McMahon Pins GOP Opponents

While she didn’t quite body slam the opposition, former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon did garner enough votes in Connecticut’s Aug. 10 Republican primary to earn her party’s nomination to run against Democrat Richard Blumenthal in the state’s U.S. Senate election in November.

Finishing with less than 50 percent of the party’s primary vote in a three-way race, McMahon moves on to the November general election despite being thrown into the ropes repeatedly by the opposition.

“The support of the voters of Connecticut isn’t bestowed by the establishment or the pundits or the media. It isn’t a birthright,” McMahon said after winning the primary. But November’s final outcome won’t be as easily scripted as a WWE match, either.

“Connecticut Republicans today nominated a corporate CEO of WWE who, under her watch, violence was peddled to kids, steroid abuse was rampant, yet she made millions,” Robert Menendez, the chairman of the Democratic Senate campaign committee, said in a statement.

Linda McMahon countered that the violence and sexual themes WWE was famous for were toned down under her leadership, and that she enacted stringent drug testing and other policies in part because of the deaths of five WWE wrestlers over the years. Her detractors say that WWE history is fair game in the Senate campaign.

Linda’s husband, Vince McMahon, doesn’t agree and in the primary campaign’s waning days climbed into the ring to try to smack down those who dissed his wife for her business cred.

Linda’s opponents had a field day showing video of some of WWE’s greatest hits, including one wrestler simulating sex with a “dead” person, another of Vince on stage ordering a female wrestler to get on her knees and bark like a dog, and one of Linda being bodyslammed in the ring by another wrestler.

“If you knew the story line behind it, what have you, you might even consider that black humor, you know, dark humor, which is what it was designed to be,” Vince was quoted by the New York Post in response to complaints about the necrophilia skit. “The question is taste – whether or not things like that are in good taste.”

Republican voters evidently didn’t care. Despite accusations of sexist treatment of wrestlers, steroid abuse and general violence and mayhem, Linda McMahon successfully portrayed herself as just a successful businesswoman spoiling to rassle the boys in the U.S. Senate – a common plot line in the current mid-term election cycle.

But even if she’s been able to leverage the bottom line success of WWE into a Senate nomination, she’s still got Wall Street waiting in the wings for a possible blind tag. The company’s second quarter net income tanked by 69 percent over a year ago, mostly thanks to the lack of a marquee “Wrestlemania” pay-per-view in 2010. Per share, WWE earned 8 cents compared with 27 cents in 2009. However, subtracting “Wrestlemania” from last year’s Q2 still results in a net of $10.2 million, or 14 cents a share.

Now-CEO Vince McMahon blamed the drop on roster changes and costs related to the Icelandic volcano.

“We view some of these factors as temporary and, looking ahead, we remain confident in our ability to address these challenges by producing compelling content and cultivating consumer demand,” Vince McMahon said in a statement.

Perhaps he should consider a “Wrestlemania” PPV event between Linda McMahon and her Democratic opponent on election day, in time for the November ratings period.