Forgotten Celebrity WWE WrestleMania Appearances That Had People Talking

WrestleMania is pretty much the World Series or Super Bowl of wrestling -– while WWE's not the only game in town, for nearly 40 years they've been putting on the biggest spectacle and the one that brings out all the celebs. As with most major sporting events, the audience is star-studded, and while there's no half-time show, big-name acts may perform a wrestler's theme music and will also sing "America the Beautiful." (As per Chris Jericho, via 411Mania, this song was chosen in preference to the national anthem because Vince McMahon just happens to prefer it.)

One way in which WrestleMania does set itself apart from other sporting events, though, is the frequency with which celebrities actually take part in the proceedings. While no one's going to let Kofi Kingston carry the ball in the next Big Game, Rob Gronkowski did get to win the 24/7 Title at WrestleMania 36. We've also had Johnny Knoxville making Sami Zayn look like a jackass, social media heel Logan Paul joining forces with the Miz to take on the Mysterios, and Bad Bunny teaming up with a pre-Judgement Day Damien Priest to defeat the Miz and John Morrison. While these matches may still be fresh in your mind, celebrity involvement in WrestleMania goes back to the very beginning. The following are a few star turns that may have slipped your mind over the years despite the buzz they generated at the time.

Alex Trebek

When Alex Trebek passed away in 2020, it seemed as if all of North America went into deep mourning for our favorite Canadian TV uncle. While most reminisced about him in his role of "Jeopardy!" host, a position which earned him seven Emmy awards, WWE eulogized him for the part he played in WrestleMania VII. Priorities, you know. So what did Trebek do on that memorable occasion that earned him such acclaim? His main role was to serve as ring announcer for the championship match between Sgt. Slaughter and Hulk Hogan.

Trebek also did a few backstage interviews, the most memorable of which was with Jake "The Snake" Roberts. This conversation ended with Trebek fleeing after Roberts tried to introduce him to his signature accessory, although not before warning the wrestler "I'll tell you the truth, snakes do make me nervous." While Trebek may not have been too into reptiles, he was an important part of the night.

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper's trajectory was typical for a '70s rock star — soar to the top of the charts with a few hits, then spiral into a drug-and-booze-fueled low point. Even though Cooper may have been near rock-bottom by the late '80s, he did have a star turn at WrestleMania III when he stepped into the ring with Jimmy Hart. The skinny, black leather-clad rocker hardly looked to be in any kind of shape to take on the Mouth of the South, but he had a secret weapon: Damien, Jake Robert's pet python. While Cooper menaced the manager with the snake, Roberts came from behind to grab Hart in a full Nelson.

While Cooper admits he hadn't been much of a wrestling fan prior to his WrestleMania appearance (he'd always been more of a boxing guy), he does say he gained a great deal of respect for the wrestling business when he saw all the work that goes into putting on such a spectacle. One thing that took him aback, however, was the claimed audience of 93,173 people, telling WrestleNewz that "60,000 of them were blue-haired ladies going nuts and screaming for blood." He confessed to finding the experience "terrifying," telling Roberts, "This isn't my audience, my audience isn't as crazy as this."

Bob Uecker

When WWE inducted former MLB player Bob Uecker into their Hall of Fame in 2010, they snarked that his baseball playing was hardly likely to land him a similar spot in Cooperstown. Ha, little did they know! Uke, the octogenarian who's been the voice of the Milwaukee Brewers for over 50 years, is already enshrined on Baseball's Hall of Fame as the 2003 winner of the Ford C. Frick award for baseball broadcasting. He's also in the National Radio Hall of Fame, too, with all of these accolades are due to his superb skills on the mic. At WrestleMania III, Uecker stepped out of the announcer's box and into the ring to give the play-by-play for Hulk Hogan's epic battle with Andre the Giant. The next year at WrestleMania IV, he served as a backstage interviewer.

It was during his time behind the scenes that Uecker had an uncomfortable moment  -– while talking to the Giant, the feisty former catcher somehow managed to tick him off, resulting in the big man trying to choke him out. While the incident was unfortunate for Uecker, it nevertheless made for must-see TV. As per Vince McMahon (via ESPN), "Seeing the huge hands of WWE Hall of Famer Andre the Giant around Uecker's neck is a clip that became immortalized in pop culture history." Not the easiest way to earn an Hall of Fame spot, true, but whatever makes the (former) Chairman happy.

Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper shot to stardom in the early '80s on the strength of her colorful style and her bouncy hit "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." The video for the latter also kicked off her long association with WWF/E, as it featured an appearance by the late Captain Lou Albano in the role of her fun-hating dad. Another legendary wrestler, though, is the one who really launched Lauper on the path to her short-lived career as a wrestling manager: Rowdy Roddy Piper, who had her as a guest on a 1984 episode of Piper's Pit. During the broadcast, Piper stirred the pot by accusing Albano of claiming credit for Lauper's success. Albano himself showed up and made even more outrageous claims, at which point Lauper bopped him with her "loaded Purse of Doom."

The Albano/Lauper rivalry gained heat through the summer's "Rock 'n' Wrestling" series, but was resolved before it could play a part in WrestleMania I the following year. Instead, Lauper would appear in the corner of Hulk Hogan supporting him in his battle against their mutual foe Piper. While Lauper was hardly the only celeb to appear in this star-studded inaugural event — Mr. T., Muhammad Ali, and Liberace were all there as well — she may have been the one with the biggest non-sports fan following at the time. For this reason, many credit her with attracting the mainstream audience that made WrestleMania into a monster event rather than just another wrestling pay-per-view.

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

Back in the early '80s, a local late-night horror series called "Movie Macabre" became a breakout hit after its star Elvira (played by not-so-spooky actress Cassandra Peterson) starred in a Coors Light ad campaign meant to promote the brand's self-proclaimed status as Halloween's favorite beer. By 1986, the Valley Ghoul's stardom was sufficient to merit an invite to participate in WrestleMania II.

While the Mistress of the Dark did not, herself, take part in any of the mayhem, she did provide a little ringside commentary as well as some pre-Attitude Era eye candy. When Jesse "The Future Governor" Ventura used the phrase "What a pair we make, right here at ringside," referring to himself and Elvira (or possibly himself and Lord Alfred Hayes, who was standing on his other side), the Scream Queen brought all eyes back to her by gesturing at her ample endowment (via WWE Network). While this may have been Elvira's only WrestleMania moment, she did help promote WCW's Halloween Havoc events in 1989, 1990, and 1991

Even though it's been a while since Elvira cut her last promo, she's still got a big fan on the AEW roster: Danhausen, who dressed in a very nice, very evil Mistress of the Dark costume for Halloween a few years back.

Gennifer Flowers

Remember Gennifer Flowers? Not many do. Flowers, a model and actress who's now in her '70s, was the scandal du jour back in 1992 when she confessed to a long-term affair with then-Arkansas governor Bill Clinton. These allegations did not prevent Clinton from being elected president, but Flowers' story was a hot topic once more in 1998 when Clinton was again embroiled in a sex scandal, this one involving intern Monica Lewinsky. Never one to shy away from the salacious, Vince McMahon happily capitalized on Flowers' notoriety by asking her to take part in WrestleMania XIV.

Flowers did not appear in the ring, but she did score an interview with the People's Champion behind the scenes. In fact, she seemingly anticipated all of the "Rock for President" rumors by a few decades when she asked him, "If you were the leader of this country, how would you run things?" He answered "The term 'leader" is really beneath The Rock. The Rock feels like this: a more appropriate term would be 'ruler.'" He also said that were he to occupy the White House, he'd keep everyone in line by "lay[ing] the smackdown in a major way." Flowers did not tell The Great One whether he'd get her vote, but it'll be interesting to see if this interview resurfaces should he ever decide to throw his hat in the ring.

G. Gordon Liddy

Long before Bill Clinton's extramarital affairs became the subject of congressional inquiry, we had Watergate, the scandal that actually ended a presidency while also inspiring both a cake and a saladThe Watergate conspirators actually did hard time, and one of the most notorious of these was the notorious G. Gordon Liddy. Liddy, who served 4 ½ years in prison, was himself a hardcore legend of sorts –– as Newsweek reports, he claimed to have overcome a childhood fear of rats by cooking and eating one, and he would also toughen himself up by burning his own flesh. Anyone this insane was, of course, a natural fit for WWF/E, and in 1986 Liddy was invited to take part in WrestleMania II.

