Kings of Leon bass player Jared Followill learned a hard lesson yesterday when he sent out a controversial tweet – you just don’t mess with fans of professional wrestling. And while he eventually explained that the tweet was meant to be satirical in nature, that didn’t stop many fans, as well as some of the better-known names in the wrestling business, from replying to his original comment in entertaining ways.
The hubbub started on Sunday night when the 30-year-old Followill posted the following on Twitter.
Hey, adults. Let's maybe not watch professional wrestling. Ya know?
— Jared Followill (@youngfollowill) May 8, 2017
This had earned the ire of many Kings of Leon fans who also watch professional wrestling, and as word spread to the wrestling community, some of WWE’s finest, including Revival member Dash Wilder and The New Day’s Big E, took to Twitter to fire back at the bassist’s comments.
I miss when you guys were making good music or on hiatus. Ya know? https://t.co/f7rZFx7ehP
— Dash (@DashWilderWWE) May 8, 2017
Don't play with my money. https://t.co/QmXzCGH850
— ShinigamE (@WWEBigE) May 8, 2017
Matt Hardy’s wife Reby kept it succinct, telling the “hippie” Followill to “piss off,” and later on retweeting an animated GIF file featuring her son Maxel doing the “delete” gesture. Like many other fans who tweeted photos of wrestlers like former WWE King of the Ring winners Sheamus and Wade Barrett, “The King of Harts” Owen Hart, and Booker T in his “King Booker” gimmick, the original tweet included the hashtag #KingsBetterThanLeon.
Other fans chose to stick it to the Kings of Leon bass player by tweeting photos of musicians, such as Elvis Presley, a.k.a. the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Slayer guitarist Kerry King. And moving away from the worlds of wrestling and music, even hated television character King Joffrey Baratheon from Game of Thrones was another one of the “Kings Better than Leon” brought up by irate or annoyed wrestling fans.
Sportskeeda wrote that Jared Followill sent multiple tweets to clarify his previous post and possibly apologize, with one suggesting that it wasn’t meant to be taken literally, and another claiming that he was simply trying to get a reaction out of wrestling fans. A separate report from Fansided also quoted Followill, who admitted to liking WWE “a bit at times” when someone asked him if he was a fan or not.
— Stephen Smith (@StephenLSmith87) May 8, 2017
— Martin (@mrtnlmnt) May 8, 2017
It’s not uncommon for people outside the wrestling industry to take potshots at the predetermined mix of sports and entertainment, with many finding it childish, or even worse in the eyes of wrestling fans, calling it “fake.” And while Kings of Leon bass player Jared Followill may or may not fall into that category of wrestling detractors, his remarks pale in comparison to those made by Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd on repeated occasions.
Back in 2015, when Cowherd was still working for ESPN, he had used his show, The Herd with Colin Cowherd, to debate with sports columnist and podcast host (and longtime wrestling fan) Bill Simmons, and call him out for remaining a WWE fan despite being well into his 40s and hugely successful in his field.
“I used to watch pro-wrestling when I was a kid, but I also used to eat my boogers. You’re a good looking guy with a big broad life and you’re super smart, and you’re going to be on WWE Monday Night Raw talking about guys fake wrestling. You would be the last person in the company I’d expect to like fake wrestling. What is it?”
According to Uproxx, Cowherd was also quoted as saying that he’d be disappointed if he found out that the President “played with LEGOs during summits.”
— INDY WRESTLING LIFE (@indywrestlemag) December 3, 2016
As seen in the above quotes, there’s no doubt that Colin Cowherd doesn’t like professional wrestling. But like the aforementioned case with the Kings of Leon bass player, UFC star Conor McGregor may or may not be a current fan, though may have likely been one in his childhood. Last summer, McGregor earned the ire of many a wrestler and wrestling fan when he made several remarks criticizing the WWE’s current product and Superstars, while also heaping praise on late-’90s “Attitude Era” stars such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, and Triple H, as well as WWE Chairman Vince McMahon himself.
“These WWE guys, they’re not right in the head, some of them. “The new age (wrestlers) are dweebs. Absolute dweebs.”
As Rolling Stone reported, McGregor also took aim at present-day WWE icon John Cena, calling him a “big, fat, 40-year-old failed Mr. Olympia.”
Meanwhile, Jared Followill appears to be ready to move on and focus once again on being Kings of Leon’s bass player, having explained his side repeatedly to anyone whom he may have offended. And while some may still find his succeeding tweets, which included several references to WWE wrestlers, to be insincere and patronizing, he sought to put the issue to rest by posting the following tweet earlier this afternoon.
“I’ll do this once before filtering out anyone I don’t follow. I’m sarcastic. It’s satire. Couldn’t care less what you watch. Move along.”
Wrestling fans, what are your thoughts on Followill’s seeming criticism of adults who still watch WWE and other wrestling promotions on TV? Do you think the Kings of Leon bass player really meant no harm, or are you unimpressed by his efforts to make amends? Let us know in the comments section.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia]