WWE News WWE NEWS: Major celebrity entrant for 2013 Hall of Fame
Feb 25, 2013 - 4:58:45 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
Two hours before tonight's WWE Raw episode, WWE issued a press release announcing that Donald Trump will be the celebrity inductee in the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
New York/New Jersey-based Trump has been involved with WWE since the 1980s. More recently, he helped draw over one million PPV buys for WrestleMania 23 in 2007 when he put his hair on the line against Vince McMahon. Trump also "bought Monday Night Raw" in 2009 as part of a storyline, ushering in the era of celebrity guest hosts.
In 2012, WWE actually distanced itself from Trump when there was controversy over how Trump was paid for his WWE appearances and involvement. This was related to former CEO Linda McMahon's U.S. Senate campaign in Connecticut.
Trump's foundation listed Vince and Linda McMahon as donors, but WWE said in a statement that WWE paid Trump, himself, $1 million for his WM23 involvement, but did not make any donations to Trump's Foundation. A WWE spokesman said at the time: "As I understand it, the Vince and Linda McMahon Family Foundation has donated $5 million in total to the Donald J. Trump Foundation.” However, a spokesman for Linda McMahon's Senate campaign said that neither Linda nor Vince gave to Trump's charity.
In WWE's press release, which is below, WWE CEO Vince McMahon described Trump as a "global icon whose status brought an unmatched level of publicity and grandeur to WWE."
*** Monday Press Release ***
STAMFORD, Conn., February 25, 2013 – WWE (NYSE:WWE) announced today that Donald J. Trump will be a celebrity inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at Madison Square Garden. Mr. Trump has been a part of WWE’s most popular events and storylines dating back to WrestleMania IV in 1988 and WrestleMania V in 1989 when he hosted the pop-culture extravaganzas in Atlantic City. In 2009, Mr. Trump “purchased” WWE and then “resold” WWE back to Mr. McMahon a week later for double the price. In his most famous WWE storyline, Mr. Trump challenged Mr. McMahon to a “Battle of the Billionaires” match at WrestleMania XXIII, resulting in an all-time record for pay-per-view buys and Mr. McMahon’s head being shaved at the hands of “The Donald.”
“It was literally the thrill of a lifetime performing in front of 80,000 enthusiastic fans during the ‘Battle of the Billionaires’ match at WrestleMania XXIII,” said Donald Trump, Chairman and President, The Trump Organization. “I’ve always enjoyed and respected WWE’s brand of entertainment and look forward to the ceremony in my hometown at Madison Square Garden.”
“Donald is a global icon whose status brought an unmatched level of publicity and grandeur to WWE,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman and CEO.
Mr. Trump is the pre-eminent developer of quality real estate both in the United States and abroad, and has made the Trump brand synonymous with excellence. His portfolio includes dozens of award-winning skyscrapers, hotels, golf courses and clubs. He is an accomplished and best-selling author of over a dozen books including one of the best-selling business books of all time, The Art of the Deal. Mr. Trump is also the star and co-producer of the NBC hit series, The Apprentice, which premieres its 13th season on Sunday, March 3.
Mr. Trump is the latest celebrity inductee entering the WWE Hall of Fame, joining Drew Carey, Pete Rose, Bob Uecker, Mike Tyson and William “Refrigerator” Perry. Other members of the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame Class include Bruno Sammartino, Mick Foley, Bob Backlund and Trish Stratus™.
Tickets for the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony are currently available through all Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. All tickets are subject to service charges and facility fees. For more information on Mr. Trump, please visit www.Trump.com.
WWE also released several video clips of Trump's involvement below.
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