There were a few steps in between, but no one in the wrestling business goes from rookie to showcased WrestleMania performer against Seth Rollins in just one year.
There’s years of training. Years of working on small independent shows in school gyms and local bars honing their craft. Then, if talents are lucky enough to make it to WWE, the long slog begins to get themselves popular enough with fans to work their way up the card and make real money.
Paul didn’t have to do any of that. He arrived a ready-made star thanks to a CV he crafted entirely by himself.
He acquired 23.6 million YouTube followers by vlogging his life that parlayed itself into a music career – which features a song about his brother, Jake, that amassed 285 million views – a self-produced animated series and, eventually, boxing.
Logan Paul built a monstrous following on YouTube and now he’s going to perform in front of around 80,000 people at WrestleMania on Saturday
He debuted at WrestleMania 38 in front of nearly 78,000 people and has since headlined a lucrative event in Saudi Arabia against Roman Reigns
Paul’s initial bout with British YouTuber KSI was the birth of the ‘influencer boxing’ events that have carved out their own niche in the sport.
Their clash ended in a majority draw in KSI’s favour and over 2.25 million people watched the battle live. Their official KSI vs Logan YouTube channel uploaded the fight and that has over 26 million views itself.
To put it into context, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, one of the biggest draws in boxing today, garnered just south of 600,000 pay-per-view buys for both of his recent clashes with Dmitry Bivol and Gennady Golovkin.
The rematch saw Paul partake in his one and only professional boxing bout, promoted by Eddie Hearn. The fight reportedly raked in two million PPV buys and, smelling money, finally convinced Floyd Mayweather to give the loudmouth from Westlake, Ohio a chance.
Mayweather is a legend of his generation and one of the greatest boxers of all-time, but he did give up five inches in height and 35lbs in weight to make things half interesting – except the fight wasn’t very interesting.
The pair grabbed one million pay-per-view buys for their clash in June 2021 – though Paul has long insisted Mayweather is yet to fully pay him his share – and right now, that’s the last time the elder Paul brother has set foot in a boxing ring.
He fully intends to box again, but the 27-year-old was seduced by the big money and bright lights of WWE.
Many fans of the different areas he dips into don’t like Paul, or his brother, and that’s a key part of their drawing power. But it’s impossible not to respect Paul for building his own audience
He also locked horns with fight legend Floyd Mayweather in the boxing ring back in 2021
As far as blueprints go for a WWE superstar, Paul boarders on perfect. At a ripped 6ft 2in, the former Division 1 wrestler in high school is a natural with his athleticism and has a built-in following.
He also naturally garners ‘heat’ from wrestling fans – in other words, boos – who feel he hasn’t earned his spot in the squared circle – or find him plain unlikable.
He’s not without his controversies. Ironically, the biggest wrestling star of all time, The Rock, turned his back on Paul after he uploaded a vlog depicting the recently deceased corpse of a man who had died by hanging himself in the ‘suicide forest’ located in Japan at the base of Mount Fuji.
Paul has repeatedly expressed his regret at posting the video, but the stain of the incident has been hard for the entrepreneur to wash off.
Still, that didn’t stop WWE from paying top money to secure him. It was announced Paul inked a multi-year deal in 2022, but the man himself has also suggested he has the option in his deal to depart the company after WrestleMania this weekend, too.
Paul has been treated every bit the star WWE see him as. He debuted at WrestleMania 38 in front of nearly 78,000 people and has since headlined a lucrative event in Saudi Arabia against Roman Reigns – this generation’s John Cena – and lit social media on fire with his stunts at the Royal Rumble.
WWE are said to have assembled a deal worth just above £12 million over three years to secure Paul and the YouTube star has expressed interest in helping the company behind the scenes
WWE are said to have put together a deal worth just above £12million over three years to secure Paul and Sportsmail understands the YouTube star has expressed an interest in helping the company behind the scenes away from the ring, too.
The numbers make the man: Paul has over six billion video views on his YouTube channel and a reported net worth of £36.3million. Thanks to being a viral star on multiple platforms, Paul equipped himself with enough coveted views and interest to attack any field he wants to.
Many fans of the different specialties he dips into don’t like Paul, or his brother Jake, and that’s a key part of their drawing power. But it’s impossible not to respect Paul for building his own audience and using that to live out his dreams in multiple domains – and for mega money.
In 2021 Paul appeared on the American version of ‘The Masked Singer,’ where he was disguised as the ‘Grandpa Monster.’ In 2022, he teamed up with Arnold Schwarznegger to promote a slap-fighting tournament. The Prime Hydration drink, which he started with old rival KSI and is the official drink of Arsenal and UFC, has a net worth of around £161.5million. Paul simply does not stop.
This weekend in Los Angeles, WrestleMania 39 is just the latest impressive milestone for the irrepressible Logan Paul.