Liddy's role in the big event was to serve as a guest judge for the match between Roddy Piper and Mr. T. While PW Insider reveals that he was met by a chorus of boos from fans (Watergate was so last decade by then), his infamy has aged well. WWE not only acknowledges Liddy as one of the celebs to participate in WrestleMania, but also proudly touts the prominent part he played in the Watergate burglaries.

Kim Kardashian

Although it seems as if the Kardashians have always been with us, there was a time when the airwaves, tabloids, and social media (albeit still in its infancy) were fairly Kardashian-free. That all changed in 2007 when Kim's sex tape shot her to stardom. Her infamy led to a reality show, as it tends to do, and that, in turn, earned Kim Kardashian an invite to WrestleMania XXIV.

Kim Kardashian's WrestleMania role was to introduce the Money in the Bank Ladder match, although she couldn't get through the intro before being interrupted by Mr. Kennedy boasting that he'd be the winner for the second year in a row. (He wasn't; CM Punk was the one who grabbed the briefcase.) 

It seems as if Kim's WrestleMania moment wasn't too memorable, though. On a recent Reddit thread about her appearance, the gist of the comments seemed to be that most couldn't even recall it at all, and as one person put it, "Lmao does [Kim] even remember that she did this? I've never heard her talk about it." Another participant summed things up pretty well with the comment "this is so random lol." 

Liberace

Liberace, a piano prodigy from West Allis, Wisconsin, became one of TV's earliest megastars based not only on his talent for ivory tickling but also his flamboyant showmanship. He was kind of like a piano man version of Ric Flair, only without the dubious airplane antics. While Liberace's star may have been somewhat on the wane as the MTV era began, he still had sufficient crowd appeal to merit an invite to the first-ever WrestleMania in 1985.

Liberace entered the arena to a huge pop, although some of this might have been for the Rockettes who accompanied him. He then proceeded to serve as timekeeper for that evening's main event where Hulk Hogan teamed up with Mr. T to take out Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. In interviews given by the popular pianist at the time of his WrestleMania appearance and later unearthed by For The Win, he revealed that his mom had been a huge wrestling fan. He also shared the tidbit that Gorgeous George, a wrestler with a similar sense of style, had once gifted their family with a lavender-colored turkey. Oh, if only there'd been pictures of that Thanksgiving spread!

Marla Maples

Several times during his pre-presidential years, Donald Trump, a good friend of Vince McMahon's and fellow member of the billionaire boys club, took part in WrestleMania events, but we could hardly call any of these start turns "forgotten." Nor can we forget that he, too, is a WWE Hall of Famer (despite the disapproval of a certain Hardcore Legend). What has slipped the minds of many — most certainly the Donald himself –- is that one time where his ex-wife Marla Maples guested at WrestleMania VII.

Maples, Trump's only American-born Mrs., was not yet married to her infamous ex in 1991. As per Vanity Fair, though, they'd been in a well-publicized relationship for over a year at the time, something that no doubt earned her the guest timekeeper gig for the Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter main event. While the WWE does acknowledge Maples on its list of WrestleMania VII guest stars, they take a rather dismissive (some might even say snarky) tone in their description of her, saying "Marla Maples' major claim to fame is being one of Donald Trump's ex-wives."

Mr. T

When was the last time you heard anyone say "I pity the fool!"? Yeah, it's been a minute, but once upon a time this phrase was on everyone's lips and Mr. T. and his A-Team were must-see TV. While Lawrence Tureaud's career trajectory (he has both a first and last name, who knew?) has been tapering off since its mid-'80s peak, at least he'll always have his WrestleMania victory to look back on.

