Tim Taylor’s kids got really weird looking in the later seasons.
Last week we kicked off our totally unnecessary, subjective coverage of WrestleMania XXX with a very scientific ranking of all 29 WrestleMania main events. Some of you agreed that The Miz vs. John Cena was the worst main event and that the WrestleMania 12 iron man match was overrated, and some of you just don’t understand science.
This week we’re taking a look at the 29 worst celebrity guests in WrestleMania history, and our system of ranking is similar. We’re basing position on categories such as “how much did you ruin your WrestleMania,” “what were the lasting effects of your damage,” “how stupid does this make me feel watching it again on the WWE Network” and “how much did I already hate you before you showed up.” Like I said, science.
Survey our findings and report to us in our comments section below. Also, please share this column so that others may add their input.
29. Ozzy Osbourne
The British Bulldogs win the WWF Tag Team Championships from Brutus Beefcake and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine at WrestleMania 2, thanks in part to their crack (literally) entourage of Captain Lou Albano, guest color analyst/That’s Incredible! star Cathy Lee Crosby in a space suit (I guess?) and rock legend Ozzy Osbourne, stuck in that brutal, mid-80s period where he chewed gum, wore a baggy coral suit and looked a lot like Taylor Momsen.
Ozzy’s great, but he’s one of the most pointless WrestleMania celebrities ever. The announcers make a vague attempt to explain that he’s accompanying the Bulldogs because they’re British and he’s British but he clearly has no idea what’s going on, raising his hands and hopping around in a circle whenever somebody says “Ozzy Osbourne.” He also delivers one of the most wonderfully succinct post-match interviews ever: “BRITISH BULLDOGS FREVAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!”
28. Maria Menounos
Role: Celebrity wrestler
WrestleMania is understood to be the biggest event in sports-entertainment, but it’s also the night when WWE reminds everyone on the payroll of its mission statement: “you are not real celebrities.” Sure, they’re called “Superstars,” but the second someone from TV or film or music shows up, a WWE Superstar’s job is to slit open their own stomachs and spill their abdomen in praise of said someone as quickly as possible.
The easiest way to win a match at WrestleMania is “be a celebrity.” Take Extra co-host Maria Menounos for example. She’s a beautiful, likable lady with mild celebrity, so she’s won a tag team match at Mania. She teamed up with Kelly Kelly to get a pinfall on Beth Phoenix. She also thought it was a great idea to wear white pants and do some ass-based offense against ladies covered in fake tanner, so she ended up with a streak of Eve on her rump and looked like she pooped her pants.
Here’s a quick list of wrestlers who’ve never won a match at WrestleMania: Barry Windham, Bob Backlund, Bruno Sammartino, Goldust, Jerry Lawler, Jeff Hardy, Jimmy Snuka, Sid Vicious, Ultimo Dragon, William Regal. The Rock N’ Roll Express. The Dudley Boyz.
Wrestlers who’ve won a match at WrestleMania: Maria Menounos.
27. Ray Combs
Role: Jokester ring announcer
Family Feud host power rankings:
1. Richard Dawson
2. Steve Harvey
3. Richard Karn
4. Ray Combs
5. J. Peterman
6. Louie Anderson
#1 is undisputed, and I put Steve Harvey at #2 because in 2014 the entire point of Family Feud is to softball in questions like NAME SOMETHING A HUSBAND MIGHT HAVE IN HIS PANTS so a guest can say HIS HOO HAH and the host can pretend he’s shocked and upset. VIRAL VIDEO HERE WE COME! Ray Combs is right in the middle because he’s certainly not as cool as Al freaking Borland, but he’s also not as bad as Elaine’s boss or Hoggish Greedly from Captain Planet.
At WrestleMania 8, Ray used his powers as undeveloped, embryonic Jeff Foxworthy to announce the Mountie, the Nasty Boys and the goddamn Rep Man with hacky jokes like “he does the work of three men … Curly, Larry and Moe!” and “Repo Man is ugly and not a man.” He did this in a support of a team featuring Virgil. Ray Combs did not make a lot of great decisions. He put his dogs in the pool house in 1996.
