World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), known for its outrageous and over-the-top stunts, pulled off another one last month by integrating a real ticket refund for thousands of attendees.
The move was part of a colorful storyline involving a “feud” between Donald Trump and WWE owner Vince McMahon, which occurred when Trump announced that all fans attending the June 22 edition of “Monday Night Raw” in Green Bay, WI would get a full refund, with all the money coming from his own pocket.
As Trump described at the mock press conference, he was trying to put the “green back in Green Bay.”
Later that night, Trump made an appearance on the “Monday Night Raw” show where he reiterated his vow to fans that he would refund everyone’s ticket. In the end, Trump kept his promise, which, according to a WWE press release, cost the company approximately $235,000.
An attempt to reach a WWE spokesperson for comment about the storyline and the refund was unsuccessful. According to Pollstar, executives from the Resch Center, where the event was staged, were only told of the refund less than a week before the match. Several box office staffers and ushers were not told of it until the night of the event.
Resch Center vice president of event services Kristie Haney, told Pollstar: “They said, ‘Don’t tell a soul. The only people who can know right now are the people who need to facilitate this. And if you tell anybody, we’re all in trouble.'”
The refunds reportedly went off without a hitch; the center seats about 10,000, and it uses its own in-house ticketing operation, which processed the refunds.
Trump’s storyline with WWE unfolded slowly over the course of a few shows. Eventually, he “bought” WWE’s “Monday Night Raw” from McMahon, and as the new “owner,” Trump wasted little time to make his presence felt, despite it all being scripted.
The storyline for the June 22 show also called for it to be broadcasted commercial-free. Airing live on the USA Network, the two hour show went uninterrupted, a first in WWE history.
However, during the same show, Trump’s involvement with WWE came to an end. As scripted, McMahon began to regret his decision to sell Monday Night Raw, so he “bought” it back from Trump for twice the amount Trump paid to obtain it.