Logan Paul is now a WWE champion.
Although there’s long been hesitation by wrestling fans to accept Paul in the WWE, he has proven to be the real deal despite only having competed in eight matches thus far in his career.
Similar to when former UFC champion Ronda Rousey made her debut, Paul’s natural athleticism shines inside the ring as he’s amassed an impressive move set that includes a frog splash (jumping from the top rope and stretching out and in before landing), buckshot lariat (a flip over the top rope into a clothesline) and a standing moonsault (backflip).
However, despite being more than physically capable of competing in the ring, it’s Paul’s past as an influencer that hasn’t endeared him to the wrestling community.
Some believe he doesn’t take the sport seriously or know enough about it, while others feel as though he’s only been given a spotlight because of how famous is and that he hasn’t “earned” it.
After all, he has more than 27 million followers on Instagram and 23.6 million followers on YouTube. And at the very least, he brings new eyes to the WWE.
However, despite the reasons people may dislike him in the pro wrestling circle, he deserves a title run.
Yes, Paul has made some bad decisions in his past as an influencer. For example, he received backlash for posting video images of what appeared to be a suicide victim during a trip to Japan in 2017. He’s also promoted failed ventures, including a company called CryptoZoo, and reportedly still hasn’t returned $1.5 million to investors.
I don’t support these things and I do believe Paul was in the wrong, but plenty of other names in the wrestling business also have their names tied to controversy and continue to compete in the WWE. To single him out isn't fair.
Paul also isn't the first famous face to step into a ring. Dennis Rodman, David Arquette and Mike Tyson are some other examples, but none have made it look as easy – or as good – as he has.
Whether people like it or not, Paul has been a bit of a boost to the company. He’s young, well known and just happens to be good on the mic and in the ring (which feels like a bit of a rare combo these days). He’s also an easy target to boo, which makes him the perfect heel (or bad guy, in non-wrestling terms).
Putting a title belt on him seems like a no-brainer even if it isn’t the popular choice. Does this also mean we’ll be seeing more of him on TV? Although Paul only pops up sporadically as he’s considered a part-time wrestler, he will need to defend his title.
“I think I have to,” Paul told ESPN after his win at Crown Jewel. “You're going to have to watch Raw. You're going to have to watch SmackDown. I'm going to make some surprise appearances and show these wrestlers who's the real king.”
While he still has a long way to go before proving he's the “real king”, it will be interesting to see what he continues to bring into the WWE ring.
At a time when people complain about things feeling stale, Paul might be the breath of fresh air that the industry needs.