WrestleMania is a sacred event. A mecca for wrestling fans that’s drenched in an illustrious, decades-long history. It’s a show featuring the best wrestlers in WWE, and the best bouts of the year. So you can understand why throwing a name like Logan Paul into the mix might cause a kerfuffle amongst wrestling fans.
During the March 27 episode of WWE SmackDown, Sami Zayn teased Paul’s upcoming appearance, who’ll be a special guest on Zayn’s ‘Red Carpet Premiere’ segment. That’s set to air this Saturday and it’ll likely set up Paul’s future in WWE, as well as his rumoured role at WrestleMania.
I’ll be there ???? https://t.co/7DFrvsn1Bf
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) March 27, 2021
According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio, one of wrestling’s most prominent sources of news, Paul will be involved in the WrestleMania match between Sami Zayn and long-time rival / former best friend Kevin Owens. His role is currently unconfirmed, but rumours point towards Paul being a special guest referee — a position that usually entails getting involved in matches via hijinks.
Paul’s involvement makes sense on a basic level — beyond his YouTube career, Paul recently made waves in the boxing scene and challenged Floyd Mayweather Jr. to an upcoming exhibition bout. Wrestling and boxing tend to exist in the same spheres regardless of how different the ‘sports’ really are, so crossovers between the two are fairly unsurprising.
What is surprising is WWE’s decision to include Paul in WrestleMania. Controversy after controversy — including the infamous video where Paul videoed a person who’d died by suicide in Aokigahara — have eroded Paul’s goodwill and celebrity online. In 2021, he’s a name rarely brought up. While he has apologised for his past behaviour and worked on making amends, he continues to be a controversial star.
It could be this controversy that WWE is relying on to build hype for this year’s WrestleMania, but it’s more likely to distract away from the stakes of the match between Zayn and Owens.
WrestleMania (and wrestling as a whole) has struggled to draw an audience over the last two years due to the reliance on crowd engagement to keep shows exciting. While fans now appear on monitors in the arena to give the appearance of full stands, the experience is extremely diminished. The smaller arena, lack of overall enthusiasm and piped-in crowd noises made last year’s WrestleMania a strange and unexciting experience.
While something certainly needs to change to keep people excited by all the action, the reported decision to include Logan Paul in the biggest wrestling show of the year is a disappointing one. Celebrities have always played a part in the spectacular, but it’s hard not to feel this position could’ve gone to someone more deserving. It certainly could’ve gone to someone who hasn’t made light of abortion, implied homosexuality is a choice and filmed an apparent suicide victim for YouTube clicks.
Logan Paul’s involvement in the big show is yet to be officially confirmed, but it’s likely we’ll hear more about his role on the upcoming episode of WWE SmackDown this Saturday.
WrestleMania 37 takes place over two days this year — April 11 and April 12. According to reports, WWE is planning on including a live audience of 75,000 although we don’t know much else about the show (or how this feat will be pulled off safely). Whatever the case, WrestleMania 37 is going to be an interesting chapter in WWE history.