Why Pat McAfee Has Succeeded In WWE While Logan Paul Stumbles

McAfee and Paul will have SummerSlam matches on July 30


July 26, 2022

Building a connection with a pro wrestling audience is difficult, but Pat McAfee has somehow been able to pull it off.

The current SmackDown commentator, former NFL punter and host of the “Pat McAfee Show” will take on Happy Corbin at SummerSlam on July 30. Throughout the build to the match, McAfee has briefly stepped away from the commentary desk and entered the ring to boisterous cheers.

McAfee, who signed a multi-year deal with WWE on July 7, has taken his charisma and his loud-talking mannerisms to WWE, and it has proved to be successful since his in-ring debut against Adam Cole at NXT Takeover XXX on Aug. 22, 2020.

While his in-ring skills are still subpar, the Cole match, and subsequent matches after, showed he could be carried to a good story in the ring. It has been beneficial to McAfee to not be as heavily scripted as many WWE stars are.

NESN 360 in-article asset

What you see with McAfee outside of WWE is exactly who he is in WWE. However, while McAfee has grown to be a top babyface in WWE, Logan Paul has experienced road bumps. Like McAfee, Paul also signed with WWE, making his deal official on June 30.

Also like McAfee, Paul has been presented as a babyface, and he will take on The Miz at SummerSlam at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. The problem: WWE fans don’t appear to care much for Paul.

The 27-year-old built a reputation as a social media influencer — his most famous incident arose from a Dec. 31, 2017 video of Paul and his friends in Japan. Not only did the video show the group not being friendly to average citizens, but the incident went viral after they documented a dead body in Aokigahara — “the suicide forest,” as it is known outside of Japan due to its infamy as a suicide site.

Since then, Logan and his brother Jake have been the face of “influencer culture” people have grown tired of. Despite Logan posting an apology video on YouTube, incidents like that and his so-called “prank” videos have followed Paul into the 2020s.

Some fans have pointed out WWE and Paul should go in the direction the audience is taking them and turn him heel. The glaring problem is Paul is not a very charismatic person, despite the flashy pictures he posts on social media. The problem is, Paul is more playing a pro wrestler rather than immersing himself into the pro wrestling world.

It’s a nuance not many celebrities have been able to crack. Outsiders think pro wrestling is about how you look and athleticism, but there is so much more to it. Fans can tell a phony straight away, and Paul has not come across as genuine in his performance, unlike McAfee, who understands his role in WWE.

Whether SummerSlam is the eureka moment for Paul is unknown. The Miz is a suitable worker, but the long-term direction for Paul is a big question — winning the 24/7 Championship is not an accomplishment, despite what WWE may say.

McAfee will always have his commentator gig to fall back on, but WWE appears to be committed to Paul in their efforts to garner a younger audience.

Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images
Chaim Bloom
Previous Article

Chaim Bloom Believes Nobody ‘Should Be Writing Off’ Red Sox

David Ortiz
Next Article

Red Sox Legends Return To Fenway Park For David Ortiz Night

Picked For You