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Trump replaces Hulkster at 'Mania
By TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun


The Hulkster is out and The Donald is in.

It's all part of the wacky backstage political rollercoaster leading up to wrestling's biggest show of the year, Wrestlemania 23.

The main event bouts are set in stone for the April 1 mega-show but the undercard seems to be in a constant state of reshuffling.

The original plan was for 53-year-old Hulk Hogan to channel the power of Hulkamania (and 1987) for a mid-card match with a low-rent Andre the Giant -- a role initially slated to be given to The Big Show, later to The Great Khali.

Shane McMahon was even preparing to serve as a back-up punch bag for the Hulkster, but in the end, it was all for naught. Reports from WWE HQ say Hogan and company boss Vince McMahon have had their semi-annual falling out.

No one's sure what caused the latest rift (of many) between the Hulk and Mr. McMahon -- Money? Political power? Toilet seat being left up? -- but the end result is Hogan is off the card and the match itself has been scrapped.

The gimmick behind the bout, however, is alive and well.

As early as December, there had been talk of bringing Donald Trump to 'Mania to act as Hogan's corner man for the match, countering McMahon who would back up the bad guy.

And even though the Hulkster is out of the equation, the battle of the billionaires will go ahead as planned.

Trump arrived at Raw Monday night and kicked off a feud with McMahon in the opening segment of the show.

The Donald, whose delivery is often worthy of involvement in the Softwood lumber dispute (i.e., it's wooden) knocked the ball out of the park with an incredible rant on the WWE owner.

The crowd even sided with the less-than-likeable Trump -- a testament to how good his performance was, since celebrities are usually as welcome at wrestling events as Tim Hardaway at a Gay Pride parade.

So the match is now officially set for 'Mania. Trump and McMahon will each pick a representative, and their chosen wrestlers will battle not just for their mentor's honour, but for their mentor's hair.

One of the billionaire bosses will be shaved bald, live on pay-per-view.

The mainstream media -- which couldn't get enough of seeing Kevin Federline get fake-beaten up on Raw last month -- will go nuts over the (unlikely, by the way) possibility that Trump might get his comb over buzzed off, for real!

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