WrestleMania's 25 grandest celebrities
WrestleMania is where careers are made and in-ring legends take shape. As WWE proves on an annual basis, WrestleMania is not only The Showcase of the Immortals, but it’s also the showcase of the celebrities.
Now, with the WWE Universe firmly planted upon The Road to WrestleMania 29, WWE.com has sifted through every celebrity appearance from every past Show of Shows. And after some (mostly) good-natured in-fighting, we’ve come up with the definitive list of the 25 Grandest Celebrities of WrestleMania.
Kim Kardashian, WrestleMania XXIV
Few names are bigger in the pop cultural zeitgeist these days than Kim Kardashian, so when the reality TV megastar came to WrestleMania XXIV to serve as guest hostess, a media maelstrom descended upon the WWE Universe.
Although Kardashian’s involvement in The Show of Shows may have been limited, her presence at sports-entertainment’s premier extravaganza embodied everything WrestleMania should be — a transcendent pop culture mega event worthy of mainstream media coverage.
Bob Uecker, WrestleMania III; WrestleMania IV
Few images are as emblazoned in the minds’ eyes of wrestling fans the world over as that of WWE Hall of Famer Andre the Giant and his impossibly large hands wrapped around the neck of Bob Uecker. It’s a famously precarious situation Uecker found himself in while attempting to interview the legendary behemoth at WrestleMania IV.
The self-deprecating former Major League Baseball player and current Milwaukee Brewers announcer will always have a spot in the hearts of WWE Universe members, and he will forever be associated with WrestleMania and Andre, making “Ueck” a no-brainer for this list.
Flo Rida, WrestleMania XXVIII
Coming home to appear at WrestleMania XXVIII in Miami, superstar rapper Flo Rida provided the soundtrack for what was, arguably, the grandest match of all time.
Ushering The Rock into Sun Life Stadium as the entire WWE Universe prepared for the epic battle between The Great One and John Cena, Flo Rida performed his hits “Wild Ones” and “Good Feeling” to introduce The Most Electrifying Man in All of Entertainment.
Add in a little backstage altercation with Heath Slater, and Flo Rida proved to be more than ready to cement his place among the greatest WrestleMania celebrities ever.
Burt Reynolds, WrestleMania X
Burt Reynolds may not have had a huge role to play at WrestleMania X, but he will forever be linked to one of the greatest moments in WWE history. Serving as guest ring announcer for the Bret “Hit Man” Hart vs. Yokozuna WWE Title Match, Reynolds was on hand for the coronation of Hart, whose massive win over the monstrous Yokozuna kicked off one of wrestling’s most important and well-regarded title reigns.
After Bret won the bout, he was famously joined inside the ring by a bevy of his fellow Superstars — and Burt Reynolds. If that fact alone doesn’t warrant a spot on this list, then we don’t know what does.
Kid Rock, The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania
Few musical acts have revved up a WrestleMania crowd like Kid Rock did with his high-octane performance of the mega-hit, “Bawitdaba,” at The 25thAnniversary of WrestleMania. Playing a medley that also included “Rock n Roll Jesus,” “Cowboy,” “All Summer Long” and “So Hott” (which was one of the pay-per-view’s official theme songs), the Detroit rocker amped the crowd up for an event that included the first Show of Shows meeting between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels.
Appropriately enough, during Kid Rock’s rendition of “So Hott,” Divas past and present marched down the ramp and into the ring to compete in a 25-Diva battle royal, to determine who would become “Miss WrestleMania.”
Unfortunately for everyone involved, “Santina” Marella took home the crown that night, but don’t let that lessen Kid Rock’s impact on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
Snooki, WrestleMania XXVII
Say what you will about the cultural impact of “The Jersey Shore” but the cultural impact and significance of WrestleMania is unquestioned. In turn, when you take one of the biggest pop culture stars of the day and combine her with The Show of Shows, the result is guaranteed to generate a media storm. And it was when Snooki appeared on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
Teaming with John Morrison & Trish Stratus, Snooki shocked the WWE Universe with an athletic array of offensive moves and by doing the seemingly impossible — silencing Vickie Guerrero with an impressive back-handspring attack before finishing her off with a “Snooki Splash.”
Floyd Mayweather, WrestleMania XXIV
Accompanying a Superstar to the ring is one thing, but stepping into the squared circle to go toe-to-toe with The World’s Largest Athlete is another thing entirely. But that’s just what Floyd “Money” Mayweather did at WrestleMania XXIV, when he got in the ring against Big Show. Sure, Mayweather was saved by his entourage (and, not to mention, a pair of brass knuckles), but one thing’s for sure — it takes a good deal of intestinal fortitude to square off against a Superstar who’s 300 pounds heavier than you.
