Professional wrestling and Hollywood seem to go hand in hand. But while it’s common to see wrestling superstars like John Cena make their way to the movie industry, it’s also common for celebrities to make their way to the wrestling ring. From classic comedians to the President of the United States, check out which celebrities have dabbled as professional wrestlers.
Can you imagine Jay Leno taking on Hulk Hogan?
Donald Trump Is In The WWE Hall of Fame
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Nowadays, Donald Trump is best known for being the President of the United States. However, before he jumped into his love-hate relationship with the media and celebrities, Donald was attempting to be a celebrity himself. He had a long-running stint on the WWE and appeared as a nemesis of Vince McMahon, even once shaving his head in the ring.
Allegedly, Vince and Donald are great friends in real life and outside of wrestling. Donald gave Vince’s wife, Linda McMahon, a job once he became president. Linda was appointed as the Director of the Small Business Administration in 2017. Donald was even inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Dennis Rodman Took A Break From Basketball But Kept Busy With The WCW
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These days eccentric former NBA star Dennis Rodman is best known for his friendship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. However, after he was suspended from the league back in 1996, he decided to stay busy with another sport and throw himself into the wrestling ring.
He appeared in the WCW Monday Nitro, again alongside Hulk Hogan. He also joined the popular team “nWo.” He even helped Hulk Hogan win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship by hitting Lex Luger with a baseball bat. In other matches, he was even joined by fellow basketball player Karl Malone and Diamond Dallas Page in a surreal basketball player wrestler hybrid match. He stayed in and out of the ring until 2008 but has since retired.
Jay Leno Took On Hulk Hogan In A Match
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Another mega wrestling fan who jumped into the ring is iconic Tonight Show host, Jay Leno. Back in the late 1990s, Leno ended up getting in the ring with one of the most well-known wrestlers of all time – Hulk Hogan. In this storyline, Hulk Hogan’s manager Eric Bischoff, who happened to be the real-life president of the WCW, began trying to be a talk show host.
This lead to Leno challenging him on air. Because the WCW scripted it to have Hulk and his team look to be the bad guys, Leno finished as the winner. Although it might not seem so realistic with the much smaller Leno going up against Hulk Hogan, it was still one of the most memorable celebrity matches of all time.
Arrow fans will be excited to learn how Stephen Amell did in the ring!
David Arquette Is A Wrestling Aficionado
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David Arquette is a wrestling mega-fan. So much so, that he decided to get inside the ring himself. As a member of the famous Arquette acting family, it’s no surprise that he would venture into another form of entertainment. In 2000, he made his debut in the ring became the WCW Heavyweight World Champion later that year.
He also donated the money he made from the WCW to families of wrestlers who had died or been injured in the ring including, Owen Hart, Brian Pillman, and Darren Drozdov. While many viewed his introduction as a gimmick, David was serious about wrestling and has stayed with the sport over the years. Most recently, he participated in the newly formed Championship Wrestling from Hollywood.
Shaq Was Nominated For WWE’s Host Of The Year
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Another basketball player to take a turn in the ring is none other than Shaq himself. The 7′ 1″ basketball player definitely stood out in the ring, to say the least. Shaq is known to be a huge fan of the WWE and has appeared at numerous events over the years.
One of his first appearances was back in 1994 when he backed Hulk Hogan in the ring. He later served as an “enforcer” in a match between The Big Show and Chris Jehrico. He also hosted Raw numerous times and was once even a nominee for the host of the year.
Arrow Won The Slammy Celebrity Moment of the Year
Stephen Amell is best known for his acting on the TV show Arrow in which he plays the eponymous character. Playing a superhero seemed to naturally lend itself to Stephen jumping in the wrestling ring. In Comic-Con in 2015, he confirmed that he would be work with the WWE.
He ended up taking part in a match at the SummerSlam. He partnered with Neville against Stardust and King Barrett and the two won the match. Compared to some of the other celebrity wrestlers it’s clear that Stephen really has what it takes to get into the ring. He was awarded a Slammy Celebrity Moment of the Year. If acting doesn’t work out, he can always take out professional wrestling.
Coming up soon: Screech takes the ring.
