If either WWE impressario Vince McMahon or real estate tycoon Donald Trump actually shave their heads as part of an off-the-wall Wrestlemania promotion, you can thank Bonnie Hammer with an assist from Jeff Zucker.
That's according to McMahon, who told Fox News Thursday that USA Network Channel President suggested the two wealthy entrepreneurs who get screen time on their respective NBC Universal vehicles–Trump on NBC's Apprentice, McMahon on USA's World Wrestling Entertainment bouts, do something co-promotional.
McMahon said NBC U President Jeff Zucker got involved and the "shave or be shaved" challenge was born.
The two will wrestle by proxy, with each represented by a wrestler whose chair-slinging, turnbuckle-bashing bout will determine whether McMahon or Trump does the Daddy Warbucks impression. My guess is that if the two were really wrestling each other, McMahon would be the odds on favorite. His transformation in the weight room from the pudgy guy who used to do analysis of bouts between Chief Jay Strongbow and The Baron into the tanned and trim P.T. Barnum of the squared circle continues to amaze and confound.
I''ll never forget the bout between the Chief and some villainous rival who trashed his ceremonial war bonnet. The look of pain on the Chief's face is burned into my memory, or would be if I hadn't forgotten exactly how he looked.
But I digress.
The match is scheduled for April 1, which Fox's Neil Cavuto suggested might leave room for neither to shave their pates and chalk it up to an April Fool's joke. McMahon said no, the viewers will get somebody's scalp. If it is like every other bout, the outcome is predetermined (hope I'm not shattering any illusions there).
I wonder if oddsmakers have a line on which is more likely to agree to the shearing. I would check, but I haven't figured out how to bypass the firewall blocking he from access to online gambling sites.
By John Eggerton
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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