The 10 Biggest Celebrity Appearances in Wrestlemania History
Boxers, rock stars, NFL players and Donald Trump. Wrestlemania has been littered with celebrity appearances.
Whether you are a wrestling fan from way back or have never watched an event in your life, you can’t deny the sheer magnitude of the WWE’s (formally WWF) annual Wrestlemania Pay Per View event.
They say that Wrestlemania is the Super Bowl of wrestling, but hardcore wrestling fans claim that the Super Bowl is the Wrestlemania of football! For the last decade, the event has been held at a football stadium, attracting a crowd of over 70,000 each time, with a record breaking 101,763 spectators at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium for Wrestlemania 32 in 2016.
Similar to the Super Bowl, Wrestlemania is bigger than the sport itself, and one theme has remained constant since the first event at Madison Square Garden in 1985 - celebrities, and many of them.
We’re not talking about the celebrity status of Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant or The Rock, we’re referring to Hollywood icons, rock and roll legends, and unsurprisingly, Donald Trump.
And to continue with the celebrity theme, UFC icon Ronda Rousey will arguably be the main attraction at Wrestlemania 34 this April in New Orleans. Although she is now an official member of the roster, there is no doubt that her celebrity power is what brought her to the WWE, and she will join an illustrious list of celebrities who have featured at Wrestlemania.
Below are 10 of the biggest celebrity appearances in Wrestlemania history:
Muhammad Ali: Wrestlemania 1, 1985
The first ever Wrestlemania was held at Madison Square Garden, and it was packed with celebrities, but none compared to former heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali. Just four years after his retirement, Ali was invited to star as a guest referee in the main event tag team match between Hulk Hogan and Mr. T against Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. Ali’s larger than life character was made for the WWF, and to no one’s surprise, he ended up taking matters into his own hands and punched Roddy Piper.
Mr. T: Wrestlemania 2, 1986
Mr. T headlined Wrestlemania for the second year in a row when he took on Rowdy Roddy Piper in a boxing match. After his electric performance as Clubber Lang in Rocky III, the villain attracted plenty of scrutiny in the WWF, as the natural wrestlers who worked hard to reach superstar status did not appreciate a Hollywood actor getting all the attention. It’s reported that Piper had a genuine dislike for Mr. T, and this culminated at Wrestlemania 2, albeit in a boxing match. However, the wrestler in Piper could not resist temptation to switch to what he knows best, and got himself disqualified for body slamming T!
Donald Trump, Wrestlemania 23, 2007
No one knew that Donald Trump would eventually become the President of the US back in 2007 (and many still can’t believe it), but the former Celebrity Apprentice host had a hilarious feud with WWF chief Vince McMahon, which led to the ‘Battle of the Billionaires’ match at Wrestlemania 23. The two ‘billionaires’ each picked a wrestler to manage, but chaos soon broke out when Trump attacked McMahon outside the ring! However, his celebrations were short-lived when guest referee Stone Cold Steve Austin decided to dish out some of his own punishment.
Mike Tyson, Wrestlemania 14, 1998
‘The baddest man on the planet’, Mike Tyson took a break from boxing after infamously biting off a chunk of Evander Holyfield's ear in their 1997 title fight, and the WWF cleverly took advantage of this. Tyson was the guest referee for the main event between Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels, and was very quick to count to three when his ‘friend’ Shawn was being pinned by Austin. Michaels was furious and decided to push Tyson after the fight, prompting ‘Iron Mike’ to knock him out.
Rob Gronkowski, Wrestlemania 33, 2017
NFL star Rob Gronkowski was minding his own business, sitting in the front row when wrestler Jinder Mahal took a sip of his drink and threw it at him. Gronk was not impressed, and managed to get past security and jump into the ring, spear tackling Mahal to the floor, and causing him to lose the match.
Shaquille O'Neal, Wrestlemania 32, 2016
Shaq’s entrance into the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal caused about 20 wrestlers to stand still and wait for the former NBA big man to make his first move. But Kane could not help himself, and tried to take on both Shaq and the Big Show - at the same time.
Ozzy Osbourne - Wrestlemania 2, 1986
Rock star Ozzy Osbourne was the ‘manager’ for the ‘British Bulldogs’ tag team back at Wrestlemania 2, and was responsible for motivating the duo to victory, but the Black Sabbath singer claims he can’t even remember being there! In 2012, when showed footage of his Wrestlemania 2 appearance, Osborne was shocked, yelling “What the fuck!? Is that me?”
Lawrence Taylor, Wrestlemania 11, 1995
Former New York Giants linebacker and NFL MVP Lawrence Taylor faced Bam Bam Bigelow in the main event at Wrestlemania 11, after a bitter feud which began earlier in the year at the Royal Rumble. Bigelow seemed to be in control of the bout, but LT refused to give up, and flattened Bam Bam with a forearm from the second rope, causing another massive Wrestlemania upset. Old school wrestling fans were not happy that an NFL player defeated an experienced wrestler, but the result worked in the WWF’s favour as it attracted a lot of attention in the mainstream media.
Floyd Mayweather, Wrestlemania 24, 2008
One of the greatest fighters of all time, Floyd Mayweather decided to swap boxing for wrestling for a brief period in 2008, and developed a small man vs big man rivalry with the Big Show. This eventually led to a no disqualification match at Wrestlemania 24, where Floyd needed a steel chair and a pair of brass knuckles to defeat his much bigger opponent. The contrast in size was comedic, and fellow wrestlers continued to mock the Big Show for a long time following his defeat.
Ronda Rousey, Wrestlemania 34, 2018
While the event has not happened yet, we can’t wait to see how Ronda Rousey will fare at Wrestlemania 34 on April 8. She will feature in a tag team match with Kurt Angle as her partner, going up against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. If her contract signing was anything to go by, wrestling fans will be in for a real treat.
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