Well folks, it’s that time of year again! The Road to WrestleMania is upon us and in full effect in the WWE with WrestleMania XXX taking place on April 6 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. This event is sure to be an epic event as WWE celebrates WrestleMania’s 30th anniversary. The WWE Universe will be in for a treat as superstars such as Randy Orton, John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Batista, and the returning Undertaker are all scheduled to be on the card for the event. There is even a rumor that the legendary Sting will be involved with the event in some fashion, pending him signing a deal with the company. And to make things even better, the Immortal Hulk Hogan himself officially announced that he will be the official host of WrestleMania XXX on the February 24th edition of Raw. More exciting details and matches are sure to arise within the next few weeks as the Road to WrestleMania continues.
One of the attractions that adds to the allure and prestige of WrestleMania are the celebrities that always make each WrestleMania event special and unique. From Ray Charles‘ rendition of “America the Beautiful” to Liberace dancing with the Rockettes, and Bob Uecker being famously choked by Andre the Giant, WrestleMania has never been short on celeb-appeal and having them share the big stage with the WWE superstars.
Now for the purposes of this article, I wanted to compile a list of the celebrities who have had memorable moments on the “Grandest Stage of Them All.” Now what do I mean by memorable? The celebrities that were an integral part of the event. This means that they simply didn’t just have a quick cameo appearance, escort a superstar to the ring, or even perform a song (there have been many great musical performances at WrestleMania and would take a very long time to list them all). The celebrities who made this list all were right in the middle of the WWE action. Most actually competed in sanctioned WWE matches while others had memorable encounters with a WWE superstar. And of course sticking with this site’s theme, these celebs are ranked by how much they are worth. The number are all estimated numbers just as a heads up. So, let’s get to it!
10. “Iron” Mike Tyson, WrestleMania XIV (Net Worth, $1 Million)
Now on any other list ranking memorable WrestleMania moments, Mike Tyson would easily make top 3. However, due to Tyson’s various legal troubles over the years and his filing for bankruptcy, a career which saw him earn over $400 million dollars has dwindled down to a meager $1 million. Nonetheless, Mike Tyson was an integral part of the story-line heading into WrestleMania XIV and played a huge role in determining the winner of the biggest match of the night.
Heading into WrestleMania XIV, much of the hype surrounded the main event which featured the WWE Champion Shawn Michaels and the fast-rising Stone Cold Steve Austin for the title. A lot of story-lines surrounded this event. Michaels was a wounded champ after suffering a serious back injury that occured at the Royal Rumble during a match with The Undertaker. He probably shouldn’t have even wrestled at Mania. Stone Cold’s popularity was rising week after week and after this match, it would send it to unimaginable heights in what would be know as the “Stone Cold Era” in WWE. Vince McMahon and the WWE were in a heated battle with Ted Turner and rival company World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Vince McMahon as we all know was/is no stranger to controversial moves to put his business over the top. Enter probably the most controversial sports figure at the time, Mike Tyson. Only a few months earlier, Tyson infamously bit pieces of Evander Holyfield‘s ear off in their bout.
Tyson began appearing on segments of Raw is War and his appearance helped turned the tide of the WWE/WCW Monday Night War. Mike Tyson appeared to have aligned himself with Michaels and D-Generation X and even had a shoving match with Stone Cold, who also felt he was “the baddest man on the planet.” Tyson, who was the special enforcer of the WWE title match at WrestleMania, earned his memorable moment when he knocked Michaels out cold after giving the 3-count and raised Stone Cold’s hand in victory. It was after this match, this WrestleMania, that the popularity of the WWE skyrocketed once more.
9. Mr. T, WrestleMania I & II (Net Worth, $1.5 Million)
Mostly known for his role in the 1980’s show The A-Team, his role as Clubber Lang in Rocky III and for his famous “I pity the fool” saying, Laurence “Mr. T” Tureaud checks in at number 9 on this list. Mr. T is also known for his iconic haircut and gold chains and being one of the toughest security guards in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois decades ago. Mr. T also was apart of the first two WrestleMania events ever. However, his forst WrestleMania moment almost never happened.
Mr. T was set to leave the site of the first WrestleMania because the security would not let his entourage into the building. Mr. T was set to team with Hulk Hogan to face “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndoff. Hogan talked Mr. T into staying and credited Mr. T with saving the main event. Mr. T made a saving grapple on Piper as Hogan was being double teamed that would allow Hogan to gain the upper hand and get the 3-count, resulting in a win for the duo.
Mr. T also participated in a boxing match with Piper at WrestleMania II. The event which took place in three different locations (New York, Chicago, and LA) saw Mr. T accompanied by boxing legend Joe Frazier defeat Roddy Piper when Piper was disqualified in the 4th round for body slamming Mr. T. Mr. T is a celebrity who not only had memorable WrestleMania moments, but was a part of WWE programming more regularly then other celebs who’ve appeared in WWE.
