WWE loves stars. The first big boom in modern professional wrestling came about with the music and wrestling connection. Hulk Hogan defended the honor of Cyndi Lauper. The first and second WrestleManias featured matches involving Mr. T. Heck, and Liberace made an appearance at that first big event. Later, the WWE would call on stars to spice up a weak WrestleMania during one of its leanest years, having Bam Bam Bigelow go one on one with New York Giants legend, Lawrence Taylor.
The second boom in modern professional wrestling, the beloved Attitude Era, kicked into high gear when Stone Cold Steve Austin confronted Mike Tyson on Monday Night Raw. Even today, WWE is building an angle involving Rob Gronkowski, with Gronk helping his buddy, Mojo Rawley. This last WrestleMania was rumored to have a match involving Shaquille O’Neal going one on one with The World’s Largest Athlete, The Big Show. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) that match fell through. But, what never has and never will fall through is WWE’s desire to garner mainstream attention by giving a spotlight to whatever star wants to step into the squared circle.
WWE calls their performers Superstars, insinuating that they are more than just stars. They are instead larger than life characters that dwarf the participants of lesser entertainment. But WWE seems to betray that sentiment at every turn, fawning over even the most arbitrary “celebrity” in order to legitimize their sideshow. For every Muhammad Ali that appears on WWE television, there are dozens of Steve-O’s, Flo Rida’s, and Kevin Federline’s. The following stars would be at home in a WWE ring. Some are more obvious than others, but all would be welcome by the WWE Universe with open arms.
15. Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor owes much of his success to the WWE’s promo playbook. He’s the cocky heel that talks himself into big-time fights and then, once the bell rings, surprises everyone by backing it up. But most recently, Conor may have talked himself into a fight he can’t win, against the greatest boxer alive, and former WrestleMania participant, Floyd Mayweather. Conor seems to be more into partying and living a lavish lifestyle these day, projecting the image of a millionaire playboy. Once Conor is destroyed by Mayweather, it would only be natural for him to take his carefully cultivated act to WWE and try to milk his brand for even more money. Conor has already taunted WWE Superstars on Twitter, saying he would “…Slap the head off your entire roster. And twice on Sunday’s.” There’s no doubt WWE and UFC fans would pay big bucks to see him try. Although, the 5 ft 9 in, 155 lb McGregor may need to bring a step ladder if he hopes to slap any of those WWE Superstars in the face.
14. Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey has been through a lot in the last few years. She was once an unbeatable machine that ran roughshod over the UFC women’s bantamweight division and dominated PPV buy rates. Two losses later and the future of her mixed martial arts career is in question. If Rousey does decide to retire from the octagon, the WWE is sure to come calling. Rousey, a lifelong wrestling fan, already made a WWE appearance back at WrestleMania 31, joining The Rock in the squared circle to face down Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. If Rousey were to come aboard full-time, she could be a godsend as Stephanie McMahon might actually have to sell for somebody and put someone over for once. Rousey’s love of Dragon Ball Z would make her a natural fit to align with The New Day. And Rousey’s UFC dominance would make her a perfect opponent for Charlotte Flair and her claims of owning the WWE women’s division.
13. Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage is a legitimately insane person and modern professional wrestling needs way more legitimately insane people. It would be a treat to see a real insane person, Nicolas Cage, step into the ring with a fake insane person, Dean Ambrose, at the next WrestleMania. Just imagine, Nicolas Cage, the madman from Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, The Wicker Man, Ghost Rider, and Vampire’s Kiss, cutting a wrestling promo. In an ironic twist, Nic Cage’s over the top cartoonishness would actually inject some realism into the WWE product: he’s just so over the top that you can never tell if he’s serious or playing a character. Cage could go the Mick Foley/Mankind/Cactus Jack route, drawing from the multiple characters he’s played and inhabiting one at a time. If there ever was a star that could recreate the insanity of Andy Kaufman’s Memphis feud with Jerry Lawler, it’s Nicolas Cage.
12. Vin Diesel
The Fast And The Furious franchise is one of the most profitable entertainment properties in existence. All eight movies combined have made more money than exists on Earth two times over. Basically, they are going to be making these movies until the universe implodes. There have been rumors swirling for the past two films that co-stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Vin “The Diesel” Diesel haven’t seen eye to eye when the cameras stop rolling. Evidently, both stars are used to being top diva in charge of whatever set they are working on and can’t stand anyone out diva-ing them. These guys are going to eventually come to blows and when it happens they should do it in a WWE ring for all to see. It would be perfect to tie a wrestling angle into a future Fast And Furious film plot. It could all come to a head at SummerSlam 2019 on the 30th anniversary of the 2nd SummerSlam. That event saw Hulk Hogan continue his feud with Zues from the movie No Holds Barred, teaming with Brutus “The Barber Beefcake” to take on the film character and Macho Man.