26. Russ Francis
Role: Battle royal ironman
One of the main-events at WrestleMania 2 was a 20-man battle royal about how Andre the Giant was big and great. It featured a bunch of wrestling legends (like Big John Studd, Pedro Morales, Bruno Sammartino) and NFL greats (William Perry, Ernie Holmes, Harvey Martin) but NONE of those men listed lasted as long as Russ Francis. The only people statistically better than Francis in the match were the Hart Foundation and Andre himself.
Francis was the best of both worlds … an NFL player with a wrestling promoter for a father. Because of this he appeared to have NO IDEA that wrestling was a show, and avoided elimination by running away and tucking-and-rolling whenever somebody tried to eliminate him. I don’t know if Russ’s ironman run was a tribute to his dad or whatever, but he wrestled in a wifebeater and that should’ve automatically disqualified him. He looked like Kidman’s dad in there.
Fun fact, Russ eventually became a full-timer in the worst version of the AWA and held the NWA Hawaii Tag Team Championship with his brother. Superstar Billy Graham, Sting, Brian Pillman and Dr. Death Steve Williams have never had WrestleMania matches but Russ Francis almost beat Andre the Giant.
Role: Rapper, hypeman
John Cena was played out to the ring at WrestleMania 28 by MGK, a rapper from Cleveland so popular and famous that Puff Daddy had to come out first and explain who he was. He’s a perfectly cromulent rapper from my favorite crappy town in the world, but he ruined it by declaring that tonight millions of people had tuned in “to see one of the biggest egos get beat by one of the biggest underdogs.” That “big underdog” was John Cena, a guy pretty much defined by the fact that he’s constantly the champion and never loses. A guy going up against an actor coming off a 7-year hiatus. THE BIGGEST UNDERDOG YOU GUYS.
MGK went on to explain that an underdog is defined as, “a person who participates in a fight that is not expected to win,” compares himself to Cena and says they both rise above hate. Leeloo from The Fifth Element continues to sing while he does so, and the entire crowd makes a collective “THIS fucken guy” noise.
Surprisingly, he wasn’t even the worst celebrity guest in this match.
24. Donnie Wahlberg
Role: Ring announcer
And now here’s MGK’s dad, Donnie Wahlberg.
Donnie was the ring announcer for the first (and less important) of two WWF Championship matches at WrestleMania X and was in that weird “please don’t send us into oblivion” transitional period for the New Kids On The Block when they’d stopped being White New Edition and turned into Color Me Badd Also. He straight-up looks like one of the Dick In A Box guys and announces everybody in HIP-HOP BOSTONIAN, so it’s like, “AY GURL HERE YOUR SPUSHUL REFEREE, MISTAAAAAAAHHH PORFECK.”
Poor Don’s so irrelevant at this point that the production team puts his name over Mark the Timekeeper teaching bell procedure to Ronda Shear.
Please don’t go, girl.
23. Gennifer Flowers
HERE’S A CELEBRITY GUEST ONLY 90S KIDS WILL REMEMBER!
Gennifer Flowers was a lady from Oklahoma who may or may not have had a sexual relationship with President Bill Clinton before he became President. Somehow she parlayed this into five movies, half a million dollars in profit selling her story to anyone who’d listen AND a WrestleMania appearance. Because AMERICA. At WrestleMania 14, she interviewed The Rock about what he’d do if he was President of the United States. His answers? SEX, PROBABLY.
The funny thing is that this is the single most pivotal, important interview in The Rock’s career. It truly transformed him from Rocky Maivia to The Rock. He stopped being an also-ran in the Nation of Domination and took off as one of the most successful and (eventually) popular performers in wrestling HISTORY, and it wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t dropped bombs like “lay the smack down” and “if you smell what I’m cookin'” in this Flowers piece. Underrated Rock thing from this interview: he doesn’t hate homeless people, but he wants them to stay away from him.
A celebrity guest only 80s kids will remember?
