Celebrities can be just as big a part of WrestleMania as championship matches.... when used correctly.

 

Right from the very first WrestleMania in 1985, the media was peppered with celebrities, some managing, some announcing, some refereeing and some even wrestling.

 

Over the years, their involvement at The Showcase Of The Immortals has ebbed and flowed. Some years, there haven't been any celebrities to speak of beyond those who may be sitting in the audience. Other years, the event has featured a who's who of musicians, athletes and actors in a wide variety of roles. Some have even become WWE Hall of Famers!

 

So how, then, is it possible to rank different people, from different backgrounds, for playing different roles on The Grandest Stage Of Them All? In compiling a list of the Top 50 WrestleMania Celebrities, Wrestling Merchandise and Memories looked at the following criteria:

 

  • Was their appearance well-hyped ahead of time?

  • Was the celebrity a "has-been" by the time they made it to Mania?

  • Did they have any role in attracting non-wrestling fans to the event?

  • How memorable was their appearance (or, in some cases, appearances)?

 

If you'd like to be a part of this conversation, Tweet us at @canadianbulldog using the hashtag #Top50, or leave a comment below.


Ready? Here we go!

50.

Elvira

Elvira gained success in the 1980s by wearing low-cut dresses and presenting horror movies on late-night television. The Mistress of The Dark's campy persona was perfect for the cartoon-centric WWF at WrestleMania II in 1986, where she helped call the Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong  Bundy main event.

48.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas

In the early 1990s, Jonathan Taylor Thomas was one of the top teen heartthrobs in Hollywood, starring in the television show Home Improvement and voicing Simba in Disney's The Lion King. But at WrestleMania XI in 1995, JTT acted as a guest timekeeper and backstage, beat Bob Backlund at a game of chess.

46.

Boyz II Men

Boyz II Men are a Grammy award-winning R&B band that topped charts in the 1990s with songs such as "Motownphilly" and "I'll make love to you." At WrestleMania XV, which was in many ways the kickoff to the WWF's Attitude Era, they opened the show with a rendition of "America the beautiful."

44.

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers was a groundbreaking comedienne whose interaction with wrestling dated back to the 1980s when she guest-hosted The Tonight Show and interviewed Hulk Hogan. At WrestleMania II, she was the guest ring announcer for the Steel Cage Match between Hogan and King Kong Bundy.

42.

Michael Che and Colin Jost

Michael Che and Colin Jost are comedians that host the Weekend Update segments on Saturday Night Live. Leading into WrestleMania XXXV, the two got under the skin of Braun Strowman. As a result, they entered the Andre The Giant Battle Royal, and lasted until near the end!

40.

Living Colour

Living Colour were a rock band in the 1990s that won a Grammy award for their iconic song "Cult of Personality." After that song became the entrance theme for CM Punk, Living Colour were brought to WrestleMania XXIX to sing Punk down to the ring before The Straight Edge Superstar battled The Undertaker.

38.

Salt-N-Pepa

Salt-N-Pepa is a Grammy award winning hip hop trio that came to prominence in the late 1980s with hits such as "Let's Talk About Sex" and "Push It." At WrestleMania XI in 1995, the duo customized a version of their hit song "Whatta Man" for Lawrence Taylor in his main event against Bam Bam Bigelow.

36.

Alex Trebek

Who is Alex Trebek? He's the longtime host of the television show Jeopardy. At WrestleMania VII, Trebek was a guest ring announcer for the main event between Hulk Hogan and Sgt. Slaughter. Trebek also interviewed Demolition and Mr. Fuji as well as Jake The Snake Roberts about their upcoming matches.

34.

Vanna White

Vanna White is the longtime hostess of the game show Wheel Of Fortune who was a pop culture icon in the 1980s. White was selected as guest time keeper for the WrestleMania IV WWF World Championship tournament, and also participated in backstage segments with interviewer Mean Gene Okerlund.

32.

Ice-T

Ice-T is a Grammy award winning rap artist and actor. At WrestleMania XVI (a/k/a WrestleMania 2000), Ice-T performed a version of the song Pimpin' Ain't Easy from the WWF Aggression album while accompanying The Godfather and D-Lo Brown to the ring for their match against Big Boss Man and Bull Buchanan.