Fighting out of your weight class, indeed.
Motörhead, WrestleMania X-Seven; WrestleMania 21
Let’s face it: We’ve all dreamt of hearing our theme music hit as we walk down the ramp and into the ring for a match at WrestleMania. But even in the wildest dreams of the most diehard wrestling aficionados, the notion of being ushered onto The Grandest Stage of Them All by heavy metal legends Motörhead is simply inconceivable.
And yet, that’s exactly the way Triple H arrived at WrestleMania. Twice, actually.
At both WrestleMania X-Seven and WrestleMania 21, The Game entered the fray to the chunky guitar riffs and scratchy vocals that have made Motörhead a heavy metal institution. Unforgettable moments, to be sure, and certainly “Game”-raising as far as WrestleMania entrances are concerned.
As front man Lemmy Kilmister so succinctly said at WrestleMania X-Seven, “We are Motörhead. And we’re gonna kick your a**.”
Maria Menounos, WrestleMania XXVIII
Next up, we have another celebrity who wasn’t satisfied with simply showing up. Maria Menounos, TV host extraordinaire, also has some wrestling chops as it turns out. Joining forces with Kelly Kelly to take on the team of then–Divas Champion Beth Phoenix & Eve at WrestleMania XXVIII, Menounos entered an elite club of celebrities who have racked up victories on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
What’s more, it was Menounos who rolled the intimidating Divas Champion up for the three-count — no small feat.
Alice Cooper, WrestleMania III
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. World class golfer. WrestleMania icon.
That’s one hell of a resume, and it belongs to none other than shock rocker Alice Cooper, the legendary front man responsible for such hard rock staples as “School’s Out,” “I’m Eighteen,” and “Welcome to My Nightmare.”
In The Coop’s backyard of Detroit — in the hometown of heavy metal, no less — WrestleMania III destroyed all previous attendance records, drawing more than 93,000 members of the WWE Universe to the Pontiac Silverdome. Accompanying Jake “The Snake” Roberts to the ring for his match against Honky Tonk Man (who was accompanied by “Colonel” Jimmy Hart), Alice made his presence felt in a big, bad way. Despite losing the bout, “The Snake” got the best of his opponent and his mouthpiece when Alice grabbed Roberts’ python, Damien, and chased Honky Tonk and Hart from the ring.
Roberts, Damien and Cooper: It’s a match made only in nightmare, as rock’s first great villain became a WrestleMania hero.
Mickey Rourke, The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania
Chris Jericho is an undisputed legend of the ring, and his legacy grows every time he re-enters the WWE fray. Legendary lion though he may be, Y2J does have a tendency to get under people’s skins every now and then.
Enter Mickey Rourke.
When The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania rolled around, Rourke was on a hot streak, earning a Golden Globe for his role in “The Wrestler” and turning his acting career around. It was the feel-good Hollywood redemption story of the year, but Jericho wasn’t impressed. After Y2J took out three legends at The Show of Shows, Rourke became annoyed with Jericho’s incessant taunting.
So the former boxer took matters into his own hands and, much to the delight of the Houston crowd, decked The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla in the center of the ring.
William Perry, WrestleMania 2
It was good to be a Chicago Bear in 1985, as the loveable team scratched and clawed its way to a Super Bowl victory. As it turned out, 1986 was also a good year to be William “Refrigerator” Perry, the Bears’ 315-pound defensive tackle.
At WrestleMania 2 in Chicago in the first-ever WWE Superstar and NFL Player Battle Royal, The Fridge left an indelible mark on sports-entertainment history as he laced up his wrestling boots and stepped inside the ring opposite some of the greatest Superstars of all time.
The Fridge was more than impressive, focusing his attacks on WWE Hall of Famer Big John Studd. Even though Studd eliminated the Bears star, Fridge got the last laugh — reaching back into the ring and pulling his massive opponent over the top rope. During the bout, Perry also tossed WWE Hall of Famer Tony Atlas over the top, meaning The Fridge made the most of his time on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
Aretha Franklin, WrestleMania III; WrestleMania 23
She’s an American icon, a music legend and a revolutionary figure. She is The Queen of Soul, and Aretha Franklin has appeared on The Grandest Stage of Them All twice, both times bringing down the house with stirring renditions of “America the Beautiful.”
Setting the tone for WrestleMania III and then returning 20 years later for WrestleMania 23, Aretha’s distinctive vocals left nary a dry eye in sight on both occasions and have forever linked her with wrestling’s most important night.