Oh, hey, did you think “hooking up with a guy who eventually became President” was a shitty excuse for a celebrity? Meet Herb. He has never eaten at Burger King. THAT MADE HIM A CELEBRITY. Kayfabe, of course. He was actually a Burger King spokesperson from a series of “where’s Herb?” commercials like this one:
Imagine if the Popeye’s lady and that “lyarge tyoo topping pizza” guy from the Domino’s ads showed up to keep the time at WrestleMania XXX. Imagine if the gay Twix cops sang ‘America The Beautiful.’ That’s the kind of danger zone we’re approaching Herb.
21. Robin Leach
Looking back, WrestleMania 4 should’ve been the coolest night in wrestling history. It was a single-elimination tournament featuring all of WWF’s top stars, held in one night AT WRESTLEMANIA and it was FOR THE WWF CHAMPIONSHIP. The finals were Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase. Non-tournament matches included a British Bulldogs vs. The Islanders match and a battle royal where the last two dudes were Bad News Brown and Bret Hart. It should’ve been a smart mark’s dream come true.
Instead, it was an interminable 16-match show that dragged on for hours, ended with Hulk Hogan cheating to help Savage win the tournament and featured Robin Leach from Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous reading a cheesy, boring proclamation. He even drops his “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” catchphrase in at the end. The best part: the announcers talking over Howard Finkel actually explaining the rules of the tournament.
Okay, the actual best part is Jesse Ventura saying, “this guy’s been trying to get in my house for YEARS.”
20. O.J. Simpson
Role: 2-year old joke
In a storyline that actually happened, Goldust gets “turned on” by the power of new authority figure Rowdy Roddy Piper and they end up in something called a “Hollywood Backlot Brawl.” It’s a fight in a parking lot, basically, fully of increasingly uncomfortable stuff like Piper spraying Goldust with a fire hose for being gay and trying to literally gay bash him with a baseball bat. Goldust arrives to the fight in a gold Cadillac (naturally), so when he realizes he’s bloodied and outmatched, he jumps back in, hits Piper with the car and flees the scene. Piper gives chase in his own car, which happens to be a white Ford Bronco.
If you’re just joining us from the early 90s, football legend OJ Simpson murdered his ex-wife and a waiter. Instead of turning himself in, a reportedly innocent (cough) Simpson fled alongside his friend Al Cowlings and ended up leading the LAPD on an hourlong car chase in that very same white Ford Bronco. So yeah, long story short, a guy murdered people and two years later WWE was using the footage of him trying to get away with it as a joke in their “guy beats the shit out of his weird gay admirer” match.
The match ended with Goldust being stripped to ladies underwear. I have no idea whether or not they belonged to Nicole Brown.
Role: Musical guest
Around the turn of the century WWF was busy recording albums like WWF Forceable Entry (and its less successful follow-up, WWF She’s Lying I Swear) full of NU METAL and RAPCORE bands like Disturbed, Monster Magnet and Drowning Pool. The greatest of these bands was SALIVA, a band that pretty much existed to record bad, early-2000s wrestling entrance themes. You may know them from such hits as ‘Click Click Boom,’ ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ and ‘Don’t Question My Heart,’ aka the WWECW theme. Getting them to perform at your WrestleMania is slightly less prestigious than getting The DX Band. At least they were mislabeled as “Rage Against The Machine” on Napster for years.
Saliva opened WrestleMania 18 with a performance of ‘Superstar’ and later played the Dudley Boys out to the ring. The WWF watched the performance and loved it so much thought, “hey, next year let’s get a REAL shitty band.”
18. Sy Sperling
Role: Hair creator
For as long as we’ve known him, legendary WWF ring announcer Howard Finkel has been bald. Nobody cares. Literally nobody in the entire world.
WrestleMania X was the first post-Hogan Era WrestleMania, so two things happened: the wrestling got a hell of a lot better, and the celebrity involvement got a hell of a lot worse. Ten’s celebrity pull included Jennie Garth (aka the 7th most important character on Beverly Hills 90210), Burt Reynolds (post-Cannonball Run II and pre-Boogie Nights, right in that Cop and a Half sweet spot to ensure maximum awfulness), Ronda Shear (yes, the lady from USA Up All Night) and Little Richard. In 1994. WrestleMania had started pulling Pee-Wee’s Playhouse-caliber celebs. They were one bad show away from hosting the The Del Rubio Triplets.
