Jesse “The Body” Ventura is a WWE Hall of Famer and a wrestling legend, but he has had an illustrious career away from the ring as well.
The former governor of Minnesota has written several New York Times bestselling books and has recently released the second edition of the popular American Conspiracies. In addition to his writing, Ventura has also ventured into the visual medium with his political show Off The Grid on ORA TV.
Ventura recently spoke with Ring Rust Radio (quotes courtesy of the News of Delaware County's Joe Arcidiacono) about Donald Trump’s desire to run for president and Venture’s own potential interest in running, the Hulk Hogan scandal, his short stint in WCW and much more.
While many wrestling fans think of Ventura’s illustrious in-ring career or his run as one of the best commentators in history when they talk about the WWE legend, it is politics that he is most passionate about these days.
One of his biggest platforms is finding the truth. From reading his books and watching his television shows, the former governor understands the American political system and does whatever he can to point out possible conspiracies.
As the presidential election approaches, many have wondered about Ventura’s willingness to run for office again. With a man like Donald Trump gaining serious momentum for 2016, there is no reason to believe the former Minnesota governor won’t throw his hat into the mix.
Ventura spoke about Trump’s bid to run for president and the likelihood that he would run:
Donald Trump was a supporter of me way back in the days of the reform party in the 90s. I knew Donald for 20 or 25 years now since back to WrestleMania IV or V and all that. He has always threatened to run, but has never gone through with it, but now he has gone through with it and he is in for the long haul. The problem is, if he doesn’t get the Republican nomination, what happens to all the people that were going to vote for him? Would they just go back to the normal Republican? Or would they look for something else?
The same thing could be said for Bernie Sanders. He is an Independent infiltrating the Democrats. He won’t get the nomination either and what will happen to all his voters? Where will they go? Will they simply go back to the Democratic Party? I don’t think so. When you look at the whole nation, the last election, 64 percent of the people chose not to vote, that is almost two-thirds of the nation didn’t vote. Well those are potential customers for me if I run because that’s how I won in Minnesota. I was getting people who didn’t normally vote to get out and vote.
Regardless of your political stance, Ventura is willing to shoot straight, and that is refreshing in the political world. It has been his honesty and his charisma talking to people that has made him a successful politician, and it was what made him great on the mic in wrestling.
The candidness of the legend in regard to the wrestling industry hasn’t ceased, either. Ventura was open about his issues with fellow WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan following his racist comments recently:
Maybe the people are seeing the real Hulk Hogan. Let’s all remember we play parts in wrestling and may be nothing like we are in real life. Maybe we are seeing what Hulk Hogan is in real life. I am only speculating on that so bear that in mind. We would always laugh when he would tell the little kids to say their prayers and eat their vitamins, and we would always laugh and say, ‘oral or injectables?’ What kind of vitamins are we talking here? I remember when Hogan would always deny that he used steroids and I would always laugh.
Ventura’s issues with Hogan stem from problems at WCW. After a successful run with WWF as a top color commentator, Ventura was hired by WCW but released shortly after without any real reason revealed.
The wrestling legend offered his side of the story regarding the end of his time in WCW:
The real story was, when they brought me in they paid me big money because I made the jump from the WWF. A lot of people couldn’t handle the money they were paying me to just be an announcer, Bill Watts included, who was the head booker. I think Jim Ross was very jealous because he wouldn’t work with me. I would toss him lines and he wouldn’t respond to them, and he even admitted that he didn’t do the best job he could when he worked with me in WCW. I think Jim was jealous of the money I was getting which wasn’t my fault. He shouldn’t have blamed me for it. There never was the chemistry there with Jim Ross that I had with Vince or Gorilla.
The reason it ended up the way it did, was they brought Hogan in and then Hogan had me immediately dismissed. I remember, I had six months to go on my contract and I never had to work. They just paid me and I sat at home. Hogan came in and he did not want me on the mic there. He had the power to do it so Eric Bischoff—that little—I have a few names for him, the backstabber Eric Bischoff, and I never worked my last six months as soon as Hulk Hogan was brought in.
For years, Ventura was known as one of the best talkers in wrestling, and he hasn’t lost a beat even at 64 years old. Instead, he changed his focus from wrestling to politics and is now using his speaking ability to make a difference in the political spectrum.
Wrestling fans hold Ventura in high regard due to his long career in the ring and as a commentator, and it would be intriguing to see what kind of support the former governor could get if he eventually decides to run for president.
Whatever the future holds for Ventura, his outspoken personality and undeniable charisma will always be enjoyed by wrestling fans.
For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player above (some language NSFW).