If you’ve ever listened to Donald Trump insult a reporter, a fellow candidate, or an entire race of people and thought that he sounded like a bad guy from a professional wrestling match, you’re not alone.
An actual pro wrestler felt the same way.
During Brian Cage’s huge match as the villain against El Patrón Alberto at Triplemanía XXIII last Sunday in Mexico City, he wore a Donald Trump for President shirt.
“Right after the controversy with him saying that Mexicans are rapists, I was like, ‘I’m gonna wear a Donald Trump shirt to the ring one day.’ I kept saying it as a joke. Everybody thought it was hilarious,” says Brian Cage. “So I brought it up with [friend and fellow wrestler] Konnan. I said, ‘I’m really thinking about buying a Trump shirt.’”
Cage is most known for his work with Lucha Underground, a wrestling organization that airs shows on the El Rey Network and UniMas. (Those networks are owned by Univision, which Trump is suing for $500 million.)
Trump, as you are undoubtedly aware, came under fire several weeks ago for calling some Mexicans crossing the border “rapists” and “killers.” When pressed on the issue by CNN’s Don Lemon, Trump doubled down.
“Well, somebody’s doing the raping, Don!” he said. “I mean somebody’s doing it! Who’s doing the raping? Who’s doing the raping?”
Trump also insisted that, if he wins the presidency, a wall will be built between the United States and Mexico, and that he will force Mexico to pay to create it.
He currently leads all Republican presidential candidates, polling at 24 percent.
Cage started biting lines from some of Trump’s more famous speeches for video packages before the event.
“I was in that outfit for one of my promos, so I ended it with, ‘Make America Great Again,’” says Cage.
Cage tried the Trump shirt on a local TV show as well—the station told him to wear it and see what happened.
“Nobody said anything,” he says. “I think they were intimidated by it.”
It’s worth noting that Cage is 6’0” and 230 pounds. Even still, Cage had some concerns about how wrestling fans would react.
“You know, in some towns, you don’t mess with certain people,” he says. “I asked [Konnan], ‘I’m not gonna get shot, am I?’”
Konnan, who was once called “The Mexican Hulk Hogan” (back when that was a good thing), assured him everything would be OK.
Everything was more than OK. Cage emerged from backstage at Arena Ciudad de México, flexing in his “Make America Great Again” tanktop while his manager waved an American flag. He was booed mercilessly.
“Oh, for sure. Instantly,” he says. “As soon as I posted the first picture about it, I lost like 30 Twitter followers immediately. It was perfect. That’s what I want.”
Cage had a good start to the match, but after leveling Alberto with a chair, a baking sheet, and a power bomb through a table, Cage eventually succumbed to an arm bar to end the match.
(You didn’t think they were really going to let Donald Trump’s America win in Mexico, did you?)
It gets better: the El Patron Alberto vs. Brian Cage was a loser-shaves-their head match. Cage is now shorn.
“Now I feel like a white supremacist,” he says, laughing.
Cage called the night and the reaction from the fans “awesome,” even though he may have torn his MCL launching off the ropes for a double-jump moonsault. He still managed to complete the match on one leg, running on the adrenaline of a great crowd, what he called a “perfect” gimmick, and—why not?—good ol’ American ingenuity. (Cage, whose real name is Brian Button, was driving to the doctor when he talked to The Daily Beast.)
After Cage left the ring, he says he got one of the best compliments a bad guy pro wrestler could ever receive.
“After the match a guy said, ‘I’m Mexican. Even though I hate him, this is great,’” says Cage.
“Well, there was that one guy ringside chanting ‘U-S-A’ the entire time,” says Cage.
If he meant a Latino vote, Donald Trump is right once again.