Anyway, the best (read: worst) of these was Sy Sperling. He wasn’t only the President of the Hair Club For Men, he was also a client! He gave Howard Finkel a toupee and stood with his back to the hard camera for 100% of his appearance.
17. Mickey Rourke
Role: WWE Legend
In 2008, actor Mickey Rourke won a Golden Globe (and should have won an Oscar) for his role in The Wrestler. Former boxer Rourke actually trained to be a pro wrestler, which came in handy in the film when he was beating Necro Butcher, Ram-Jamming Ernest ‘The Cat’ Miller and taking off his pants near Antonio Cesaro. Chris Jericho started shit-talking Rourke, and my brain didn’t think “this will lead to a lame, unsatisfying celebrity encounter,” it went OH MY GOD MICKEY ROURKE’S GONNA SHOW UP AT WRESTLEMANIA AND THEY’RE GONNA DO CHRIS JERICHO VERSUS RANDY THE RAM. THIS IS GOING TO BE THE GREATEST THING EVER.
Instead, we get Jericho beating up four old men (Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair) when it should’ve been one (Steamboat) and Rourke taking 20 minutes to get into the ring to emasculate Jericho and knock him out. While wearing a leather vest. And a leather cowboy hat. You’ve got to wonder why WWE keeps doing stuff like this … do you ever hear mainstream networks speaking in hushed tones about how Mickey Rourke dared to knock out a wrestler? It’s not like that 8 seconds on Extra is gonna make or break your business, but one of your biggest stars looking like a wuss at the hands of drug-addled 60-year old actor might.
Besides, Maria Menounos would give you that eight seconds anyway. Just ask around at sports shows and find out who likes wrestling, WWE, Jesus, it ain’t hard. You don’t have to let Keith Olbermann plow through the Shield to get a segment.
16. Captain Keith Colburn
Role: a commercial masquerading as comedy
WrestleMania 28 opens with a World Heavyweight Championship match between champion Daniel Bryan and challenger Sheamus. It lasted 18 seconds.
A little later in the show, Captain Keith from The Deadliest Catch shows up in a backstage segment where Santino Marella states facts about the upcoming season premiere of The Deadliest Catch, Mick Foley talks like a pirate for some reason and everybody eats crab legs by smashing their hands into them like a baby. Ron Simmons shows up and says “damn.” This lasts for 108 seconds.
Captain Keith’s TV commercial where wrestlers waste food was six times longer than Daniel Bryan’s WrestleMania championship match.
15. Regis Philbin
Role: Prejudiced-ass interviewer
Regis Philbin and Alex Trebek are television legends, but occasionally they find themselves backstage at an early-90s WWF comedy segment about how they WANT to interview these guys but CAN’T, because they’re CRAZY. Regis tries to talk to the Undertaker and Paul Bearer, but they won’t talk back. Trebek gets scared by Jake the Snake’s snake and tries to interview Demolition, which … uh, ends with Master Fuji saying their “Jap opponent” will soon know about pain.
SPEAKING OF JAP OPPONENTS, Regis tries to interview Kōji Kitao and Genichiro Tenryu but can’t because they’re not from here! Regis has apparently never heard someone speak in a foreign language before and doesn’t, you know, try to find a translator … he just yells car manufacturers in their faces and speaks like Tarzan so they’ll understand. Here are actual quotes from his interview:
“Joining us straight from Japan, Connie Chung eat your heart out”
“YOU SPEAK ANY ENGLISO?”
“TOYOTA! Wait till you hear this, I’m on a roll now! ISUZU!”
“Big conference going on! WHAT’RE THEY SAYING?”
“Kathie Lee, at home! Regis here, WrestleMania. You Tenryu! You Kitao! Me Regis!”
Me not watching this anymore.
Worst WrestleMania celebrities 15a and 15b are George Steinbrenner and Paul Maguire for doing a 10-minute long skit about instant replay so bad even the network didn’t want to include it, but yeah right like I’m gonna sit through that again.
