Former WWE Chairman Vince McMahon donated unreported money to Donald Trump and the Donald Trump Foundation for appearances.
The scandal surrounding Vince McMahon and his illicit spending has been the story of the summer for wrestling. It started with reports that he had paid former employees hush money for secret affairs.
Over $12 million was paid over a decade to buy silence from various women, most of which was unreported. The scandal eventually led to Vince announcing his retirement from WWE, with Triple H taking over creative.
Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan would assume responsibility for Vince’s other duties as CO-CEOs. Even after Vince’s retirement, more payments have been discovered, but not all of it was hush money.
Pro-Wrestling Insider reported today that an additional $5 million was uncovered to have been paid to the Donald Trump Foundation. This payment was for Donald Trump’s involvement in WrestleMania 23 in the infamous battle of the billionaire’s match.
The angle featured Trump and McMahon picking a wrestler to represent them at WrestleMania in a match. The winning side earned the right to shave the opposing billionaire’s head.
Vince chose the late Umaga, while Trump chose Bobby Lashley. Stone Cold Steve Austin served as the special guest referee.
Vince would lose and get his head shaved by the three babyfaces, but the angle would end with Stone Cold giving a stunner to Trump. The payments for Trump’s participation should have been logged as business expenses, but it appears they were not.
The Truth Behind the Money
Trump’s 2007 and 2009 tax returns revealed contributions of $4 million and $1 million from WWE. Said payments matched up with dates in which the former president appeared on WWE programming.
Vince was expected to make his $4 million contribution to Trump’s campaign for the WrestleMania match. Trump also ensured that under no circumstances would his head be shaved, even if Lashley had died in the ring.
The additional $1 million was an appearance fee, despite Donald Trump’s claim that it had been for the success of the event. The Donald Trump Foundation would eventually shut down in 2018 following allegations that Trump had misused funds to benefit his 2016 campaign.
There were also allegations that he had used foundation money to pay off legal expenses and promote his business. As time goes on, it seems more and more payments are being discovered.
Despite this, reports recently surfaced that the investigation was essentially concluded. Is it over, or will more details continue to come out over the coming weeks?