Stars from other forms of entertainment have traditionally been involved with pro wrestling in some way for many years. From Hollywood, to the grid iron, to the boxing ring, from the music industry have all dabbled in the wrestling business. Today’s top five are my personal choices for the best celebrity appearances in pro wrestling.
Lawrence ‘LT’ Taylor
The first choice was a bit difficult for me, because I honestly HATED the fact that LT went over an established talent like Bam Bam Bigelow at Wrestlemania XI. Looking into it a bit deeper, however, this was in 1995…which was one of the worst years the WWF had both creatively and financially. Having some “star power” with a high profile match between the NFL great in Lawrence Taylor wrestling Bam Bam Bigelow wasn’t exactly the most successful idea, but it did generate a lot of mainstream buzz and helped the company in the long run.
Some may not like this choice, but basketball great Dennis Rodman was a very good addition to the New World Order back in its heyday. He had that natural heel charisma and wasn’t a total bust when he competed in the ring. Besides, you have to tip your hat to a guy who was willing to skip basketball practice to show up for an ordinary WCW Nitro.
World champion boxer ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson appeared in the WWF at a very crucial time. The WWF was losing the Monday Night War to its bitter rival WCW. Tyson’s involvement with the company helped redirect viewers to tune into Monday Night Raw. His shocking “heel turn” of wearing a DeGeneration X shirt to turning babyface again by knocking out Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 14…helped catapult the WWF back on top of the wrestling world during the Attitude Era.
Singer Cyndi Lauper was a red hot act going into the 1980’s. When she joined the WWF as a manager to wrestler Wendi Richter, she became a huge catalyst to the company’s success in the Rock N Wrestling era. No doubt about it, Lauper should be in WWE’s Hall of Fame, but apparently turned down repeated invitations for whatever reasons. Regardless, Cyndi Lauper was a big help in pushing the WWF into national exposure.
To me, comedian Andy Kaufman’s feud with Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler in the Memphis territory was the absolute greatest performance of a celebrity involved in pro wrestling. Kaufman “got it” in how to work as a heel and legitimately get under fans skin. He was a shining example of what a heel was supposed to be….despised. Kaufman was a master at it and helped put eyeballs on the Memphis territory nationally in the early 1980’s.