WWE and Politics: Something of a Swagger

WWE wrestler Jack Swagger (aka Jacob Hager) Image: TMZ

WWE wrestler Jack Swagger (aka Jacob Hager) Image: TMZ

 

This morning, I was talking with bonafide WWE fanatic and undeniable reigning champion of The Other McCain‘s Rule 2 contest, Rick Bulow. He was surprised by the extreme reaction of conservatives to the appearance on WWE RAW Monday night of villain character Jack Swagger and his manager Zeb Colter.

As Rick notes:

[N]ext year, the Road to WrestleMania will end in New Orleans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Ed. Note: if the power goes out during WrestleMania, there is an 80% chance that it will be scripted, quite unlike the power failure during the Super Bowl this year)….

“It’s a male version of a soap opera,” he said. And this isn’t the first time that characters have shown up on WWE with ties to the political sphere. Although they didn’t fight in the ring, “in 2008 during the primary, they had actors playing Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Politics and the WWE go hand in hand….After 9/11, there was an Arab character (played by wrestler Mohammed Hassan) who said that the attacks on the US were something we brought on ourselves.”

The WWE also sponsors its own voter registration drives, called “Smack Down Your Vote.” And you may remember this unusual speaker at the 2000 GOP convention:

Rick also pointed out that Vince McMahon’s wife Linda ran for Senate twice in Connecticut. McMahon is the Chairman and CEO of WWE.

As I was writing, this breaking news appeared at TMZ:

WWE Star Jack Swagger
ARRESTED
for DUI & Pot

WWE star Jack Swagger was arrested last night in Mississippi, TMZ has learned — after allegedly driving under the influence … with pot in his car.Sources close to the situation tell TMZ, Swagger — real name Jacob Hager — was leaving a “Smackdown” taping at Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi when he was pulled over for speeding.According to law enforcement, the officer who pulled him over determined Swagger was driving under the influence — and a search revealed Swagger was in possession of marijuana.We’re told Swagger — a former WWE World Heavyweight champ — was taken in by local police officers … and later released on his own recognizance.

He has been charged with DUI (not alcohol), marijuana possession, and speeding — all misdemeanors.We reached out to WWE, who tells TMZ, “Mr. Swagger is responsible for his own personal actions.”

And rightly so.

( H/T Rick Bulow)

-Becca Lower

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