Here at Paste, we like to think we are connoisseurs of the bizarre genre we call “TrumpShakes.” Last week, we showed you how Japanese PM Shinzo Abe succumbed to the president’s classic grip-and-yank-to-show-domination finisher move, along with some damaging squeeze technique, but if you needed a reminder, check out the shake, followed by Abe’s reaction:
That was easily the most talked-about TrumpShake since he totally owned his own Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, with the same move:
Which brings us to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who visited the White House today. As he approached, Trump was ready with a wolfish grin and an outstretched hand, and Trudeau looked small and vulnerable—like prey.
Then, the Canadian shocked the world:
He started off brilliantly by closing the distance between himself and Trump, meaning that if the president tried to pull him forward, the two would collide—mutually assured destruction. Immediately, he took away his opponent’s greatest strength. Then he engaged Trump in a shoulder grab—a total power move that Trump countered with a shoulder/neck grab of his own. As the two men grimaced at each other, Trump created some distance and went back to old faithful: The grip-and-yank. If you look closely at the 4-5 second mark, Trump tries to tug Trudeau’s arm toward him, but for the first time since he took office, his opponent was ready: Trudeau held firm, resisted the yank, and held his ground beautifully. Finally, Trump tried to squeeze the hell out of his hand and go over the top for leverage, but Trudeau wouldn’t budge. The president gave it one more try, to no avail, and at the 7-second mark he ran out of gas. After exchanging a meaningful look with Trudeau, as if to recognize a worthy adversary, he dropped the Canadian’s hand and beckoned toward the cameras.
In my official ruling, this is a draw, but it’s a stunning, impressive result for Trudeau nonetheless. Just as in European championship soccer, getting a draw on the road is almost like winning, and for Trudeau to perform so admirably on enemy turf is a triumph for all of Canada.
Unfortunately, this probably means Ottawa is getting nuked. But it was worth it to see the first small crack in the armor of the Ivan Drago of handshakes.