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As expected, Glenn Jacobs, better known as Kane, won the mayoral race in Knox County, Tennessee tonight. Jacobs becomes the most well-known wrestler to win a political race since Jesse Ventura became governor of Minnesota in 1999.
But Jacobs may not be the last. In fact, he may have opened the door to other wrestlers stepping into the world of politics when their in-ring careers are over. In becoming president, Donald Trump showed there’s a thin line between entertainment and politics. Wrestlers, really, are built for that world: lots of travel, promos in front of live crowds, meeting fans, etc. Whether in a local or national race, what political party wouldn’t want to be associated with someone who has the global reach of being a family-friendly WWE Superstar?
The Rock has said he would consider a presidential bid in 2024. Rhyno recently ran for Michigan’s House of Representatives. Many former Japanese wrestlers have served in government, including Hiroshi Hase and Antonio Inoki. Heck, even one of our greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln, was a former pro wrestler! (OK, that’s pushing it).
By and large, wrestlers today are not the renegade, steroid-filled, drug-fueled warriors of yesteryear. Stories of bar fights, roadside hijinks, and the like wouldn’t follow today’s troupe like it would’ve those in bygone eras. WWE’s squeaky-clean image makes sure of that.
Today’s wrestlers are much more civic-minded. Sami Zayn raises money for the Syrian American Medical Society. Titus O’Neill won Celebrity Dad of the Year and is involved in many charitable causes. John Cena has set the record for number of Make-A-Wish grants. Many wrestlers inside and outside WWE embrace the power they have in order to do good. Ten or 15 years down the road, that good for some on the roster, could extend outside WWE’s arenas and into the political ones.
Greg Parks hosts the “Wrestling Night in America” Livecast every Sunday night on PWTorchlivecast.com. Read additional columns from him at PWTorchVIP.com. Follow him on Twitter @gregmparks. Comments, questions and feedback are welcome, and can be sent to email@example.com.