Pam Anderson & Jenny McCarthy, WrestleMania XI
OK, so maybe we’re cheating a little bit by combining the next two celebrities on the list into one entry, but Pam Anderson and Jenny McCarthy will be always be associated with each other, and to The Show of Shows.
At WrestleMania XI, the two centerfolds became the center of attention for the highly anticipated bout between former friends Diesel (who was the reigning WWE Champion at the time) and Shawn Michaels. Heading into The Show of Shows, HBK had planned on arriving in style, being accompanied by Pam Anderson. But “Big Daddy Cool” lived up to his moniker and stole away the “Baywatch” beauty from his ex-best bud.
Never the type to be one-upped, however, The Heartbreak Kid created a memorable WrestleMania moment when he arrived with Jenny McCarthy by his side instead! Diesel won the night, however, walking off The Grandest Stage of Them All with both lovely ladies after the match.
Ray Charles, WrestleMania 2
Ray Charles struck just the right chords of class and cool as he took to the piano while he belted out “America the Beautiful,” setting the tone for a night that had a lot to live up to after the smash success of WrestleMania just one year prior.
With iconic American imagery flashing as across the screen as he sang, Charles’ distinctive vocals moved the crowd of 40,000 strong and left an indelible memory on the psyche of the WWE Universe.
Lawrence Taylor, WrestleMania XI
Lawrence Taylor is a bad, bad man — just ask Joe Theismann.
When the legendarily ferocious linebacker sacked the Washington Redskins quarterback on “Monday Night Football” in 1985, Theismann suffered a broken leg so severe that he was forced to retire from the game.
A decade later, Bam Bam Bigelow would find out just how bad LT was when the two faced off in an epic confrontation at WrestleMania XI. At The Showcase of the Immortals, the two titans engaged in a memorably physical back-and-forth main event battle. In the end, the NFL Hall of Famer prevailed, defeating Bam Bam with a gaggle of his New York Giants teammates on hand to celebrate.
No. 56 in your playbooks … No. 1 in your hearts. Well, unless you’re Joe Theismann or Bam Bam Bigelow, that is.
Little Richard, WrestleMania X
For those who might not know, Little Richard is, quite simply, the man. Case in point: Not only did The Beatles open for him, but the Fab Four also used to crash on Little Richard’s floor when they toured together in the early 1960s. No one else in music history can make such claims, but the self-professed “architect of rock ‘n’ roll” and creator of all-time classics “Tutti Frutti” and “Long Tall Sally” can boast all he wants.
There can be none other than The Grandest Stage of Them All for Little Richard, so the music legend was right at home in Madison Square Garden at WrestleMania X. Accompanied by a choir surrounding the ring, Little Richard’s take on “America the Beautiful” reverberated up into the rafters of MSG and into WrestleMania lore.
Pete Rose, WrestleMania XIV; WrestleMania XV
We’ve got a joke for you. Only, no one here seems to remember the setup. The punch line, however, is hilarious, and it goes like this: Pete Rose, wearing a chicken suit, gets Tombstoned by Kane. Twice.
And so goes the not-so-successful antics of baseball’s hit king, Rose, on The Grandest Stage of Them All. Although Rose likely wants to forget about his San Diego Chicken suit-wearing ways at WrestleMania XV, the WWE Universe will never forget the sight of The Big Red Monster assaulting the Cincinnati Reds star just one year earlier, at WrestleMania XIV.
In an effort to get a little payback on Kane, Rose decided to come dressed as the chicken the following year, perhaps hoping for a Trojan Horse–like sneak attack on the monster. Kane wasn’t fooled, however, and Rose — chicken suit and all — was Tombstoned directly into the WWE Hall of Fame for his Show of Shows troubles.
Cyndi Lauper, WrestleMania
Wrestling and rock music have always shared a unique bond, a fact that’s due in no small part to the efforts of the one and only Cyndi Lauper. Lauper, an ’80s icon and one of the cornerstones of the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection, fit right in at WrestleMania, accompanying Wendi Richter to the ring for her match against Women’s Champion Leilani Kai (who was accompanied by Fabulous Moolah).
Lauper’s outlandish fashion sense and wild-child style were a perfect match for the spectacle that is WrestleMania, and her contributions to sports-entertainment are vast, making the singer of such classics as “True Colors” and “Time After Time” a shoe-in for this list.
Serving as guest time keeper for WrestleMania’s main event, Liberace brought just the right amount of flair to the inaugural Show of Shows. The singer/pianist was well-known — and not to mention, highly paid — for his elaborate and flamboyant stage performances and his famously exorbitant lifestyle.
