Top Five Worst WWE WrestleMania Celebrity Appearances
The best of the worst celebs on wrestling's grand stage.
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WWE's biggest show of the year is WrestleMania (duh) and since its inception, celebrities have played a role in bringing mainstream attention to the event. Many people tend to complain whenever a celebrity is announced for WrestleMania, but despite how much we may hate certain celebrities (Snooki, I'm looking at you), their involvement is a part of WrestleMania's rich history. That being said, there is a right way and a wrong way, in using celebrities at WrestleMania--so I have complied a list of the top five worst uses of a celebrity at WrestleMania.
This list is based on how the celebrity negatively affected the show, how much time they took up, and whether or not they were worth having at the event. which is why Snooki's appearance at WrestleMania XXVII will not be on the list, her match was less than two minutes long and helped bring attention to the WWE.
5. WrestleMania II: Celebrities Galore
The second WrestleMania took place in three different venues in New York, Illinois, and Los Angeles. Coming off the success of WrestleMania I the prior year, Vince McMahon wanted to make this an even bigger spectacle. Unfortunately, McMahon aimed too high, and spared no expense in getting as many celebrities involved as possible--25 celebrities to be exact. Surely all that star power helped the show right? Not quite. The event took place in three separate locations meant having three separate set of announcers, commentators, and three times the celebrities and I use the term celebrities loosely.
In New York, you had Joan Rivers doing ring announcing, with Susan Saint James doing commentary with Vinny Mac. First mistake, you should NEVER EVER put someone who has no knowledge of the product on commentary in any event, let alone WrestleMania. This would be like if I did color commentary for the Super Bowl. This mistake was repeated in the other two venues as well with Cathy Lee Crosby in Illinois and Elvira (Really, Vince?! Well, I guess she was really popular in the 80s so this gets a pass.) in LA.
You also had guest timekeepers, which isn't bad as they just have to sit there and smile. This included Clara Peller, Ricky Schroder, and Herb....wait Herb? Many of you are probably asking your self who the hell is Herb? With good reason too. You see, Herb was a spokesmen for Burger King, who did a few funny commercials in the 80s...and that's it. Elvira...OK...that's understandable...but HERB? This like if WWE brought out Johnny Mayhem or the Geico Cavemen to this year's WrestleMania. Having D-list celebrities like Herb and Susan Saint James really cheapened the event.
A bulk of the celebrities were involved in a 19 man Battle Royal, which consisted of former and at the time, current NFL players, and WWE superstars (Andre, Hart Foundation, Pedro Morales etc). This one was both good and bad. On one hand, you had popular Chicago Bears player William "Refrigerator" Perry. On the other hand, you had a bunch of non-wresters in a wrestling match against future WWE Hall of Famers. Thankfully, they didn't overshadow the wrestlers and the match ended with Andre The Giant and Bret Hart. However, the match itself drew away attention from the British Bulldogs vs. the Dream Team for the WWE Tag Team Titles, which took place following the battle royal. I almost forgot to mention the Prince of Darkness himself Ozzy Osborne accompanied the British Bulldogs to the ring. Nothing to complain about there. That's just full of win!
The main event that took place in New York saw Mr. T do battle with Roddy Piper. There was tons a of drama going into this match. For starters, Piper hated Mr. T and felt that he had no business in the ring, let alone main eventing a big show like WrestleMania. Piper had a good point, but at the same time, Mr.T was a huge star in the 80s and WrestleMania I (Mr. T teamed with Hulk Hogan) had proven that. The match itself was a boxing match, which to me, is never a good idea on a professional wrestling show. People paid to see a wrestling event, not a boxing event, especially with two non-boxers. Thankfully, they opted to not have Mr. T beat Piper WWE's then number one heel, in a clean fashion.
4. WrestleMania XXI: Sumo wrestler Akebono
As I mentioned, mixing sports is generally never a good idea, especially in wrestling. You don't see the NFL sanctioning soccer matches during halftime. Why? because that's not what the people paid to see! And when people bought their tickets to WrestleMania XXI, I can almost guarantee you that they did not pay to see two 500 pounders Sumo wrestle in those skimpy miwashis. Not only that, but Akebono isn't exactly what I consider a draw and the primary market in U.S. had no idea who he was, nor did they have an interest in sumo wrestling. Akebono, as accomplished as he is in Japan for his sumo wrestling, had been retired from sumo for a number of years at time of his match with the Big Show. Not only was he retired, but he was going into the match with a worse kickboxing (1-8) and MMA record (0-4) than...well....I don't think anybody has had as bad as fighting record as this guy.
