There have been countless celebrities who have made appearances with WWE and other major wrestling promotions since wrestling gained a more prominent role in society in the age of Hulk Hogan in the ’80s. While most of these appearances never resulted in in-ring action, others featured celebrities mixing it up with competitors in the squared circle.
Drew Carey, Jay Leno, and Snooki highlight some of the most despicable appearances of celebrities involved in wrestling matches. At the same time, there have also been many celebrities that we wanted to see in the ring, most of whom did not get the opportunity to compete.
Some people might not know that Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is one of the most influential pop culture icons in history, has a background in bodybuilding and weightlifting. He trained at Gold’s Gym early in Los Angeles, California, shortly after he came to America, and it was there that he became good friends with “Superstar” Billy Graham and trained with other professional wrestlers.
Schwarzenegger, who got inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015, has made multiple appearances in WWE since 1999. While he did beat up Triple H after The Game attacked him at ringside in 1999, it is a shame that The Terminator never wrestled in an official match.
Hugh Jackman, a lifelong wrestling fan, has made multiple appearances on Raw over the past decade. His most memorable appearance occurred on September 19, 2011, in his first appearance as the celebrity guest host of Raw (he is the only person to have held the role twice).
Jackman helped Zack Ryder defeat Dolph Ziggler after clocking him with a (very real) punch when the referee’s back was turned. The Wolverine, who aligned himself with Ryder during his first appearance as the guest host, could have done some greater damage in the ring if he would have gotten the opportunity to do so. Jackman had a much friendlier interaction with Ziggler while performing the duties as guest host on April 28, 2014. However, the Magneto version of Damien Sandow would feel the wrath of Jackman on that night.
Mickey Rourke and Chris Jericho were involved in a heated feud that was supposed to culminate in a match at WrestleMania 25 before Rourke pulled out of the contest. However, he still showed up at the event and struck Jericho with a knockout blow after his match against Jimmy Snuka, Ricky Steamboat, and Roddy Piper.
Rourke, a successful boxer before he pursued an acting career, could have done significant damage if he got the chance to make his mark in the ring. Unfortunately, the famous WrestleMania match never took place, and Rourke never made another appearance with the company after the event. The knockout punch must have felt great, though.
William “The Refrigerator” Perry
William “The Refrigerator” Perry was a rookie phenom after he scored multiple touchdowns from the defensive tackle position as a member of the famous 1985 Chicago Bears. The Fridge’s popularity was soaring when he took part in a Battle Royal at WrestleMania 2, only two months after winning the Super Bowl.
There was a significant amount of hype leading up to the match, but it ultimately wound up being a major disappointment, as Perry did not get a chance to display any in-ring skill set whatsoever. The 2006 Hall of Fame inductee never made another appearance after the event, and it is a shame that we did not get to see more of the 350-pound monster.
Muhammad Ali is not only considered the best professional boxer of all time, but he is also one of the most influential figures in the history of sports. He achieved 37 knockouts with 56 wins and only five losses during his standout boxing career.
His most significant contribution to the sport occurred at the inaugural WrestleMania, where he served as the special guest referee of the show’s main event between Hulk Hogan and Mr. T against Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. Ali had high-profile matches against WWE Hall of Famers Gorilla Monsoon and Antonio Inoki during his career, but the fact that he never wrestled an official contest with WWE seems like a wasted opportunity for the company.
Kevin Hart was promoting his movie Think Like a Man Too when he served as the guest host of Raw on June 16, 2014. The show could have been an all-time classic, as Hart’s sense of humor made him the perfect candidate for the role, but it, unfortunately, fell below all expectations.
The company not only failed to showcase his one-of-a-kind sense of humor, but it also neglected to feature the comedian in a memorable in-ring role. At the very least, Hart could have been used in a tag team match. Hey, at least we got to see his impeccable dance moves.
Former NFL star Michael Strahan appeared as the guest host of Raw on November 25, 2013. The show may have had potential, but it fell short of expectations, and he is one of the most forgettable celebrity guest hosts in history.
He may not have had any prior wrestling experience, but he was still just a few years removed from a highly successful career on the gridiron and certainly had an athletic background that could have allowed him to thrive in the ring. The company would have fared much better if they displayed whatever in-ring ability the former All-Pro had.
Johnny Knoxville served as the guest host of Raw on October 4, 2010, when he promoted his Jackass 3D movie. He was also locked in The Great Khali’s Vice Grip in 2008, but neither appearance amounted to much, and the company could have made better use of his skillset.
Knoxville may have taken note of the punishment endured by his friend Steve-O, who previously no-sold Umaga’s attacks before learning his lesson the hard way. Nevertheless, it would have been interesting to see Knoxville’s otherworldly toughness (and stupidity) on display against some of the best in the business.
Chad Ochocinco was fresh off a 12-catch, 159-yard performance in the season opener of the 2009 NFL season when he was the guest host of Raw on September 13, 2010. It was a forgettable appearance for the superstar receiver, and the most memorable aspect of the night was him getting brutally roasted by The Miz.
The appearance did not amount to much, but it could have been more exciting if Ochocinco had put his elite athleticism on display.
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns in the Pittsburgh Steelers 38-28 victory against the San Diego Chargers on October 4, 2009. He served as the guest host of Raw on the very next day, where he and his teammates aligned themselves with DX.
Seeing an NFL quarterback make his in-ring debut a day after an incredible performance on the gridiron would have been legendary. The show was still a memorable one, but it could have been exponentially better if they convinced Big Ben to take part in some in-ring action.
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About The Author
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Jerry Markarian is an avid sports fan who has had a passion for writing for as long as he can remember. He is a recent college graduate who has strong aspirations in becoming a successful sports journalist, and currently lives in Chicago, IL. He feels eternally grateful that he was able to land an opportunity with an organization that is as respected as TheSportster so early in his writing career.
Original posted at www.thesportster.com