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  July 14, 1999

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Ventura ready for SummerSlam
By JOHN POWELL -- SLAM! Wrestling

Da' Body is back.

The World Wrestling Federation announced at a press conference held at the Target Center in Minnesota today that Jesse "The Body" Ventura (now Governor Ventura) will once again return to the ring at SummerSlam on Sunday, August 22. Ventura will serve as the special guest referee in the WWF World Championship title match. The annual pay-per-view broadcast is to be appropriately sub-titled 'An out of Body experience'.

"Now, many of you probably think that Jesse and I became estranged after he left the World Wrestling Federation. Certainly, that is not the case. As a matter of fact Jesse consulted me with every step of the way as far as his political career was concerned. Actually, I was his unofficial campaign manager. I told Jesse what to say, when to say it. He even asked me what to wear on the Oprah show," stated WWF President Vincent K. McMahon, introducing Ventura to the rowdy crowd on hand.

Dressed in a suit and not his outrageous ring attire of yesteryear, Ventura took exception to McMahon's comments. He brushed off an attempt at a hand shake and motioned for McMahon to take his seat.

"First of all let me say this, I never thought I'd see the day that my name would be next to the World Wrestling Federation again but I'll tell you what, in light of where wrestling is today -- it is time to bring back some law and order," said Ventura, who had a falling out with the WWF in the late eighties and jumped ship to World Championship Wrestling to take a position as a colour commentator before venturing into politics.

A former WWF World Tag Team Champion with partner Adrian Adonis, Ventura put McMahon in his place saying that as Governor he rules the state of Minnesota. He warned McMahon not to interfere in the match as he has been prone to do since "Stone Cold" Steve Austin became WWF Champion.

"I am bigger than you McMahon. I am more powerful than you. I am more powerful than the World Wrestling Federation. As long as you are in this state, you hold no power here. It's very simple, The Body rules. It's my rules or the highway."

Ventura confirmed that his appearance at SummerSlam is a one-time deal and that he has no plans to return to the ring as a wrestler. This will be the second time Ventura has donned the striped shirt at a SummerSlam event. He was the guest official during the "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan versus Andre the Giant, Ted Dibiase tag match at the very first SummerSlam in 1988.

Ventura said the WWF will pay him $100,000 for the event. Ventura will donate half to a foundation for abused children and the other half will go to a scholarship endowment at his alma mater, Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis.

Though the participants in the SummerSlam main event are still to be determined, McMahon brought out WWF World Champion, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and the three top ranked contenders - Triple H, The Undertaker and The Rock - to have their say.

Chyna and Triple H presented Ventura with his trademark feather boa and sunglasses. Ventura put them on and did the strut that made him famous across the stage.

Earlier, Minnesota native X-Pac (Sean Waltman) expressed his enthusiasm at being able to wrestle on a pay-per-view in his hometown.

"You know I used to wrestle in bars and high schools in the Twin Cities and all over Minnesota and it's a dream of mine to come and perform in front of the people of Minnesota because they are the best wrestling fans in the world."

More on Jesse Ventura

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