While WrestleMania I was a star-studded event to be sure, Mr. T was by far the biggest celeb to set foot in a ring. He was paired up with Hulk Hogan in a tag-team match against Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff, and Cultaholic says that the original plan was for him to pin Piper. The Rowdy One was already no fan of Mr. T, as he felt that the TV star didn't really respect the wrestling business and as WWF's top heel he flat-out refused to be jobbed out to an amateur. In the end, the Hulkster pinned Mr. Wonderful, so neither T nor Piper played a part in the victory. The two did meet up the following year at WrestleMania II in a boxing match of sorts where Clubber Lang picked up the win through disqualification. Although Mr. T never joined the main roster, his two in-ring appearances, along with all those fans of his who tuned in to watch, were sufficient to get him inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014.

Ozzy Osbourne

21st century Ozzy Osbourne may have morphed into a goofy reality show dad, but back in the '80s, the Prince of Darkness was still wild and crazy and biting off bats' heads (well, the head of at least one unfortunate chiroptera). Although the Attitude Era was more than a decade away, WWF has always had a soft spot for bad boys, so the Madman's antics scored an invite to take part in WrestleMania 2.

Osbourne, who looked like he weighed maybe a buck-fifty soaking wet back then, did not get into the ring himself, or at least not until the match was over. Instead, wearing a suit that would have gotten him laughed off the set of "Miami Vice," he stood in the British Bulldogs' corner because, you know, he's British. Standing with him was Captain Lou Albano, there because, you know, he's Captain Lou. While the Wizzard of Ozz didn't do much to influence the outcome of the match directly, he must have brought good luck for Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid that night, as the twosome were able to take the tag team championship away from the Dream Team. This may have been Osbourne's one and only WrestleMania, but he later appeared on both "Raw" and "SmackDown," thus earning his spot in the WWE Hall of Fame.

Pete Rose

While Pete Rose holds the record for the most career hits in Major League Baseball (4,256), he may never be elected to that sport's Hall of Fame due to having done a little unsanctioned betting. Well, who needs Cooperstown when you can be in the WWE Hall of Fame? Rose became the first member of the WWE Hall of Fame celebrity wing in 2004 after having appeared in three WrestleManias: WrestleMania XIV, WrestleMania XV, and WrestleMania 2000 (which would have been WrestleMania XVI if they'd chosen to be consistent with the numbering, but consistency has never been a hallmark of WWF/E).

As per Inside The Ropes, Rose's Hall of Fame membership wasn't the only thing he got out of his WrestleMania appearances –- his fee for appearing at one of them was $50,000, which isn't too shabby for an evening's work. Still, the gig wasn't exactly an easy one due to a feud that developed between the former baseball player and the future mayor of Knox County, Tennessee. At WrestleMania XIV, Rose was guest ring announcer for the Undertaker vs. Kane match and received one free Tombstone courtesy of The Big Red Machine. The next year, he dressed up as the San Diego Chicken and went after Kane, but the wrestler, disinclined to be henpecked, Tombstoned him once more. The year after that, Rose was Tombstoned by Kane one more time, and in baseball tradition, decided that after three strikes, he was out.

Snooki

Poor New Jersey –- the Rodney Dangerfield of states gets no respect. Back in the '90s, New Jerseyans were all seen as "Sopranos"-style mobsters, but things got even worse in the late '00s when "Jersey Shore" came along and convinced the rest of the nation that the entire state (or at least all of the valuable oceanfront property) was overrun with Pauly Ds, Situations, and J Wowws. The most infamous member of the Jersey Shore gang was Snooki, who provided definitive proof that not all airheads are blonde. While Nicole Polizzi's time in the spotlight may finally be over (her Instagram indicates she's gone into the retail business), we'll always have WrestleMania XXVII to remember her by.

In 2011, Snooki seemed to be front and center everywhere you looked, yet it came as a surprise to see her actually take part in a wrestling match. She was part of a three-person tag team with Trish Stratus and John Morrison that went up against Layla El, Michelle McCool, and Dolph Ziggler. When Snooki got the tag, she bounced into the ring, did a few cheerleader-type moves, then promptly pinned a no-selling Mrs. Undertaker as the ring announcers gushed over the birth of Snookimania. Needless to say, that didn't happen, but she did get quite a few votes in a WWE Twitter query about the most random WrestleMania celebrity appearance of all time. As one respondent insists, "It's 100% Snooki anyone saying literally any other answer is wrong."

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