Both wrestling and boxing has seen an influx of celebrities getting involved in the action in recent times. But perhaps none have do so as successfully as Bad Bunny.
Rap star Bad Bunny made his first significant appearance on WWE television at the 2021 Royal Rumble, but his contribution was far more than a ‘one and done.’ The Grammy Award winner continued to appear with WWE, winning the 24/7 Championship, before revealing that he would make his in-ring debut at WrestleMania.
Competing alongside Damian Priest, against The Miz and John Morrison, Bad Bunny turned in a performance for the ages. Not only winning the match, but hitting a series of impressive moves, including a Destroyer outside the ring.
Reflecting on Bad Bunny’s WrestleMania appearance, and run in WWE, Eric Bischoff praised the rappers “phenomenal” impact.
Speaking on the latest episode of his 83 Weeks podcast, Bischoff explained why he thinks Bad Bunny’s appearance may herald a new influx of celebrities and influencers getting involved in pro wrestling.
“What a phenomenal impact Bad Bunny had… Don’t be surprised if we don’t start seeing a lot more social media influencer kind of stunts. Gone are the days where you’re going to take somebody that’s a movie star or a television star. Not that it won’t continue to happen from time to time, because I think it’s just the way the world is shifting and pop culture has evolved. Don’t be surprised if we start seeing more and more and more huge social media influencers and people that you would never expect to get involved in professional wrestling stepping into the arena because they’re a bigger draw. They’re going to make more money.
Go back to Bad Bunny again. Here’s a guy — some wrestling experts nobody even knew who he was… Reality proved that perspective very, very wrong. Bad Bunny uses his WrestleMania performance, which was a hell of a performance by the way, and leverages that to sell out his tour. I don’t know how fast he sold it out, but I know he shut down Ticketmaster not long after he went on sale. Not bad for a guy that nobody knows, right?”
Bischoff continued by explaining how that if non-wrestlers fully commit to the product, they have a huge opportunity to increase their fanbase.
“If you’re a young talent and you don’t mind getting physical, like Jake Paul, like Logan Paul, like Bad Bunny, and there are others and there will be even more. Once those individuals in their teens realize, ‘Hey if I leverage my social media following into an opportunity to have a great performance like Bad Bunny did, I think Bad Bunny kind of — in a way he took advantage of that opportunity at WrestleMania and leveraged that opportunity to increase his fanbase and reach an audience that he might not have otherwise reached and do it so successfully. That is a model that other people will try to follow. There will be more and more people that are going to be going, ‘Hey, Bruce Prichard, Vince McMahon, over here. I’ve got 18 million followers. I’ve got 20. I’ve got 15,’ whatever the number is, and will really commit like Bad Bunny did.”
The former WCW President followed up by saying that Bad Bunny has created a template for future celebrity appearances.
“Bad Bunny created the template for celebrity, non-wrestling performers to step into that world and do it successfully. Not just as stunt cast, not just showing up and standing in the ring corner, waving on, maybe grabbing somebody’s leg and getting briefly involved in a match. I’m talking about celebrities and influencers, and I think there’s a difference in some respects. But I think Bad Bunny created a template and a formula that other people are going to use and WWE, and probably AEW, are going to learn how to exploit in the best way possible. I don’t think it’s a fad, I think you’re going to see more and more of it.”
Bad Bunny wasn’t the only celebrity performer at WrestleMania 37, with Logan Paul taking a Stunner from Kevin Owens. The YouTube star later said that the move “f***ed him up” before expressing how much he enjoyed his time in the ring.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.