New York, N.Y.
Former owner of Monday Night Raw; 2013 WWE Hall of Fame Inductee
Donald Trump: Bio
He’s a captivating billionaire who has gone into battle in both the boardroom and the squared circle with equal aggression. He’s a pop culture icon who has seen his self-satisfied smirk on hit TV programs, major talk shows and countless magazine covers. Most of all, he’s an outspoken alpha male who gets his greatest pleasure from uttering two words: “You’re fired!”
And no, we’re not talking about Mr. McMahon.
Donald J. Trump, the most charismatic and famous businessman in America, has been recognized as an innovator in the worlds of real estate and reality television. And how could you miss him? The Donald’s surname — now synonymous with wealth and power — has been emblazoned in giant gold letters across skyscrapers and high-rises in the biggest cities in the world. But Trump has also been making a consistent impact on WWE since the days when Andre the Giant was still king.
The Donald’s Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, N.J., hosted both WrestleMania IV and WrestleMania V — the only venue to present The Show of Shows two years in a row. Since those unforgettable nights, Trump has remained a familiar face in the front row of WWE events, but it wasn’t until 2007 that the billionaire got in on the action.
In January of that year, The Donald interrupted Mr. McMahon’s “Fan Appreciation Night” on Raw and dropped tens of thousands of dollars from the rafters of the arena onto the WWE fans below. Red-faced that a rival would steal the spotlight from him, Mr. McMahon challenged Trump to a “Battle of the Billionaires” at WrestleMania 23 with the stipulation that the loser of the bout would have their his head shaved bald.
A record number of viewers tuned in to watch The Donald back Bobby Lashley to victory over Mr. McMahon’s Umaga and subsequently shave the WWE Chairman’s signature mane in the center of the ring.
The business magnates locked horns again in June 2009 when Trump purchased Monday Night Raw and immediately announced that next week’s show would air commercial-free and that every WWE fan that who purchased a ticket would be given a full refund. The trademark Trump PR public relations flourish nearly made Mr. McMahon’s head explode and forced him to buy his show back from The Donald for twice the price.
Since then, the WWE Hall of Famer has focused on his ever-expanding real estate empire and his Emmy-nominated smash series “The Apprentice,” but the WWE Universe is always ready for the only man who can match Mr. McMahon’s bank account — and his grapefruits.