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WWE Rumors: Donald Trump may have received his WWE payment in the form of donations

'Money in the bank' for President Trump?

News 25 Apr 2017, 11:08 IST
GREEN BAY, WI - JUNE 22:  Vince McMahon (R) and Donald Trump attend a press conference about the WWE at the Austin Straubel International Airport on June 22, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Mark A. Wallenfang/Getty Images)
Could donations be the way Trump chose to get paid?

What’s the story?

Reports from Forbes have surfaced suggesting that the WWE donated close to around 4 million dollars to the Trump Foundation in 2007. This contribution brought the total sum of donations that the foundation received that year to $4.1 million.

For the WWE, the donation would have equalled 8% of their net profit that year and being a publically traded company, many would agree that this is not only strange but also an expensive business decision.

In the past...

The Trump foundation has received donations and accepted payments from many of the various media events the president has participated in. In 2011, Comedy Central made a donation of 400,00 dollars to the Trump Foundation, as payment for the ‘Roast of Trump’ they hosted in the same year.

People Magazine also donated $150,00 after it received rights to publish photos of Trump’s son Barron. So it wouldn’t be surprising if the WWE had donated $4 million to the foundation.

Going in depth

Forbes reached out to the WWE and according to a spokesman, although the donation is listed under the name of the promotion, it was actually a personal contribution from Vince and Linda McMahon. In 2009, the foundation received yet another donation that was listed under the name ‘WWE’.

However, what is interesting to note, is that the donation made under the monicker of ‘WWE’ in 2007, was the same year that Trump and Vince McMahon had an on-screen feud, that culminated in a ‘Hair vs. Hair’ match at WrestleMania 23. 

Some of the WWE’s former COOs theorised on the donations as well.

Michael Sileck, who served as the former CFO and COO of the WWE from 2005 to 2008, said he did not have any particular memory of the 4 million dollar donation. However, he believed that the donation might have been a personal contribution from Linda and Vince.

‘‘More likely it would have come from Vince personally’’.

Former COO Donna Goldsmith did not have any particular recollection of the donation, but she did have a theory. She suggests, “It was probably payment for the ‘Hair vs. Hair’ match”. However, one WWE spokesman appeared to refute Goldsmith’s theory.

“The donations to the Trump Foundation were personal donations made by the McMahons and not tied to appearance fees”, the spokesman suggested in an email.

What’s next?

The report suggests that the WWE could be paying celebrities, who have made appearances at various WWE events, the amount mentioned above and that is a long list.

The list includes appearances from celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Mike Tyson, Ronda Rousey and most recently New England Patriots tight end Robert ‘Gronk’ Gronkowski. This raises questions as to whether the WWE should stop spending huge sums of money on celebrities and instead spend that money on improving the WWE.

Author’s take

While many fans of the WWE Universe appreciate these celebrity appearances, the fact of the matter is that the WWE is spending quite a lot on mainstream personalities. Let’s be honest 400,000 and 150,000 dollar contributions from Comedy Central and People’s Magazine shrink in size when compared to the supposed 4 million dollar contribution from the WWE.

Instead of spending money on these appearances, the WWE should put that 8% to good use and improve upon many of the things that the promotion is possibly lacking.

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