14. Clara Peller
Role: Not Herb
For those of you who are not 200 years old, Clara Peller got famous in the mid-80s for being an old lady on a Wendy’s commercial. She’d look at burgers from competing fast food places and yell WHERE’S THE BEEF, because she could not find those burgers’ respective beefs. Beeves?
Here, she’s the guest timekeeper, and her only job is to yell WHERE’S THE BEEF or WHERE IS THE BEEF or probably just BEEF when they point at her. They softball it right in, too, all “Clara, you look like you have something to say. DO YOU?” All she has to do is put “where’s” and “the” and “beef” into a sentence.
Instead, she yells “NOW?” at somebody off-screen. We can’t hear her, because her microphone is either off or too far from her mouth. Again, “NOW?” When three times of a guy offscreen going YES JESUS CHRIST LADY NOW proves to be enough, she throws her arms around (moving the microphone even FARTHER from her mouth) and KINDA mouths WHERE’S THE BEEF to f**king NO APPLAUSE. It’s the WORST. You had ONE JOB, Where’s The Beef Lady. ONE JOB.
We’re like 1/3 of the way through the WrestleMania 2 celebrities, guys.
13. Flo Rida
Role: musical guest who can beat up wrestlers without a problem
Flo Rida’s actual musical performance to intro The Rock in the WrestleMania 28 main event was fine (although it still kinda looks like The Rock’s being played out by Linda and Abobo from Double Dragon). His backstage interaction with Heath Slater earlier in the night, though, has become my go-to example of awful WrestleMania celebrities and their horrible mistreatment of performers who have to BE here next week.
Heath Slater is a musical goober. That’s his whole thing. He thinks he’s a rock star. Josh Mathews wants to interview THE ROCK’S GREAT FRIEND FLO RIDA and of course Slater saunters up, calls him “Florida” and says he wants to duet him at “Rassle-mania.” The least threatening dude in history, right? Flo Rida wanders out of his dressing room, turns down Slater’s bad ideas and tells him the one job he’ll let him have is “holding his mic.” Slater kinda laughs to himself, raises his sunglasses and starts in with a totally reasonable “you’re being a dick” platform when Flo Rida IMMEDIATELY interrupts by shoving him against the wall as hard as humanly possible. Like, crazy hard. Like he was Zod trying to throw Superman through a bunch of buildings.
The worst part is that Flo Rida is the “hero” here. A guy who acts like a total asshole and gets violent without any real provocation is the cool celebrity guest who gets to hang out in the main event, and Heath Slater just kinda has to sit on his ass with two broken shoulders and hope creative thought he looked like enough of a worthless piece of shit to get shoved by whoever guest hosts on Monday. Putrid.
12. Steve Mongo McMichael
Role: Idiot friend
NFL great Lawrence Taylor found himself facing off against Bam Bam Bigelow in the main event of WrestleMania 12. Bam Bam had a bunch of wrestler friends, so LT brought in some football guys and they sorta paired off one-by-one to create a series of mini-beefs which … I don’t know, I don’t know what the point of any of it was but what you need to know is that LT’s primary football guy was STEVE MONGO MCMICHAEL, aka “the guy who held a dog when he did color commentary on WCW Nitro,” aka “one of the Four Horsemen, somehow,” aka one of the worst wrestlers ever.
Mongo’s contribution to Mania 12 is a backstage interview where he says WHERE’S THIS KAMA FELLA, seemingly trying to get into a horrible, horrible worked fight with a wrestler stuck in stasis between “voodoo witch doctor” and “well-intentioned pimp.” If we’d organized this list based on which celebrities instantly make me feel like garbage when they appear, Mongo would be number one.
11. Kim Kardashian
For want of a nail Kim Kardashian would’ve been a pretty Armenian girl who used her social connections and well-timed sex tape release to get a WWE job. She’d stand backstage and blink her eyes and have no idea what a “wrestling” is, but guys like Mr. Kennedy would show up and go MISTARRRRR KENNEDAYYYYYY in her face and she’d react. Kinda. She’d sorta lower her head and smile, stepping to the side. Maybe put her hand up. She’d send it back to ringside, wipe the spittle off her face and load up to move on to the next town.
