Pat McAfee, who worked the WrestleMania Kickoff show, almost walked off of the show after Michael Cole yelled at him for wearing tuxedo shorts.
McAfee told the story on his show, The Pat McAfee Show, saying that Cole yelled at him backstage in front of the McMahons and several other people before the show went on the air, which made McAfee so furious that he went to grab his bag and was about to leave. He said that he told a WWE employee in charge of WWE’s Watch Along show, “You tell Michael Cole to go fuck himself. I am leaving.”
But the employee went to talk to Vince McMahon and Vince apparently “loved” the shorts, so Michael Cole came back and apologized to McAfee, claiming that he thought the shorts were going to “ruin it for him” and get him in trouble with Vince.
Here’s how McAfee explained it on his show:
I was told specifically, no jorts. No jorts. So I said, OK, I’m not gonna wear jorts. So we took tuxedo pants and made them tuxedo shorts.
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’s a couple of other superstars in there, celebrities are in there. And I just start getting yelled at by Michael Cole in front of all these people. You know like when you’re a child when your mom yells at you in front of everybody. He said ‘I told you no shorts!’ I said ‘You told me no jorts.’ He said ‘you look unprofessional, you look sloppy.’ He was yelling at me in front of all these people that I’ve looked up to for so long. So I looked at Michael Cole and I said ‘they’re tuxedo shorts, man.’ And he said ‘You look terrible!’ He was like yelling, like this wasn’t a rib, you could tell there was actual panic.
So I told Michael Cole “OK” and 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, “You tell Michael Cole to go fuck himself. I am leaving.” I am not getting punked and yelled at like a child in front of everybody like that. You guys think I’m some schlub. This is a second job to me. I’m lucky to be here, but I’m not gonna just get yelled at like I’m a fucking child in front of people. So the digital guy who had set up a five hour Watch Along show was like “Is there any way that we can maybe not have you leave right now? I’ll go talk to Vince McMahon.”
This all happened in front of Vince McMahon so I don’t even know if he even realized it was happening cause he has 4,000 things happening. So digital guy quarantines me in the Watch Along room. I’m about to get the fuck out of there. I’m like, this is gonna be the death of me. If I feel like you’ve disrespected me, you might as well just be dead to me. I’m fuming. I just start thinking about it more and more. I’m like why would you do that in front of – I was getting scolded like I was an eight year old. I don’t fuck with that. I don’t play those games. I’m thinking, ‘you’re not gonna be no bitch. I’m gonna walk out of here. There’s no way you’re gonna just sit here and take that.’
All of a sudden digital guy and Michael Cole come back. Vince McMahon told them, and this is what I was told, that they showed him a picture of LeBron James wearing a short suit and Vince McMahon said ‘Yeah, I’m hip, I’ve seen it.’ And I guess Vince said he loved it.
So Michael Cole comes back and gives me one of the realest apologies I’ve ever gotten in my life. He tells me ‘it’s been a long week, we’ve got a lot going on. I saw you and thought this was gonna ruin it for you.’ So I took the apology. First time I’ve looked a guy in the eye and I’m like, ‘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 the apology. And at this point we’re 14 minutes away from show time.