Celebrities Who Should Be In The WWE Hall Of Fame

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When it comes to pro wrestling, celebrities can be the match that starts a fire. Mr. T was the draw of the original WrestleMania and helped boost Hulkamania to a whole new level. Mike Tyson did the same a generation later with WrestleMania XIV and Steve Austin. Celebrities can add an air of prestige to wrestling, draw new viewers in to give it a try, or just have entertaining interactions in this crazy cartoon world.

WWE knows all of this as well as anybody and that's why the WWE Hall of Fame has a celebrity wing. Well, okay, they also just like finding excuses for famous people to show up and say nice things about wrestling. Either way, WWE has honored some worthy names, including Tyson and Mr. T, in their hall, but they've left many more out. People who have performed better in an unfamiliar world than you might expect, as well as people who created memories we'll always remember (even when there are a few we'd like to forget). Here are celebrities who absolutely should be in the WWE Hall of Fame.

Lawrence Taylor

An NFL legend, Lawrence Taylor was such an incredible linebacker that he left a permanent mark on the sport of football. As John Madden once said, "He changed the way defense is played, the way pass-rushing is played, the way linebackers play and the way offenses block linebackers." Retiring in 1994, L.T., like many athletes, needed something new to do and one year later the WWF came calling. First came an angle at the 1995 Royal Rumble, where a frustrated Bam Bam Bigelow shoved Taylor, who was attending the show as a fan. Bigelow went on to issue a challenge and L.T. found himself in the main event of WrestleMania XI, facing off against Bam Bam in his one and only pro wrestling match.

Taylor was not the first celebrity to main event a WrestleMania — that honor goes to Mr. T at the original. What Lawrence was, though, was the first non-wrestler to close the event in a singles match, the main draw of this show. Unlike Mr. T's bout, there was no partner here to help carry the load. L.T. ended up surprising a lot of people with how well he acquitted himself in pro wrestling as a performer as he marched to a win over the "Beast from the East." WrestleMania XI is not remembered as a great show, but in the ring, Taylor held up his end of the bargain.

Kevin Greene

Another legendary football player, Kevin Greene played with five teams during his decade-and-a-half-long NFL career and when it was all said and done, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But unlike Lawrence Taylor, Greene didn't wait for retirement to try his hand at pro wrestling. Kevin would wrestle five times for WCW from 1996 to 1998, always during NFL offseason. All but one of those matches were reserved for PPV, as he battled the likes of Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, and the nWo. Greene was another pro athlete who showed natural talent for wrestling right from the first match.

Greene probably could've had himself a nice career in wrestling post-football, but stayed involved in football after his brief three-year dance with WCW. The man he tagged with in his debut match, fellow NFL player Steve McMichael, became a full-time wrestler and eventually even wrestled Greene in one of his five matches. Yet even without a lengthy career in the business, Greene perhaps left one more impact on the world of wrestling. According to yet another former NFL player turned wrestler, Greene actively encouraged him to pursue a career in wrestling. That man's name? Bill Goldberg.

Stephen Amell

Best known as the star of the CW superhero drama "Arrow," Stephen Amell has been a long-time wrestling fan. That fandom eventually saw him step inside the ring with the WWE, teaming with Neville to wrestle Stardust and King Barrett at SummerSlam in 2015. Amell impressed in the match, even doing a dive onto Stardust. 

Amell would go on to become one of the most well-traveled modern celebrities who got into wrestling. He would work a match for ROH, teaming with the Elite (Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega, and the Young Bucks) in a tag match that saw Stephen put through a table. He'd then carve himself a spot in a piece of wrestling history, working Christopher Daniels at the show that in many ways planted the seed of AEW, All In.

Amell's history with wrestling has a whole second element though, and that's his career in scripted dramas. His blossoming friendship with Cody Rhodes saw "The American Nightmare" make a cameo on "Arrow." More importantly, when that show ended its eight-season run, Amell looked to combine his passions. "Heels," a drama about pro wrestlers in Georgia, premiered on Starz in 2021 and stars Amell. In addition to giving wrestling a little more exposure just by its mere existence, "Heels" has provided another acting job for CM Punk, who portrays Ricky Rabies on the program.

Dennis Rodman

With his magnetic personality, sometimes outrageous appearance, and often crazy personal life, Dennis Rodman felt like a pro wrestler before he took one step in a ring. A member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, "The Worm" won five NBA titles and had his number retired by the Detroit Pistons. Rodman would not only wrestle a few times for WCW in the late-'90s, he'd become an official member of the nWo. Rodman became friends with fellow stablemate Hulk Hogan, going as far as to defend him publicly during one of his many scandals.