That didn’t happen. A reality show propelled her from Paris Hilton’s hot friend who uses two hands to an alien-faced trophy, an always-on-the-verge-of-fake-tears Clayface awarded to the highest social bidder, assuming they’ve come to bid with 40 cameras. All Kim does at WrestleMania 24 is interview a pre-hobo Mr. Anderson and announce the attendance, but she ranks high on the list by being the ancestor of 2014 Kim Kardashian and making most people who think about her hiss and escape into shadow.
If Mr. Kennedy counts as a celebrity, he is #1 on this list. (Spoiler alert: not a celebrity.)
10. Nic Turturro
Role: Not John Tuturro
HEY VINCE! I’M BACKSTAGE LOOKIN’ FOR PAMELARANDERSON VINCE, BUT I CAN’T FIND HER, VINCE. WHILE WE’RE LOOKIN’ I GUESS I’LL REMIND EVERYBODY THAT I’M THE GUY FROM NYPD BLUE WHO DIDN’T GET FAMOUS. I’VE BEEN WORKING FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS AND THE “CAREER” SECTION OF MY WIKIPEDIA IS ONE PARAGRAPH LONG, VINCE. I’M REAL EXCITED AND NOBODY GIVES A SHIT WHO I AM, VINCE. WAIT, YOU’RE SAYIN’ THE AUDIO’S NOT WORKIN’? I’M STANDIN’ BACK HERE FOR NOTHIN’? CAN I GET A BITE A THAT SANDWICH
OKAY, WE’RE BACK VINCE, I’M BACKSTAGE LOOKIN’ FOR PAMELARANDERSON VINCE BUT SHE’S NOT HERE, I DON’T KNOW IF SHE GOT PISSED AND LEFT OR HAD TO GO TO THE DOCTOR OR WHAT. I’LL KEEP YOU UPDATED, VINCE. MEANWHILE LEMME STAND BACK HERE WITH MTV’S JENNIFER MCCARTHY AT PRIME RIPENESS WHEN EVERYBODY LOVED HER AND PRETEND LIKE SHE’S SOME KIND OF SECOND-RATE CONSOLATION PRIZE TO PAMELARANDERSON. BACK TO YOU, VINCE.
THEY’RE NOT TAKIN’ ME SERIOUSLY VINCE, SEND HELP
9. Limp Bizkit
If I could name one song lyric that encapsulates what the Undertaker is about, it’d be, “Hot mamas, pimp daddies, and people rollin’ up in Caddies,” possibly with the follow-up “hey rockers, hip-hoppers” attached.
Anyway, at WrestleMania 19 the Undertaker was still a biker and a good guy so he LOVED AMERICA and had Limp Bizkit’s ‘Rollin’ as his entrance theme. Limp Bizkit stood on stage playing the song while Fred Durst walked down to the ring John Cena style, accompanied by a bunch of girls dressed like him, for some in-ring hip-hoppery. I don’t know what you’d call it. It’s girls in backwards hats doing Three Count dances while Durst pretends to be a bad ass. Then, in one of the saddest, forgotten moments of The Streak, the legendary Undertaker bro-shakes and EMBRACES FRED DURST IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RING.
Limp Bizkit returned later in the show to perform the show’s theme, ‘Crack Addict,’ which probably shouldn’t be the theme of a show featuring a bunch of guys who eventually died from using drugs.
Role: Celebrity wrestler
The worst part about celebrities beating up wrestlers at WrestleMania is how so few of them are actual, big-name celebrities. When Hugh Jackman punched out Dolph Ziggler on Raw you could say, “okay, that’s Wolverine. That’s Jean Valjean. It’s okay if The Fountain punches out Dolph Ziggler, he’s going to still be famous in five years.”
Not the case with Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi. She was famous and relevant enough at WrestleMania 27 to win a six-man tag and cleanly pin a 4-time Women’s/Divas Champion and eventually cost multiple wrestlers their jobs because of all the drama it involved. She gets booed by the crowd and then wows them with a handspring back elbow that LOOKS great, but also requires Michelle McCool to jump forward so it’ll make contact. She finishes McCool off with a cartwheel splash, which is more of a cartwheel, then a pause, THEN a splash, executed by a 4-foot-negative-6 woman who logistically can’t weigh more than 100 pounds.
