WWE couldn't have scripted Hugh Jackman's guest starring appearance on this past Monday night's (Sept. 19) edition of Raw any better.
He was brought on to help pop a bigger rating, however small it may be, while giving him the chance to promote the upcoming release of his "Real Steel" movie. Instead of heavily involving him in the show and giving him a ton of airtime like they've done with bigger celebrity guests in the past, Jackman was given two segments.
In the first, he and Dolph Ziggler did a promo together where they set up a match for later in the evening between Ziggler and Zack Ryder. The second, of course, was the match itself.
They scripted a spot for said match where Jackman would punch Ziggler, leading to Ryder hitting his finisher to pick up the pin and the victory. It went over wonderfully, with Jackman landing one helluva shot that looked every bit as real as Ziggler sold it as.
In fact, Dolph took to Twitter and worked the Internet by fooling major media outlets into believing he legitimately injured his jaw during the punch. Now, Entertainment Weekly has gotten word from Jackman himself, who spills the beans on how everything came to be:
"It was scripted that I would go for that punch, but just before we went on, Dolph was yelling at me, ‘You hit me man! Just f-ing hit me!' During rehearsal I said, ‘I'd like to do it, but I've spent 20 years pulling punches, trying not to hit. Trying to make it look real, but not really hit.' He said, ‘There's no way. There's cameras everywhere, there's crowd everywhere, there's no way we can 'whiff it,‘ as they call it. So I hit him pretty hard. And you can see it in my eyes. I watched (the clip) again, and you can see me going ‘Uh oh ...' a little. I'm acting like, ‘Yeah!‘ but I'm really like, ‘S---, I kinda really clocked him in the jaw. The next day I read he really broke his jaw and I wasn't surprised - but I don't think he did. He's prone to exaggeration - which is why I hit him! Nah, just kidding!"
Everyone involved has gotten an unbelievable amount of play for this. WWE.com is running with it big time by posting a kayfabe interview with Ziggler. Here's an excerpt:
STYLES: Are you happy with all the mainstream press you've received? Did you expect all the coverage?
ZIGGLER: I understand that publicity is good for WWE, but frankly I don't think a guest star should be making matches, much less interfering in them. I don't interfere with his movie shoots when the makeup artrists are making sure he doesn't look his age. The fact that he inserted himself into my world by sucker-punching me in the face not only pains me physically but mentally as well. Why would WWE allow Jackman to make a match to begin with? Where was our COO, Triple H? Why didn't he step in and take control of the show?
Jackman has also been making the rounds to promote his movie and, not surprisingly, his punch on Ziggler has probably gotten more play than the actual movie itself.
Indeed, he was recently a guest on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" and guess what came up? You got it. Video of his appearance with Leno is after the jump.