Three minutes. That's how long it took to confirm the long-held opinion that, yes, LaVar Ball would be good on WWE programming.
Ball and his sons Lonzo and LaMelo made their Monday Night Raw debuts last night in Los Angeles on Miz TV, a segment hosted by former MTV reality star The Miz and his wife Maryse. Lonzo was rather wooden. LaMelo dropped the n-word twice on national television. But LaVar lived up to every possible expectation. And while the Ball clan was technically on screen for seven minutes, it took less than half of that for LaVar to cram in his best work.
Aside from his ring entrance, which is best described as a Rockettes kick transitioned into a Vince McMahon strut transitioned into a run down the ramp that mostly resembled a seal ambling onto dry land, 9:02 ET through 9:04 ET was LaVar time.
The following is a blow-by-blow account of what transpired:
9:02 - After The Miz took umbrage to LaVar rejecting a partnership between the Big Baller Brand and The Miz, Miz asks the crowd whether UCLA won this year. This leads to LaVar telling Miz that his name stands for "Misinterpreted Zone." "OR! OR! OR! - It stands for a million zippers," which prompts LaVar to tug at Miz's zipper-encrusted robe and yell at Miz to zip it like Doctor Evil in the second Austin Powers movie.
9:03 - "Like I said before, there's only two dudes better than me -- and I'm both of them." As wrestling catchphrases go, not bad at all. I have no clue what that's supposed to mean but this is also the medium that gave us "Do you smell what The Rock is cooking?" Sensibility isn't at a premium here.
9:03 - Miz lectures LaVar that he's in the ring with the Michael Jordan of WWE, at which point LaVar begins to lose his mind. "Melo, handle my lightweight! Handle my lightweight!" LaVar then hops on the first turnbuckle and shakes the ring ropes Ultimate Warrior-style.
Still 9:03 - "Boy, you better stay in yo lane!" (Sigh...). "Or what, LaVar?" wonders The Miz, a pretty reasonable line of enquiry from well-conditioned 36-year-old being threatened by a dude 12 years his senior. "Or the hunt is on and you're the prey!" Well played, LaVar. Well played.
Still somehow 9:03 - An attempted transcription: "Ooooo boy you making me strunnng." LaVar's jowls shake. He animatedly scratches his pectorals.
9:04 - In response to The Miz removing his robe, LaVar pulls off his shirt. Then, looking far less doughy than probably everyone imagined, he proceeds to pantomime karate gestures.
9:04 - WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose's music hits. He's wearing a Big Baller Brand shirt with the sleeves cut off. When it stops, LaVar hops back on the mic. "You don't want none of this! Because I'm real with it!" At which point LaVar, still shirtless, takes off around the ring and proceeds to slalom between the mannequins in Big Baller Brand shirts that adorn the set. "OK LaVar, you just keep doing your thing," Ambrose encourages him.
Annnnnd... scene. As far as WWE segments go, it was one of the better ones of the year. LaVar Ball is bombastic, obnoxious, occasionally disrespectful and loud as shit. Those qualities do indeed translate exceptionally well to wrestling. LaVar likes to tell people to stay in their lane but this is a case where ignoring his own advice proved pretty useful. And, because this is the WWE, chances are it won't be the last we see of him in a wrestling ring, either.