Everyday from March 1 until WWE Wrestlemania 33 on April 2, Fightful will be bringing you the Countdown To WWE Wrestlemania 33. Each day, you will be getting a top 10 list or an event preview or statistics/figures from past ‘Mania events and everything in between.
In today’s column, we will be taking a look at the Top 10 Matches Featuring Celebrities In ‘Mania History. Celebrities have played an intricate role in the event since the very first Wrestlemania, even taking part of the in ring action as well.
#10: Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper - Boxing Match (WWE Wrestlemania 2)
There may be no worst example of a celebrity getting involved in a match at “Mania then this giant turd laid by Mr. T and Roddy Piper at ‘Mania 2. The two missed so many punches that it took barely a minute into the first round of the boxing match to get the fans to hate the entire concept. Mr. T got the win in this bout after being slammed illegally by Piper, because a slam isn’t allowed in a boxing match.
#9: Akebono vs. Big Show - Sumo Wrestling Match (WWE Wrestlemania 21)
The Big Show has been a part of some horrendous disasters during ‘Mania, but this may have been the worst of them all. Akebono was a huge sumo wrestling star out of Japan, how that translated into a sumo match with the Big Show is beyond me, but that’s what we all got. Akebono took just over a minute to vanquish the Big Show from the ring, a Big Show that was practically wearing a thong during the sumo battle. Akebono must have liked the rush of competing against a wrestler, as he would become a star pro wrestler in Japan following his WWE appearance.
#8: Butterbean vs. Bart Gunn (WWE Wrestlemania 15)
Pro wrestlers are tough athletes, despite the fact that they compete in a sport with predetermined finishes. However, that facade was shaken badly at ‘Mania 15 when Bart Gunn tested his boxing skills against the legendary Butterbean. The fight was a legit boxing match and Butterbean legitimately knocked out Gunn in the first round of the bout. Gunn would exit the WWE A short time later, while Butterbean would actually wrestle stateside and in Japan a few times.
#7: Shaq In The 3rd Annual Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal (WWE Wrestlemania 32)
It was supposed to be a prelude for their eventual meeting at ‘Mania 33, but that is up in the air at the moment. NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal made his WWE in ring debut at ‘Mania 32 as a participant in the 3rd Annual Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Shaq would get himself a few eliminations before going face to face with Big Show, they would be dumped out of the ring together by the remaining participants in the match. Shaq and Show were supposed to compete this year at ‘Mania, but despite Show’s goading of the NBA great, it may not be happening this year.
#6: Maria Menounos & Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix & Eve (WWE Wrestlemania 28)
This may be the peak of how much the WWE undervalued their women’s wrestlers at the time because they all played second fiddle to Maria Menounos. The one good thing about Menounos is that she took the whole experience seriously, even competing in the match with a serious rib injury she suffered during the training for the match. This match would also mark the final ‘Mania in ring appearances for everybody in the match, both pro wrestler and celebrity alike. Menounos didn’t just compete at ‘Mania 28, she also competed in a 10 Diva Tag Match at a WWE Tribute To The Troops event.
#5: Snooki, Trish Stratus & John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler & Laycool (Layla & Michelle McCool)
Despite this match be a fairly short one at best, it may be best remembered for the couple of minutes that Trish Stratus and Michelle McCool mixed it up in the ring. Most people don’t recall that this match was put together after Trish appeared at a WWE Elimination Chamber event and then put over Vickie Guerrero in the middle of the ring on WWE Raw. Snooki didn’t do much in the match other than hit McCool with a springboard elbow strike and a springboard splash to get the win for her team. An interesting side note is that Snooki impressed the WWE so much with her backstage attitude and in ring work that she nearly signed a contract to compete with them on a full time basis.
#4: NFL Players Participate In A Battle Royal (WWE Wrestlemania 2)
Not only is this battle royal number three on our list, but it was also the first battle royal in the history of Wrestlemania. The battle royal would be won by the late Andre The Giant, who would later have a battle royal named in his honor that takes place each year at Wrestlemania. This particular battle royal would pit WWE stars against NFL stars, most notably future WWE Hall Of Fame member William “The Refrigerator” Perry. The Iron Sheik, who would win the legends battle royal fifteen years later, also took part in this match. Also of note was that the outside of the ring officials for the match were former NFL players/coaches Ed “Too Tall” Jones and Mike Ditka.
#3: Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Big Show - No Disqualification Match (WWE Wrestlemania 24)
Floyd Mayweather Jr may be one of the greatest boxers of all time and he also made one of the best celebrity ‘Mania appearances of all time. Mayweather Jr fought Big Show, who appears on this list a lot, in a no disqualification match that was a lot better than it had any right to be. Mayweather Jr debuted in the WWE on the same night the Big Show returned to the company, Mayweather Jr floored the Big Show with a punch that night. Mayweather Jr won the match after nailing the Big Show with a pair of brass knuckles, which were handed to him by a plant in his posse that was put there by the WWE.
#2: Mr. T & Hulk Hogan vs. Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorf (WWE Wrestlemania 1)
Not only was this match the first ever main event for a Wrestlemania, it was also the first match to feature a celebrity wrestling at a ‘Mania. Mr. T was the star of the A-Team, a wildly popular show that Hulk Hogan had guest starred on prior to the event. Mr. T more than held up his end of the bargain in the match, even taking quite the beating from Piper and Orndorf. Hoagn and Mr. T would win the match, Mr. T would appear a year later at ‘Mania 2, but that appearance was an utter disaster.
#1: Lawrence Taylor vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (WWE Wrestlemania 11)
No celebrity may have delivered more in a “Mania match than former NFL player Lawrence Taylor, who is still the only celebrity to headline a ‘Mania card in a singles match. Bam Bam Bigelow was also at the height of his working here since a knee injury he suffered many years earlier, WWE Wrestlemania 4 to be exact. Bigelow was a part of the Million Dollar Corporation at this point and Taylor was still a big name, having retired from the NFL a few years earlier. Taylor would win the match with a top rope tackle, but was so exhausted after the match that he had to be carried backstage by NFL players that were at ringside.