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During October of 1993, 3-time NBA Champion and 3-time MVP Michael Jordan announced his retirement from the National Basketball Association (NBA). This SHOCKED the world, as Jordan was still in his prime at the age of 30 years old and that Chicago Bulls team was LOADED to win more championships if needed (in fact, they went deep into the playoffs without Jordan the following year). To further captivate the sports world, Michael Jordan announced during early 1994 that he was going to try professional baseball as he signed a MINOR LEAGUE contract with Chicago White Sox.
Wait a second… Are you telling me that one of the best athletes to ever participate in team sports, Michael Jordan, didn’t just instantly join Major League Baseball and become an instant equal with the rest of the top professional baseball players? Minor League? In fact, he played in the 2nd tier league, Double A, to which many baseball scouts thought that was generous. And they were mostly right, as Jordan had a 0.202 batting average with some signs of power and speed at the plate.
At least with Michael Jordan, he did play High School baseball and he was a well conditioned athlete and on the basis of him dominating the NBA to the tune of 3 straight NBA Titles and 3 MVPs, thus he would have a better chance at becoming a serious pro baseball player than some guy off the street…
So hear me out… One of the BEST athletes to ever walk the planet AND he had prior experience playing baseball when he was younger, couldn’t make the big leagues and was struggling in the Double A Minor Leagues… And mind you, Michael Jordan was 6’6″, all muscle, and could run like a freakin’ deer…
Fast forward to 2021… At Wrestlemania 37, singer and songwriter Benito Antonio Martinez Ocasio also known as “Bad Bunny” participates in a Tag Team match, HIS FIRST WRESTLING MATCH EVER, and performs as an equal to two 15+ year veterans named Miz and John Morrison. Miz, by the way, is a 2-time WWE Champion and I believe is the only person to hold multiple Grand Slams for titles held. John Morrison is a former ECW Champion, Impact Champion, AAA Champion, and Lucha Underground Champion while also holding many other WWE titles (mostly tag team). On top of competing against all of that experience, Bad Bunny is seriously 5’8″ in height and might be 170 pounds in weight. NO ATHLETIC BACKGROUND, whatsoever, as well.
Now, go ahead and give me your “what abouts” with Pat McAfee and I’m ready to easily answer that question. For one, he did NOT compete on the main WWE roster. He wrestled within NXT, which is the WWE’s Farm System or Minor League promotion. That’s a major difference, as those performers are there because they are not ready to compete on the main WWE roster. On top of that, Pat McAfee actually has legitimate training beforehand, as former Ohio Valley Wrestling trainer Rip Rogers has stopped by Pat’s house for multiple training sessions on how to bump and how to work as a Pro Wrestler. Oh yeah, what’s at Pat’s house again? In his barn is a freakin’ wrestling ring that he bought on a random day and works out in often. Pat is also a former NFL player… Yeah, he was a punter… But have you ever had linemen staring you down as you’re trying to perform a certain skill? Plus, Pat was a more active punter and has a decent amount of plays made and tackles to his good name. He was a soccer player prior to going all-in on football. He’s in great physical shape and always has been, as he was into weights during his NFL career and now post-life.
BIG DIFFERENCE, folks, between Pat McAfee participating in NXT versus Bad Bunny participating in WWE. Pat is 6’1″ and 233 pounds and his opponent, Adam Cole, was slightly shorter but a lot lighter than Pat when they fought. And remember, Pat is a former athlete with actual prior wrestling training with one of the absolute best trainers in the business. THUS, Pat was credible to give Adam Cole a tough match. On top of that, Pat was a HEEL in that match and used all kinds of shenanigans to get cheap advantages on Adam Cole to make it competitive. However, once the trained professional in Adam Cole got the advantage, the inexperienced Pat McAfee paid for it dearly and lost the match.
Bad Bunny, teaming up with an inexperienced WWE Main Roster and recent NXT call-up Damian Priest, defeated two 15+ year WWE veterans in a Tag Match at Wrestlemania 37.
