WWE to Host ‘Smackdown Your Vote! Debate’

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. is hosting its own debate on the eve of the first presidential debate.

WWE said Thursday that the first-ever “Smackdown Your Vote! Debate” will be held at the Gusman Concert Hall on the University of Miami Coral Gables campus Wednesday, Sept. 29, the night before the first in a series of debates between President George Bush and Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).

The debate will focus on the answers given by both candidates to The 18-30 VIP, the first ever national voter-issues paper presented by WWE and its Smackdown Your Vote! partners.

Current WWE champion John "Bradshaw" Layfield and WWE Superstar and The New York Times best-selling author Mick Foley will take part, with other participants, including students and elected officials, to be announced in mid-September.

"Younger Americans have some excellent ideas on how to address the issues important to them, which we want to bring out in this debate," WWE chairman Vince McMahon said in a prepared statement.

"More important, we want this debate to inspire more 18- to 30-year-old Americans to vote in this election so that lawmakers at the federal and state levels, when they take office in 2005, will pay more attention to addressing the issues important to this age group,” he added.