30.

Liberace

Liberace was a musician who who was one of the highest paid entertainers in the world in the 1960s and 1970s. The flamboyant concert pianist was chosen as guest timekeeper for the very first WrestleMania in 1985, kicking the main event off by rattling a crystal bell and dancing in the ring with The Rockettes.

28.

Bob Uecker

Former baseball player, actor and WWE Hall of Famer Bob Uecker was the guest ring announcer for the main event of WrestleMania III. His call of "Andre The Giant" is still heard on WWE programming today. Uecker returned at WrestleMania VI, where as an interviewer, he was choked out by Andre.

26.

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper is a heavy metal icon and member of the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame. At WrestleMania III, Cooper's macabre appearance was the perfect match for Jake "The Snake" Roberts, who faced The Honky Tonk Man. After the match, Cooper held Honky's manager Jimmy Hart back to be attacked by Jake.

24.

Ray Charles

Ray Charles was a legendary soul musician who rose to prominence in the 1960s and is ranked as one of Rolling Stone's ten greatest artists of all time. Charles kicked off WrestleMania II in Uniondale, New York (the event was held in three locations) by singing a classic rendition of "America The Beautiful."

22.

Morton Downey Jr.

Morton Downey Jr. was a controversial talk show host who had his own program in the late-1980s. At WrestleMania V in 1989, Downey was brought in for a special talk show segment that would pit him against Brother Love and the returning  Rowdy Roddy Piper -- which ended with Piper extinguishing him.

20.

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne is a heavy metal legend who has won Grammy awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At WrestleMania II in 1986, the future reality-television star was in the corner of The British Bulldogs (no relation), helping them win the WWF Tag Team Titles from The Dream Team.

18.

Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg is a hip hop recording artists who has had 17 Grammy nominations and is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame. At WrestleMania XXIV, he clotheslined Santino Marella at the conclusion of the Bunnymania match. He also sang his cousin Sasha Banks to the ring at WrestleMania XXXII.

16.

Shaquille O'Neal

Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal has deep ties to wrestling, including appearances in WCW and WWE. At WrestleMania XXXII, Shaq was a surprise entrant in the Andre The Giant Battle Royal, surprising his once-rival The Big Show. Shaq and Show were rumored to have a match at WrestleMania XXXIII.

14.

William Perry

William "The Refrigerator" Perry is a Super Bowl Champion and WWE Hall of Famer. In 1986, he was arguably the most popular football player on the planet when he entered the WrestleMania II battle royal. While "Fridge" didn't win the bout, he was a featured part of the NFL vs. WWF marketing of the battle royal.

12.

Ronda Rousey

Yes... we realize that this is kind of cheating.. given Rousey later became a full-time performer for WWE. But back in 2015, she was the top female UFC star when she sat ringside at WrestleMania XXXI, where she helped The Rock take on Triple H and Stephanie McMahon -- setting the stage for a later Mania match.

10.

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali was one of boxing's greatest draws ever and one of the most popular sports figures of the 20th century. At the first WrestleMania, The Greatest was charged with being an outside referee for the main event of Hulk Hogan and Mr. T vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper and Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff.

8.

Motörhead

Motörhead were an iconic heavy metal band from 1975 to 2015 known for hits such as "Iron Fist," "Hellraiser" and "Ace of Spades." Their strong relationship with Triple H led to the band playing The Game down to the ring at both WrestleMania XVII and WrestleMania XXI, performing his song "The Game."

6.

Lawrence Taylor

Super Bowl Champion Lawrence Taylor is considered one of the greatest football players of all time. LT was a major part of the promotional effort for WrestleMania XI, where he was accompanied by NFL stars (including former WCW star Steve McMichael) to defeat Bam Bam Bigelow in the main event.

4.

Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper is a Grammy award winning pop star who dominated the 1980s with songs such as "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" and "Time After Time." Her participation in the WWF helped turn around the company's fortunes, and she had a role at the first WrestleMania, managing Wendi Richter.

