As seen above, WWE Digital personality Pat McAfee spoke about his WrestleMania 35 Sunday on the latest episode of The Pat McAfee Show and revealed a backstage incident with Michael Cole. The incident was over the tuxedo shorts that McAfee was wearing for the Kickoff pre-show. McAfee revealed that he was told he could not wear his signature jorts, so he decided to take tuxedo pants and turn them into tuxedo shorts. McAfee also revealed it was Cole who booked him for the pre-show as Cole usually oversees the other announcers and where they will be working.
McAfee revealed that he came back from a Kickoff rehearsal and that's when Cole started yelling at him in front of Vince McMahon, the McMahon family, Superstars and celebrities. McAfee said he grabbed his bag from where the WWE Watch Along taping was going on and he almost walked out.
"We get over to the stadium, hang out all day. I had a tuxedo top, we all saw that tuxedo top I got, we've told the story - it was me and 6 high schoolers getting their prom tuxes, I got that tux for WrestleMania at the same God damn Macy's," McAfee joked about his attire. "I had tuxedo shorts, by the way. I was told specifically no jorts. No jorts. So, I said, you know what, I'm not going to wear jorts, not at WrestleMania. WrestleMania deserves a little bit more, you know what I mean? So, we took tuxedo pants and what did we do? We made the tuxedo... shorts. So, the show is supposed to go live at 5pm. The Kickoff show for the WrestleMania on USA Network, by the way. I had three little parts on the Kickoff show. Very excited to be a part of that. Just a year ago I was pumped just to be announced for the NXT pre-show, now Michael Cole is putting me on the WrestleMania pre-show, the Kickoff show, which is incredible. This is awesome, in the middle of MetLife Stadium, 80,000 people there, let's go.
"So, we had like five rehearsals scheduled. None of them happened until about 4:15, 45 minutes before the show. I had been sitting in Gorilla for about 2-3 hours at this point, just waiting for rehearsals to happen, less than 10 feet away from Vince McMahon the entire time. Didn't say a single word, he looked busy. So I didn't say anything, I was just sitting over there. We finally do the rehearsal, I come back in from the rehearsal and it's Michael Cole on the phone, panicking with the entire McMahon family in the Gorilla. I believe there are 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. Like, you know whenever you were a child in the grocery store, and you knock everything over, and your mom yells at you in front of everybody? That happened to me just a day ago, yesterday, by Michael Cole 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, I said there are tuxedo shorts, man. He said, 'You look terrible.' He was like, yelling. This wasn't a rib or like, 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 away from the show and I feel like I could've been told earlier and also not potentially getting yelled. So, I told Michael Cole, OK I gave him like a you know, OK... 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, I said, 'Hey, can you tell Michael Cole to go f--k himself, I am leaving. Right? I am not getting punked and yelled at like a child in front of everybody like that. You guys think I'm some schlub, you guys think I'm just some... this is a second job to me. I'm very lucky to be here, very excited to be here, but I'm not just going to get yelled at like I'm a f--king child in front of people.'"
McAfee said the WWE Digital employee then went to get Vince's help with the situation, and everything was resolved just in time for the Kickoff pre-show to hit the air. McAfee said Cole ended up coming back and giving him a sincere apology.
"So, the Digital guy who had set up a 5 hour Watch Along show is like, 'Is there any way we can maybe have you not leave right now?' I'm like, 'Nah, I don't give a f--k about any of this, I'm not going to be punked like a little child in front of a bunch of people.' He's like, 'I'll go talk to Vince McMahon, OK?' So, this happened in front of Vince McMahon, so I don't even know if he even realized what was happening because he has 4,000 things happening, he has to set up the whole show," McAfee said. "So Digital guy just quarantines me basically in the back of the Watch Along Room. I call you guys, tell you I'm about to be out of here, I don't play these games. This is going to be the death of me. I say this a lot of times, this is going to be the death of me. If I feel like you've disrespected me, you might as well just be dead to me. I've been blocking people and unfriending people for a long time and it doesn't take much if I feel like you've slighted me at all. You f--k me once, you'll f--k me again is exactly how I look at it. If you've done it once, whenever I've done a lot for you, you're going to do it again, right? If you even think you can do that, I have an issue with that.
"So, Digital guy texts me and says I'm coming back, don't move. We were 16 minutes before the Kickoff show's supposed to go live on the USA Network. I'm still fuming because I started thinking about more and more. So, I start thinking about more and more and more. The Impractical Jokers were there. I love The Impractical Jokers, I watch them all the time. Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, American Ninja Warrior guy, he's there and watches this happen. In my head I'm like why would you ever do that in front of... I feel like it's my job to potentially make fun of people publicly, but I do it in a fun manner. I was getting scolded like I was an 8 year old. Hey, I don't f--k with that, I don't play those games."
McAfee said he was fuming in the back room, torn between leaving because of how he felt or staying because it was WrestleMania. It turns out Vince was shown a photo of NBA star LeBron James wearing a similar suit, and he likes McAfee's look. Cole claimed he was just afraid that McAfee's look would ruin his chances with Vince.
"And then all of a sudden, Digital guy and Michael Cole come back," McAfee said. "Vince McMahon told them, and this is what I was told, that they showed him a pic of LeBron James wearing a short suit and Vince McMahon said, 'Yeah, I'm hip... I've seen it.' So, I guess Vince said he loved it. Vince said he loved it. And the only issue was, Vince asked where I was gonna be, and they're like, he's out there on the stage. 'Why is he on the stage, we're not showing the stage until...' So, they actually got in trouble. That whole situation actually flipped and they ended up getting... so, that's why if you watch the pre-show at all, our back was to the crowd, it wasn't originally supposed to be that way, it was supposed to be our backs was 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, gives me one of the realest apologies I've ever gotten in my entire life. He tells me, 'You know, this has been a long week, we've got a lot going on, I saw you and I thought this was going to ruin it for you, to be honest.' And he told me that he thought I was going to ruin it for myself because he wants me to do a lot with WWE. He thought I was going to ruin it for Vince seeing me in shorts and being like, 'Well, who is this?' Instead, the complete opposite. He did stress to me how important it was that this was gonna be the first time Vince McMahon was gonna see me on TV."
McAfee continued, "It was a high stressful situation and I do think he did think that might've ruined it for myself. So, I took the apology. First time in my life that I've ever looked at a guy right in his eye, right when he punked me. I mean, you definitely just punked me in front of a lot of people, but I can understand where you're coming from. And I thanked him for it actually, for the apology, and at this point we're 14 minutes away from showtime and he's like, 'OK, we gotta get you f--king up to Gorilla because you gotta get mic'd up, we're about to go live in 14 minutes.' It's a 10 minute walk from where we were to get to Gorilla, so whenever you saw me go on for the first Kickoff show, I had just gotten my 'thingies' on probably 30 seconds before that, probably 30 seconds before that, just ready to go. 'Yep, lucky to be here, blah, blah, blah.' And in the back of my head I'm like, 'What a f--king wild time to be alive here.'
The WWE Twitter account later referenced McAfee's tuxedo shorts in a tweet. McAfee said that was done because the blow-up with Cole was a hot topic of conversation backstage. You can see that tweet below: