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5 Most Famous Wrestling Politicians

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Backstabbing, lying, and deceit.  Many people may be wondering if that is a better description for the modern politician or a heel wrestler.  Over the years, there have been several instances of people associated with the world of wrestling running for political office.  Here are five of the most famous cases.

1. Abraham Lincoln

National Archives

Before you jump to any conclusions, Honest Abe didn't wear tight spandex tights and deliver devastating body slams.  However, he did fight in what would eventually morph into wrestling as we know it now.  In his late teens and early twenties, he wrestled other men in a style called "catch as catch can".  His most famous match took place in 1831 against Jack Armstrong.  Most accounts have that battle ending in a draw.  During this era, most of these fights were legitimate but sometimes a wrestler would throw a match for money or work with his opponent so they could wrestle each other again in another town without getting hurt. 

2. Jesse Ventura

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Prior to entering the world of professional wrestling, Jesse was a Navy Seal.  Jesse had a modestly successful wrestling career but his true superstardom began once he retired from the ring and entered the commentary booth.  The fame he gained as the voiceof the WWF in the 1980's led to several film and television roles.  Jesse got involved in politics in the early '90s because he hated his local city council.  He ran for mayor of Brooklyn Park, MN and won that election.  In 1998, he shocked the world when he became the Governor of Minnesota while running as a third party candidate.  He didn't seek reelection in 2002.

3. Antonio Inoki

Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki: Hulton Archive
Antonio Inoki is most famous to people in the United States for his 1976 battle against Muhammad Ali. As the most famous wrestler in Japan, he was an iconic figure in the country. In 1989, Antonio Inoki was elected into the Japanese House of Councils. He used his political might to spread peace thorugh professional wrestling. In 1994, with over 170,000 fans in attendance, he beat Ric Flair in a match in North Korea that shattered previous wrestling attendance records. He was elected to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010.

4. Linda McMahon

Photo is courtesy of Linda McMahon for Senate 2010

Linda McMahon was involved in the professional wrestling business for over three decades.  Along with her husband Vince, the couple forever changed the business and grew their company from a regional promotion to an International entertainment powerhouse.  In 2009, she stepped down as CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment and announced her candidacy for US Senate.  She won the Republican primary but lost to Richard Blumenthal in the 2010 general election to represent the state of Connecticut as their Junior Senator. She ran again in 2012 and lost to Chris Murphy. Both times, she got approximately 43% of the vote. Combined, both campaigns cost over $90 million.

5. The Great Sasuke

Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images News

The Great Sasuke was a famous masked Japanese professional wrestler.  In 2003, was elected to the Iwate Prefectural Assembly.  What made his tenure so famous was that he became the first masked legislator in history.  Obviously, this caused much controversy.  Eventually, it was determined that he could wear a mask but one that showed more of his expressions than the one he wore in the ring.

 

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