Mr. T Teams Up With Hulk Hogan
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Mr. T is best known for his role in the 1980s showThe A-Team. During his time on the show, he stepped into the ring as a professional wrestler. Mr. T’s larger than life persona seems to work rather well with the world of professional wrestling. In 1985 he was Hulk Hogan’s tag team partner for the WWF’s first ever WrestleMania. The two won the match.
After appearing in Rocky III, Mr. T was given a role as a WWF boxer to reflect the Rocky character. He later “boxed” against Bob Orton and later Roddy Piper. He continued to appear in various matches throughout the 1980s and 1990s. In 2014, he was officially inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Mickey Rourke’s Life Imitates Art
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In 2008, Mickey Rourke starred in the film The Wrestler in which he plays an aging professional wrestler attempting to survive on a dwindling circuit. Around the same time, Mickey Rourke decided to give the ring a go in real life.
This was no surprise for Mickey as he previously shunned acting for a chance at a pro boxing career. In the wrestling ring, he took on Chris Jehrico. The scene was staged for Chris to start calling out Mickey who then got in the ring. Chris ended up knocked out and at Mickey’s mercy. In real life, Mickey also won critical acclaim for his portrayal in the film.
Dustin Diamond Is A Wrestling Fanatic
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Dustin Diamond is best known for his role as Screech in the iconic afterschool special, Saved By the Bell. In his later years, Dustin has been involved in his share of controversies. Most recently, he made headlines for stabbing a guy.
Controversies aside, Dustin is a huge wrestling fan so it’s no surprise he found himself inside the ring, appearing on Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling. However, he dabbled in wrestling even before that — giving wrestling a go in the state league of Memphis Championship Wrestling and has continued involvement with the sport over the years.
Who knew Maria Menounos was so tough?
Maria Menounos Isn’t Just A Pretty Face
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Maria Menounos is best known as a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. Maria has also been a WWE fan and has appeared on the show over the years. She first joined her fellow Entertainment Tonight host, Nancy O’Dell, to host WWE Raw.
She later decided she wanted to be more than just a host and found her way into the ring. She has since appeared alongside various Divas in matches. She has done tag teams and also found herself in the ring against the Bellas in which her team won. Maria completed a tag team match at Wrestlemania in 2011, despite suffering two cracked ribs while practicing for Dancing with the Stars. Maria recently underwent brain surgery to remove a benign tumor, but it would not be surprising to see her back in the ring one day.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Dabbles In The Ring
The Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is known for his long-storied career as an action star. Before his foray into acting, Arnold was also a world-renowned bodybuilder even winning Mr. Olympia titles. After his stints as Conan the Barbarian and the Terminator, Arnold turned his attention to politics and succeeded in becoming the governor of California.
He has appeared in various WWF and WWE promotion over the years. He even appeared in the ring back in 1999. After aiding in announcer duties, Arnold got pulled into a match and ended up fighting with Triple H. In 2013, he helped induct his friend Bruno Sammartino into the WWE Hall of Fame. In 2015, Arnold was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame himself.
Andy Kaufman’s Legendary Antics
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Actor and comedian Andy Kaufman might be best remembered for his quirky character on Taxi or his outlandish comedy. Andy was definitely one of the first actors to engage himself in the world of professional wrestling. He was drawn to the theatrics of wrestling and decided to get in on the fun.
During his comedy act, he would wrestle women and then called himself the “Inter-Gender Wrestling Champion of the World.” Later Andy approached Vince McMahon Sr., the owner, and patriarch of the WWF, to take part in a match although McMahon rebuffed. Later, Andy became acquainted with Jerry Lawler and the two began a public “feud” which is now legendary.
Andy Versus Jerry
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One of Andy and Jerry’s most famous stunts happened when the two appeared on David Letterman back in 1982. The two engaged in an intense physical fight onstage leaving the audience totally bewildered. Andy ended up with a real broken neck after a piledriver, although the whole thing was staged.
The two continued their shenanigans for years but in private they were friends. The truth was not revealed until years after the death of Andy Kaufman. When Jim Carrey played Andy in a film about his life, Man on the Moon he revealed the truth of the “feud”.
