with Men's Journal right here.Watch the similarities between wrestler "Ravishing" Rick Rude and presidential candidate Donald Trump.