Last night at Survivor Series in Los Angeles, CA, a pretty funny incident happened during the live broadcast of the show. In the 2nd row, during the beginning of the Authors of Pain and Bar Champions vs Champions tag team match, a familiar face was standing up in the crowd, hyping and riling everyone up. WWE cameras seemed to try to avoid him, but it wasn’t possible. Seconds later, he ran away and was escorted out of the building by security. Fans were going berserk and cheering their hearts “Let him go! Let him go!” It was brief, but it was memorable.
The artist formerly known as Enzo Amore crashed the party and stole the show.
Real1, who was released from his WWE contract on January 23, 2018 due to allegations of rape (and was later vindicated by Arizona police), has been focusing on becoming a hip hop artist. His songs “Phoenix” and “Bury Me A G” were heavily publicized and polarized alike by wrestling fans. Currently, he is working on a LP and has started preparations for his first live performance, which is going to be TONIGHT in LA. He also got taken off an airplane for allegedly refusing to stop vaping on an airplane prior to take off. Real1 has been all over the news.
His actions last night have been critically panned by wrestling personalities both in and out of the ring alike. Some have name-called, others have claimed he is now “blackballed”, but the performers inside sports entertainment are against it entirely.
I am not apart of that mentality.
If there is any piece of advice that I have learned throughout the years of professional wrestling, it’s one simple quote: “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” And although there are obvious PERSONAL things that transpire that cause negative press, and rightfully so, there is a lot on the PROFESSIONAL level that can help enhance a situation.
Back when Real1 was in WWE, a story from a pro wrestling newsletter said that he was annoying and was kicked off a bus on a European tour, as well as banned from the locker room. He then turned it into the hottest character in the Cruiserweight division and was at the head of his own show, 205 Live. Enzo turned a negative into a positive. When he got fired for the accusations of sexual assault and had media sources pronounce his guilty before the facts were unveiled, he stayed “social media silent” for 4-5 months until he was vindicated and then unleashed his first rap track “Phoenix” on the way. Once again, he turned a negative into a positive.
Now, with Real1 “hijacking” Survivor Series, he got mainstream media coverage and got people talking about him. Granted, there is probably ZERO chance inside the wrestling bubble he returns to the ring on that level, but he got people talking. When the New York Post covers pro wrestling and it’s NOT Phil Mushnick, it’s great publicity. https://nypost.com/2018/11/19/fired-wwe-star-tries-to-hijack-live-broadcast-gets-slammed-by-security/
I love it. I really do. It’s an opportunity to get buzz. Pro wrestling is not hip or cool in the eyes of the mainstream media. There aren’t many characters to latch onto. Organic moments fall by the wayside, while manufactured situations unveil itself and are shoved down people’s throats. Real1 made the most of the opportunity which was unexpected and out of the norm.
Like him or not, it was awesome. And it worked. People are talking.
And in case wrestling fans think this hasn’t happened before with a wrestler invading a live WWE event, go back to 2012, when Shane Douglas sat hardcam during a WWE Raw taping and did it to gain publicity for Extreme Rising, where he, just like Enzo, got ejected from the arena. Also, in 2006, the Voodoo Kin Mafia of Kip James and BG James (who is, coincidentally, the head writer of SmackDown Live! Right now) invaded a WWE live event in Texas to call out D-Generation X. This isn’t new. But those pale in comparison to what Real1 did last night.
Real1 truly made it real last night. Let’s see where he goes from here. But he got publicity. And no such thing, on a professional level, as bad publicity.
And you can’t teach that.