What's the story?
Pat McAfee, the former NFL punter and frequent presence on the panel of NXT Takeover pre-shows, made his "main roster debut" of sorts on both the WrestleMania kick off and Watch Along shows.
However, according to the man on his own radio show, he nearly walked out of the whole thing - over a pair of shorts. (h/t Pro Wrestling Sheet)
In case you didn't know...
Pat McAfee, a former punter for the NFL who spent his entire career (2009-2016) with the Indianapolis Colts, first appeared on WWE programming during the kick-off show for NXT Takeover: New Orleans.
In February, he signed a deal with WWE to produce content for the company, starting with the documentary show "Pat McAfee's Road To WrestleMania", which was announced on April 3rd.
The heart of the matter
(this is so worth watching but does contain some very strong language)
During the April 9th edition of his "Pat McAfee Show" radio program, McAfee related what happened.
McAfee has been known for wearing shorts below his suit top during his appearances on NXT Takeover pre-show panels. However, his hosting duties for WrestleMania 35 also involved him standing and conversing with fellow on-screen personality Charly Caruso. As he was asked not to wear jorts (only John Cena can get away with that), McAfee decided to instead take a pair of tuxedo pants and cut them down into shorts.
According to McAfee, before the show, Michael Cole saw him wearing the shorts and went into full panic mode. McAfee said:
"He was like yelling. Real. This wasn’t like a rib, or like a gimmick, you could tell there was actual panic,”
Well, nobody wants to be yelled at by Michael Cole, so McAfee headed to the WrestleMania Watch-Along set and began packing his stuff, telling a WWE staff member he was leaving and that he could "tell Michael Cole to go f*ck himself... I am not getting... yelled at like a child in front of everybody like that.”
Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, as the same employee got McAfee to sit for a moment. He returned later with Michael Cole. Apparently, Cole was worried that Vince McMahon, who hadn't actually seen McAfee on WWE TV before, would see him in shorts and freak out. So, Cole and the employee showed McMahon a photo of NBA superstar LeBron James wearing shorts with a suit jacket, to which McMahon replied "yeah, I'm hip. I've seen it" and enthusiastically approved of the ensemble.
McAfee and WWE working together is a win-win for both. McAfee is clearly a huge wrestling fan, and, with SmackDown moving to Fox and Fox wanting a more "sports:" feel for the show, WWE could stand to have a former NFL player on the announce team.
He'll probably still wear shorts.
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