Rodman was not as impressive in the ring as some other names on this list. What Dennis could do though was draw money. In 1998, he wrestled on WCW's Bash at the Beach PPV, teaming with Hogan against Diamond Dallas Page and fellow NBA superstar Karl "The Mailman" Malone. The PPV ended up drawing a staggering 580,000 buys, making it the second most purchased PPV in WCW history, behind only Starrcade '97. Rodman would largely step away from wrestling after WCW with two notable exceptions. The first would be a headlining match with Curt Hening for an indie promotion in Australia. The second would be his entry in "Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling," a one-season reality competition show that Rodman ended up winning, beating out such names as Dustin Diamond and Butterbean.

Art Donovan

We know this one is weird, but hear us out. Celebrities in wrestling sometimes turn out great, as this list shows. But just as often they turn out horribly, with people brought in simply because of their name value fumbling through a pastime they have little knowledge or enthusiasm for. We feel like the Hall of Fame should have one name that represents all of those who fell short, and Art Donovan is our man. Yet another Football Hall of Fame member, Donovan was a frequent guest of David Letterman, due to his charm and storytelling ability. That isn't why he makes this list though.

No, Art makes the list because of the King of the Ring 1994 PPV. Brought in as a local sports hero to do commentary for the event, Donovan's performance can best be described as "What if your confused Grandpa asked questions for the entire show?" The show started with Gorilla Monsoon introducing Donovan as "Art O'Donnel" and things went downhill from there. Constantly befuddled, Art turned in an all-time awful performance, best known for asking what every wrestler weighed. By the end of the night, his boothmates Monsoon and Randy Savage were tuning him out, but it was a night that fans who witnessed it will never be able to forget.

Robocop

Let's follow one weird representative pick with another. Wrestling has been full of fictional characters from other mediums making guest appearances. Who can forget when Chucky showed up in WCW, or the Muppets in WWE? The celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame should have one member that stands for all of them and who better than Robocop, beloved movie action hero and top-notch cyborg law enforcer? Robocop didn't just appear for WCW in 1990, he was a selling point for the PPV he appeared on, with the Capitol Combat event actually carrying the tagline "The Return of Robocop."

There to promote the upcoming film "Robocop 2," our steel-covered buddy was brought in to be Sting's backup against the Four Horsemen. It resulted in a camp classic segment, where Sting found himself locked inside a small steel cage at ringside only for Robocop to slowly walk to the ring, bend the bars of the cage, and tear the door off its hinges. The Horsemen had to sell that they were terrified by this figure moving at the speed of a turtle. On commentary, Jim Ross had to say surreal things like, "Sting and Robocop have asserted themselves here!" Depending on your taste, you may have seen it as wrestling at its best or at its worst, but certainly, it was at its goofiest.

Muhammad Ali

Not just one of the greatest boxers of all time, but one of the most well-known sports figures in history, Muhammad Ali's roots with wrestling run deep. Ali admits himself that his cocky and charismatic persona was inspired by Gorgeous George, one of the first real colorful pro wrestling heels of the television era. Ali took note of not just George's antics, but the crowds they were drawing, telling the AP (via CBS Sports) that "I saw his aides spraying deodorant in the opponents' corner to contain the smell. I also saw 13,000 full seats. I talked with Gorgeous for five minutes after the match and started being a big-mouth and a bragger."

Ali would later become an active participant in wrestling himself. He was a guest referee at the first WrestleMania. He had worked confrontations with Gorilla Monsoon and Jake Roberts at wrestling events. He was the guest of honor at the co-promoted WCW/NJPW show Collision in Korea, attended by at least 150,000 people. Most notably, he had an exhibition mixed styles bout with New Japan star Antonio Inoki in 1976. Viewed by an estimated 1.4 billion (and that is not a typo) people, the fight became something of a farce, with Inoki spending most of it lying on his back, kicking at Ali's legs. It disappointed the crowd and ended in a draw, but remains a huge moment in wrestling and a notable detour in Ali's career.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Ali is not the only superstar boxer to take part in pro wrestling. Floyd Mayweather, one of the pound-for-pound greats, has dipped his toe into it as well. It started at WWE's 2008 No Way Out PPV, where Mayweather — attending as a fan — got into a worked altercation with the Big Show. What may not have been as worked is the punch Mayweather landed on Show, which bloodied him and caused some legit blackening around his eyes.

The feud built to a match at WrestleMania, with "Pretty Boy Floyd" getting the knockout win with a pair of brass knuckles. The match was entertaining by celebrity match standards and saw Mayweather take some actual wrestling moves. As big as the match may have been Mayweather's payday, claimed to be 20 million dollars by Shane McMahon, was a story in itself. That astronomical figure had been doubted by some pundits, including Dave Meltzer at the Wrestling Observer. Either way, "Money" Mayweather doesn't come cheap, although we're willing to bet his follow-up appearance for WWE, helping to cost Big Show a tag match on "Raw" a year later, wasn't as pricey.

