Vince tends to pull out all the stops for WrestleMania. Even if the card is underwhelming, it is always worth watching for the spectacle and to see what will happen next. From the entrances to the guest surprise returns to the swerves, even the most casual of wrestling fans can find something to enjoy in WrestleMania. This is never more obvious than when it comes to the celebrity endorsements. Vince and the Fed tend to seek out the greatest celebrities that humans created to find the perfect cross-platform show that appeals to everyone from diehard fans to moms at home watching it with their kids. I present to you the top ten greatest, funniest and weirdest celebrity appearances at a WrestleMania event.
- Cyndi Lauper (WrestleMania I)
Nothing says “I AM FROM THE EIGHTIES” more than Goonies, MTV (when it actually had music), “Captain” Lou Albano and big-ass hair. What do they all have in common? Cyndi Lauper. The music superstar was one of the biggest stars of the time and was involved in the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection which resulted in The Brawl to End It All that was broadcast on MTV. Lauper finally ended up in WrestleMania I, where she was the manager of Wendi Richter, one of the very, very few female wrestlers at the time. At the event, Richter regained the WWF Women’s Championship from The Fabulous Moolah. You will know Moolah from the Attitude Era, along with Mae Young. Why don’t you know about Richter? Because she was involved in the Original Screwjob, 12 years before Bret copied it at Montreal. Richter was in a match with The Spider Lady, a female wrestler in a bad Venom gimp mask. The Spider Lady pinned Richter, the ref called for a fast three count and Richter lost the championship. Who was under the Spider Lady’s mask? Only Moolah. Bit of wrestling history there for you.
- Burt Reynolds (WrestleMania X)
That moustache. That stare. That voice. Burt Reynolds is one of those men who now just plays himself in things and can get away with it. He’s like Hasselhoff, if Hasselhoff chose his roles wisely as opposed to with a dartboard. Reynolds was the guest ring announcer for the Yokozuna vs. Bret Hart match. He appeared with the Owen Hart-style plaster on his wrist, was told to look at the hard cam and then promptly ignored it. He had to read the damn thing off cue cards. All he had to say was that the contest was scheduled for one fall and Roddy Piper was the referee. Roddy got a better pop than Reynolds, the rascal. Reynolds (still not facing the damn hard cam), introduces Yokozuna over Yoko’s own music and they have to lower the damn volume so the crowd can hear him. Reynolds doesn’t even get into the intro for Bret before his music hits. Reynolds tries to get some good heat from the crowd by stating that Bret, is “in [his] opinion, one of the great athletes in wrestling today,” which is a true statement. Reynolds leaves through the ladies’ rope and, although his role was pretty crap, I mean, good God, Burt Reynolds was in WrestleMania!
- Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy (WrestleMania X)
Both these ladies get the same billing because they arrived on WrestleMania XI as eye candy, which is good work if you can get it. McCarthy was on the arm of heel Shawn Michaels and Anderson was valet for Diesel (Kevin “Supershredder” Nash), they current WWF World Heavyweight Champion. Their appearances, however, were overshadowed by the wrestlers. Not only did Sid have a lot more charisma than the two put together, but when Diesel wins, he invites his opponent’s valet into the ring and they all stand around like goons. To the wrestling fan, their appearance was crap but to a Baywatch fan, the sight of Anderson in a white dress probably excited them more than Big Daddy Cool ever could.
- Mickey Rourke (WrestleMania XXV)
In a list of “celebrities that challenge wrestlers to a fight and knock them out with one punch”, it should never contain Mickey Rourke, a man who was only there because, for the love of Christ, he was in a God-damned movie called The Wrestler about a wrestler who wrestled and liked wrestling so much he (SPOILER) died doing it (maybe). Mickey even bladed during the movie, for real. What, they couldn’t pay him enough to hit Jericho with his own move? Come on, Mickey.
But then Kid Rock played some music and it was okay.
