Trump, who will host the 13th season of NBC’s “The Apprentice, when it returns March 13, represents the latest celebrity WWE has inducted after honoring Drew Carey, Pete Rose, Bob Uecker, Mike Tyson and William “Refrigerator” Perry in the past.
WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon called Trump “a global icon whose status brought an unmatched level of publicity and grandeur to WWE.”
Trump has had a long history with WWE that dates back to the fourth “WrestleMania,” in 1988. The vocal businessman hosted the fifth, in Atlantic City, in 1989. In 2007, he battled McMahon in a “Battle of the Billionaires” match at “WrestleMania 23,” which resulted in “The Donald” shaving off the WWE topper’s hair. And in 2009, Trump purchased and resold WWE to company McMahon, as part of a storyline.
“It was literally the thrill of a lifetime performing in front of 80,000 enthusiastic fans during the ‘Battle of the Billionaires’ match at ‘WrestleMania XXIII,’” said Trump, chairman and president of the Trump Organization. “I’ve always enjoyed and respected WWE’s brand of entertainment and look forward to the ceremony in my hometown at Madison Square Garden.”
The 2013 WWE Hall of Fame Class also includes Bruno Sammartino, Mick Foley, Bob Backlund and Trish Stratus.