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Mike Tyson, Gronk, and More: The Top Celebrities Who’ve Wrestled In WWE
Sometimes it’s not enough for celebs to just appear on WWE TV — they need to show the world what they can do in the ring!
For as long as fans can remember, WWE and celebrities have gone hand in hand. From the very first WrestleMania in 1985 to today’s current landscape, it’s not a shock to see some of the biggest names in Hollywood and the sports world make appearances that rock the wrestling world to its core. That’s just what the WWE Universe has come to expect!
The rumor mill has been buzzing over who will be the next mainstream celebrity to step foot in a WWE ring, with NBA legend Dwight Howard’s name being mentioned as somebody who has their eyes on competing.
WWE Head of Creative Triple H actually commented on this in an interview this past week, alluding to the fact that Dwight Howard attended an open tryout recently and has expressed interest in eventually competing:
“[Dwight] came by our tryouts in Nashville — he was incredibly entertaining, jumping in promos by himself and then with others. Incredibly entertaining. He’s really driven to want to do this. It’s just a matter for him … he’s got a lot of things going on, right? So when he says, ‘Hey, I wanna give this a shot,’ he’s got my phone number. All he’s gotta do is call me, and we’ll see what can happen. If he’s willing to put in the grind and drive … then let’s go.”
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His ferociousness and freak athletic ability have been a hallmark of Dwight Howard’s long and successful career thus far in the NBA, so we can’t even imagine how his remarkable talent would translate to WWE. Even putting aside his athleticism, based on what Triple H said, it sounds like he’s already developing a pretty entertaining wrestling persona!
Time will tell what will come next for the seven-footer, but we know that the WWE Universe will welcome Dwight Howard with open arms if the day finally comes.
While we’ve covered WWE’s top celebrity guest stars of all time earlier in the summer, today we’ll be looking at the top celebrities that have actually competed in official, sanctioned WWE matches. While many celebrities have appeared as guest stars on Raw, SmackDown, and big events such as WrestleMania, only a handful have had the desire (and courage!) to actually step into the ring and show off their skills.
Here are the top five celebrities who’ve wrestled in WWE!
Over the years, Mike Tyson has become synonymous with out-of-this-world memorable moments in WWE. Who can forget the brawl that made headlines worldwide back in 1998 when he and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin caused one of the most chaotic scenes in Monday Night Raw history? How about when Tyson doublecrossed Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania, costing “The Heartbreak Kid” his WWE title and kicking off Austin’s first of many championship reigns?
Those were all unforgettable moments, but did you know that “The Baddest Man on the Planet” actually competed in a sanctioned WWE match? It’s true. On an episode of Raw in 2010, Tyson teamed up with Chris Jericho to take on Shawn Michaels and Triple H!
It’s safe to say that the end result did not go the way Chris Jericho wanted it to! 12 years after witnessing Tyson knocking out Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania, the WWE Universe was beyond excited to see the two men reconciling their differences — on that night, Tyson became an unofficial member of D-Generation X, and the fans couldn’t have been happier!
Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
The 2008 edition of WrestleMania featured a once-in-a-lifetime clash: The Big Show taking on Floyd “Money” Mayweather in a No-DQ match!
Yes, that Floyd Mayweather. As in the undefeated 50-0 boxing champion Floyd Mayweather. It was as surreal back in 2008 witnessing it live as it is reading about it now in 2022, believe us.
It’s not often that a celebrity with such an astounding net worth who was still in the prime of his career (Mayweather was 39-0 as a professional boxer at that point!) wanted to risk their body in any way by competing in a WWE ring, especially against a Superstar as imposing as Big Show!
It was a “this feels too good to be true” moment for fans — and the match absolutely lived up to the incredible hype that surrounded it:
On that night in Orlando, the giant was slayed, and the slayer’s name was Floyd Mayweather. While we don’t want to downplay any of Mayweather’s opponents in a boxing ring (Hi, Connor McGregor!), we are confident when we say that nobody was bigger, badder, or stronger than Big Show. And yet Mayweather still stood tall at the end of the bout.
Ah, good old Gronk. The NFL tight end became famous for being a larger-than-life character that just so happened to be really, really good at catching touchdowns from Tom Brady. In April 2020, the world essentially shut down due to the pandemic — but, clearly, nobody told that to Rob Gronkowski. To Gronk, there was no better time than to realize his dream of becoming a WWE Superstar, and maybe become a champion in the process:
Talk about a WrestleMania moment! What’s even more surprising is that Gronk held the WWE 24/7 Championship for nearly two whole months before losing it to R-Truth, the most prolific 24/7 titleholder in history. As it turned out, the timing couldn’t have been better, as Gronkowski’s upcoming NFL season was looming, and his days as an active WWE Superstar had to come to a close.
Here’s a throwback for all the diehard fans out there; probably the most famous instance of an NFL star competing in a grueling WrestleMania main event ever. When Lawrence Taylor — fresh off his retirement from a legendary NFL career — stepped into the ring with Bam Bam Bigelow, the sports world was literally in shock. (To be fair, the shock started a few months earlier at the Royal Rumble when Bigelow first laid hands on LT!)
After all, WWE and other professional sports leagues never truly interacted until then. It’s almost as if they existed in different universes. It was crazy to see such a storied NFL player like LT walking down the aisle and taking on an opponent like Bam Bam Bigelow.
To say Lawrence Taylor put on an absolute show is the understatement of the century. Not only did he pick up the victory on the Grandest Stage of Them All, he did it in convincing fashion. Not only was this a huge moment for WWE, it was also a huge moment for all of pop culture. Quite frankly, the sports and entertainment world had never seen anything like it.
In retrospect, we can argue that LT himself laid the blueprint for all future athletes and celebrities to compete in WWE and was a harbinger of things to come
Of course, no list of the greatest celebrities to compete in WWE is complete without including Logan Paul, who is currently on the biggest upward trajectory of anybody else on the entire roster.
What’s more to be said about the man that hasn’t been said already? As a celebrity, his reach is massive: 23.6 million YouTube subscribers. 23.9 million Instagram followers. He is arguably one of the most famous people in the world. Love him or hate him, everybody with an internet connection knows who Logan Paul is.
Oh, and he’s no slouch inside the ring, either.
Sometimes a career in WWE is simply destiny, and it doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete, an actor, or a social media influencer – if you have the desire to become a WWE Superstar, you need to answer that call. That’s exactly what Logan Paul is doing right now.
In fact, it seems that Paul is hellbent on skipping steps in his WWE development and going right after the biggest prize in wrestling, the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. Of course, Roman Reigns holds those unified titles, and a podcast appearance that went off the rails all leads up to a showdown in November:
Whether it’s because of his mouth, his God-given talent, or a combination of both, Logan Paul has locked in a date with destiny: At Crown Jewel, he’ll take on Roman Reigns in the biggest match of his life, with the top prize in WWE at stake.
If Logan Paul can do the impossible and dethrone Roman Reigns, we’ll be honest, it’s going to send shockwaves throughout the world. It’s going to break the internet. It’s going to turn the sports world, the entertainment world, and all of WWE upside down. It’s still awe-inspiring to look back on Paul’s astonishingly quick climb up the ranks of WWE.
With the biggest test of his young life coming up at Crown Jewel, we’ll see if Logan Paul has what it takes to be champion.
You can catch up on all things WWE Universe on Peacock.