Former wrestler sworn in as Walls, Mississippi alderman

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 9:53 PM CDT
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WALLS, Miss. (WMC) - It’s a first for the tiny town of Walls, Mississippi.

A former pro wrestler is now an alderman. Many people know him as Downtown Bruno and Harvey Whippleman.

“I want to do everything I can to help this town and help the mayor, help the alderman, and make this town even better than it is,” said Alderman Bruno Laurer.

Lauer grew up in Walls, Mississippi, so did mayor Keidron Henderson. It’s a first for both Walls and Henderson Henderson, the first black mayor and Lauer, the first pro wrestling star to be an alderman.

“It’s beautiful for our precious little town of Walls. This is an exciting day. We’re about to make history because we are swearing in not only a legend here, but we have the first African American female that’s going to be sworn in,” said Henderson.

The swearing in began as a crowd of people watched.

Lauer spent much of his 55 years in professional wrestling, playing characters, called among others, Downtown Bruno and Harvey Whippleman. He credits former pro wrestler and now actor, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, for helping his career. He even had the Rock on his campaign poster. The Rock also campaigned for Jerry “The King” Lawler when he ran for Memphis mayor. It is said Lauer coined the word ‘smackdown.’

“Did I come up with the word smackdown? The Rock says I did,” Laurer said.

Lauer joins a long list of pro wrestlers who became politicians, including Jesse “The Body” Ventura who is governor of Minnesota.

Lauer may not use any wrestling moves as an alderman, but he knows what he wants.

“We’re going to be a great four years,” he said. “Looking forward to working with Mayor Henderson with the rest of the board of aldermen. It’s like my momma said, it be that way sometimes.”

Lauer says for now, he is happy with his job as alderman and has no plans to run for governor or U.S. president.

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