8. Lawrence Taylor, WrestleMania XI (Net Worth, $1.6 Million)
Former New York Giants LB, who’s an NFL Hall of Famer and a recurring nightmare to all opposing quarterbacks he faced, Lawrence Taylor comes in at number 8. Taylor, like Tyson, is another former athlete who has seen most of his career earnings go down the drain due to various legal troubles and bad decisions. Regardless, there was once a time where Taylor stepped into the squared circle on WWE’s biggest stage.
Lawrence Taylor main-evented WrestleMania XI against Bam Bam Bigelow. Taylor did not come alone as he was accompanied by fellow NFLers Ken Norton Jr. (Dallas Cowboys), Ricky Jackson (New Orleans Saints), Steve McMichael ( Chicago Bears), Chris Spielman (Detroit Lions), and Reggie White (Green Bay Packers), who all served as ringside enforcers. Sporting an NFL-inspired jersey, Taylor was fairly impressive in his match with Bigelow, eventually winning with a flying forearm from the 2nd rope, which drew a large reaction from the crowd.
T6. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, WrestleMania XXVII (Net Worth, $4 Million)
Everyone’s favorite guidette is Jersey Turnpiking her way onto the list at number 7. Unless, you know, you totally despise the Jersey Shore and former no-name people (a couple of whom aren’t even from New Jersey) getting rich and famous for doing nothing but partying, drinking and “smushing,” then how could she not be your favorite guidette? Snooki, who is the most well-known Jersey Shore character, earned $150,000 per episode in the final season of the show. That’s a lot of coin to do next to nothing valuable. Snooki’s most televised fight however took place in a WWE ring.
After being challenged on an episode of RAW by then Raw GM Vickie Guerrero, Snooki teamed with John Morrison and WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus against Team LayCool (Layla & Michelle McCool) and Dolph Ziggler. Snooki didn’t participate much in the match but towards the end of the contest she was tagged in. Looking at her opponent McCool from across the ring,Snooki performed a cartwheel, followed by a back-flip and slammed into McCool. She followed this with a cartwheel-splash and pinned McCool picking up the win for her team. Whatever money Snooki earned for doing two cartwheels and a back-flip is more justifiable than every dollar she earned during all five seasons of the Jersey Shore.
T6. Pete Rose, WrestleMania XIV, XV, & 2000 (Net Worth, $4 million)
Most notably known for his illustrious career as a player with the Cincinnati Reds and his fall from grace after admitting to betting on the Reds while he played and managed them, Pete Rose enters this list with a couple of the funnier WrestleMania moments. Rose made an enemy of probably the last person (or monster) you’d want to make an enemy out of, Kane. And the sad, well funny, part is he did nothing to provoke the Big Red Machine. The crowd in Boston whom Rose was berating with World Series jokes had more of a reason to want to kick Rose’s ass. All the same, Rose found himself on the receiving end of a Tombstone Piledriver from Kane.
Rose sought revenge on Kane the very next year at WrestlemMania XV, attacking Kane from behind, while dressed as the San Diego Chicken. Once again, Rose found himself flat on his back after Kane dropped him with another Tombstone Piledriver. Talk about an anniversary huh? Can’t get enough of the Pete Rose /Kane story? There’s more.
At WrestleMania 2000, Kane and Rikishi had just picked up a tag-team victory over X-Pac and Road Dogg. Fellow Too Cool members Scotty 2 Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay were doing their normal dance celebration with Rikishi and you guessed it, the San Diego Chicken. Kane would not take his eyes off of the chicken and eventually attacked him, thinking it was Rose. This allowed Rose to sneak in behind Kane with a baseball bat and try to hit an RBI using Kane’s head, but Rikishi took the bat and Rose suffered a chokeslam from Kane. Rose was then ragged into a corner where the massive Rikishi used his Stink Face to further humiliate Rose. Smelling salt has nothing on Rikishi’s backside.
Even though Pete Rose is not a member of the Pro Baseball Hall of Fame, he is at least a member of one. The WWE inducted Rose into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame for his WrestleMania appearances.
5. Mickey Rourke, WrestleMania XXV (Net Worth, $10 Million)
Actor and former boxer Mickey Rourke‘s WrestleMania moment almost never happened. Rourke who won a Golden Globe for his performance in the movie The Wrestler was challenged to a match by Chris Jericho after Rourke made a comment about Jericho and a couple of other wrestlers on the red carpet of an event. After an exchange between the two on Larry King Live, it seemed the match would be on for WrestleMania XXV in Houston. However,Rourke backed out of the match claiming he wouldn’t be able to keep up with Jericho in the ring. But this story doesn’t end here.