It is a pretty easy comparison between what Pat McAfee did in NXT versus what Bad Bunny did in his NXT debut… And don’t even dare compare this to Ronda Rousey‘s debut, as her UFC background makes her a credible fighter in any setting.
At 5’8″ and barely 170 pounds combined with ZERO Pro Wrestling experience and ZERO experience in Athletics, Bad Bunny steps onto the big Wrestlemania stage and dominates 2 WWE veterans with ease and both are selling like this smaller guy is killing them. On top of that, he’s hitting complicated spots in his first match like the Canadian Destroyer or spinning headscissors. How did he figure that stuff out before his first match?
And I understand that he was working out with Adam Pearce beforehand… You HAVE to because anyone daring to enter that wrestling ring, you have to learn how to take bumps. That is important… But what the hell was Adam Pearce teaching him down at the Performance Center? And who is Adam trying to impress? Bad Bunny has ZERO experience as a Pro Wrestler and the match called for Miz/Morrison to sell to Bad Bunny as if he was a 20 year veteran. Why are you teaching him Canadian Destroyer type moves instead of how to credibly work?
Sure, I’ll give it to Bad Bunny… He pulled off some impressive moves… But those were heavily rehearsed beforehand and with Miz/Morrison doing all of the work to sell it. I’d say “props ” to Miz & Morrison, but they’ve just ruined their own Pro Wrestling careers by letting a 5’8″ novice, who will likely not wrestle ever again, dominate them. What does this mean for Miz and Morrison? Does that mean that any 5’8″, 170 pound guys off the street can join the WWE and dominate them? Seriously?
Then I’ll get more “what abouts” for OTHER Celebrities trying to wrestle. How about this for a take? Many of them hurt the credibility of the Pro Wrestling business too:
– Lawrence Taylor – Ruined Bam Bam Bigelow’s career by defeating him. At least with Taylor, he is probably the BEST defensive player to ever play the game.
– Any Former UFC Fighter (Rousey, Shamrock, Severn) – I mean, come on… They should be tough in a WWE ring and only the rules of WWE would confuse them enough to struggle.
– Stephen Amell – I’m consistent. I was HIGHLY critical of the WWE for having Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes sell for this newcomer. Now, we have years later of evidence to see what little impact his “star” had on Pro Wrestling. Both Cody and Wade are not wrestling for the WWE.
– David Arquette – LOL, do I even need to go there? Huge part of WCW’s downfall. To this guy’s credit, he donated all of his WCW earnings to charity.
– Kevin Greene/Mongo McMichael – At least they were former football players. On top of that, Mongo was mostly kept as a midcarder and became a full-time wrestler. Fancy that.
– Dennis Rodman/Karl Malone – Again, world class athletes… Rodman played more of the heel in these scenarios and used heel tactics on his babyface opponents. If you look at the absurd shape of Karl Malone at Bash at the Beach 1998, you’d believe that he could fight. Holy cow.
– Jay Leno – We all laughed at it during 1998.
– Mr. T – Multiple time Toughman competition winner and a legitimate tough guy as a bouncer. He was used in a very limited role alongside Hulk Hogan and then in a boxing match against Roddy Piper. In my opinion, he was used carefully in that Wrestlemania 1 match as it was Hulk Hogan in control of that match. I see more credibility in Mr. T fighting as an athlete at his size and strength than I do Bad Bunny.
– Shaquille O’Neal – We all laughed at his participation and in the end, he fell through a table and lost his only match.
– Zeus – Hollywood actor and as I’ve written about previously, the Hogan vs. Zeus “No Holds Barred” feud that played out in the WWE during the Summer of 1989 cooled down this growing era of wrestling and was the beginning of the end for the Hulkamania Era. SummerSlam 1989 was a big mistake.
– Mike Tyson – Come on, one of the hardest hitters of all time. He was barely involved in that 2010 tag match with Jericho against Degeneration X, as he should.
– Floyd Mayweather – Again, one of the best boxers of all time. He went against the Big Show, which should have been a mismatch and Floyd needed lots of help from his entourage and a steel chair to defeat the Big Show. Never seen again.