By the way, the dark match for WrestleMania 27 was a Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus United States Championship match that they didn’t have time to put on the show where Snooki pinned a lady. Spoiler alert: that US Title match turned into a battle royal won by the Great Khali. Because priorities.
7. Lawrence Taylor
Role: Celebrity wrestler
As a kid I always liked this match for its weird spectacle, but time and a functioning adult brain have not been kind. Future NFL Hall of Famer and former cocaine monster Lawrence Taylor main-evented against — and defeated — talented wrestling journeyman Bam Bam Bigelow through some magical combination of lying around gasping for air and brutal, shoot forearms to the face. Let put it this way to give you some historical perspective … imagine of Ray Lewis showed up as a celebrity guest at WrestleMania XXX, they gave him a WWE-themed football jersey and let him destroy Antonio Cesaro in the main event. You’d lose your goddamn mind, right?
Bam Bam vs. LT is basically the exact opposite of Big Show vs. Floyd Mayweather from WrestleMania 24, and we can hope to God WWE learned their lesson about wrestling celebrities enough to keep the ones who can’t put on shockingly wonderful matches into kitschy Raw segments and trios with John Morrison.
Hey, that sounds familiar.
6. Snoop Dogg
WrestleManias: 24, 27
Roles: Bunnymania Master Of Ceremonies, Karaoke Judge
Santino Marella was jealous that his girlfriend Maria was going to be in Playboy, so they broke up. Long story short, Santino “managed” the team of Beth Phoenix and Melina (two women who were jealous of Maria being in Playboy for a completely different reason) against his ex and Ashley, a former Playboy covergirl who was pro wrestling’s Avril Lavigne and had the wrestling ability of a table leg. Seriously, compared to Ashley, Maria was Jumbo Tsuruta in the ring.
The event was christened “Bunnymania,” and rapper Snoop Dogg was brought in via Mercedes-Benz Power Wheels and conga line of dancing Divas to be its “master of ceremonies.” Maria lost the match to a Beth Phoenix fisherman suplex and Snoop didn’t like how Santino was sticking around to gloat about it, so he got into the ring, clotheslined Santino without provocation and stuck his tongue down Maria’s throat. He was THE HERO. You know, after he sat in a ringside throne for like eight minutes trying not to fall asleep.
To his credit, his WrestleMania 27 appearance was a little more constructive.
Wait, no, that ended in Hornswoggle.
5. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
WrestleManias: 27, 28, 29
Role: Unstoppable celebrity wrestler
Seven years after “wrestling” stopped being a thing he did, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson returned to WWE as the host of WrestleMania 27. The main event was supposed to be John Cena vs. The Miz, but The Rock’s appearance (and refusal to acknowledge The Miz’s existence) put the focus squarely on Rock/Cena. That culminated in the worst WrestleMania main event of all time.
Forget that the Rock used to be a popular wrestler for a second and let me put it to you in objective terms: the main event of WrestleMania featured THE MIZ and ended in a double count-out. The celebrity guest host then appeared, restarted the match so the fans could get a real finish, then BEAT UP ONE OF THE COMPETITORS AND CAUSED HIM TO LOSE. Then, when the match was over, he returned to the ring to BEAT UP THE OTHER GUY. The response to this was putting the celebrity guest host in two consecutive WrestleMania main events, having him unseat the currently popular guy who’d been champion for over 400 days and letting him throw the pre-existing belt in the garbage.
WrestleManias 27-29 is the worst stretch of 3 consecutive WrestleManias since its creation, and this guy’s at the top of all three. Like him or not, good lord.
4. Donald Trump
WrestleManias: 4, 5, 7, 20, 23
Role: Ersatz Vince McMahon
Jim Ross yelling THE DONALD aside, Donald Trump as the Other Vince McMahon is one of the weirdest running gags in the history of WrestleMania.
