Bad Bunny made a splash in the wrestling world in January by jumping off the top rope onto a pair of dazed WWE Superstars outside of the ring at the 2021 Royal Rumble. It was the kind of viral moment that WWE felt needed to be commemorated on not one, but two T-shirts. What some may not have noticed is that Bunny’s left foot slipped on the top rope upon takeoff — which could have been disastrous, and made the moment viral for a different reason.
Those are the risks an entertainer takes when they step inside the squared circle and play pro wrestler. There is also the possibility they’ll be mocked by the masses, and rejected by a fickle fanbase that doesn’t take kindly to outsiders. But the eccentric star artist never been afraid of taking risks. And he’s certainly no wrestling novice — in fact, as of February 15, he’s the WWE’s current 24/7 champion.
Of course, anyone who has followed Bad Bunny’s career knows this run with WWE has been years in the making. Here’s a look at 10 times that Bunny paid tribute to wrestling in his career.
1. Ric Flair co-star performance in “Chambea” video
It’s not just the hip-hop world that is infatuated with Ric Flair and his legendary drip. Bunny is also a Flair devotee, and invited the “limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin’ and dealin’ son of a gun” to cameo in his 2017 “Chambea” music video. In the clip, “El Conejo Malo” and “The Nature Boy” show off their flashy rings and watches for the camera, and perform Flair’s signature strut on a rooftop, in between shots of scantily clad women and concert footage. The title belt Bunny is holding? That’s the World Heavyweight Championship, which Flair won a record number of times.
2. Stone Cold cameo in “¿Quien Tu Eres?” video
When Bunny and collaborator El Chucheto are outnumbered by a group of bikers in this 2019 music video, it’s “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to the rescue. The Texas Rattlesnake heroically emerges from the back of Bunny’s and El Chucheto’s semi-truck and announces: “Nobody f–ks with Bad Bunny.” Once Austin is done opening a can of whoop-ass on the truckers, he chugs a couple Steveweisers with Bunny — and then gives poor Benito the Stone Cold stunner, just because.
3. Name-drops of John Cena and more
Given Bunny’s wrestling fandom and John Cena’s rap past, it’s kind of surprising Bunny hasn’t had the self-proclaimed “Dr. of Thuganomics” feature on one of his songs. The closest thing we have right now is WWE’s reigning 24/7 Champion referencing Cena on his 2020 song “25/8.” “Low key, nunca me dejo ver como John Cena,” Bunny raps, a nod to Cena’s “You can’t see me” catchphrase. Bunny — who also mentions The Boogeyman on “25/8” — has a history of name-dropping wrestlers: Ric Flair (“Así Soy Yo”), Eddie Guerrero (“I Like It”), “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (“Chambea”), Triple H (“Está Cabrón Ser Yo”), and The Undertaker (“Estamos Clear,” “Kemba Walker,” and “Tu No Me Metes Cabra”).
4. “Booker T” song
Getting name-checked in a Bad Bunny song is cool. But you know what’s cooler? Having a Bad Bunny song named after you. And Booker T is the lone wrestler to receive that honor to date. The eponymous “Booker T” sees Bunny boast “Soy un rey, campeon” like the former King of the Ring winner and six-time World Champion. A camouflage-clad Booker T also appeared alongside Bunny in the music video — and again when Bunny performed the track at the 2021 Royal Rumble.
5. Eddie Guerrero tribute in “I Like It”
This Billboard chart-topping collaboration with Cardi B and J Balvin not only helped put Bunny on the mainstream pop map stateside, it also put the name Eddie Guerrero on the radio. Bunny raps “Guerrero como Eddie, que viva la raza” on the 2018 salsa trap track — paying tribute to the late, great Mexican-American wrestler and his famous catchphrase. In the accompanying music video, Bunny takes the Latino Heat tribute a step further by imitating Guerrero’s shoulder shimmy.
6. Wrestling-heavy wardrobe
Bunny wears his wrestling fandom on his sleeve. Literally. When he isn’t rocking Gucci and Louis Vutton, Bunny can be found on the opposite end of the spectrum wearing wrestling threads. There was the Eddie Guerrero Latino Heat T-shirt in the “Mia” music video, the NWO T-shirt he wore clubbing in Miami, the WWE logo T-shirt he sported on Sneaker Shopping, and the “Stone Cold” Steve Austin jacket he wore in concert — not to be confused with the black “Stone Cold” tie he paired with a black suit at the 2018 Latin Grammys. “I felt like there was a detail missing that expressed my creativity,” Bunny said about the tie in an interview with Billboard.
7. Appearance with 24/7 Championship belt on SNL
Live from New York, it’s the 24/7 Championship belt! Bunny performed on Saturday Night Live as the musical guest five days after he won the facetious 24/7 Championship and brought the gold along with him. The 24/7 Championship sat on Bunny’s lap the entire time as he belted out the moody “Te Deseo Lo Mejor.” So what if the title served no real purpose during the performance? Bunny wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to show off his prized possession.
8. Reenactment of Triple H’s water spit routine at a Heat game
There’s a reason Bunny walked onto the court at a 2020 Miami Heat game and spit water into the air: Triple H’s gritty metal theme song (performed by Motorhead) was playing over the loudspeakers. Bunny got caught up in the moment and imitated The Game’s pre-match water spit routine — to perfection, we might add — much to the delight of onlookers. Security wasn’t as impressed, and immediately shooed Bunny back to his courtside seat.
9. Concert in Puerto Rico plugged by The Undertaker
One man stood out in the X 100pre Tour promo video announcing Bad Bunny’s third show in Puerto Rico — and not just because he was the only person speaking English. The Undertaker makes an appearance in the 2019 video (along with several Puerto Rican residents and celebs) to request that Bunny add a third concert in his native land. “Yo, Bad Bunny, it’s the Deadman,” says a stone-faced Undertaker. “And I think you need to do that third show for Puerto Rico.” Needless to say, when the towering bad-ass who famously tossed Mick Foley 16 feet off the steel cage tells you to do something, you do it.
10. NWO homage with “Tu No Metes Cabra” remix cover art
The art for Bunny’s Hector El Father-sampling single “Tu No Metes Cabra (remix)” will look familiar to even the most casual wrestling fan. Bunny, Daddy Yankee, Anuel AA and Cosculluela were drawn to look like the NWO, one of the most popular wrestling factions in history. Each reggaetonero is wearing the famed black and white NWO T-shirt just like NWO originals Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall did. Only Bunny, however, has the World Heavyweight Championship around his waist. It’s his song, after all.