McAfee describes the tense moments before he went on-air for Wrestlemania 35.
Former Indianapolis Colts punter and Barstool Sports personality, Pat McAfee inked a multi-year deal with WWE back in February - something that McAfee described as "a real lifelong dream coming true."
As part of the deal, McAfee was recently featured on WWE's Wrestlemania 35 kickoff show, where he appeared on-screen wearing a white tuxedo jacket with black cut-off tuxedo shorts. As it turns out, McAfee's wardrobe choice nearly led to him quitting his dream job mere minutes before he went on air.
During a recent episode of "The Pat McAfee Show," McAfee explained that WWE announcer Michael Cole berated him in front of a crowd of WWE superstars, celebrities and others for wearing tuxedo shorts. All of this occurred less than an hour before McAfee was set to go live, and he considered walking out of the arena before receiving Vince McMahon's approval.
Check out McAfee's version of the tense pre-Wrestlemania moments below.
You can read the full transcript below (H/T Awful Announcing):
I had a tux … I had tuxedo shorts by the way. I was told, specifically, ‘No jorts.’ So I said, ‘You know what, I’m not going to wear jorts, not at WrestleMania.’ WrestleMania deserves a little bit more [respect]. So we took tuxedo pants, and what do we do? Made them tuxedo shorts. So the show is supposed to go live at 5:00, the kickoff show for WrestleMania on USA Network by the way. I had three little parts on the kickoff show, I’m very excited to be a part of that… So we had five rehearsals scheduled, none of them happened until about 4:15, 45 minutes before. I had been sitting in Gorilla for about two to three hours at this point, just waiting for rehearsal to happen, less than 10 feet away from Vince McMahon the entire time. Didn’t say a single word, he looked busy.”
“We finally do the rehearsal, I come back in for the rehearsal and it’s Michael Cole, on the phone, panicking, with the entire McMahon family in Gorilla. I believe there was a couple other Superstars in there, celebrities are in there, and I just start getting yelled at by Michael Cole in front of all these people … 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 like yelling at me in front of all these people that I’ve looked up to for so long. So I looked at Michael Cole and I said, ‘They’re tuxedo shorts, man.’ And he said ‘You look terrible.’ … This wasn’t like a rib or a gimmick, you could tell there was actual panic. I’d been wearing this outfit for 10 hours at this point so now we’re 45 minutes before the show, I feel like I could have been told earlier and also potentially not getting yelled at front of everybody else that’s there.”
“I told Michael Cole, ‘Okay’ and then walked out of Gorilla, and then I walked back to where the Watch Along was happening, and I grabbed my bag and I told the digital guy, ‘You tell Michael Cole to go fuck himself, I am leaving. I’m not getting punked and yelled at like a child in front of everybody like that. You guys think I’m some schlub. This is a second job to me. I’m very lucky to be here, very excited to be here, but I’m not gonna be yelled at like a fucking child in front of people.’ So the digital guy, who had set up a five-hour Watch Along show was like, ‘Is there any way we can not have you leave right now?’ … He said, ‘I’ll go talk to Vince McMahon.'”
“We’re 16 minutes before the kickoff show is supposed to go live on USA Network. I’m still fuming because I start thinking about it more and more … Digital guy and Michael Cole come back. Vince McMahon told them, and this is what I was told, they showed him a picture of LeBron James wearing a short suit and Vince McMahon said, ‘Yeah, I’m hip, I’ve seen it.’ And Vince said he loved it. The only issue was Vince asked where I was gonna be and they’re like ‘He’s out here on the stage. [Vince] goes, ‘Why is he on the stage? We’re not showing the stage.’ So, they actually got in trouble … That’s why if you watch the Pre-Show at all, our back is to the crowd. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. It was supposed to be our back to the big-ass Tron so we could talk about how big and massive and incredible that 4K Tron was … So they come back, Michael Cole comes back and 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 saw you, I thought this was gonna ruin it for you.’ … Because he wants me to do a lot with the WWE and he thought I was gonna ruin it for Vince seeing me in shorts … So I took the apology.”