Embodying part of what WrestleMania is all about, “Mr. Showmanship” was right at home on The Grandest Stage of Them All. The image of Liberace kicking it with the Rockettes is a lasting one, and certainly an enduring piece of the fabric of WrestleMania.
Ozzy Osbourne, WrestleMania 2
Remember when Capt. Lou Albano and Ozzy Osbourne managed The British Bulldogs? Sure you do!
At WrestleMania 2, the off-the-wall managerial pair accompanied Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid to the ring en route to their match for the World Tag Team Championships. Announced that night as a “very special cornerman” for the Bulldogs, the former Black Sabbath lead singer was all amped up for the bout.
The sight of Ozzy in his new mauve (we think that’s what color it was, anyway) sports jacket was almost too good to be true. And then, it got even better.
“The Prince of Darkness” also took part in the post-match celebration after his team triumphed to become the new World Tag Team Champions. Ozzy and Capt. Lou hoisting the titles over their heads before handing them off to The British Bulldogs may seem like some weird ’80s fever dream, but it was real.
Yep, that actually happened, and it earns the hard rock legend a spot on our list.
Mr. T, WrestleMania; WrestleMania 2
One of the biggest and most prevalent celebrities of the 1980s, Mr. T coming to WrestleMania was a big, big deal. At the time, he was everywhere, most notably starring in the wildly popular “The A-Team” among a gaggle of other high-profile gigs. Mr. T was so hot, in fact, that he shared a spot on the promotional poster of the first-ever WrestleMania alongside Hulk Hogan himself.
Teaming with Hogan against “Rowdy” Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff in the historic night’s unforgettable main event, Mr. T and “The Hulkster” would go on to win the tag team bout in memorable fashion. Then, the very next year, Mr. T would reignite his rivalry with Piper, battling the Rowdy one in a boxing match at WrestleMania 2, thus cementing his place as one of the all-time greatest celebrities in the illustrious history of The Show of Shows. ( WATCH)
Mike Tyson, WrestleMania XIV
When “The Baddest Man on the Planet” gets involved in a fight, in any capacity, the world takes notice. And that’s exactly what happened during the build-up to WrestleMania XIV, as media outlets from across the globe descended upon Boston to get the latest on what was billed as “The Greatest Extravaganza of All Time.”
Serving as special enforcer in the WWE Title Match between WWE Champion Shawn Michaels and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, “Iron” Mike Tyson looked to bring his own brand of justice to WrestleMania. But with the WWE Universe assuming Tyson would give the edge to fellow D-Generation X member Michaels, the WWE Hall of Famer shocked the world when he raised Austin’s hand in victory. Tyson quickly followed up the three-count by flooring HBK with a devastating right hand and earning himself a place among the legendary figures in WrestleMania history.
Donald Trump, WrestleMania 23
Love him or hate him, you’ve gotta hand it to Donald Trump — the man knows how to make headlines. And when WrestleMania 23 rolled around, no one in Hollywood was making bigger headlines than “The Donald,” as the billionaire found himself (read: inserted himself) in a “Battle of the Billionaires” against Mr. McMahon.
Backing Bobby Lashley, Trump made a legendary wager with Mr. McMahon (who was represented in the ring by Umaga). The loser of the epic showdown would have his head shaved. When Lashley came away with the victory, the real estate mogul famously shaved Mr. McMahon’s head to the delight of the WWE Universe in attendance.
Trump, who has appeared at five WrestleManias in total, including two hosted at his hotel — and will appear at his sixth this year when he’s inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame — did what few men can claim: At WrestleMania 23, “The Donald” got the best of Mr. McMahon.
Muhammad Ali, WrestleMania
Today, the first WrestleMania is seen as the beginning of one of the greatest sports spectacles in history, an annual tradition that brings millions of people around the globe together — if only for one night — to watch the world’s greatest athletes compete on the grandest stage imaginable.
But it wasn’t always regarded as such.
As always, however, Mr. McMahon was determined to make WrestleMania everything that he knew it could be. And so he reached out to entertainment icons and sports luminaries to join in the spotlight. Boxing legend Muhammad Ali was among that group, and his appearance at the inaugural WrestleMania had huge significance on WWE and professional wrestling.
If Mr. McMahon’s big gamble was good enough for the greatest of all time, well … you know where we’re going with this. Ali helped wrestling to bridge the gap into mainstream pop culture psyche, and for that he will forever be associated with The Show of Shows.
So much so, in fact, that the greatest boxer of all time is also WWE.com’s grandest celebrity in WrestleMania history.