Jericho would go on to make a mockery out of the WWE legends on a weekly basis eventually leading to a match against Ricky Steamboat, Roddy Piper, and Jimmy Snuka. After Jericho won the match, he called out Rourke, who was seated in the front row to get in the ring. Rourke got in the ring and surprised Jericho with a couple of swings and eventually landed a knockout punch square on Jericho’s jaw. Rourke would have his hand raised by the Nature Boy Ric Flair as he celebrated.
4. Muhammad Ali, WrestleMania I (Net Worth, $80 Million)
So I guess I forgot to mention a major detail earlier when talking about Mr. T‘s WrestleMania moment at the first ever WrestleMania event: former heavyweight champion and boxing legend Muhammad Ali served as a special guest referee for the match. Ali drew one of the biggest crowd reactions ever at a WWE event just by simply being introduced to the sold out crowd in Madison Square Garden as he made his way out to this ring to a chorus of “Ali, Ali” chants. Ali would help set the bar for celebrity appearances at future WrestleMania events by being the most popular celeb to grace the ring.
3. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, WrestleMania XXVII (Net Worth, $85 Million)
Yes, yes I know. The Rock is a professional wrestler. He has had plenty of WrestleMania moments. Obviously, he’s had countless wins and moments on the WWE’s biggest stage but he is a celebrity. And at the time of him hosting WrestleMania XXVII, he had just come off the heels of a seven-year hiatus from in-ring action in the WWE. He did appear on WWE programming here and there, but for the most part, he focused on his acting career.
On the February 11th, 2011 episode of Raw, it was announced that The Rock would host WrestleMania XXVII. He took this time to respond to comments made by John Cena questioning the Rock’s love for the business. The Rock ended up being attacked by then WWE Champion The Miz and Alex Riley, before being dropped by an Attitude Adjustment from Cena.
At WrestleMania, the Miz and Cena wrestled a fierce and draining match, where they would both be counted out, resulting in the Miz keeping his title. As the host, The Rock came to the ring and vowed that the event would not end in this fashion. He then delivered a Rock Bottom to Cena and the Miz would steal a victory before suffering a People’s Elbow from the Rock.
These events would be the spark to the Cena/Rock rivalry producing two of the greatest matches in WrestleMania history, including the main event of WrestleMania XXVIV which set an earnings record for WWE with $72 million.
2. Floyd “Money” Mayweather, WrestleMania XXIV (Net Worth, $172 Million)
Floyd Mayweather‘s WrestleMania moment can best be described as David vs Goliath reincarnated. Mayweather who stood at 5’8 and 159 pounds faced the tallest (and heaviest) task of his career, when he took on the 7’2, 441-pound Big Show. This match was touted as “The Greatest Fighter in the World vs the Biggest Athlete in the World.” This rivalry started at WWE No Way Out when Mayweather came to the defense of superstar Rey Mysterio and pummeled the Show, bloodying his mouth. The two would have couple of confrontations after Show challenged Mayweather to a match, including a weigh in over the next couple of weeks.
At WrestleMania, Floyd would need all of the help he could get vs The Big Show. He was able to avoid him using his elusiveness for awhile until Big Show was able to get his hands on him. Floyd attempted to flee the arena until Show caught him and brought him back to the ring. Floyd was able to get a hold of a steel chair and hit the Show in the head three times before grabbing a member of his entourage’s chain which featured brass knuckles. A swift punch to the jaw and a 10-count later, and Floyd Mayweather had defeated The Big Show via KO.
1. Donald Trump, WrestleMania XXIII (Net Worth, $3.5 Billion)
Talk about a jump in value here. If you’re a fan of the WWE, you knew that “The Donald” would appear number one on this list without any argument. Trump had participated in other WrestleMania events dating back to WrestleMania IV and V but this WrestleMania moment involved another billionaire at the time, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. Trump would end up challenging McMahon to a “Battle of the Billionaires: Hair vs Hair” match, where the loser would have to has his signature hairdo shaved off in the middle of the ring. The catch of this match was that neither Trump or McMahon would actually wrestle. C’mon, who actually thought Trump would put on a pair of wrestling tights and step into the squared-circle.
Umaga, representing Vince McMahon, and Bobby Lashley, representing Donald Trump, would wrestle each other at the PPV with the guest referee being “Stone Cold” Steve Austin himself. The match was an entertaining one and even featured Trump getting his hands on McMahon with a tackle to the ground followed by a round of “punches”. Bobby Lasley would go on to win the match and after they would humiliate McMahon by shaving his hair in front of the sold-out crowd at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The celebration was in full effect as Stone Cold offered Trump a beer then proceeded to hand him a Stone Cold Stunner as a parting gift. The Donald was able to leave Wrestlemania XXIII with his hair intact and probably a sore neck.
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