11. James Harden
James Harden draws more fouls than anyone in the NBA. If an opposing player comes within an inch of Harden’s body while reaching for the ball, Harden flails about as though he were shot. Nobody can sell contact better than James Harden. What is one of the most important aspects of wrestling? Selling. Harden in the WWE would make anyone he faced look like a star by selling world class beatdowns. Imagine Braun Strowman giving a bear hug to James Harden. Or Harden receiving a pop-up powerbomb on the ring apron in a battle of the beards against Kevin Owens. Throw Harden in a Tag Team and lift the old Rock ‘N’ Roll Express formula. Harden plays the Ricky Morton role and sells the beatdown for the entire match until he makes the hot tag to his partner, Russell Westbrook, who immediately cleans house. And once the team inevitably breaks up, Harden could go heel and hide foreign objects like blades and brass knuckles in his beard.
10. Venus And Serena Williams
The two most dominant women in the history of tennis venture off the court and into the ring to form a superstar tag team. Serena at 5 ft 9 in would be the quick, technical star, much like Bret “The Hitman” Hart. Venus at 6 ft 1 in would be the strong powerhouse, like Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. These two would make quick work of the women of either SmackDown Live or Raw. Whatever female WWE Superstars team together to take on the Williams sisters would have to learn to work together quickly because Venus and Serena have been doing it all their lives and always know each other’s next move. Venus and Serena stepping into the ring would be the perfect opportunity to bring back some of those mid 1990s job/wrestler gimmicks from the early days of Raw. There were wrestling plumbers, hockey goons, and baseball players. A tag team of tennis stars would fit right in. They could carry their rackets and use them as weapons just like Jim Cornette. There are a plethora of dumb tennis puns they could make in their promos. Just imagine Venus telling someone they are about to get served while JBL is on commentary making jokes about balls. You know what? Nevermind. This was a bad idea.
9. Kanye West
If Kanye West became a wrestler, he would be the new millennium’s Ric Flair. Nobody in the wrestling or music industry is as stylin’ and profilin’ as Kanye. Think about the possible angles! Kanye’s fashion line designs a wrestling singlet and Kanye shows up on Raw to search for the wrestler who is deserving of such a special garment. After running down the roster in a rambling Kanye promo, Yeezy decides the only person worthy of his clothing is him, so he becomes a wrestler. Think about the heel heat Kanye would generate by insisting on mixing his own theme music live on the way to the ring. He would repeatedly demand to start over and eat 15 minutes of the match just on his entrance. He would interrupt matches he’s not involved with just so he could grab the mic and say who should have won. And of course, the first time Kanye cuts a promo he would declare that “Vince McMahon doesn’t care about black people.” Kim Kardashian would make an excellent valet and the whole Kardashian clan could accompany Kanye for big events. Then, if Kanye is ever in trouble during the match, Kendall could offer the ref a Pepsi.
8. Danny Trejo
Admit it: when you were watching Machete and saw Danny Trejo mowing through the bad guys, leaving a pile of mutilated bodies that fell to his signature weapon, you thought, “Dude, this guy should be a wrestler!” Danny Trejo doesn’t just play a badass on screen, he is a legit tough guy. Trejo spent several of his formative years in the infamous San Quentin prison, before cleaning up and getting his life on track. Trejo may have a few years under his belt, but he is still an imposing figure. Trejo is barrel-chested, broad shouldered, and has a face only a blind mother who loves ugly things could love. Which is why the perfect gimmick would be “Pretty” Danny Trejo. Just imagine Danny Trejo with Miz’s gimmick. Or, better yet, imagine an old, ripped luchador showing up on Raw, getting his mask torn off, revealing Danny Trejo. WWE could definitely use some Machete.
7. Lebron James
NBA announcers are fond of saying LeBron is built like a football player. LeBron was an all star receiver in high school. But, if LBJ were to switch sports, his size, speed, and intensity would be better suited for the squared circle rather than the football field. LeBron is such a natural athlete and has the determination to impose his will in any situation. Given a few months of training he could no doubt be in the world title picture. There is already precedent for basketball to wrestling crossovers as well. Karl Malone and Dennis Rodman were probably the least embarrassing mainstream stars to don the tights on Monday Nitro (of course other stars appearing included Jay Leno and David Arquette, so it’s not exactly great company). Plus, LeBron, with his nickname King James, has some readymade feuds. WWE could revive the King Of The Ring and he could challenge the winner. Or he could face Jerry Lawler since it’s a law that anyone calling themselves “King” in professional wrestling has to face Jerry Lawler.