And there are other examples… Some of the celebrities KNEW THEIR ROLE as first timers and lightly participated. Some went all-in and helped make the business look weaker in return.
Why do wrestlers even bother spending YEARS to train and work YEARS on the Independent scene just to make the bigtime WWE stage when a celebrity can just join the company for 1 night and force said trained wrestlers to sell for him? Why even bother?
What is there to gain by having Bad Bunny, who will likely NOT return to the WWE as his music career is quite successful, participating in the WWE? Good for HIS publicity, yes… But how does that help Miz and Morrison who had to sell for him and then lose to him? How? What does the WWE get out of this? I guess by debuting Damian Priest but HE almost lost to Miz’s Skull Crushing Finale and would have been pinned without Bad Bunny saving him! Seriously, folks, that happened!
And I’ll hear “but Bad Bunny’s segments on WWE are highly viewed on YouTube”. Yeah, for BAD BUNNY and NOT for the WWE product!!!! Do you really think that Bad Bunny’s music fans will convert into WWE fans? Yeah, I heard that lie before with any of the previous celebrities brought in.
That is what you are all missing here… The publicity of Bad Bunny’s participation is to benefit HIM and not the WWE wrestlers who had to look weak for him. At least with Logan Paul, he didn’t participate in the match and just did an angle after the match. Then, he got his when a Kevin Owens retaliated against him and sold it like he just died. THAT is how you do it, folks… For Logan Paul, Pro Wrestling is out of his element DESPITE him actually having a real boxing career (he may actually fight Floyd Mayweather soon). You didn’t see him dominating wrestlers, other than his shoving of an upset heel with Sami Zayn who just wrestled a match. When Logan tried to raise Kevin Owens’s arm, Kevin showed him who the trained Pro Wrestler was by dealing a Stunner to him and Logan sold it like it killed him. MAD RESPECT to Logan Paul for that!
But yet, loyal yes-man WWE fans will tell me that “I’m out of touch” for merely suggesting that a 5’8″ singer is allowed to dominate two 15+ year accomplished veterans on a Wrestlemania stage.
And then I’ll point to how much their beloved modern WWE product can’t draw crap because it has ZERO credibility as a Pro Wrestling business or even an Entertainment one. Seriously, size/strength and experience matter in many places… Not the WWE, apparently.
If Michael Jordan, the top NBA star ever, is unable to immediately join Major League Baseball in 1994 and dominate, then Bad Bunny can’t immediately join the WWE and dominate. Very simple logic.
When Bad Bunny barely appears in the WWE after this and Miz & Morrison’s careers are struggling to matter any longer in the WWE, I’ll write a “I told you so” follow-up column to shove it in your faces.
What I want is this… I want to know how much the WWE paid Bad Bunny for all of his WWE stuff. I want that number… Then, we can use that number as an EXPENSE to compare it to whatever supposed REVENUE that Bad Bunny drew for the WWE. I’ve seen what top music stars make PER NIGHT for concerts and that price tag is seriously $1.5 million or above just to appear (other bonuses kick in). In this case, Bad Bunny had to perform like a wrestler so thus the physical risk was on him, against the advice of likely Insurance Companies, to perform. He easily got paid $2-$3 million, if not more… No doubt in my mind. So in fairness to that, let’s see how much he drew from his appearances and merchandise sales… I bet that it’s not $2-$3 million.
If I were ANY full-time WWE wrestler backstage, I’d be FURIOUS at the WWE spending millions on Bad Bunny at a time where they are taking less due to COVID-19 and threatened to stop using Third Party services for additional revenue. WWE just signed a new streaming deal with Peacock for $1 billion over 5 years and the wrestler residuals are not increasing.
So, WWE marks… Why aren’t you defending FULL-TIME WWE wrestlers here instead of praising how good Bad Bunny might have looked in the ring? Where is your real loyalty to the business or is it just entertainment to you?
So just chill… Until the next episode!
Comments and feedback are welcome. Follow and Tweet me @titowrestling or login in below to post comments.
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