Respect for the legends of pro wrestling is a touchy subject in the business, so it's no surprise that WWE superstar Sami Zayn found himself involved in an internet kerfuffle after tweeting about one proud member of the WWE Hall of Fame: President Donald Trump. Trump's association with WWE goes all the way back to the 1980s when Trump hosted WrestleMania 4 and 5 at his Trump Plaza resort in Atlantic City. Over the years, Trump has been involved in WWE in various ways, including facing off against Vince McMahon at the Battle of the Billionaires at WrestleMania 23.
Donald Trump is the Wrestlingest President Since Abraham Lincoln
The Trump and McMahon families also have an association outside of the ring. Vince McMahon and Linda McMahon donated millions to Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, leading Linda McMahon to earn a spot on Trump's cabinet as head of the Small Business Administration. McMahon left that job to head up a Trump super PAC, and in fact, it was that lucky connection that allowed Linda to coincidentally pledge $18.5 million to be spent in the state of Florida on the very same day Florida Governor Ron DeSantis granted WWE a special exemption from stay-at-home orders in the state, calling the company an "essential" business. That same week, Vince McMahon was asked to join a very special club, named to a presidential task force on restarting the American economy alongside other notable business luminaries like Dana White and Mark Cuban.
So when Sami Zayn called out Trump's recent tweets gently urging Americans to defy stay at home orders and commit rebellion against the government, it was always going to ruffle some feathers. Zayn tweeted, "There is a type of stupidity & privilege that is so distinctly American, encapsulated perfectly by the idea that we are being oppressed & losing some sort of ideological war on freedom if we can't spend our evenings in a packed TGIFridays at the height of a lethal viral outbreak."
Cody Rhodes and the Mystery of the Liked Tweet
Surprisingly, it wasn't a fellow WWE wrestler who reacted negatively to Zayn's tweet, though, to be fair, most of them were laid off this week so WWE could continue to rake in record profits. Instead, it was Cody Rhodes, Executive Vice President of rival wrestling organization AEW who responded by liking a tweet nearly as unfortunate as Rhodes' own neck tattoo. "If Sami hates normal, regular American folk supporting their President he should go back to Canada IMO," tweeted someone named SoDoTw, with Rhodes "liking" the tweet. Immediately, alarm bells sounded at Twitter-like-monitoring surveillance systems around the globe, resulting in scathing headlines such as this one from FanSided: Cody Rhodes needs to be held to account for liking problematic tweet on Sami Zayn.
Rhodes quickly responded, claiming that he didn't notice he had liked the tweet but that he didn't think the user meant it politically when he told Zayn to go back to Canada if he didn't like support for the President. "Whoops. Didn't even see that. Good catch," said Rhodes, responding to someone calling his liking of the tweet disappointing. "I don't think the person writing it was being serious too. I like a lot of their fun wrestling posts, not a very political account." So is Cody a secret Trumper? The world waited with bated breath for the one man who could bring a resolution to this American nightmarish scenario: pro-union indie wrestler David Starr. Starr put the matter to rest, tweeting, "We don't agree politically, but I can also 100% assure you that he's not MAGA." So there you have it.