January 19, 2012
MSNBC show compares Mitt Romney to Million Dollar Man
By RANJAN CHHIBBER, Ph.D. - SLAM! Wrestling
Although Linda McMahon has not yet been selected as the GOP's Senate Nominee in Connecticut, professional wrestling references can still be found everywhere in the U.S. press. On Wednesday's episode of MSNBC's popular The Rachel Maddow Show, Ms. Maddow compared Republican Presidential candidate front runner Mitt Romney to a wrestling legend, Ted "The Million Dollar Man" DiBiase. While comparing politics to pro wrestling is nothing new, Maddow's analysis was quite interesting for wrestling fans, since she actually analyzed the lyrics of the theme songs of the wrestlers. She analyzed the lyrics of Hulk Hogan's WWE theme, Real American, and then juxtaposed it with the lyrics of Dibiase's Money theme.
Maddow intercut clips of Dibiase with Romney, including showing Dibiase shoving hundred dollar bills down people's throats followed by Romney saying he liked to fire people. The montage of Dibiase and Romney was extremely effective, although some might argue that it was a bit over-the-top.
Romney is not the only Republican candidate journalists are relating to the WWE or WWE characters in this hot January 2012 primary season.
Maddow's segment revealed her to be quite the pundit on wrestling, in addition to politics, as she did a close analysis of how the quintessential good guy from the 1980s, Hulk Hogan, needed a bad guy foil, of which Dibiase was amongst the greatest.
Finally, Maddow then did something no other prominent political commentator has done: after wishing The Million Dollar Man a happy birthday she ended her segment by saying, "Mr. Dibiase, I do not know who wrote your character for you in pro wrestling, but if that person has not already made their way there already, there is clearly a future for that person in political consulting."
Recognizing that some wrestling characters are created by writers is not acknowledged by many in the WWE, let alone non-wrestling media entities. Ms. Maddow might have been the first such person to so clearly articulate this.
Ranjan Chhibber is a former WWE Writer with a Ph.D. in Film History, and award-winning academic, who has taught Film Studies and Popular Culture at various universities across the United States and Canada. He is currently Assistant Professor of the Humanities at Florida State College, teaching courses in the Humanities, Film Studies, and Popular Culture. He can be reached through his publicist, Ms. Jaclyn Allmon, at firstname.lastname@example.org.