A Look Back At Chris Rock's Underwhelming TNA Appearance

In its early years, NWA-TNA tried to go all-out in matching the WWE with its celebrity appearances –- from Toby Keith to Dennis Rodman – before their eventual split.

For the most part, however, these cameos were rife with awkwardness or appearances with apparently no angles in mind. Take Chris Rock's 2002 appearance on the show's "NWA-TNA PPV #16" episode, for example.


The former "Saturday Night Live" star's pop-in on the program lasted less than a minute and left TNA fans wondering what he was there for, while he even looked directionless when in-ring interviewer Goldy Locks put a microphone in front of him. She welcomed Rock to the show and introduced him to the audience, who ecstatically chanted. 

Rock then thanked her and said, "I just want to say that NWA-TNA is the best wrestling in the whole world!" As the crowd continued to roar, Rock then said, "If you think this is fake, come down here and get your a** kicked!" 

She then ushered him out of the ring, while Rock appeared to confusingly raise his hand with the interviewer before awkwardly saying alright, and scurrying out of the ring. The strange segment didn't lead to an angle or even introduce a match, but the appearance soon made sense when Rock's film "Head of State" hit theaters the next year.


Why was Chris Rock at TNA?

While Chris Rock's quick and uncomfortable appearance on TNA television left fans with more questions than answers, those who watched his 2003 political comedy "Head of State" were finally given the answer.


TNA and some of its wrestlers made a cameo during Rock's film, which tells the story of a down-and-out Washington, D.C. alderman's unlikely presidential run. During the film, Rock's character Mays Gilliam makes several campaign appearances at events like a Baltimore Orioles baseball game, as well as a TNA wrestling event where he speaks with the crowd before getting pummeled by a group of wrestlers.

Viewers may notice some similarities between Rock's TNA appearance and the scene from "Head of State" as well. 

In both the movie and the episode of NWA-TNA, the same fans can be seen in the background shots behind the ring. Rock's character in the film is also wearing the exact same outfit that he had on during his brief TNA appearance, making it clear the movie scene was shot on the same night. The cameo appearance by NWA-TNA stars wasn't the only time wrestlers featured in movies as several big-name stars have become successful on the big screen