Billionaire rematch on NBC?
Nearly one year after Mr. McMahon and Donald Trump came to billion-dollar blows at WrestleMania 23, the two media juggernauts cross paths again -- this time on The Donald's turf -- on NBC's The Celebrity Apprentice.
This Thursday at 9/8 CT, McMahon will make a very special appearance on Trump's hugely popular corporate-themed competition starring celebrities such as Stephen Baldwin, Lennox Lewis, Vinnie Pastore and Marilu Henner.
"I invited Vince to come on because I loved my victory over him at WrestleMania 23, and I thought maybe I'd take it to the next step," Trump explained. "Vince is the greatest showman there is. Whether you like him or not, Vince is a smart guy. He's cunning, he's sharp and I did listen to his opinions."
This truly special episode of The Celebrity Apprentice marks the first time the mane-shaven McMahon and the fully-coiffed Trump encountered one another since the record-breaking WrestleMania in April. Given their clouded history, The Donald carefully coupled his praise with self-assertion, making sure it was known who he believed was the dominant force in the executive chair on the show.
"Vince likes to … think that he's got this power," Trump said. "I'm taller than Vince, I'm stronger than Vince, I'm better looking than Vince.
He continued confidently, "If I walk into a restaurant and he walks into a restaurant anywhere in the world, I can tell you who gets the best table … and it's Trump."
It's natural to wonder whether there is actually a board room big enough for these well moneyed moguls to share -- let alone make decisions together about the contestants' business prowess.
"You could tell there was a bit of tension in the board room," Mr. McMahon admitted. "I'm accustomed to board rooms, I have a public company. I hold a grudge and [Trump] knows it. Notwithstanding my short hair, I am still … far more handsome than Donald."
With these two earth-sized egos colliding at the same polished cherry wood board room table, the contestants will face arguably the greatest challenge of the season. And, by the show's end, one underperforming celebrity will hear those very damaging words that terminate his or her apprenticeship -- something Mr. McMahon adamantly claimed is his forte that The Donald shamelessly stole.
"A long, long time ago, Mr. McMahon came up with the phrase ‘You're fired,'" claimed the WWE Chairman. "Trump is smart; he copied from the best. So, he copied me."
The difference? Simple.
"I do it a little differently than he does," Mr. McMahon explained, before his eyes suddenly filled with an unusual rage that drew several large veins upon his forehead. "I say: YOU'RE FIRED!
"I mean it," he stressed. "[Trump] does too, but the person being fired feels a little different having been fired by me as opposed to Donald."
But, before you expect to see the Battle of the Billionaires: Part 2 explode onto network television, you might want to consider the WWE Chairman and the Trump Enterprises overlord to be the most powerful pairing in the world.
"I really wouldn't call this Battle of the Billionaires 2," Mr. McMahon surprisingly argued. "Donald and I were on the same side … which is a very interesting combination considering the cunning marketing skills that we have. I would suggest the two of us would make quite a tag team champion."
The thought of the two powerhouses partnering is indeed intriguing, but more importantly, alarming. While Trump did not comment on whether he would step in the ring with Mr. McMahon and actually share one side of it, there was something both billionaires actually agreed on.
"This episode was spectacular," The Donald affirmed. "You will see something about Vince and learn something about him that you never knew before."
Like Trump, Mr. McMahon claimed that his experience on his rival's program will unquestionably yield huge success. Describing his appearance as a rare opportunity for WWE fans, Mr. McMahon guaranteed viewers will see the WWE Chairman in a way he has never been seen before.
"For WWE fans, it's going to be interesting to see how Vince McMahon does outside of his environment," said the Chairman. "They may see a different side of Vince McMahon on The Celebrity Apprentice."