While President Elect Barack Obama’s early attempt to
pander to woo professional wrestling fans was previously noted in this space, full credit to Newsday’s Alfonso Castillo, possibly the only daily newspaper writer in America to ponder “what might the Obama Presidency mean to the WWE and TNA?”
The War: Obama has opposed the war on Iraq and says he is committed to ending it. However, he also says he would refocus America’s efforts in fighting terrorism in Afghanistan. What does that mean for wrestling fans? For one, we can count on having more WWE Christmas with the Troops specials in the foreseeable future – perhaps hosted in Afghanistan rather than Iraq. But whether we are in Iraq or Afghanistan, as long as we’re at war in the Middle East, I guess we’ll keep getting stereotypical Arab heels, ala Muhammad Hassan and Sheik Abdul Bashir.
Education: Obama is in favor of pumping money into early childhood education, as well as making college more affordable by giving aid to students who commit to providing community service after graduating. With WWE’s core audience being the college age crowd, that could mean more educated wrestling fans. In turn, that could mean stronger demand for more sophisticated storylines instead of toilet humor. And maybe fans will start spelling better on the signs they take to live shows. Also, with Obama supporting better wages for quality teachers, maybe Matt Striker goes back to his old job.
Women’s rights: Obama supports a woman™s right to choose, equal pay for equal work, expanding the childcare tax credit and paid sick leave for parents. That could make for a better workplace for WWE’s Divas and TNA’s Knockouts. It could discourage employers from firing women once they get pregnant, as WWE did to Dawn Marie. It could also encourage promoters to pay their female wrestlers the same as their male ones, perhaps preventing a situation like TNA had when Gail Kim refused their low-ball contract renewal offer last summer.
Labor: Obama says he believes that workers should have the freedom to join a union without harassment or intimidation from their employers. Uh oh, Vince.