- Mr. T (WrestleMania I, WrestleMania II)
I love me some Mr. T. I’ll mention the WrestleMania I main event later and talk here about the WrestleMania II event. WrestleMania II was actually three different events that ran on the same night, each with a main event. The first main event was a boxing match between Mr. T and Roddy Piper. T had Joe Frazier in his corner and Roddy had Lou Duva. Why anyone would want to watch a boxing match between an actor who played a boxer and a wrestler whose main gimmick was that he was a cheating weasel is beyond me. The match was finished after the fourth round when Roddy, in true Hot Rod style, bodyslammed T. Good while it lasted. Mr. T would later be inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame in 2014, where Kane would interrupt him.
5.Muhammad Ali (WrestleMania I)
During the WrestleMania I main event, a tag team match for some unknown reason, Vince must have been giddy as a schoolgirl over the amount of celebrities he fired into every conceivable role: Billy Martin of the New York Yankees was guest ring announcer. Liberace and the Rockettes were guest time keepers. Cowboy Bob Orton accompanied the team Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. Jimmy Snuka accompanied the team of Mr. T and Hulk Hogan. To top it all off, the special guest referee was none other than Cassius Clay himself. Of course, Ali punched Roddy in the match (what else are special guest referees useful for?) and his appearance was relegated to the history books.
- Ronda Rousey (WrestleMania XXXI)
At the time of WrestleMania XXXI, Rousey was the biggest name in female MMA and pretty much undefeated. She was fun, an absolute tank and loved pop culture. The woman appeared with an “OVER 9000!” t-shirt and revealed she used to be part of a Pokémon forum on the internets when she was a kid. Amazing. When she appeared in the audiences for the 31st WrassleMania, it was clear that shit was about to go down. When The Rock brought her into the ring and she applied at elbow lock on Stephanie, her inclusion in WWE history was all but secured. Everyone wanted a Rock/Rousey vs. Hunter/Steph match, but that was not to be… yet.
- Alice Cooper (WrestleMania III)
He makes the list because his inclusion in WrestleMania III was so insane that it could never be replicated. This, as well as the mental promo that Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Cooper shot weeks before the event, where the two men lay back on a couch with Damien the snake and talked about how they were going to beat The Honky Tonk Man good-looking was amazing. Roberts says to Alice, “It’s good to be different,” and he replies with, “I think it’s good to be as cold as this little guy right here,” and strokes Damien before giving the snake a good, hard stare to make sure it doesn’t eat him alive. Cooper then mentions that he and Jake are road rats and will eat Honky Tonky and Jimmy Hart. In the actual event, Cooper swung Damien about to scare their opponents and I’m sure animal rights got on that as fast as humanly possible.
- Mike Tyson (WrestleMania XIV)
The fact that a convicted rapist could be managed by a suspected mobster and become one of the biggest draws in boxing, bite guys ears off, breed doves, play himself in The Hangover and still be on this list says something about the insanity of the celebrities at WrestleMania. Iron Mike was guest ring enforcer for the main event between Shawn Michaels and a young upstart named Stunning Steve Austin. Austin was using his Stone Cold gimmick at the time. Something something 3:16. Tyson did damn all in the match other than hit the three-count for Stone Cold when the ref was knocked out. He then joined Mickey Rourke in the “celebrities that challenge wrestlers to a fight and knock them out with one punch” list only Mike could probably have legitimately murdered Shawn and eaten part of his corpse before Jake and Alice could come in to join in the feast.
- Dwayne Johnson (Every WrestleMania Ever)
In the future, they’re going to look back at old PPVs and say, “enhance” a lot and find out that The Rock is in the background of every single one, just watching. “He’s been there the whole time,” a man will say. A woman will faint. A second man will remove his glasses and say, “My God.” The president will turn up. “God can’t help you now,” he will mutter. “It’s the Day of Rockening. Ragnorock. The Arockalypse.” For real, though, The Rock has main-evented lots of WrestleManias and turned up at a bunch more to cut a damn promo, hit some punches, do the old Rock Bottom/People’s Elbow combo and roll out a couple of million richer. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Rock and he’s just gotten better with age, but he’s like a thuggish son by this point, who turns up unannounced and everyone says, “Yay! It’s the Rock,” but in actual fact, he takes grandma into the back room and threatens her until she writes him into her will. That analogy got away from me fast but I really do love The Rock and he’ll be there this year at WrestleMania XXXII with his three punches and two special moves.