May 26, 2017 (Bozeman, MT) - On the eve of a special election for Montana's House Congressional seat vacated by Ryan Zinke, now U.S. Interior Secretary, anticipation was running strong. Running even stronger was GOP candidate Greg Gianforte, fresh off an impassioned speech to 48 Montanans about standardized naming conventions for pet elks, who was feeling riled up. Then came The Guardian’s reporter, Ben Jacobs, arrogantly trying to do his job and asking questions about the Congressional Budget Office’s score for the American Health Care Act.
By multiple reports, Gianforte tried to pass off the question to his press secretary while walking away from Jacobs. According to Fox News correspondent Alicia Akuna, something quickly appeared to come over Gianforte, like a violent, heel-like turn, mixed with the pageantry of sports entertainment.
“Gianforte brushed past Jacobs' first question with no real concern,” Akuna said. “But when Jacobs asked a second time, Gianforte abruptly did an about-face, pointed at Jacobs, and Hulk Hoganly yelled ‘You’! Gianforte then ran up to Jacobs body-slamming him to the ground. While Jacobs was writhing in pain, Gianforte ran to one side of the room, bounced off the wall, ran back toward Jacobs on the ground and delivered a leg-drop. Gianforte then lifted Jacobs’ leg while his press secretary dove on the ground and counted to three. We were all so scared.”
Per a press release by the Gianforte campaign earlier this morning, the Wednesday night fight has led to a professional wrestling opportunity for the GOP candidate with the WWE. According to his inner circle, Gianforte didn’t have to think long about changing out his suit and tie for a sequined speedo. A shock to some on the political circuit, it’s no surprise to those who know Gianforte personally. He’s been a die-hard wrestling fan since grade school, wears knee-high polyester boots nearly every day, and ends every campaign speech by scaling the podium and pantomiming a championship belt around his waist.
WWE CEO Vince McMahon considers the incident between Gianforte and Jacobs as a great promotional opportunity.
“I figured, we just lost the Undertaker to retirement, why not replace him with another old guy that can get beat up at WrestleManias,” McMahon said. “Plus, it will do wonders for his political career should Greg ever decide to go back. I mean, heck, the guy in the Oval Office right now once got stunned by Stone Cold.”
As ballots are still being counted in Montana, neither candidate knows their political future for sure (Editor's note: Gianforte won the election), but Gianforte knows he’ll be in the squared-circle in just a few short weeks. His first match is scheduled to be against Kane, who is coincidentally running for a county’s mayor position in Tennessee. Should Gianforte win the election, he plans to hold office and explore the possibility of offering a tag-team-like role to his opponent, Democratic Rob Quist, in both congressional duties as well as in the ring.
Anthony Salerno is from Buffalo, New York. He is a current DCH student and performs with Ewing Troupe: Clementine. When he’s not working at Improv or his day job, he’s trying to talk himself out of buying Uncrustables at the grocery store.
(Image: William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images)