N365185 03: Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura discusses Republican presidential contender John McCain on NBC's ''Meet the Press'' February 27, 2000 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Michael Smith)
Wrestlers Who Tried Their Hand At Politics
By Robin Marchant
Jesse Ventura
A Navy SEAL and Vietnam veteran, ”The Body” added two major political positions to his resume when he was first elected mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, and then governor. He helped establish a light-rail line, but got heavy criticism for mishandling the state's budget, turning a $3 billion surplus into a $4.2 billion deficit during his term.
Jerry Lawler
"The King" was wrestling royalty, but that didn’t help his two bids to be the mayor of Memphis, Tennessee. He got only 11.7 percent of the vote in his first run — due in part to a parking dispute where Lawler attacked a police officer — and his second attempt was worse, getting only 4 percent of the vote.
Rick Steiner
Since 2006, Steiner has represented the Cherokee County Board of Education in Georgia, but when he first ran, he was disqualified for registering under his wrestling name. Steiner said, "I used it as a springboard to help people recognize who I was," but he won anyway as a write-in candidate and is seeking re-election for Vice Chair in 2022.
Raymond Rougeau
One half of The Fabulous Rougeaus tag team, Rougeau was elected mayor of Rawdon, Quebec after several years on city council. Rougeau claims that wrestling helped prepare him for politics, saying, "There are always unexpected things that happen, you're going to face adversities, things don't always go as planned, and in politics it's the same thing."
Atsushi Onita
Onita was elected to Japan’s House of Councillors in 2001, but he resigned in 2007 due to a sex scandal involving a threesome with a porn star and another government employee. Despite the scandal, Onita ran to become governor of Nagasaki in 2010 but only received 13 percent of the vote.