Reliving the Time Donald Trump Sold WWE Raw Back to Vince McMahonJune 21, 2019
Long before he entertained the idea of entering the White House, U.S. President Donald Trump was the proud owner of WWE Raw—or at least for one week he was.
It was a fairly exciting time for the promotion's flagship show, as virtually anything and everything was known to happen on Raw. WWE promised that someone new would take the reins of Raw from Mr. McMahon on the June 15, 2009, episode, and sure enough, fans were not left disappointed.
The mystery buyer was revealed to be Vince's longtime foe Donald Trump, who wasted no time giving the fans what they wanted in announcing a commercial-free episode of Raw for the following week. It was an unprecedented move by the new owner of Raw, much to the dismay of McMahon.
Trump running Raw may not sound too appealing to the masses, but the Raw show with The Donald in charge—10 years ago Saturday—ended up being excellent.
In addition to being commercial-free, Trump announced that Randy Orton would defend his WWE Championship against Triple H in a Last Man Standing match. Despite the draw finish, it was one of the better outings those two have had against each other.
In typical WWE fashion, the storyline was rushed, with McMahon immediately offering to buy back his coveted program from Trump that same night to avoid losing more money. Before things could get interesting with a fresh face at the helm, Trump agreed to return Raw to Vince (albeit for double the price).
In short, the angle was a waste of time and could have been so much more with additional developments. It couldn't have been a more obvious attempt to boost ratings, but for one week, it was a fun ride.
The commercial-free concept happened only one other time in Raw's history, in 2010, so that was an apparent flop as well. If nothing else, Trump's time as Raw owner did lead to a new celebrity guest host running Raw each week for the next two years.
It was a silly shtick that didn't do much to help the red brand in the long run, but at least WWE was willing to give it a chance, unlike with Trump taking over Raw. The most interesting ideas tend to get cut short by the company before they realize their potential.
Similar to when Vince faked his own death and debuted the Million Dollar Mania gimmick, this stunt was a glorified failure. What could have been a big reset for Raw resulted in a massive disappointment.
As for Trump, there's no telling how much good he would have done the ratings had he stuck around longer. He played a huge factor in WrestleMania 23's success, and as an on-air authority figure for WWE, he could have been a blast.
Along with his iconic feud with McMahon from 2007 and Trump Plaza hosting several WrestleMania events back in the day, his brief stint as the owner of Raw was enough to earn him a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame's celebrity wing in 2013.
Other than that, it's been a decade since Trump last featured on WWE TV. Considering his commitments and the controversy that always seems to be surrounding him, that might for the best.
The last thing WWE needs is bad publicity, regardless of the ratings he would bring in by making another appearance. Either way, fans will forever remember the night he had complete control over Monday Night Raw.
That said, let's hope Raw's original owner doesn't follow Trump into the White House.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is an Endicott College alumnus and aspiring journalist. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.