The Guest Host of Raw is a tradition that began back in 2009, with Vince McMahon’s surprise introduction of former WWE Superstar, Batista. Since then, it’s been a fairly bumpy ride of both good and bad hosts. Most celebrities show up to promote a side-project, and tend to come off way too fake, nervous, or bored with WWE’s role. Over the years, fans have been incredibly critical of guest hosts, to the point where they basically hated the idea of a new celebrity being brought out week after week.
Among the ninety-two stars that have pass through, there have been a select few that have gone above and beyond the call of duty, and were really entertaining. Usually, the key to a good host is someone who is genuinely a fan of wrestling, and isn’t there to necessarily promote anything. As a fan, it’s really easy to decipher those that “have” to be there and those that “want” to be on the show.
Cutting down to the ten best was pretty difficult, so a couple honorable mentions to those who just missed the cut. Snoop Dogg has made multiple WWE appearances, and always got the crowd hyped up with his energy, and genuine enthusiasm towards wrestling. Betty White’s comedy came across pretty well, especially her most memorable line: “I’m gonna kick some a**!” So with that, let’s check out the top ten celebrities who presence actually improved WWE’s product.
10. Wayne Brady
The man with many talents decided to take them to WWE’s Raw back in 2010, and quickly found out it’s probably better to keep a distance from the wrestling talent. Wayne found himself in between a feuding Randy Orton and Edge, and thought it would be best to introduce himself to “The Viper”.
As Wayne extended his hand and walked towards Orton, he was on the receiving end of a lightning quick RKO, selling immediate “death” from the move. Seriously, Wayne took that move way better than most pro wrestlers, and to add some comedy to the segment, he just laid in the ring for nearly five minutes until they went to commercial. Going forward, you will notice many of the people on this list actually got involved in the action, which is admirable, since they aren’t trained wrestlers.
9. Grumpy Cat
A somewhat strange choice by the WWE, they decided to go with Grumpy Cat, one of the more successful internet stars, thanks to being, well, a grumpy-looking cat. If you happened to be on social media that night, you would have seen nearly every WWE Superstar take a picture with this cat, which was great, unless you don’t like cats.
The highlight of the night was when Miz and his stunt double Mizdow, talked future projects with Grumpy Cat. In some fantastic acting, Grumpy Cat totally no sold everything Miz said, even turning away when he went for a little kiss. Eventually Erick Rowan joined in, said something stupid, and by the end of the segment, Grumpy Cat was actually falling asleep. A fine metaphor for how fans tend to feel by the end of the night.
8. Hugh Jackman
One of the few celebrities to come back and host Raw, he’s typically a big fan favorite, and was involved in not one, but two memorable moments. In the video above, Hugh was in the corner of Zack Ryder and decided to help him out, by punching Dolph Ziggler in the face. WWE then pushed a story that Hugh Jackman broke Ziggler’s jaw (he didn’t), but media outlets picked up on the story, and it was a nice PR bump for the WWE.
When he returned, we got to see the debut of Damien Sandow’s “character” gimmick as he strolled to the ring with a ridiculous Magneto costume. Hugh played off of him really well, and eventually got in a solid hip toss on the comic villain, much to the fan’s delight.
7. Seth Green
A legit super fan of the WWE, Seth Green was the first non-wrestling celebrity to host Raw, and he had an absolute ball doing it. With a giant smile on his face, Seth got right into the mix, and found himself in a tag match with Triple H and John Cena. The trio went up against former heel stable, Legacy, which comprised of Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, and Ted DiBiase Jr.
Seth stayed out the match for the most part, but did get in a few punches, then pausing with an “oh my god, did I just do that?!” face to the crowd. Seth looked like he had a lot of fun, and the crowd reacted quite nicely throughout the match until the good guys eventually got the big win.
6. Bob Barker
The old Price is Right host came to Raw, seriously? Yep, and he was fantastic, the crowd was fully into his segments, and Bob was incredibly entertaining. During the show, they actually played the Price is Right with Jillian, Santino Marella, I.R.S., and a very pissed off, Chris Jericho. Y2J actually got up in Bob’s face, but was eventually sent off the stage when Bob threatened to “put Jericho over his knee.”
