9 Memorable Celebrity Moments in Pro Wrestling
Last night, Latin superstar Bad Bunny won WWE's 24/7 Title.
The world-renowned reggaeton artist won the title with help from WWE's latest main roster call-up from NXT, Damian Priest, on Monday Night Raw.
Unfortunately, Bad Bunny has a target on his back now that he's champion. Being a 24/7 titleholder stipulates that the championship can be won any time, any place, by anyone. If he isn't careful, Bad Bunny could lose his title during his performance as this week's musical guest on Saturday Night Live.
Celebrities like Bad Bunny have often been featured in professional wrestling storylines. Many actors, musicians, and athletes had stepped in the ring to see if they have what it takes to hang with the top dogs in sports entertainment and win over a vocal fan base that can be difficult to please.
In honor of Bad Bunny's WWE 24/7 Championship victory, let's look at our favorite celebrity moments in professional wrestling.
Believe it or not, Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski and Bad Bunny have something in common. The four-time Super Bowl champ also won the WWE 24/7 Title while hosting last year's Wrestlemania.
Gronk's involvement with WWE began back at Wrestlemania in 2017 when he jumped the guard rail and helped his friend Mojo Rawley win the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Gronk signed a contract after announcing his retirement from the NFL, but he changed his mind and rejoined the league and long-time teammate Tom Brady in Tampa Bay for another championship run.
The Green Arrow vs. Stardust
Arrow's leading man, Stephen Amell, is no stranger to physicality. He did the majority of his stunts and fight scenes during the DC Comics series' eight-season run on the CW Network. Amell got the opportunity to put his athleticism on display at WWE's Summerslam pay-per-view back in 2015.
Amell tagged with Neville (now known as Pac in AEW) to face the team of King Barrett and Stardust (Cody Rhodes). Even though Amell's offense didn't pack the same punch it did when he played the green-hooded vigilante, he still produced an enjoyable match and highlight moment with his courageous dive off the top rope.
Mickey Rourke's Box-Office Knockout
Mickey Rourke's portrayal of Randy "The Ram" Robinson in the film The Wrestler earned him an Academy Award nomination and the respect of professional wrestling legends. His depiction of a once-popular wrestling star clinging to a business that has moved on without him is a tale that countless men and women in the business experienced themselves.Rourke was asked to be a part of Wrestlemania 25 to cross-promote the film. His Wrestlemania moment came in the form of a knock-out punch to the smarmy Chris Jericho for disrespecting the old-timers who sacrificed themselves for the business like his character in The Wrestler.
Mayweather's Big Fight
There are very few boxers who can stand toe to toe with Floyd Mayweather. The undefeated boxing champion has yet to meet an opponent that can get the best of him in a one-on-one fight. That was until Floyd wound up on a collision course with The World's Largest Athlete, The Big Show.
The Big Show and Floyd Mayweather's David vs. Goliath type match took place at Wrestlemania 24. Their no-olds-barred match showcased Floyd's showmanship and instincts as an athlete. Aside from the match generating massive mainstream media attention, Money Mayweather secured the W with a brass-knuckles-assisted knockout.
The Rodman Cometh
NBA legend Dennis Rodman could have easily been a professional wrestler. The five-time NBA champion had the athleticism, looks, and charisma that would have made him a star in any major promotion. In 1997, the Worm got the chance to see what life in the squared circle is like.
World Championship Wrestling (WCW) enlisted Rodman's star power to help them pull further away from Vince McMahon and the WWF in the Monday Night War. Rodzilla aligned himself with the white-hot New World Order faction led by Hollywood Hogan and clashed with WCW's top stars and even his on-the-court nemesis at the time, Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone.
Your New World Champion...David Arquette?
Professional wrestling reached unprecedented heights in the late '90s and early 2000s. Hollywood looked to capitalize on the sport's growing popularity by creating films centered around pro wrestling like Ready to Rumble starring David Arquette and the stars of WCW.
Arquette, a lifelong wrestling fan, helped promote the movie by appearing on WCW weekly programming. Hardcore fans didn't mind his presence in the company to help sell the film until they decided to make him their world champion. Many people, including Arquette himself, thought it was a terrible decision. Not only did it make a mockery of the business, but Ready to Rumble bombed at the box office as well.
Some of wrestling's biggest stars used to play college and/or professional football. The transition from the gridiron to the ring has been almost seamless for the likes of Ron Simmons, Bill Goldberg, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. This is why NFL linebacker Lawrence Taylor and Bam Bam Bigelow'sWrestlemania 11 clash was both exciting and believable.
L.T. and Bam Bam's was a publicity goldmine for the company and was slated to be the show's main event. Taylor's natural athleticism helped him come across as believable, despite being inexperienced in the ring. Though the match itself was decent, it didn't warrant the main event slot that should've gone to more seasoned and deserving performers.
Mr.T & MSG
Vince McMahon's ambitions to take professional wrestling in 1985 to new heights gave birth to the industry's premier event, Wrestlemania. The first Wrestlemania took place at Madison Square Garden and featured a who's who in entertainment including Muhammad Ali, Liberace, and '80s action star, Mr.T.While Ali and Liberace watched the event from ringside, Mr.T was involved in the main event. He teamed with Hulk Hogan to take on Rowdy Roddy Piper and Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff. Hogan and his comrade from The A-Team toppled the dastardly duo and Vince McMahon's reign as the new king of professional wrestling began.
The Baddest Man on the Planet Meets WWF’s Toughest S.O.B.
Stone Cold Steve Austin's meteoric rise in the late '90s reintroduced professional wrestling to a mainstream audience. His anti-hero persona resonated with fans that stopped watching WWF because of its cheesy characters and lackluster matches. But before Austin could take the reins and lead the company to its most successful period, he had to get through Mike Tyson.
WWE added Mike Tyson to Wrestlemania 14's main event as the special enforcer in Austin's match with then-champion Shawn Michaels. Tyson joined forces with Michaels and D-Generation-X to lessen Austin's chances of leaving with the title. Tyson double-crossed Michaels and counted the pinfall for Austin. A displeased HBK got a right hand to the jaw from the dominant former boxing champ for his troubles.
Tyson's involvement in Austin's career-defining moment was pivotal for WWE and wrestling as a whole. Austin's championship win changed the landscape of the industry and might not have been as monumental without Mike Tyson's inclusion in the story.
Know of any other celebrities who made an impact in the wrestling ring?
Let us know on Twitter @Popdust using the hashtag #ListedByDeascent!
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