Ringside Reviews: ‘TrumpMania: Vince McMahon, WWE & The Making Of America’s 45th President’

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The following book review was written by Dominic DeAngelo and does not reflect the opinions of WrestleZone as a whole. We encourage you all to discuss Dominic’s thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this post and follow him on Twitter @DominicDeAngelo and listen to his Get The Tray Tables podcast exclusively on WrestleZone Radio.

The world of professional wrestling has had its share of controversial figures.  From promoters to performers, no turnbuckle is left tied when one unravels the genre’s tangled web of crooks and characters nor are they when fans are searching for a hero to invest their time and passion into. Wrestling is full of hyperbole and grandstanding – just like politics. Ever since the days of Lincoln, the world of wrestling has stepped a boot or two around the campaign trail and it may not be as ever as impactful or polarizing as it has been with our 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

In his 2018 book TrumpMania, author Lavie Margolin takes the Gorilla position in breaking down President Trump’s 30-year friendship with the McMahon family and how some of those ties could have helped the mogul television celebrity gain access to the Oval Office.

Mr. Margolin doesn’t necessarily tailor TrumpMania for only the die-hard wrestling fan (sometimes it isn’t), but it’s also stitched to fit the person who picks up the Sunday paper to read what Washington is up to. He clears up some of the Kayfabe terminology for the non-wrestling layman and gives out real names with backgrounds of particular players involved in President Trump’s rise from from billionaire, to WWE Hall of Famer to Commander-In-Chief.

TrumpMania is structured in chronological fashion starting off with both backgrounds of President Trump and the McMahon monarchy before delving into the two parties’ “Art Of The Deal” over WrestleMania IV and then V. Readers go down the road of Trump’s financial highs-and-lows with not just wrestling, but boxing and mixed martial arts (including his relationship with UFC figurehead Dana White).

You’ll read all the ins-and-outs of President Trump’s on-air appearances with WWF & WWE and how Vince McMahon has chose to portray his billionaire buddy over the course of three decades. Recounts of the President’s feud with Rosie O’Donnell and his fascinating interactions with talent such as Dutch Mantel, Bobby Lashley and Steve Austin all become highlights. In addition, some of the factoids that Mr. Margolin churns up can be ironically funny or somewhat uneasy depending on which side of the aisle you may to lean to.

Speaking of, the tone of TrumpMania may venture toward a certain side, but Mr. Margolin doesn’t let that cloudy up the facts of the strong similarities between McMahon and the Man Of The Hour. Slight digs at Donnie are made, but not enough to take away from the intrigue of Trump’s wild ties to the promotion of the squared circle. If you’re fandom of wrestling more than you are of politics, then any paranoia of propaganda shouldn’t inhibit your enjoyment.

Trump isn’t the only political focus in the book as the soon-to-be-resigned Linda McMahon gets a fair amount of air-time in the later chapters. Mr. Margolin shines a light on her stabs at the Senate and then tackles her appointment as the Administrator Of Small Business Administration.

What really runs the ropes in TrumpMania however is the fascinating talk of ego and brash bravado that both Trump and Vince McMahon share. Learning how their strong personalities both clashed and cohabited  are truly what makes the book a fun and easy page turner. You combine that with the simplistic style that artist Box Brown gives to each chapter and it ties in the surreal of this one-of-a-kind story all together.

Promoters are constantly told to never mix wrestling and politics, but TrumpMania is one of the few exceptions to the rule.