In fact, in Japanese sports publications, he was referred to as "Makebono," which basically means loser. The match itself was only minute, but it felt way longer than that. The crowd was dead as Akebono made his entrance. They did shout in disgust when both mean took of their robes. Can you blame them?
Also, I'm pretty sure Akebono's nut sack was visible during the match, but that could have just been his fupa. Big Show lost the match, and then raised Akebono's hand and that was it. The whole thing was pointless really. The match didn't add anything to the card, the fans didn't care for it, and Big Show certainly didn't gain anything from it except humiliation.
It wasn't needed for WrestleMania and it should have been done in Japan when they did TV tapings months prior. Might I add, in the time it took set up the sumo ring and all that other stuff, they could've just had Big Show work a match, against you know, an actual wrester.
3. WrestleMania XXV: Kid Rock
I am all for musical acts at WrestleMania, as long as they are doing one of two things: singing the National Anthem or performing a wrestler's entrance music--that's it. At WrestleMania XXV, Kid Rock, who apparently was somehow relevant in 2009 [Editor's note: Kid Rock is pretty relevant but performed way too long], performed what felt like a con-chair-to to the head of six songs. What irked me about this was the fact that the whole night, I was looking forward to seeing The Colons (Carlito and Primo) take on John Morrison and The Miz in a tag title unification match. Instead of seeing a good tag match, the rest of the world got to sit through a shitty Kid Rock mini concert.
When a celebrity has a lot of star power and could bring a lot of media attention to the WWE and WrestleMania (i.e. Mike Tyson, Mr. T, Mickey Rourke), it's worth sacrificing some time, a match, or someones spot. In this case, Kid Rock was not worthy of taking up the time that he did, I don't care how many radio stations played "All Summer Long." He was not drawing in media attention or selling tickets. This was something that could have been done before the show.
2: WrestleMania XI: New York Football Giants great Lawrence Taylor
While there have been many main events at WrestleMania, only a select few can say they closed out the show on the grandest stage of them all. This includes a list of legends, WWE Hall of Famers, and Lawrence Taylor... Really? Here’s some background. iIn 1995, WWE was in one of its low points, business was bad and it needed a boost. Seeing the success of the first WrestleMania, they needed someone, something that would bring mainstream attention to the WWE. So they brought in then-NFL linebacker - oh wait I’m sorry, RETIRED NFL linebacker Lawrence Taylor to work a match with Bam Bam Bigelow. Bigelow was one of the best “big men” to grace the ring. This did indeed bring media attention to the WWE ,so much that they felt this match was worthy of being the main event over Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel (Kevin Nash). Big mistake.
Sure, WrestleMania I featured a non-wrestler in its main event, but that was in a tag match with in a limited capacity with three other actual workers. Though this was a non-wrestler going up against a wrestler in a singles match. If that wasn’t bad enough, they had L.T. go over Bigelow. This buried Bam Bam to all hell and made professional wrestling look weak as a whole. The match wasn’t bad for a non-wrestler, but it didn’t not belong on the top of the card, and under no condition did L.T. deserve to go over (although I'm sure Bigelow got paid well to do the honors). If being the main event wasn’t bad enough, this match was given more time than Bret Hart and Bob Backlund... Are you serious, bro?
1: WrestleMania XIX: Miller Light Cat Fight Girls
One of the reasons having celebrity appearances at WrestleMania is the attention, and in some rare cases, it’s worth having that said celebrity take up sometime on the card. Yet far worse than the Kid Rock appearance was the Miller Light Cat Fight Girls in 2003.
This one pissed me off and a lot of fans for so many reasons. First, no one knew these chicks. They did some stupid commercials, so they were on the same level as Herb from Burger King. No cared about them and they brought zero media interest to the event. Their cat fight match with WWE Divas Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler wasn’t WrestleMania-worthy by any standards, and could have been done on a RAW or Smackdown.
Most importantly they bumped Lance Storm--LANCE FUCKING STORM, Val Venis, Rob Van Dam, and Kane--four very capable and deserving workers from the card. Instead of adding another title match to such a great card (that featured Rock-Austin, McMahon-Hogan, Angle-Lesnar, HBK-Jericho), we got cheap T&A sold to us.