#Movies & TV
From the Red Carpet to the WWE: Celebrities Who Took Up Pro Wrestling
by John Thome
Celebrities have been a major part of pro wrestling since Cyndi Lauper and Mr. T appeared on the first World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Wrestlemania I in 1985. From sharing the ring with Hulk Hogan in the World Championship Wrestling (WCW) to hitting John Cena with a chair at WWE’s Summerslam, here are some of the most surprising and most famous celebrity moments to ever occur in pro wrestling.
Before Donald Trump went after the U.S. presidency, he went after Vince McMahon. Trump has appeared at multiple WWE events, most notably in 2007 at Wrestlemania 23 in the “Battle of the Billionaires” against Vince McMahon in a hair v. hair match. Trump didn’t wrestle; instead he chose Bobby Lashley to face off against McMahon’s choice, Umaga (RIP). Lashley pinned Umaga, and the Donald shaved Vince bald. If Trump had lost, no doubt he would have demanded a comb-over, I mean, a do-over!
Before marrying rap legend Kanye West, before becoming the mother of two children, and even before she broke the Internet, pop culture superstar Kim Kardashian hosted Wrestlemania 24. Her duties didn’t include much: She got in the ring and announced that the event had broken an attendance record. Adding to her library of NSFW videos, she also appeared in a pretaped segment with an overweight, nearly nude, oiled-up male stripper named Big Dick Johnson.
Courteney Cox’s ex-husband and Scream actor David Arquette starred in the WCW-based movie Ready to Rumble. The WCW powers-that-be (whom some would say were completely inept) decided to have Arquette wrestle and become the heavyweight champion. The publicity stunt backfired as fans hated Arquette as the champion. Arquette’s Scream character Dewey Riley never died, but his championship reign probably killed WCW.
This Canuck stars as Green Arrow in the CW television show Arrow and will play Casey Jones in the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. He partnered with WWE pro wrestler Neville in a tag team match against Stardust and King Barrett at SummerSlam 2015, pretty much living out every young ’80s boy’s dream of growing up and becoming Casey Jones, a comic book hero, AND a pro wrestler.
The Entourage Cast
Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, and Jerry Ferrara of Entourage guest-starred in a May 2015 edition of “Monday Night Raw” to promote their upcoming movie. Their night of drama and hijinks culminated with Kevin Dillon’s interfering in a match against Trainwreck star John Cena. They proceeded to hug it out with Zach Ryder after he lost.
Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone
Real life NBA-rivals-turned-pro-wrestling-rivals Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone squared off in a tag team match at WCW’s Bash at the Beach 1998. Rodman and Hollywood Hulk Hogan cheated their way to victory over Malone and DDP YOGA inventor Diamond Dallas Page. Malone may have lost the match, but Dennis Rodman now spends time in North Korea with his BFF Kim Jong-un, so who really lost?
This former Tonight Show host wrestled on WCW’s 1998 Road Wild Pay Per View. His attempt at pro wrestling was received just about as well as when he handed over the reins of the Tonight Show to Conan O’Brien—very poorly.
In 2008, Hollywood enigma Mickey Rourke successfully landed the role of Randy the Ram in the surprise hit The Wrestler. In 2009 Rourke successfully landed an equally surprising hit to the head of former season 12 Dancing with the Stars contestant Chris Jericho.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi
The Jersey Shore star fist-pumped her way to victory at Wrestlemania 27 in a six-person mixed tag team match. Shockingly, Snooki wasn’t even the orangest person in the match—wrestlers John Morrison and Dolph Ziggler both looked like they’re familiar with the inside of a tanning bed. G.T.W.L.: Gym. Tan. Wrestlemania. Laundry.
Jon Stewart went from hosting the Daily Show to hosting SummerSlam (2015) where he turned on John Cena to help Seth Rollins win the match. For many hard-core pro-wrestling fans, this was their moment of Zen.
One of Hugh Jackman’s more memorable WWE appearances occurred when wrestler Damien Sandow poorly impersonated Magneto, which resulted in Jackman’s going all Wolverine on him with help from Dolph Ziggler.
Before Mystery Men got beat up at the box office, Ben Stiller got beat up by pro wrestler Jeff Jarrett on an “Attitude Era Monday Night Raw“ in 1999 while promoting the movie.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joe Manganiello
Arnold, who has appeared on many WWE events, joined Hulk Hogan and his Sabotage costar Joe Manganiello in the ring on “Monday Night Raw” in 2014. After being interrupted by former Real World star The Miz, the three joined forces to beat The Miz out of the ring. When it comes to the WWE, we may not know when, but we know that Arnold will be back.
Betty White hosted “Monday Night Raw” in 2014, proving that she’s never too old for literally anything.
Kevin Hart stars in the upcoming 2016 movie Central Intelligence with former pro-wrestler Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. This isn’t the funny man’s first brush with pro wrestling, however; he made an appearance on “Monday Night Raw” in 2014.