Damian Priests Reveals WWE Nearly Replaced Him In WrestleMania Match With Bad Bunny

During a recent interview with Superluchas.com, the current WWE United States Champion Damian Priest went into detail about his time working with Bad Bunny on the road to WrestleMania 37. The first instance where he met the international hip hop star occurred at WWE's performance center, and Priest noted how that eventually led to Bunny to getting physical at Royal Rumble 2021.

"The Performance Center was where Bad Bunny was. When he was in NXT — which is like the farm of Raw and SmackDown — they told me that I was going to be promoted to Raw and that I was going to be part of a team because Bad Bunny was going to enter," Priest explained. "The first thing I said was, 'How are they going to give the name Bad Bunny to a wrestler when there is already a singer named Bad Bunny? You don't use your brain?! ' And they looked at me and said, "THAT'S the Bad Bunny!" It was a surprise to know that he was going to wrestle.

"That same day, I met him, the day of the Royal Rumble 2021, and we got along well from the first moment. We talked, we made jokes, and we quickly entered the ring and I taught him some things," Priest added. "That same day of the Royal Rumble, a producer gave the idea of Bad Bunny throwing himself over Miz and Morrison. I went and told him if he dared to do that. He said, "Well, if I can practice it, let's do it." And I taught him to jump from the corner with another Superstar; it looks easy but it's not. In fact, I was the first to receive him on the air. He jumped on me, and did it just once and said, 'Okay, I can do it, I felt comfortable.' If they told me to jump from the top rope to the floor like he did, I would say, 'And how many are going to receive me?' Only two guys, like with Bad Bunny? I would have said no."

The "Archer of Infamy" noted how there were talks early on to switch up Bad Bunny's partner for the tag team match at WrestleMania against The Miz and Morrison. Someone that made certain the duo stayed booked for the match was someone who has always been a supporter of Priest – Triple H.

"And the next day on Raw, they told me that maybe they were going to change Bad Bunny's partner. But one of my bosses, Triple H, said that he absolutely does not. And then Bad Bunny, he told them himself that he wanted to work with me. That was great," Priest said. "A lot of people thought we weren't going to get along because it was a weird combination, me being a rock music fan and him being a trap and reggaetón singer, but it wasn't like that. I like Bad Bunny. Actually, the only music I don't like is country. And yes, I like rock, but if I want to go out to dance and be with women, I'm not going to go to a rock concert. Give me Bad Bunny's music so I can dance with many women. But for Damian Priest, the wrestler, it was a bit weird, I must admit. But we both got along really well and we have in common that a lot of people told us that we had to change many things, but we achieved our dreams in our own way as rock stars. I talked to him a lot about this – it was a dream for him but he didn't have time to enter the ring. He was a fan since he was little, he had the dream of being a wrestler, but then, years later, he used his music fame to be able to fulfill this other dream.

"Thanks to the pandemic, it worked because he didn't have tours and he had free time to wrestle. I talked to him on the Billboards about when he is going to return to WWE and he told me that it has to be when he has full time, because he is not going to do it just to do it," Priest stated. "He wants to be focused one hundred percent on wrestling and I love that from him. After everything went well at WrestleMania, he now has more desire than before to wrestle again. And if you laugh because I taught him how to jump rope on the same day as the Royal Rumble, well let me tell you that three of us taught him that Canadian Destroyer just one night before WrestleMania."

The US Champ admits he's impressed how Bad Bunny, a guest star that had only been involved with the company for a short period, managed to do a Canadian Destroyer. He revealed that this spot in the WrestleMania match came together at the very last minute of the show.

"He told me, 'I don't know if I can do that,' so I said, 'Yeah, that's very easy!' [Laughter] He's a super talent. At first, he was thinking about it but then he said, 'Oh, f**k it! Come on! ” He did it once and it worked out well, and he said, 'That's it! Enough!', then he did it at WrestleMania. And that's a complicated move," Damian said. "I lived part of my life in Dorado and another in Vega Baja, where Bad Bunny is from, what a coincidence. And the sister of my stepfather was the school teacher of Bad Bunny's brother, and when I told Bad Bunny her name – which is Falú, a very strange, unusual name – Bad Bunny was moved because she was the teacher from her brother and everyone loves her. I could not believe it! My mom was the one who told me to comment on that to Bad Bunny. I thought it was a lie, but I had to ask Bad Bunny because otherwise my mother was not going to leave me alone. Hail Mary! I had to call my mom later and tell her that it was true."

Priest wrapped up the interview by explaining how the first WWE Heavyweight Champion of Puerto Rican descent, Pedro Morales, is a major inspiration to him. He hopes his career will play out in a similar fashion where he can someday hold the WWE Title above his head in victory.

"I was clear that many people say that WWE does not give opportunities to Latinos, so I thought that after Bad Bunny, they were going to get tired of me quickly. And looking at the history of the characters that have represented a single culture, well, I did think that my moment was going to end quickly," Priest said. "But until today, I am still on the top and I'm still going up, and up, and up. I not only represent Latinos or Puerto Ricans – although I am proudly Puerto Rican – I represent all of humanity. What I want to achieve is to be the second Puerto Rican to be a world champion, after Pedro Morales, who was also the United States Champion. It would be the top of the top, and that is why I prefer the WWE Championship over the WWE Universal Championship, for that history. I would love that and it is part of what I want because if I want my name to live forever, then I need great moments and I need that moment of being WWE Champion".