Smackdown

Former Wrestler Bashes McMahon

In the Royal Rumble that is the primary race for the Republican Senate nomination in Connecticut, contender Linda McMahon is taking some "cheap heat" from former wrestling personality Superstar Billy Graham, who appeared in the ring with World Wrestling Entertainment, which is owned by McMahon's husband, Vince. Graham, a charismatic heel (or bad guy) from the 1970s and '80s, says he is "bitter to the core" after being left with no pension and no health care from his years wrestling for the company that made McMahon rich, and is doing everything he can to block McMahon's bid. Furious about both his lack of post-wrestling support from the WWE and what he sees as the sanitization of wrestling—including less-frequent bleeding in the ring, a ban on female wrestlers posing in Playboy, and an end to "lingerie matches" between female wrestlers—Graham intends to remind Connecticut voters of McMahon's connection to the industry, even as she avoids mention of it in her campaign materials. The company and her campaign have denounced Graham as "disgruntled" and "bitter," a charge to which Graham responds by saying, "I am disgruntled. I am bitter."