It’s been an amazing year in pro wrestling, filled with great moments in a competitive market we weren’t sure we’d ever see again. With everything that happens every week, it’s hard to remember some of the cool stuff that happened back in the first few months of 2021.
Bad Bunny himself can hardly believe it. In a new profile by Patricia Tortolani for Allure, the chart-topping, Grammy-winning Puerto Rican explained again how working with WWE was a dream come true. And it’s a dream he’s relived a lot since it paid off in Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium on April 10.
This year, what brought Bad Bunny joy was training to become a pro wrestler on WWE, the hypermasculine and deeply flamboyant spectacle watched by millions. Joining WWE was a childhood dream realized. The flashiness and showmanship of how the wrestlers grab the ropes, their facial expressions, the choreography — it was all absorbed by a young Benito in Vega Baja. “I had the lucha libre [action figures], but I also had my own character for when my brother and I wrestled on our parents’ bed,” he recalls. “I had my entrance music and outfit — a jacket that I took from my dad and underwear that we painted and decorated. We’d play that for hours.” When Bad Bunny talks about The Undertaker, Triple H, and Booker T, his pitch rises, his speech accelerates, and I realize that joining WWE is much more than a childhood dream realized. “Truly, wrestling has influenced me a lot, and I’ve applied that to my career,” he says. “The style, the importance of having a trademark move or phrase or look, and always remembering the element of surprise. In wrestling, the fans love getting caught off guard. I like to create that same emotion with my music.”
For three months Bad Bunny stopped working on his music and moved to Kissimmee, Florida, where he did two-a-days with a trainer and went to the WWE gym to learn the moves. This was all leading up to his big fight. “It was like I died and went to heaven,” he says. “I’ve never sat to watch a recording of one of my concerts. Never. But my wrestling fight — I’ve watched it a hundred times. For like a week, I would go to bed watching it.”
A lot of people rolled their eyes when Bunny (real name Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio) got involved in the action after performing his song ”Booker T” at Royal Rumble. But’s it’s the appreciation for wrestling he describes here that earned the respect of legends like Undertaker & Triple H, and the joy he still gets from having done it that won over fans jaded by years of celebrities begrudgingly showing up in WWE.
So watch that thing as many times as you want. It was awesome to watch - I can only imagine how awesome it must have been to do.