Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s arrival in WWE made me think about some of the other great celebrity appearances in wrestling. Obviously we already talked about Tyson hitting the scene in 1998 but what were some of the other memorable ones? I know we’ve been doing a lot of lists lately but here’s another: the top 10 celebrity wrestling angles (Money May is not including since it has yet to play out but let’s just say I have high hopes for it):
10. Wrestlemania III – Alice Cooper: Our younger audience might not be impressed with this one but, trust me, back in his day Cooper was one of the more famous and controversial rock ‘n’ roll artists around. Cooper cornered Jake Roberts in his match against the Honky Tonk Man and while he never actually wrestled it was pretty cool to see him drape Damien the snake over HTM’s manager Jimmy Hart in the post-match melee.
9. Wrestlemania II – William “The Refrigerator” Perry: Perry was part of a NFL vs. WWF battle royale and was definitely the biggest star representing the gridiron. Unfortunately, he didn’t win the match (Andre The Giant did) but he did make some noise when he pulled Big John Studd out of the ring after he had already been eliminated.
8. Wrestlemania XXXIII – Donald Trump: As I said on Monday, Trump’s WWE appearances never excited me. In some ways, I felt that being teamed with Bobby Lashley lessened his worth. I just didn’t believe that Lashley was the right man for the spot. Also, it always annoyed me that he never took off his winter coat when cutting his promos. He must have been a real hurry to get the hell out of there.
7. Fall/Winter 2006 Monday Night Raw – Kevin Federline: Almost everyone snickered when they heard KFed would be making an appearance on WWE television but a few months later those same people were left asking for more. His “feud” with John Cena was done just right. I was in Miami for his match against Cena on New Year’s Day 2007 and the buzz around the American Airlines Arena was pretty electric for a D-List celebrity. (By the way – there is a lesson to be learned from KFed when booking this Mayweather angle. Some guys are just natural heels. Like KFed, Pretty Boy Floyd is exactly that so don’t try and change him.)
6. Wrestlemania I – Cyndi Lauper: Again, like Cooper, you might not be impressed with Lauper but without her involvement in the Wendi Richter-Leilani Kei feud some might say that the inaugural Wrestlemania would not have been such a success. Her initial beef with Captain Lou Albano set off the Rock ‘n’ wrestling revolution and the rest, they say, is history. (Gotta love Bob Costas’ reporting in the video below. Humble beginnings indeed.)