Pitchfork writer Alphonse Pierre’s rap column covers songs, mixtapes, albums, Instagram freestyles, memes, weird tweets, fashion trends—and anything else that catches his attention.
Is Bad Bunny the best celebrity wrestler ever?
With his next tour scheduled for 2022, Bad Bunny is making the most of his pandemic downtime by moonlighting as a professional wrestler. Over the last few months, he has been caught up in a WWE feud with the Miz, a notorious chicken-shit heel who dresses like he hangs out with Scott Disick, and John Morrison, a dude with the type of mullet that should never be worn outside of the movie Road House. It started when the pair asked Bad Bunny to “merge brands” with them, since their gimmick is basically being D-list influencers who believe they are A-listers. Of course, he told the two goobers no, and they threw a tantrum. They vandalized Bad Bunny’s car, attacked him with a guitar, and released a bizarre diss track aimed at him where they delivered low blows like, “They said you a rock star but Nickelback rocked harder.” Bad Bunny had no choice but to team up with Puerto Rican-American wrestler Damian Priest and challenge the Miz and Morrison to a tag team match at last weekend’s Wrestlemania 37.
Celebrity Wrestlemania matches usually fall into one of two categories: unwatchable disaster (washed up Shaq at Wrestlemania 32) or kind-of-watchable disaster (Floyd Mayweather vs. Big Show at Wrestlemania 24). I’m pretty sure WWE CEO Vince McMahon just places them on the card with hopes they get a 30-second segment on the Today Show the next morning. At this Wrestlemania, there were two celebrities on the card: Logan Paul (in the WWE world, the word “celebrity” is used loosely), who turned in a kind-of-unwatchable disaster, and Bad Bunny, who put on a match that astoundingly doesn’t belong in either category because it was actually somewhat good.
Throughout the fight Bad Bunny seemed at home in the ring, even flexing an impressive array of moves. He hit a suplex, multiple crossbodies, and even a Canadian Destroyer on the outside floor (renamed as the Bunny Destroyer). It was batshit.
Beyond those big moments, Bad Bunny captured the subtleties of what makes an effective wrestling match: the pacing, the near falls, the selling of pain. Major credit should probably go to the Miz and John Morrison for making Bad Bunny look like a pro, but I refuse to acknowledge them in any positive way after they made me sit through that diss track. After all, this was really about Bad Bunny. He took WWE’s bag of money and lived out a childhood dream, left it all in the ring, and elevated what a celebrity match could be in the process.
Is Papoose a cyborg?
A few weeks ago, Papoose taped himself recording the “Cereal Killer Freestyle,” delivering a slick pun for each cereal box in sight. The video saw him utilizing the fast-thinking skill set that has been synonymous with the Brooklyn rapper since 1999’s “Alphabetical Slaughter,” his most memorable track to this day. But after watching it again and again, there was something I had never noticed before about Papoose. Maybe it was because I was too young, naive, or just not paying close enough attention, but his flow is so steady, his delivery so stoic, that it almost feels… robotic.