Shaquille O'Neal

A lifelong wrestling fan, Shaq is one of the best players in NBA history and has dabbled in all sorts of side projects post-basketball, with wrestling being no exception. When Hulk Hogan won the WCW World Heavyweight Title in his debut match with the promotion at Bash at the Beach 1994, it was Shaq who presented the belt to him. He made appearances on both "Raw" and Impact. He was even scheduled to face Big Show at WrestleMania 33, a match that Big Show told Uproxx was canceled due to scheduling issues.

Shaq would end up having at least two matches. The first was as an entrant in WWE's 2016 Andre the Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania. He was quickly eliminated when most of the other competitors ganged up to throw him out. His second match would be for AEW, teaming with Jade Cargill against Cody Rhodes and Red Velvet on Dynamite. Shaq was a gamer, executing a nice power bomb and even taking a bump off the apron through a table. For a middle-aged former athlete with almost no wrestling experience, O'Neal did well.

Andy Kaufman

Best known for his work on the hit sitcom "Taxi" and appearances on "Saturday Night Live," comedian Andy Kaufman made a career out of blurring the lines between fiction and reality. Frequently disappearing into personas he created, Kaufman created such a mysterious image that some refused to even believe his death when he died at the age of 35. Andy actively campaigned to bring his act to pro wrestling, first being rejected by Vince McMahon Sr. Luckily, he was eventually able to connect with the Memphis territory and its star, Jerry Lawler. Coming in as a heel, Kaufman was a natural and produced many memorable promos, including one where he patronizingly taught the local fans how to use soap.

Kaufman's feud with Lawler progressed to the point of "The King" piledriving Andy, with the latter starting to appear in a neck brace afterward. The two garnered some real mainstream publicity and created a piece of TV history when they took their war to David Letterman's talk show "Late Night." A classic piece of Kaufman trying to fool an audience, he and Lawler appeared together and began to argue, heating up to the point that Lawler slapped Kaufman. Andy went irate, throwing Letterman's coffee at Lawler and saying many words you can't say on network television. In his book "It's Good to Be the King...Sometimes," Lawler has attested that it was all a work between the two men, but mostly ad-libbed and one no one else on the show was in on.

David Arquette

Perhaps the most infamous celebrity interaction in wrestling history, actor David Arquette was promoting his new pro-wrestling-themed movie, "Ready to Rumble," when WCW came calling for him to get involved with the promotion. The film already had heavy WCW involvement, so it seemed like a natural fit. What was less of a natural fit? WCW booking deciding to make Arquette WCW World Champion on Thunder, in a desperate attempt to grab ratings. A true fan, David has gone on record multiple times, including on the Chris Van Vilet show, saying he did not want to be champion. Even though the title reign lasted less than two weeks, many felt real damage had been done to the brand. In a classy move, Arquette donated his WCW salary to Droz and the families of Owen Hart and Brian Pillman.

Apart from a one-off match on "Raw" in 2010, Arquette did not wrestle post-WCW until 2018. In the middle of a weight loss journey David got the itch to wrestle again and went on a redemption tour. Over the next three years he would wrestle 21 matches, with the most famous being a deathmatch gone wrong with Nick Gage where he suffered a cut on his neck that required stitches. This entire second act to his wrestling career became the subject of a feature documentary, "You Cannot Kill David Arquette." There is no other celebrity in wrestling quite like Arquette, a man who got off to the most dubious start possible only to then proceed to work his butt off decades later to prove something to himself.

Cyndi Lauper

When it comes to WWF's business boom of the '80s, people remember the impact Hulk Hogan, Mr. T, and WrestleMania had. Fewer people remember what Cyndi Lauper did for the company. A huge emerging pop star, Lauper cast WWF manager "Captain" Lou Albano in the music video for her breakthrough hit, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." WWF capitalized on this by having Lauper on their TV to start a feud with Albano. MTV, seeing a huge potential crossover between wrestling and its music, aired multiple WWF wrestling specials on their channel, built around Lauper managing wrestlers against Albano's.

"The Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection," as it came to be known, was a huge hit. The first MTV special, "The Brawl to End It All," featuring Lauper managing Wendi Richter against Albano's charge, The Fabulous Moolah, became not only the first wrestling match on cable TV that aired live as it happened, but the highest rated show MTV had ever produced to that point. Lauper would go on to manage Hulk Hogan in multiple matches, including the first WrestleMania, as well as feature WWF talent in more of her music videos. Lauper was one of the keys to WWF crossing over to a new audience, with journalist Dave Meltzer remarking in 2020, "As far as a celebrity goes historically for company growth, I'd rate Mr T as one, and her or Tyson #2."

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