Rhyno speaks on his decision to run for State Representative in Michigan
Of all the political developments in 2016, perhaps the most surprising came yesterday, when Rhyno announced his entry into the Michigan State Representative race. This may seem like a strange career choice for a Superstar who was most recently seen rumbling with The Wyatt Family in an Extreme Rules Match on Raw. However, The Man Beast’s passion for his city and his country has run long and deep. WWE.com caught up with the Dearborn, Mich. native and former ECW Champion to discuss his decision to run, his policies and what to expect from the political campaign of an ECW Original.
WWE.com: Can you talk a little about your decision to run and how long it has been in the works?
I just want to do well for my state, my community and my country.
RHYNO: Well, I’ve followed politics for decades. It’s something I’ve always had a passion for. I love my country, I love my state of Michigan and I love the city I live in. It’s something I’ve thought about doing for a while and something I thought, “Now’s the time to give back.” I’m 40, I can still wrestle full time, and I can still do this … represent people and give them someone they can be proud of.
WWE.com: As a first-timer in the political arena, what do you see as your biggest challenges ahead?
RHYNO: Getting elected, the thing that will be difficult is asking people for help. I’ve never been a person to ask for help; asking people to volunteer, help me make calls and knock on doors is difficult for me as a person. I’ve always been the guy to carry my own bags because God gave me the ability to use all my limbs, and after my neck surgery that might have been taken away. It’s just one of those things where I appreciate everything I’ve been blessed with, and I appreciate all the stuff I’m able to do and accomplish. It’s difficult for me to ask for help, but you know what? My goal is to see Michigan move into a better future, so if I need to ask for help? So be it. I’ll get over that little hump. [Laughs.]
I definitely want to make it fun and special, and the people that volunteer and donate to the campaign will know that they’re part of something special.
WWE.com: Is there a place people can go to donate or volunteer yet?
RHYNO: We’re setting all that up. [And] I’m running under my real name, Terrance Guido Gerin.
WWE.com: Can you talk about your campaign a bit? What are some of the policies you’ll be running under?
RHYNO: I think we need to work on infrastructure. The roads in Michigan are poor, and that’s being PC about it. There was a vote to raise the sales tax to 7 percent. I’m not for raising taxes, because it never works out for the middle class. But I think raising the sales tax for two years from 6 percent to 7 percent, getting the roads fixed, getting done with it and making cuts on wasteful spending will [be a big step]. People who are elected to office should definitely be more responsible with tax dollars. Whenever you raise taxes on anyone—middle class, wealthy — it just never works out for the middle class, because it always trickles down to them paying more in one way, shape or form.
My goal is to see Michigan move into a better future.
I think, let teachers teach. We micromanage them. Here in Michigan, it’s about a decade now that teachers have taken a cut of 11 percent of their pay, and we haven’t seen an increase in pay. We need to get to the basics — reading, writing, arithmetic — and we’ll go from there. Set the goals high, let counties be in charge of the education system and cities be more hands-on. What may work on one side of the state may not work on the other. The overall goal is to give teachers the tools they need to teach. Let’s not kill morale, because when you kill morale, it affects how they perform as teachers. Micromanaging really kills morale. Let’s set the goals high and get them the pay.
I also think we need to take care of the first responders, stuff like that. Very basic, common sense stuff. That’s what I bring to the table.
WWE.com: How did your time in WWE help prepare you for this new venture?
RHYNO: I’ve been blessed to travel the world with an open mind and a thirst for knowledge. I’m very proud to be a part of the WWE family and I want to make not only the WWE family but the WWE Universe proud. There’s no greater feeling than when someone looks at you and says, “Hey, I’m proud of you.” When you do good, it’s a good thing. People helping people is great. And I want to make the people in my district proud. I already have made them proud. I hear that all the time whenever I go to the store or the gas station. They’re proud to have someone that goes out there, chases a dream and accomplishes it. They’re proud to call me one of their own. To represent them and make their lives easier, I know they’ll be proud of me for doing that.
People that volunteer and donate to the campaign will know they're part of something special.
The great thing about my profession is that you get to help people and make a difference in their lives, and that’s a very powerful feeling. I want to make people’s lives a little easier. I think in this industry, you have that sense of giving back. I put on a lot of independent shows in VFW halls in the Detroit area, and the veterans I meet there are great. I’ve met a lot of Vietnam veterans. I like to call them my buddies. They might disagree. [Laughs.] They’re a very special group of people. They’ve served. And I just want to do well for my state, my community and my country.
WWE.com: Were there any experiences in particular that helped push you towards this decision?
RHYNO: The second greatest experience of my life — the first being there when my daughter was born —was when we went over to the troops in December 2003 and wrestled in front of them. We met over 10,000 troops. Just watching everyone over there interacting with the troops, and even watching Vince [McMahon], [they’d] shake hands, take pictures. Everybody, from Rey Mysterio to John Cena and [“Stone Cold” Steve] Austin. It was a very proud moment in my life to be part of that and to see the passion WWE has for not only the veterans, but for the men and women who serve their country. They love their country, and that’s contagious. That’s really the point where I started diving deep into my desire to serve my community and country. They give back so much. I can do that, too.