Originally, Trump was just a rich guy who owned the building WrestleMania ran in. He returned to shows to politely clap and put himself over, but then The Apprentice got big, his pop culture relevancy once again soared and GUESS WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? He was inserted into a WrestleMania main event, managing a wrestler whose name he could not remember (Bobby “Lindsay”) against Vince McMahon and his still-somehow-existing-in-the-2000s Samoan savage Umaga in a hair vs. hair billionaires something something blah blah you’re fired.
Trump is the king of “scummiest person imaginable doing passable wrestling things,” so that explains his high ranking more than anything he actually did. If we took the “impostor Donald Trump vs. impostor Rosie O’Donnell” match from Raw into consideration he’d be number one in a heartbeat, but yeah, this is mostly based on him being awful and lording over an already pretty awful business. Watch him during the Battle of the Billionaires. He just wanders around behind people giving thumbs up everywhere. YOU’RE HELPING, THE DONALD, THIS IS GREAT.
3. Kid Rock
Role: Musical guest
And now, the worst musical guest in WrestleMania history.
I mean, Kid Rock is probably better than Limp Bizkit and Saliva combined, but that’s hardly a compliment. It’s also not a compliment you’d give him after watching him waste ELEVEN MINUTES of WrestleMania TV time with an ULTRAMEDLEY of Kid Rock hits like ‘Bawitdaba’ and ‘Cowboy.’ The very best part is how tired of him the crowd gets, and how little they want to participate … one of my legit favorite WrestleMania moments ever comes at the 1:50 mark of the video when he goes “it’s all good, and it’s all in fun” and holds up the microphone. DEAD SILENCE. Then chyeahhhh! like he accomplished something.
My second favorite part is at the 9:00 mark (because this video is ELVEN GODDAMN MINUTES LONG) where he gets a chance to kiss Maryse on the mouth and totally botches it. Way to go, Kid Rock. In a related note, the unified tag team championships were defended in a pre-show match because Kid Rock needed eleven minutes.
2. Miller Light Cat Fight Girls
Role: Celebrity wrestlers
1. time wasters
2. people who aren’t famous
3. non-wrestling celebrities getting priority over wrestlers
4. tag titles being defended in a dark match because of celebrities
Here’s the MILLER LIGHT CATFIGHT GIRLS. Remember them? No? I bet you do if you’re the type of guy who masturbates to Go Daddy commercials!
While Lance Storm and Chief Morley defended the tag titles against Rob Van Dam and Kane in a dark match, commercial slash softcore actresses Tanya Ballinger and Kitana Baker got a spotlight match in the middle of WrestleMania 19. It was a “WrestleMania catfight,” Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler got involved, tops were ripped off to show BRAS to men who I guess don’t have the Internet and still yank it to the Sears catalog, and the entire awful affair ended with Jonathan Coachman being stripped to his underwear (?) and pinned (??).
Everyone had a blast, and I’m gonna assume the Miller Light Catfight girls were sent to a Miller Light farm to live with a nice Miller Light farmer when they turned 25, and that’s why we haven’t seen them in a decade.
1. Susan Saint James
Role: New York color commentary
It’s not like actress Susan Saint James, most famous for her roles as “Kate” on Kate & Allie and “Wife” on McMillan & Wife, did anything THAT bad. She didn’t beat up wrestlers because she was a “better” celebrity, she didn’t go over anybody in the main-event with a flying forearm and she never Miller Cat Fought anyone, but her color commentary during the first third of WrestleMania 2 is so legendarily bad that she became the go-to gold standard for bad WrestleMania celebrities. On Saturday I asked for recommendations for readers’ least favorite Mania celebs and “Susan Saint James” was seven of the first ten.
Here is a transcript of what she said at WrestleMania 2: “uh oh.”
That’s it. She had no idea what was going on, had no idea how to express what she was feeling beyond “uh oh” and made the biggest event in sports-entertainment kinda feel like trying to watch a football game with your aunt. If Art Donovan hadn’t asked how much guys weighed at King of the Ring 1994 she’d be the worst color analyst of all time. At the very least, it makes her Mania’s worst. Uh oh.