Pat McAfee on How He Almost Quit WWE Right Before WrestleMania 35
Former NFL player Pat McAfee made his WrestleMania debut on Sunday, taking part in the Kickoff show and doing commentary as part of WWE Watch Along on social media. But, as he tells it, he almost walked out on the company an hour before the show began. All because of a pair of shorts.
“I had a tux and I had tuxedo shorts. I was told, specifically, ‘no jorts.’ So, I took tuxedo pants, and what did I do? Made them tuxedo shorts. We had five rehearsals scheduled, none of them happened until about 45 minutes before the show. I had been sitting in gorilla for 2-3 hours, less than 10 feet away from Vince McMahon the entire time, didn’t say a single word,” McAfee said on his show.
“We do the rehearsal, I come back in and Michael Cole is on the phone, panicking, with the entire McMahon family and celebrities in gorilla. I just start getting yelled at by Michael Cole for wearing shorts. He said, ‘I told you no shorts.’ I said, ‘You told me no jorts.’ He said, ‘You look unprofessional, you look sloppy.’ He was yelling at me in front of all these people. I said, ‘They’re tuxedo shorts, man.’ This wasn’t like a rib or a gimmick. There was actual panic,” recalled McAfee. “I’d been wearing these for 10 hours and we’re 45 minutes before the show. I feel like I could have been told earlier and not been yelled at in front of everyone.”
A frustrated McAfee had finally had enough, deciding he was out.
He continued, “I told Cole ‘okay.’ I walked out of gorilla, walked to where Watch Along was happening, grabbed my bag and told the digital guy, ‘You tell Michael Cole to go f–k himself.’ I’m not getting punked and yelled at like a child. You guys think I’m some schlub. This is a second job to me. I’m excited and happy to be here, but I’m not gonna be yelled at like a child. The digital guy was like, ‘is there any way we can not have you leave right now?’ I said, ‘I’ll go talk to Vince McMahon.'”
McAfee revealed that he was locked in a back room by “the digital guy” as he went to talk to Vince McMahon and Michael Cole. Finally, Cole showed up to offer an explanation.
“We’re 16 minutes before the kickoff show is supposed to go live. I’m still fuming. Digital guy and Michael Cole come back. Vince McMahon told them, from what I was told, they showed him a picture of LeBron James wearing a short suit and Vince said, ‘I’m hip, I’ve seen it.’ And Vince said he loved it. The only issue was Vince was wondering where I was gonna be and I was on the stage. (Vince said) ‘why is he on the stage, we’re not showing the stage.’ So, they actually got in trouble. If you watch the pre-show, our back is to the crowd. It wasn’t supposed to be that way, it was supposed to be our back to the tron,” said McAfee. “Michael Cole gives me one of the realest apologies I’ve ever gotten in my entire life. He tells me, ‘it’s been a long week, we’ve got a lot going on, and I thought this was gonna ruin it for you.’ He wants me to do a lot for WWE and he thought I was gonna ruin it if Vince saw me in shorts. I took the apology.”