2.

Mr. T

Mr. T is an actor best known for "Rocky III" and "The A Team," and is a WWE Hall of Famer. In 1985, he helped the WWF become a pop culture phenomenon by teaming with Hulk Hogan in the main event of the first WrestleMania. The next year, he also battled Rowdy Roddy Piper in a boxing match at WrestleMania II.

49

Sy Sperling

Sy Sperling was not only the President of Hair Club For Men.... he was also a client. At WrestleMania X, he made for one of the event's most unusual celebrity appearances. Before a scheduled match between Earthquake and Adam Bomb, Sperling showed off the hairpiece he'd given ring announcer Howard Finkel.

47.

Al Roker

Al Roker is a television institution, the weatherman for NBC's Today Show for more than two decades. At WrestleMania XXXIII, Roker was one of the only celebrities to appear on the show, acting as a ring announcer for the mixed tag team match featuring John Cena and Nikki Bella versus The Miz and Maryse.

45

Ray Combs

Ray Combs was a comedian and host of the Family Feud who often had interactions with the wrestling world. At WrestleMania VIII, Combs did a Family Feud style introduction for the match with Big Boss Man, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Sgt. Slaughter and Virgil against The Mountie, The Nasty Boys and Repo Man.

43.

Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson is a Country Music Hall of Famer and one of the most recognized musicians in the genre. Years before autographing his guitar for The Rock (which was destroyed by Stone Cold Steve Austin on Raw), The Red Headed Stranger kicked off WrestleMania VII by singing "America the beautiful."

41.

Sean "Diddy" Combs

No relation to Ray... The recording artist formerly known as Puff Daddy, Puffy, P. Diddy and, yes, even Brother Love has won multiple Grammy awards during his career. Combs introduced Machine Gun Kelly to the crowd at WrestleMania XXVIII and performed WrestleMania theme "Coming Home" the following year.

39.

Robin Leach

Robin Leach was a British entertainment reporter best known for hosting the television show Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous. In 1988, Leach brought his famous voice to WrestleMania IV, where he not only read out the rules of the championship tournament, but presented the WWF Title to Randy Savage.

37.

Limp Bizkit

Limp Bizkit is the Fred Durst-led rock band that achieved prominence in the late 1990s with hits such as "Faith" and "Nookie." At WrestleMania XVII, their song "My Way" was used to hype the Steve Austin-Rock main event. At WrestleMania XIX, they performed The Undertaker's theme song "Rollin'."

35

Regis Philbin

Speaking of WrestleMania VII, talk show host Regis Philbin was on hand to be a backstage announcer. In one memorable segment, he attempted to interview The Undertaker right before The Dead Man began his infamous streak. Philbin also interviewed Tenyru and Kitao, who had very little to say to the PPV audience.

33.

Steve Allen

Steve Allen was a popular comedian and host of The Tonight Show. At WrestleMania VI, he was hired as a backstage interviewer, where he flustered The Bolsheviks by joking around about the Russian national anthem. Later that decade, Allen would align with WWF enemy The Parents Television Council.

31.

Butterbean

Butterbean is a retired boxer who also competed in the K-1 and Pride mixed martial arts promotions. Following a previous boxer vs. wrestler match against Marc Mero in 1999, Butterbean donned the gloves again in a boxing match with Brawl For All champion Bart Gunn at WrestleMania XV, winning in 34 seconds.

29.

George Steinbrenner

George Steinbrenner was the longtime owner of the New York Yankees and one of the more controversial sports figures in the 1980s. At WrestleMania VII in 1991, The Boss was involved in a sketch with NFL analyst Paul McGuire over the use of instant replay in wrestling, which was sabotaged by The Bushwhackers.

27.

Burt Reynolds

Years before he starred with several wrestling stars in a remake of The Longest Yard, actor Burt Reynolds was the guest ring announcer for the main event at WrestleMania X between Bret Hart and Yokozuna. While Reynolds didn't seem overly enthusiastic about the gig, it helped to make a big moment even bigger.

25.

