1. The WWE has always featured celebrity appearances, going back to WrestleMania I, when Mr. T teamed with Hulk Hogan for the main event.
Over the years, we’ve seen everyone from Lawrence Taylor to Hugh Jackman to Shaq to Snooki to Jon Stewart mix it up in a WWE ring.
And according to Paul Wight, a.k.a. the Big Show, Justin Bieber was supposed to join that list at SummerSlam in 2014.
During an interview on Chris Jericho’s Talk is Jericho podcast, Wight, who recently left WWE for AEW, explained his frustration while setting up Bieber's joining WWE for the match with the pop star’s manager, Scooter Braun, only to have WWE nix the appearance.
“I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone this on air, but years ago I had worked out for one of the SummerSlams in L.A. I had worked out with a very good friend who was working with Scooter Braun and Justin Bieber. It was going to be John Cena, the Big Show and Justin Bieber vs. The Wyatts at SummerSlam. Bieber was on board, he was excited, he was on board, he wanted to work out with John and I. This was a really, really big deal. One of the people making the decisions said, ‘I don’t see how Justin Bieber is going to relate to our audience.’ It’s like, does anyone not see the amount of eyes that Justin Bieber would bring to that match? I think WWE offered to help promote his album, too. You’re dealing with Scooter Braun. Scooter Braun is all about cash. WWE jacked him around for about two weeks and in the end he said, ‘Listen it’s not going to happen—I’ve got the kid $1 million to watch a soccer game and they’re flying him down on a private jet.”
Jericho then told a story about once trying to get Will Ferrell to appear at WrestleMania, but was told by WWE management, “We don’t pay our celebrities.”
This seems like a big stumble by WWE. Who knows exactly how much money Bieber would’ve wanted from WWE to wrestle in the six-man tag-team match and whether WWE could get a return on the investment, but the publicity would’ve been off the charts. Plus, Bieber’s fan base is massive (167 million Instagram followers, 114 million Twitter followers) and there would’ve been a large group of people who would’ve watched in hopes of seeing him get his ass kicked.
2. Speaking of wrestling, nobody was more into "Austin 3:16 Day" Tuesday than LeBron James.
The King was also a big fan of this Sports Illustrated Instagram post.
3. For the second time this month, there was an awkward moment between Candace Parker and Shaquille O'Neal on TNT.
4. One of the many weird things about living through a pandemic for more than a year is that you realize some of the changes we've made should be kept even in a post-pandemic world. For example, curbside pickup should never go away. How great is it to just drive up to a restaurant, have someone put the food in your car and you drive away and go on with your day? It's wonderful.
Here's another thing that should've been done all along and needs to stay even if/when coronavirus ever goes away: disinfecting robots at sporting events. The Red Sox announced that fans will get disinfected by 6'5" machines that "are designed to kill viruses and other microorganisms by emitting ultraviolet-C (UVC) light."
5. Andy Dalton has taken quite an online beating the past 24 hours after the Bears signed him to a one-year, $10 million contract. I'm here to make Dalton feel a little better about things.
This tweet would seem quite embarrassing for Dalton.
However, this nugget is misleading. The Bears' odds to win next season's Super Bowl were always 50/1. The line moved to 40/1 when it looked like Chicago might acquire Russell Wilson. Once that didn't happen yesterday, the odds just went back to the original number.
6. The latest episode of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast features two guests.
First up is ESPN play-by-play man Ryan Ruocco, who was calling the Nuggets-Mavericks game on March 11, 2020, when the NBA announced the season would be suspended because of COVID-19. Ruocco talks about that experience, how his mindset about COVID-19 changed from that night until now, whether he'd be comfortable calling games in full arenas, whether he ever got used to calling games from home and much more.
Following Ruocco, Brian Stelter, CNN's chief media correspondent, joins the podcast to discuss how the media has covered COVID-19, what the media has done well and not so well, what the media's responsibilities are in reporting about COVID-19 vaccines, if he ever expected a pandemic to become so political, what it's like to cover media while working for a media company, the cable news wars and much more.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Happy St. Patrick's Day.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram