Rumor has it WWE has plans for Bad Bunny to actually wrestle at WrestleMania, rather than just have this one-off Royal Rumble appearance.
I sincerely hope this is just scuttlebutt with no true foundation to it, as I’m not in the slightest bit interested in seeing this go down.
Truthfully, in part, that’s because I’m just not into Bad Bunny. I’ll admit there’s a bias that slightly (but not wholly) influences my position on this. I had never heard of the guy at all until WWE started marketing his performance, so I’m clearly out of the loop of his pop culture bubble as it is and this doesn’t speak to me, necessarily.
On top of that, I’m the type of person who never understood the fascination with celebrities. I don’t follow any bands (I like songs, not musicians; any song by any musician can potentially be good and I couldn’t care less who sings anything so long as what I’m hearing pleases my ears) and I couldn’t care less who is dating who, which people are hot topics right now, so on and so forth. I’m an outlier and I know it, as most people love celebrity stuff, worship idols and can’t get enough gossip.
But even if I put aside my own bias towards this sort of topic and ignore something like how I wasn’t impressed with his Booker T song, I still have five solid reasons why I think Bad Bunny wrestling at WrestleMania is a mistake.
1. There’s No Story
We’ve already seen likely the best case scenario already play out and I’m not interested in seeing a repeat of the same content for two more months.
By this, I mean the situation with The Miz getting involved. He’s the perfect heel to go up against a celebrity like this, since it works on a handful of levels:
- The Miz can take a loss, even to a celebrity, and nobody will bat an eye.
- He’s a douchebag character that everyone consistently likes to see get his comeuppance.
- His own celebrity status allows him to counteract every big name by saying he thinks he’s a bigger star than they are, while being wrong and giving him a better platform to say it than if someone completely random tried to pull that act. Nobody would believe Angel Garza, for instance, as great as he is, too.
But we’ve seen it. It already happened. Do you really want to see 10 more weeks of what happened at Royal Rumble and Monday Night Raw, just on repeat?
Think about it. That’s all we’d get.
The Miz and John Morrison would bitch and moan, complaining about Bad Bunny on MizTV and The Dirt Sheet each week leading up to WrestleMania. Then, Bad Bunny would make another appearance, challenging The Miz (and possibly JoMo) to a match. Realistically, WWE would make it a tag team match so Miz/Morrison would fight Bad Bunny and someone else, who could hold down the fort and wrestle the majority of the match.
Isn’t that just what we got, for the most part, with Damian Priest this past episode? It wasn’t a tag team match, but the only thing really separating it was a hot tag where Bad Bunny does a handful of moves and gets the pin.
I’m not at all interested in seeing this same writing copied and pasted for the next two months and I have no faith whatsoever that WWE would think of something different, especially not something better that would keep my attention for 1-2 segments each Monday night week after week.
2. Poor Match Quality
Even if we assume WWE does figure out a storyline, all that does is set up people watching the match. Once the bell rings, WWE likely doesn’t care how it goes down. You’re already checking out the pay-per-view, so the mission’s been accomplished.
But that doesn’t mean getting viewers is a success with no chance of failure. You have to actually execute a good segment on WrestleMania for this to have been worthwhile and not end on a sour note that retroactively ruins the whole thing.
Just as I have no faith there will be a good story for it, I have no hopes the quality of the match would be great, either. This is speaking from experience of most celebrity matches as well as Bad Bunny’s crossbody from Royal Rumble.
Sometimes, a celebrity can do something interesting. Floyd Mayweather, Butterbean (awful scenario, though), Mr. T, Lawrence Taylor and others have had some noteworthy spots at WrestleMania that worked out rather well. But for each of those, you have a Snooki or a Rob Gronkowski who ends up being nothing but a glorified promoted tweet that took up time someone else could have had.
More often than not, it’s just embarrassing. The very little celebrities tend to do usually ends up being rather stiff, clunky, awkward and laughable. They’re not trained wrestlers and we shouldn’t expect them to put on a Daniel Bryan performance, but that also doesn’t mean that gives the segment a pass to suck. I don’t expect a five-year-old to make a meal as great as a world-renowned chef by any means, but I’m also not ordering food from a five-year-old. If I’m watching the greatest wrestling show of the year, I’m not hoping to get a match where someone blatantly isn’t as good at wrestling! Give me the best you have to offer, rather than something that’s supposed to just pique my interest because it’s an outsider.
3. The Ratings Bump Wasn’t Enough
And yes, you’re probably telling yourself “Why doesn’t this guy understand that it’s not about the match or the story, but about bumping a rating? All WWE cares about is if this will get eyes on the pay-per-view and nothing more. If more people watch because of Bad Bunny, it doesn’t matter what happens, because that’s the only goal and you’ll forget about it anyway.”
1.691 million people watched Raw on December 21, 2020. The December 28 edition saw an increase with 1.769 million. There was another increase on January 4 with 2.128. Down again to 1.819, then up to 1.855, then down to 1.82 for the go-home show before Royal Rumble. This week was 1.892 million.
Bad Bunny was advertised ahead of time for a segment with The Miz. At the most, he drew the same numbers Raw has been getting, with a slight increase that has as negligible a bump up as any other week has had. We’re talking an average rating here of 1.847 million viewers and the bump wasn’t to something like 2+ million. That was a different week that featured Legends Night, meaning people cared more about Hulk Hogan and Tatanka than Bad Bunny.