"To be the man, you've got to beat the man."
- "Nature Boy" Ric Flair
And to be the governor, Vincent Sheheen has to beat the woman, as in Nikki Haley.
But that one-on-one maxim isn't the only common core, er, thread, running through politics and professional wrestling.
Fresh evidence of that linkage will be on dynamic local display during Friday night's "Road to Wrestlemania" show at the North Charleston Coliseum. The World Wrestling Entertainment event will feature pompous braggarts, rancorous rhetoric, win-at-all-cost tactics, shifting alliances and overzealous cheers and boos.
In other words, it will be a lot like politics.
The squared-circle spectacle also should be a reminder for rasslers, politicians and the rest of us to heed these life lessons:
"They don't ask you how you won, they ask you if you won."
- "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers (the original "Nature Boy")
OK, so they do occasionally ask you how you won. For instance, they asked Lyndon Johnson how he first won a U.S. Senate seat in 1948 with a disputed 87-vote Texas Democratic primary margin. And they asked George W. Bush how he won the presidency in 2000 with a disputed 537-vote margin in Florida.
Still, to the election winners go the elective offices.
"We have to do what's best for business."
- "Triple H" and Stephanie McMahon
Unlike Bill and Hillary Clinton, neither member of that married power couple, aka "The Authority," has ever been, nor aspires to become, our president. But "Triple H," aka "The Game" and Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and his wife do impose their "best for business" credo with ruthless zeal while running the WWE.
And Stephanie's mom, Linda, was the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut in 2010 and 2012. No, she didn't win either general election, but neither has any other GOP Senate nominee in Connecticut since Lowell Weicker in 1982.
Who's watching now?
"The pleasure is all yours."
- Jesse "The Body" Ventura
Ventura rose from boa-wearing rasslin' bad guy to governor of Minnesota on a third-party run, which is not to be confused with a three-man tag team.
Then Ventura started spreading conspiracy theories on TV and the Internet.
Early this month, he even told CNBC's "Closing Bell" from what he called an "undisclosed location in Mexico": "I'm off the grid. I move about with my TV show so that the drones can't find me and you won't know exactly where I am."
"Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat."
- "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers
The late Eddie "Latino Heat" Guerrero, former WWE champ, had his own variation - "I lie! I cheat! I steal!" And "If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin' " is an old motto that extends not only to politics and rasslin' but to other sports - including college football.
Rasslers and politicians also learn to expect betrayal.
For instance, last month the New Age Outlaws ("Road Dogg" Jesse James and "Badd Ass" Billy Gunn) literally turned their backs on partner C.M. Punk and walked away from the ring when he desperately reached out for a tag while being pounded by all three members of The Shield on "Monday Night Raw." Punk then went on what WWE CEO Vince McMahon, aka "Mr. McMahon," calls a "sabbatical."
Yet there will be plenty of top rasslin' talent at the coliseum Friday night, with the main event pitting WWE champ Randy Orton, aka "The Viper," against John Cena in a dreaded steel-cage match.
That is, if Cena has sufficiently recovered from the knee injury the Wyatt Family inflicted upon him on this week's "Raw."
Fortunately, though, rasslers, like politicians, are remarkably resilient.
Hey, Mark Sanford came all the way back from the Appalachian Trail.
So why can't Cena come back from that beatdown?
Stylin' and profilin'
Also impressively durable - my long-time Post and Courier tag-team partner, nationally renowned pro wrestling columnist Mike Mooneyham.
Though the two of us don't look like a physically imposing tandem, we did once serve as "bodyguards" for "Naitch." All three of us "Nature Boys" hit local hot spots on what Flair so vividly bills as a "limousine-ridin' " night on the town.
Flair, who was good friends with our late Gov. Carroll Campbell and has considered running for governor of North Carolina, is at least as charming in person as on TV - and really is prone to suddenly shouting "Woo!"
As for familiar complaints that the competitors are phonies and the outcomes are rigged, that's all too often true.
Of politics, that is.
Frank Wooten is assistant editor of The Post and Courier. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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