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Over the past 50 years, WWE has worked hard to be more than just a wrestling company. It is a worldwide cultural phenomenon and an entertainment powerhouse that brings smiles to millions of fans every week. One of the key ways WWE has been able to stay so relevant has been their use of celebrity guest appearances.
When a celebrity shows up in WWE, one of two things can happen. The first is that they promote themselves and fans are left feeling like WWE missed an opportunity to involve one of their favorite stars in the world of wrestling. The other scenario is when the celebrity knocks it out of the park, participating in and elevating a current storyline, even sometimes getting physical in the ring.
On Feb. 10, 2014, none other than Betty White was announced as the guest host of Monday Night RAW. It was an odd juxtaposition, a sweet old lady and massive WWE Superstars who wanted to beat the daylights out of each other, but it worked nonetheless. During the show, her RAW co-host, The Big Show, asked her what her plans for RAW were. She responded, “I’m going to kick some ass!”
Betty crossed paths with a handful of Superstars backstage throughout the night such as The Bella Twins and The New Age Outlaws. Surprisingly, it actually made for one of WWE’s most entertaining RAW installments of that year. When Betty passed just days before her 100th birthday, many WWE Superstars expressed their sorrow. They also expressed their gratitude for being able to work with her.
I don’t think anybody was surprised when Johnny Knoxville found his way into WWE. The "Jackass" star looked to make a jackass out of Sami Zayn in the 2022 Royal Rumble. Zayn, however, didn’t take kindly to Knoxville’s enthusiasm and the two began a feud.
The rivalry between them leaked out of the ring as the duo took shots at each other on social media, interrupted each other’s red carpet events, and even had physical confrontations in public. The creativity displayed during this feud was second to none and both men had to think outside the box to outsmart the other.
The real crowning moment came at WrestleMania 38 when Zayn went one-on-one with Knoxville. Well, not really one-on-one, as the "Jackass" movie crew made their way to the ring to help Knoxville secure the victory over his arch-nemesis. The two men inflicted unorthodox damage on each other in one of the most unique WWE matches of all time. Foreign objects used included a giant mouse trap, a giant hand, an automatic kicking machine, and trash cans.
Jon Stewart is a big WWE fan and he was slowly able to wiggle his way into a SummerSlam main event scenario with John Cena and Seth Rollins. Stewart’s influence on this feud cannot be understated, and he even helped pull off a big swerve by turning on his friend, Cena.
His first WWE appearance happened when Rollins was bragging about himself on RAW. He said he was so entertaining he could host "The Daily Show" and “actually make it watchable.”
Well, that was all Stewart needed to hear as he immediately sided with Rollins' rival at the time, Cena. Rollins wouldn’t take too kindly to this and crashed "The Daily Show" the following week. He challenged Stewart to walk the walk and appear on RAW next Monday.
Stewart accepted and guest starred on Rollins’s own version of "The Daily Show." Stewart and Rollins almost came to blows before an interruption by Randy Orton allowed Stewart to kick Rollins below the belt and scurry out of the ring. The feud would continue to escalate over the next few weeks with Stewart always taking Cena’s side and trying to humiliate Rollins.
During the SummerSlam match between Cena and Rollins, fans assumed Stewart was obviously rooting for Cena. But Stewart would swerve them, hitting Cena with a chair and allowing Rollins to pick up a huge victory at SummerSlam and become a double champion.
You can’t make a list of WWE’s best celebrity special guests without the man who performed in the main event at the first-ever WrestleMania, Mr. T.
After Hogan had wrestled a match against Roddy Piper, he was attacked by Orndorff and Rowdy. Mr. T hopped into the ring and helped protect Hogan from the two, setting up for the main event of the very first WrestleMania.
The men made various media appearances to promote the first WrestleMania, which turned out to be a massive success. After defeating Piper and Ornorff, Mr. T would continue his rivalry with Piper and defeat him at the next WrestleMania in a boxing match. Only a select few people have successfully bridged the gap between pop culture and the WWE and Mr. T was the first to do it.
The number-one most-streamed spotify artist in the world first became involved with WWE as a fan. Later in his career, he would produce the theme song for the 2021 Royal Rumble. The song earned him a guest appearance, which saw Bunny perform at the show, only to be interrupted by The Miz.
Bunny didn’t take kindly to The Miz’s interruption and helped eliminate him from the Royal Rumble.
The next week, Bunny would join his friend Damien Priest during his debut match and help him pick up the victory against The Miz. Rumors began running rampant online that Bunny had started training at the WWE Performance Center. Those rumors were confirmed when Bunny and Priest challenged The Miz and John Morrison to a match at WrestleMania 37.
What makes Bad Bunny the greatest celebrity guest in WWE history was his performance at the Show of Shows, WrestleMania. He wasn’t just another celebrity guest, but an actual attraction in the feud that seemed to enhance it instead of hold it back. Bunny was incredible in the ring, showcasing his athleticism with high-flying maneuvers and performing a Canadian Destroyer, one of the most difficult and dangerous moves in all of wrestling.
He stole the show with his natural in-ring ability and the way he connected with the audience. He went on to make other appearances for the WWE, and most people believe his in-ring career is far from over. We probably haven’t seen the last of the international pop star in the WWE, and I can’t wait to see him involved again.
- Stephen Amell
- Mike Tyson
- Lawrence Taylor
- Floyd Mayweather
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