Run-DMC

Run-DMC were a groundbreaking hip hop band who had success in the 1980s and 1990s with songs like "It's Tricky" and "Walk This Way." At WrestleMania V, the band was invited to Atlantic City to perform a "WrestleMania Rap" that, while entertaining, was tough to hear because of the acoustics at Trump Plaza.

23.

Kid Rock

WWE Hall of Fame inductee Kid Rock is a Grammy nominated rock star who rose to prominence in the 1990s with hits such as "Lonely Road Of Faith" and "American Bad Ass." At WrestleMania XXV in 2009, Rock followed the Money In The Bank match with a five-song mini-concert - the first artist to do so at Mania.

21.

Snooki

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi was a reality-television star from the MTV series Jersey Shore. At WrestleMania XXVII in 2011, Snooki participated in a six-person tag team match featuring her teaming with Trish Stratus and John Morrison and defeating the trio of Dolph Ziggler, Layla and Michelle McCool.

19.

Flo Rida

Hip hop artist Flo Rida has been a heavily favored musician in recent WrestleManias. At WrestleMania XXVIII, he sang "Wild Ones" and "Good Feeling." At WrestleMania XXXII, his song "My House" was the show's theme song. At WrestleMania XXXIII, he performed "Greenlight."

17.

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski is a Super Bowl Champion, formerly with the New England Patriots. At WrestleMania XXXIII, Gronk assisted his friend Mojo Rawley eliminate Killian Dain and Jinder Mahal to win the Andre The Giant Battle Royal. At WrestleMania XXXVI, he captured the 24/7 Championship as show host.

15.

Maria Menounos

Maria Menounos is a television host from programs such as Today and Access Hollywood with considerable ties to WWE over the years. At WrestleMania XXVII in 2012, she teamed with Kelly Kelly to defeat Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres. She was also a guest interviewer for three WrestleManias.

13.

Mickey Rourke

Mickey Rourke is a popular actor who was nominated for an Academy Award in 2009 for his starring role in "The Wrestler." WWE attempted to sign a match with Rourke against Chris Jericho for WrestleMania XXV, but instead Jericho wrestled three WWE legends - and was punched by Rourke after the match.

11.

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin was a legendary singer who won 18 Grammy awards in her career. The Queen Of Soul became a part of WrestleMania history when she sang "America The Beautiful" in front of (according to WWE) 93,173 fans in Pontiac, Michigan. She reprised the role 20 years later at WrestleMania XXIII.

9.

Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson is an actress and model best known for her roles in Baywatch and Playboy Magazine. Near the height of her popularity in 1995, she offered to escort that year's Royal Rumble winner to WrestleMania XI. But instead of accompanying Shawn Michaels, she came to the ring with Diesel.

7.

Pete Rose

While legendary baseball player and manager Pete Rose is ineligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame, he is in the WWE Hall of Fame. That's largely because of his appearances at WrestleManias XIV, XV and XVI, where he began an unlikely rivalry with Kane that often led to Charlie Hustle getting beat up.

5.

Donald Trump

Business mogul, reality-television star, WWE Hall of Famer and - yes - U.S. President Donald Trump has appeared at many WrestleManias. Trump Plaza hosted WrestleManias IV and V; he was ringside at WrestleManias VII and XX; and he managed Bobby Lashley at WrestleMania XXIII's Battle of the Billionaires.

3.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. is an undefeated boxer and Olympic medalist, and one of the biggest draws in pay-per-view history. At WrestleMania XXIV, Mayweather stepped into a WWE ring against The Big Show, battling the giant in a No Disqualification Match, winning the match against unbelievable odds.

1.

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson was the most popular boxing star of the 1980s, capturing the WBC, WBA, IBF titles (as well as being a member of the WWE Hall of Fame). In 1998, Tyson made headlines after an in-ring confrontation with Stone Cold Steve Austin just as he was about to announce his role as referee at WrestleMania XIV. This led to Tyson temporarily siding with Austin's WrestleMania opponent Shawn Michaels -- but turned on HBK to give Austin the win.

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Wrestling Merchandise and Memories podca
Wrestling Historian Mike Rickard