6. Emma Stone
Wrestling has a unique history when it comes to race. Muhammad Hassan was a man of Italian heritage portraying an Arab American. Kwang was a vaguely “Asian” ninja played by Puerto Rican Savio Vega. Noted white guy Al Snow portrayed an Asian ninja assassin, Shinobi. Which brings us to Emma Stone. While the Oscar winning actress is currently riding high from the success of La La Land, not long ago she was catching flack for her tone deaf portrayal of a half-Asian character in Cameron Crowe’s Aloha. It’s almost a no-brainer. Emma Stone comes into the WWE and declares herself the best Asian female wrestler/actress of all time. Of course, she would carry her Oscar statuette with her just as Owen Hart carried his Slammy awards. And of course she would form a stable with fellow Asian actors turned wrestlers Tilda Swinton and Matt Damon. If WWE ever wants to reform Kai En Tai, they should start with Emma Stone.
5. Matthew McConaughey
No matter what kind of wrestler Matthew McConaughey turned out to be, his entrance would be awesome. Picture an arena, jam packed with fans. The lights go out. Suddenly the speakers boom, “Alright! Alright! Alright!” and out comes Matthew McConaughey, naked, playing his own theme song on the bongos. The pot loving star would be a natural to team with a returning Rob Van Damme. And with recreational weed smoking being legalized in state after state, they could run a spot where McConaughey is getting beat down and he must make it to his pre-rolled joint in his corner in order to smoke it and hulk up. It would basically be a stoner cowboy Popeye gimmick. McConaughey has also shown a willingness to transform his body to suit whatever role he is playing. He can beef up for his matches against the big boys and then shed pounds, as he did for Dallas Buyers Club, and compete on 205 Live. McConaughey could also make an appearance on Total Divas, because he keeps getting older, but those divas stay the same age.
4. Alex Jones
Vince McMahon is notoriously behind the times in all things pop culture related, so it’s probably only seven years until the WWE debut of a character with an alt-right gimmick. They came uncomfortably close, most likely by accident, with “Real American” Jack Swagger and Zeb Coulter. But if they chose to go full bore into the alt-right cesspool, there would be nobody better to portray that than certifiable nut job Alex Jones. Jones has always appeared unhinged, but the alleged behaviors coming to light in his divorce proceedings are a whole new kind of crazy. If Jones came into WWE he would of course have to be immediately paired with Bob Backlund. Backlund would teach him the cross-face chicken wing and they would proceed to spread their conservative message all over the WWE. Think of the carnage if a coked-up, greased-up, Alex Jones drew number 30 in the Royal Rumble. Just tell him everyone in the ring are lizard people, give him another bump, sit back, and enjoy.
3. Colin Kaepernick
Last NFL season, Colin Kaepernick took a knee while the national anthem played because, in his words,”I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” Kaepernick has shown himself to be an intelligent, thoughtful young man with nuanced political beliefs and the conviction to stand up for what he believes to be right, even if it negatively affects his personal gain. So, of course if he came to the WWE, expect Vinny Mac to make him the leader of the new Nation Of Domination. Colin Kaepernick could most definitely dominate. He is 6 ft 4 in of pure muscle. If every single NFL team wants to expose themselves as being a backwards old boys club and not sign a perfectly capable quarterback, then Kaepernick should show up on Raw and announce to the world the inherent hypocrisy of organized sports, particularly the NFL. Kaepernick would most likely be a tweener in the vein of Anti-American era Bret Hart, getting cheered in blue states and booed in red ones. Kaepernick’s first feud would have to be with Alex Jones.
2. Lady Gaga
She has the look: a futuristic pop princess warrior. She has a cool name for her fans: The Little Monsters. She has the perfect theme song: That one of hers that goes “Ra Ra, ah ah ah. Gaga, ooh lala.” And most importantly, she has the finisher: The Frog Splash, just like the one she did from the top of NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas at Super Bowl LI. Lady Gaga wasn’t just made to be a WWE Superstar, she was born this way. She has a wealth of lyrics to draw on in her promos, telling whomever she faces that they can’t read her poker face, and they are in for a bad romance, all while her Little Monsters cheer her on. Lady Gaga has proven time and time again that she is a showstopper during her live shows. She could easily translate this charisma into the WWE Universe. Her crowning moment would be a splash from the top of a cage onto Sasha Banks. After the roof of a football stadium, a steel cage should be easy.
1. Carrot Top
If you haven’t seen any recent pictures of Carrot Top, you might want to check him out. This dude got ripped. For years, everyone laughed at him, but not in a good way. His prop comedy was ridiculed by more established comedians. He finally had a shot at mainstream success when he made his film debut in Chairman Of The Board, but it bombed horribly. Carrot Top was tired of the jokes, so he got buff. Next, he should come to the WWE and make them all pay. Just imagine Carrot Top holding poor Sami Zayne in the cobra clutch, taunting him, screaming, “Who’s laughing now, Sami? Who’s laughing now?” As soon as the ref turns around, he reaches into his prop bag, revealing some wacky foreign object, like a pair of ass knuckles, brass knuckles with tiny butts on them. Yes, Carrot Top could truly be one of the greatest heels who ever… aw, who am I kidding? I only put him here because I want to see him get mauled by Brock Lesnar. Now that’s funny.