Mark McGrath Remembers Learning About Wrestlers’ Obsession With Fanny Packs, Calls Vince McMahon ‘Today’s P.T. Barnum’

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Mark McGrath Remembers Learning About Wrestlers’ Obsession With Fanny Packs, Calls Vince McMahon ‘Today’s P.T. Barnum’

Mark McGrath

Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

Mark McGrath looks back on his rock ‘n’ wrestling connection.

Mark McGrath recently spoke with‘s Tyler Treese while promoting Dark Side of the 90s, the new spinoff of VICE’s popular Dark Side of the Ring series. As it turns out, McGrath actually has a slight connection to professional wrestling through his band, Sugar Ray, who performed at the opening of the WWF New York restaurant in Times Square.

Vince McMahon actually introduced the band on stage, and McGrath noted he was almost afraid that Vince hyped them too much because he did such a good job. Asked if he had any other memories of that performance, McGrath said he remembers all of the wrestlers in attendance having fanny packs and said they also knew what it was like living the “rock star” life themselves.

“Boy, you want to talk about the dark side. I’m going to leave some names out. By the way, Vince McMahon, he’s today’s P.T. Barnum. For him to sell Sugar Ray like that before we went on, I’m like, “Oh my God, we’re destined to fail now.” I mean, they must think Nirvana is going to come out and walk on stage, but that was incredible. I remember being in Times Square, opening up the WWF, back then, cafe. I remember all the wrestlers were there and they all wore these fanny packs, all these fanny packs. I just thought it was kind of crazy,” he noted, “Cause this was [2000] and fanny packs weren’t even ironic then, you know what I mean? They were just fanny packs and it was super lame.

“I go, ‘what do those guys have in there?’ And they would open up the fanny pack and there would be all sorts of like pills and things like that. Things to keep them up and running and things to keep them slowing down. I mean, you think rockstars live a rockstar life. The wrestlers were on some other shit, if you know what I’m saying. So I remember that being ironically, a dark night, tying into me narrating the Dark Side of the 90s. The guys were great. They’re bigger-than-life characters. Obviously, they are when they’re in the wrestling ring,” he explained, “but it’s not a big surprise that there are some dark stories in the wrestling world, similar to the rock and roll world.”