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Celebrity Slam - Cruising for a bruising

June 11, 2019
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Filling this space isn’t always easy. Sometimes, we really have to dig deep to find something – anything – worthy of our attention. This occasionally means that we’re forced to include items that perhaps don’t quite meet the lofty standards we set for ourselves.

This is not one of those times.

In fact, it is very much the opposite. This week, we have been gifted something rare and beautiful, a wonderful and weird bit of celebrity nonsense that is the Platonic ideal of a Celebrity Slam feature. It is a precious thing, unexpected and delightful. It is everything for which we dare hope.

Justin Bieber challenged Tom Cruise to a fight.

Yeah – we’re as excited as you are.

On the evening of June 9, the Biebs took to Twitter and, for reasons that we mere mortals could not possibly dare to comprehend, dashed off the following tweet:

“I wanna challenge Tom Cruise to fight in the octagon. Tom if you don’t take this fight your scared and you will never live it down. Who is willing to put on the fight?”

Bieber closed the tweet by tagging UFC head honcho Dana White.

Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of people leaping into this particular fray. Foremost among them is former MMA fighter/irritating d-bag Conor McGregor, who offered to promote the fight while also sharing his more physical services on the undercard by challenging Mark Wahlberg to a fight.

(Oh, and Bieber Svengali Scooter Braun has also entered into the mix, which means that this whole shebang has likely been put together as some sort of publicity nonsense for Bieber’s apparently upcoming new music.)

That’s pretty much it. As of press time, neither Cruise nor anyone from his camp had responded to the challenge.

It’s so magnificent, a perfect Celebrity Slam jewel. This story sits squarely in the center of the complex Venn diagram of ideal Slammability. We’re looking at a completely contextless beef launched by one dude who is capital-F Famous against another dude who is ALSO capital-F Famous. The opening salvo took place on Twitter, which is the perfectly vile and bubbling breeding ground for pointless conflict. It is both unexpected and wildly dumb.

So let’s discuss some of the fundamental realities here. Say Cruise gets on the horn with his agent and says “You know what? I am definitely going to fight that smug punk!” What happens next?

Bieber is 31 years younger than Cruise; he’s 25 and Tommy Boy is 56. The chronological advantage is there, though one wonders about someone willing to publicly offer to fight someone who is literally more than twice their age. Seems kind of gauche?

However, let’s take into account the relative fitness of each man. Yes, Bieber is in his mid-20s, but he’s also lived a pretty party-hard lifestyle; he’s calmed down recently, but it wasn’t long ago that he was getting wasted and peeing in buckets and all that. Meanwhile, Cruise has been relentless in his single-minded devotion to staving off the rigors of age; we’re talking multiple daily hardcore workouts and mainlining human growth hormone.

And while Bieber might fancy himself a tough guy – and is almost certainly one of these a-holes who went through a phase where he did jiu-jitsu or whatever – the reality is that Cruise has spent the last 20 years putting himself in danger in his ongoing quest to get us to love him. The capacity to feel fear has almost certainly been erased from his consciousness.

So where does that leave us? Seems pretty straightforward – Bieber gets his ass handed to him. Honestly, we can’t even imagine someone considering any other scenario. Tom Cruise is basically a cyborg powered by questionable supplements and Scientology at this point; poor Justin wouldn’t stand a chance. And if Cruise were to somehow be convinced that winning this fight would make people like him? The Biebs would be lucky to leave the ring alive.

We’re not ready to call this the greatest item in Celebrity Slam history – we’ve had some doozies over the years – but it’s definitely in the conversation. The gauntlet has been thrown – all we can hope for now is that Tom Cruise picks it up.

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