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Wrestling and Comedy Collide for Super Bowl


Photo credit: Provided By: WWE

Written by: Colby ShoupFebruary 01, 2017

After over 30 years in the ring, Rikishi has spent his retirement meeting the fans who once screamed his name.

“Professional wrestling has been my lifelong career and I’m still enjoying it; I’m still loving it,” Rikishi said in a phone interview. “I love being able to hear stories from fans throughout the world and thank them for supporting my career.”

The former World Wrestling Entertainment wrestler will be hosting the Let’s Comedy Super Bowl Party from 5 to 10 p.m. Feb 5 in the CS3 Tiger Room. He will be joined by fellow WWE personalities Teddy Long and Brian Christopher Lawler, as well as several local comedians.

The event will feature the wrestlers and comedians providing live comedy commentary of the Super Bowl, as well as a meet and greet and autograph session with the wrestlers.

Rikishi is a member of the Samoan Dynasty, a family of wrestlers spanning five generations that also includes The Uso Twins, his sons and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Rikishi’s wrestling character was known for taunting his opponents with song and dance numbers and sitting on their faces at the end of matches. The character’s fun, lighthearted tone made him an immediate hit with audiences, he said.

“I decided to make (the character) a real mean, happy-go-lucky character,” he said. “It just caught on like fire. I was only out there for two weeks, and it just took off so fast that before I knew it I was on Monday Night Raw.”

After being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015, Rikishi started touring regularly, visiting comedy shows across the nation. Although he is not a comedian himself, he is a lifelong fan of stand-up comedy and said he thinks wrestling and stand-up are closely linked because they demand active participation from the audience.

This similarity could be one of the reasons so many professional wrestlers have transitioned to stand-up recently, said Ryan Ehle, head of booking at Let’s Comedy. This event marks the fourth wrestling related comedy show Let’s Comedy has booked in the past two years, and Ehle said it won’t be the last.

“I think it’s a really neat trend to see these characters carry on after their sports days are done,” Ehle said. “They’re already trained for the stage and for the audience, and I think that’s what they’re built for and what they’re trained to do. This is just a new way for them to interact with their fans.”

The Let’s Comedy Super Bowl Party will also feature a taco and nacho bar, games and giveaways throughout the night.

Tickets at the door will cost $25 cash only with no reserved seating. Presale tickets can be purchased for $22.50 at rikishibowl.eventbrite.com. VIP tickets are also available to purchase on the site for $40.