Ronda Rousey Traded The UFC For The WWE
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Ronda Rousey is one of the best mixed martial artists ever and dominated the women segment of the UFC for years. As it turns out, Ronda has always been a fan of professional wrestling. She even took her nickname “Rowdy” after Rowdy Roddy Piper.
In 2014, she attended WWE’s Summer Slam and when asked by Brock Lesnar if she would ever consider coming over to wrestling she said, “You never know.” She later got involved in the match between Stephanie McMahon and The Rock but hadn’t yet solidified her joining the league. She appeared numerous times over the next several years until she finally signed a full-time contract with the WWE in January of 2018.
Bob Barker Is The Best Host The WWE Has Ever Seen
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Believe it or not, Bob Barker, the famed host of The Price is Right appeared on WWE Raw. If you saw his stint in the movie Happy Gilmore, it might not come as a surprise that this elder gentleman still had some fight left in him.
Although Bob didn’t get in the ring himself he appeared as a host where he called wrestlers to “come on down.” Of course, it was a massive hit with the audience who were all losing their collective minds as The Price Is Right lounge music played in the background. Bob was later voted as host of the year in 2009.
Jim Carrey Follows In Andy’s Footsteps
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While Jim Carrey was promoting the Andy Kaufman film Man on the Moon, he really devoted himself to the character. In fact, some might say that he took it a little too far. He ended up getting into a fight with Jerry Lawler, Andy’s former nemesis.
The two got into a physical match and Jim spit at Jerry’s manager. This did not end well for Jim and he ended up hurt and carried off on a stretcher. Now if it was a true “feud” or if it was simply a prank a la Kaufman, no one knows.
Pamela Anderson Was The Royal Rumble Prize
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The pinup queen of the 1990s was undoubtedly Pamela Anderson. Known as the buxom blonde on Baywatch, nowadays Pam makes headlines for public feuds involving her sons and her famous ex, Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee.
Due to her popularity during the ’90s, it’s no wonder she turned up during some wrestling matches. While Pam didn’t step inside the ring herself, she was part of a stunt back in 1995 where she promised that she would accompany whoever won the WWF Royal Rumble to WrestleMania. There were endless advertisements featuring Pam with wrestlers fawning over her. The winner of the Royal Rumble turned out to be Shawn Michael. However, Pam accompanied Diesel to WrestleMania instead. Jenny McCarthy accompanied Shawn who was then defeated by Diesel. Diesel left the ring with both women by his side.
Mark Cuban Isn’t Afraid To Take A Slam
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Billionaire businessman and investor Mark Cuban is best known as one of the investors on the TV show Shark Tank. Mark is also a huge fan of professional wrestling and even stepped in the ring a time or two.
He first served as a host before getting in the ring in a match between Sheamus and John Cena. Mark even took a bit of beating and got thrown into a table by Sheamus. He stepped into the ring a second time with Randy Orton where things got physical. It’s clear Mark is a huge fan and we will likely see more of him in the ring in the future.
Wolverine Broke His Opponent’s Jaw
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From starring in Wolverine to musicals, Hugh Jackman is known for playing a variety of roles. In 2011, while promoting his character Wolverine, he appeared on WWE Raw. Hugh got into the ring with Dolph Ziggler and landed a crazy punch on the wrestler’s jaw.
Rumor has it that the Wolverine punch was so intense that it actually broke the wrestler’s jaw. Dolph even claimed on Twitter that he was undergoing an MRI to check out a possible hairline fracture. Hugh’s known to keep himself in pretty good shape so he would likely be a worthy opponent in the ring. The lesson here is don’t mess with Wolverine.
Snoop Dogg Keeps Wrestling In The Family
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From hosting with his friend Martha Stewart to getting involved in professional wrestling, Rapper Snoop Dogg always seems to get involved in unexpected events. Snoop made his wrestling debut when he served as a Master of Ceremonies at WrestleMania in 2008.
In 2009, he also guest hosted WWE Raw. Wrestling is also apparently in his blood. His cousin, Sasha Banks, is a popular wrestler in the WWE and has been named the Women’s Champion three times. In 2016, he was inducted into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame.