Even before he started linking himself to pro wrestling more & more with things like his exclusive Triple H retirement interview, it was clear Stephen A. Smith has watched a fair amount of pro wrestling in his day.
Smith’s made millions delivering sports opinions in combative, entertaining fashion on shows like ESPN’s First Take... basically cutting promos. So it wasn’t terribly surprising when Ric Flair suggested WWE wants to bring Stephen A. in for a guest manager role at WrestleMania 39 in Hollywood this upcoming April.
“Stephen A, I just got the word passed along that because WrestleMania is in California... I think they’re entertaining the idea of having you manage one of these guys that can’t talk too well.”
Because it’s pro wrestling, and especially because it’s the Nature Boy (who was on First Take to promote his upcoming Peacock documentary, which Smith has a producer credit on), who knows if we’ll actually see the Dallas Cowboy-hating New Yorker show up at SoFi Stadium. Smith’s growing WWE ties, including the fact co-CEO Nick Khan is his former agent, mean we can’t rule it out.
Hopefully, if Stephen A. is at ‘Mania, somebody will have pulled him aside and explained that his two conditions for taking the gig defy pro wrestling logic.
“That’s right! Listen, man – Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan, Paul Heyman, and these guys — I would love to be a bad guy manager... I want to be one of those bad guys. I don’t want to be a goody-two-shoes guy, I want to be the troublemaker bad manager. I think I could pull it off, Ric Flair!
“If they want me to be a bad guy manager, here’s the problem – no one can touch me! Nobody can touch me, I’m gonna have that as part of my contract. I’m too frail, and can’t let them touch me. I have a life to look forward to ... Ain’t nobody bodyslamming me!”
Unless of course Smith is way ahead of us, and teasing that he can’t be touched is set-up for getting someone a huge pop when they bodyslam him anyway. He is a student of the game, after all.
Think Stephen A. will be in someone’s corner on April 1 or 2, 2023? Who’s corner will he be in? Will he take a bumps, and from whom?