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edge staff writer


Celebrity Slam - Bottlecap Ballyhoo

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As anyone who has spent any time with this page knows, we love it when we can milk a story for all that it’s worth. We’re just as lazy as the next folks – when famous people lean into their weirdness for long enough that we can get multiple weeks of content out of it, we’re thrilled.

Granted, that doesn’t happen all that often. Gone are the halcyon days of Charlie Sheen rampages and rapid-fire T-Swift relationship turnovers and LiLo meltdowns – it has been much rarer as of late. We just don’t see celebs returning to the well like they once did.

So when it happens, we’re obviously excited to take part.

Remember a few weeks back when there was the whole kerfuffle on Twitter when Justin Bieber challenged Tom Cruise to an MMA fight? And we all got super jazzed about it for like 36 hours? Dana White even said that he’d promote the thing? Only then Bieber backed it down, saying that the whole thing was a joke and that Cruise would probably kick his ass anyway (which is 100% accurate, in our opinion) and Cruise’s camp never really said anything and that was that.

But was it?

First things first – we need to talk about the bottlecap challenge. What’s that, you ask? Well, it’s a viral thing online that involves roundhouse kicking the cap off a bottle without missing. Aren’t you glad that’s a thing you know now?

Anyway, there have been a rash of celebrities taking part, with some taking it kind of seriously and others planting tongues firmly in cheeks. Justin Bieber, in a development that should shock exactly no one, seems to be straddling the line.

Bieber posted a video on Instagram of himself executing the challenge. Part of the deal is that you’re supposed to call out other people to also do the thing. So who does the Biebs pick? His wife Hailey … and Tom Cruise.

The best part? In the video, before he does the kick, he says “This could be Tom Cruise’s head.”

This is SO GOOD.

Obviously, Cruise has yet to respond to any of this because honestly, why would he? He doesn’t need to jump every time Justin Bieber tries to drag him into some weirdo nonsense. He let the MMA fight thing slide, so there’s no reason to believe he won’t let this bottlecap thing go as well. He’s probably too busy hurling himself from the tops of buildings in his never-ending efforts to win our love anyway.

(Oh, and for the record, Bieber’s wife already completed the challenge, kicking the top off a bottle of beer while riding by on an ATV. Yeah, she’s definitely cooler than her husband.)

But there’s something almost noble about Bieber’s commitment to this particular bit. The fight challenge was premium-grade celebrity strangeness, the exact sort of bizarre lunacy that we live for in this space. And we honestly thought that once Bieber called it a joke and backed down from the thing, it was all over.

We’ve never been happier to be wrong.

What this new development says to us is that not only does Bieber still kind of want to fight Tom Cruise, he actually thinks he can take the guy. The inherent ridiculousness of that belief notwithstanding, it seems that Bieber might be willing to go full troll until Cruise responds to him. Because here’s the thing – that’s all he needs.

Tom Cruise is not going to fight Justin Bieber. That’s simply never going to happen. Sure, we all know what would happen if these two actually climbed into the octagon, but that’s a dream that will never come true. But here’s the thing – Bieber knows that. All he really wants is for Cruise to actually say no. He wants to make Ethan Hunt say out loud that he doesn’t want to fight Justin Bieber; if that happens, that’s a straight-up win for the Biebs.

Why? Because then he gets to be the guy who Tom Cruise was afraid to fight. It’s that simple. Even though it seems pretty clear that he’d get his business handed to him by Jack Reacher, if he gets a no, then he’s the big winner. Pretty savvy play, really.

Your move, Maverick.


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