Bob didn’t stop there though; while he was backstage, Chavo Guerrero apparently took issue with losing his car, and decided to take his frustration out on the guest host. Well, Bob sucker punched Chavo in the stomach, and karate chopped him on the back for his insubordination, then he proceeded to let the crowd know they should have their pets spayed or neutered.
5. Jeremy Piven
This is one of the more polarizing celebrity hosts, as some fans absolutely loved what he brought to the show, while others felt like he ruined it. Jeremy was the first host to come to the event as a heel (bad guy) to promote his side project, he was basically in character, for the entire show.
He set Cena up to fight Miz with a bunch of heel lumberjacks at ringside, and even tried to take out Cena himself by jumping off the top turnbuckle. Instead, he was caught, and used as a weapon to fend off the other lumberjacks. Jeremy Piven came off as incredibly annoying, but the live crowd soaked it up, and if you hated him, well, that was the point, right?
4. Mark Cuban
Mark has been involved with the WWE on multiple occasions, but back in 2009 he came on to host and moderate the contract signing between John Cena and Sheamus. Trying to keep the peace, Mark was tossed aside by Sheamus, eventually regaining his composure; he went face-to-face with Sheamus, and pushed the big man down to the mat.
Sheamus easily regained control, picking Mark up, and spearing him through a table! Have to give major props to Mark for taking such a hard bump, in fact, next to Machine Gun Kelly getting Powerbombed off the stage by Kevin Owens, that’s got to be one of the best bumps ever taken by a celebrity.
3. Shaquille O’Neal
Another huge fan of wrestling, Shaq has appeared on WWE TV plenty of times, but his 2009 guest host appearance may have been the best. He went, nose-to-nose (kind of) with Chris Jericho, calling him “Christina”, and then gave him a kiss on the forehead for added embarrassment. Shaq was the enforcer for the main event between Cryme Tyme and Big Show/Chris Jericho; which led to an eventual stare down between Big Show and Shaq.
Obviously, the former NBA player is big enough to be in pro wrestling, so it was quite the sight to see him and Big Show try to choke each other out in the middle of the ring. Cryme Tyme eventually came to Shaq’s aide, allowing him to shoulder tackle Show right out of the ring. How the WWE never got those two in a WrestleMania match is a shame.
2. The Muppets
The Muppets are also a popular choice from fans, thanks to their interactions with the wrestlers throughout the entire night. Miss Piggy fit in just perfectly as a Diva, and was none too pleased when Kelly Kelly gave her man, Kermit, a kiss on the cheek when she came to the ring.
The entire video has plenty of funny moments, but the best by far is when Sheamus and Beaker have a conversation about their upcoming family reunion, you know, because they look exactly alike. Just before Sheamus arrived, Christian was being quite the bully, and messed up Beaker hair, luckily Sheamus was nice enough to fix the disheveled Muppet back up. This is a group that WWE could definitely bring back in the future.
1. Jon Stewart
Jon’s son is a huge WWE fan, so what better way to win “Father of the Year” than by going on his son’s favorite show? Not only did Stewart do a great job on the mic by throwing out gems like saying Seth Rollins looks like a “SWAT team stripper, with Lady Gaga hair”, but he kicked the WWE Champion in the nuts, and hightailed it out of the ring!
That alone was pretty impressive, but he actually got involved in Rollins vs. Cena at SummerSlam, costing Cena the match, by hitting him with a chair. Taking on the role of the “unapologetic smark fan” (even though he apologized later), Jon Stewart showed up the next night on Raw to say he interfered because he didn’t want Cena to overcome Ric Flair’s record. Cena eventually came out, was super pissed at Jon for getting involved, and gave the former Daily Show host an Attitude Adjustment for his actions.
Stewart is number one because not only did he talk the talk, but he took a nice bump, and got the WWE tons of mainstream media attention, which is the central reason why WWE invites celebrities in the first place.