It's not often that reality surpasses your expectations, but for Damian Priest, that's exactly what happened at WrestleMania 37. He and recording artist Bad Bunny defeated The Miz and John Morrison in one of the most talked about matches of the entire weekend.
Going on just before the main event, the crowd was on fire for this match-up from the get-go. The 25,675 fans inside Raymond James Stadium gave Damian Priest a nice pop as he made his way down to the ring, and he told Sportskeeda Wrestling that it was a pleasant surprise.
"I thought I was going to get no reaction... I thought I was gonna walk on the stage and not that they were going to boo, I just thought... you know, bathroom break or they just wouldn't care. Just like, because I figured I hadn't earned it yet. I just haven't been here that long, as far as, being on Monday Night RAW. And I think people are still trying to get to know who I am. When I walked on the stage and I heard the roar, I was like, 'Oh, they know who I am!' (laughs) I was like, 'They know me, this is so cool,'" Damian Priest said.
Damian Priest said Saturday was the coolest day (or night) of his life so far, and he gave the WWE Universe a ton of credit for making that happen. The reaction the audience gave Bad Bunny as he came in riding high on top of that semi truck blew Priest away.
The crowd stayed invested throughout the contest as Bad Bunny put on a performance that shocked and delighted fans, but it was the weeks leading up to the match when the Grammy winner earned the respect of the locker room. He put everything on hold and spent weeks working with Damian Priest and others to get ready for WrestleMania.
"I knew he was going to surprise people. Like I've been working with him since the week before Royal Rumble. We've been in the ring every single week. He put it the work and I know, cause I was there. I watched him, I watched him go through pain. I watched him bleed. I watched him struggle to stand up and I also watched him say, 'Let's do that again. Let's keep going. No, no, let's go, let's go.' And not quit. You know, every single week we had our time that we had booked at the Performance Center and then he would create extra time and ask for extra time, like before RAW. We would even go to SmackDowns just to work out and then leave," Damian Priest disclosed.
Celebrities have made special guest appearances in WWE for decades, but never before have we witnessed a star put in that kind of effort. Damian Priest says his tag partner earned that WrestleMania moment.
Of course, it was all smiles after the show was over. But in the hours leading up to the match, both Damian Priest and Bad Bunny were feeling the pressure of performing on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
Damian Priest says you never know what can happen at WrestleMania
Damian Priest may not have been surprised by his tag team partner's performance at WrestleMania, but admitted there were many unknowns heading into the match. He told Sportskeeda Wrestling that while Bad Bunny did everything he could to prepare for this match, he was incredibly nervous on the day, and so was Damian Priest. After all, it was his first match at WrestleMania as well.
"We were both nervous wrecks. Like, we were a disaster. I remember when we were walking backstage to get there, we were bumping into things and I looked at him and I was like, 'We are the worst team right now.' You know, just cause we were so nervous," Damian Priest admitted.
Nerves were one factor, but what if something went wrong? What if a spot didn't go according to plan? Well, Priest said things didn't go exactly as they were supposed to, but you would never know it by the way Bad Bunny handled himself. Like a true professional, he rolled with the punches and just kept going.
Damian Priest said Bad Bunny had an advantage in pulling off what he did because he's a performer. He understands the stage aspects and to just keep going no matter what. But Priest also said it was his love of pro wrestling, and WWE specifically, that kept him pushing forward. That included learning a major move the day before the show: the Canadian (Bunny) Destroyer.
"I remember I showed him a video, because he knew what the move was and I was trying to explain to him how to do it. And I'm actually like, 'What do you think?' He was like, 'I don't know man. Wrestlemania's tomorrow. You want me to do that?' And I was like, 'It'd be really sweet if you could,'" Priest said.
After a few practice runs, Bad Bunny had it down and the move became a very late addition to the match. Also, Damian Priest was right. It was incredibly sweet!
With WrestleMania in the rearview, Bad Bunny is getting ready to hit the road for a big tour that kicks-off next year. As for Damian Priest, he's back to fighting on his own. But he says he would be stunned if Bad Bunny didn't return to WWE some day. In the meantime, you can catch Damian Priest every Monday night on RAW.