Posted August 31, 2018 by Emjay Lapus in Entertainment

Star-Studded Slams–Celebrities In Wrestling

Whenever pro wrestling and mainstream media come together, fans somehow get an uneasy feeling. For the most part, a mainstream celebrity with absolutely no knowledge of wrestling who shows up in a wrestling ring is often met with confusion and disdain from the audience (You can check out some of Monday Night Raw’s worst guest hosts as an example).  It’s almost a rare occurrence when a celebrity is warmly welcomed by wrestling fans outside.

So with that in mind, here are a few names outside of wrestling who have proven that they can hang with some of the best to have ever competed in the squared circle. We’re not including professional athletes such as Mike Tyson, Dennis Rodman and Floyd Mayweather on this list as they deserve a list of their own. And while we recognize that A LOT of celebrities have set foot in the squared circle, this list would only include names who we believe have made a significant impact in professional wrestling.

Andy Kaufman

B7lJOwDIYAEzgoHLet’s go back to the very beginning (a.k.a. The 1970s). The famed “song and dance man” earned his stripes in wrestling as a heel, challenging women to random matches to establish his status as the self-proclaimed Intergender Wrestling Champion of the World.  His heelish antics ultimately led to a high-profile feud with none other than Jerry “The King” Lawler. The feud was never short on memorable moments, from the multiple piledrivers that resulted in Kaufman sustaining a lengthy neck injury to an altercation during a live episode of Late Night with David Letterman. One could argue that this feud helped kickstart the shift of pro wrestling into the sports-entertainment era.

If you want an idea on how Kaufman fared in wrestling, look no further than the 1999 biopic Man on the Moon starring Jim Carrey. It may not have an accurate retelling of the Kaufman-Lawler feud (and Kaufman’s life in general), but it comes pretty close.


Mr. T

wrestlemania-1-mr-t-piperThe world-renowned A-Team member and fool-pitier teamed up with Hulk Hogan against Rowdy Roddy Piper and Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff in the very first main event of WrestleMania. To this day, Mr. T’s airplane spin on Piper remains one of the most iconic images from the Showcase of the Immortals. Mr. T may have officially competed in only one wrestling match, but his involvement in the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection (also known as the Golden Era of the WWE) earned him a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame.


David Arquette

David-Arquette-WCWWhile we can all agree WCW’s ultimate downfall was partly because of his championship run, it’s important to point out that Arquette didn’t let the title get to his head in real life. In fact, Arquette had so much respect for the wrestling business that he donated his entire WCW salary to the families of wrestling personalities such as the late Owen Hart and Brian Pillman.

Nearly 18 years after that disastrous moment, Arquette made an in-ring comeback in front of a much more receptive crowd. Despite losing to RJ City in an episode of Championship Wrestling from Hollywood TV, “King” David has certainly shown signs of improvement. Referee and trainer Chris Sharpe even noted that Arquette braved hours of intense training just to make sure he was in ring shape, earning the respect of the entire class.


Ai Shimizu

20160703_Ai_Shimizu_Triangle_Ribbon_Championship_Belt_at_Korakuen_HallHer name might not ring a bell for non-anime fans, but this seiyuu isn’t afraid to throw down in the squared circle. Outside of a music career and doing voice work for titles such as Mahoromatic, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A’s and High School DxD, Shimizu has competed sporadically in the joshi puroresu (Japanese women’s wrestling) scene since 2013. She is also one of the few names on this list to have won a championship, holding Ice Ribbon’s Triangle Ribbon Championship throughout the second half of 2016. And it appears that Shimizu’s ties to the business won’t dissipate anytime soon, as she married DDT-Pro Wrestling ring announcer Mic Inoue in 2016.


Stephen Amell

Stephen-Amell-SummerslamOf course, this list would be incomplete if we didn’t mention the Vigilante himself. Amell’s first foray into wrestling was a tag team match with Neville against Stardust and King Barrett at SummerSlam 2015. While the match could be deemed a throwaway, it showed that the Arrow star can hang with the best of them.

Since then, Amell has trained from time to time and kept in touch with Cody Rhodes, who has since become one of his closest friends in wrestling. Amell’s most recent time in the ring was in 2017 at Ring of Honor’s Survival of the Fittest, when he helped the Bullet Club win a 5-on-4 tag team match against The Addiction (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian), Flip Gordon, and Scorpio Sky. One of the highlights of this match? Daniels and Kazarian putting Amell through a table. So there’s no question why Amell and Daniels would have a score to settle at All In.


And now, a few honorable mentions:

Mickey Rourke

The-WrestlerRourke’s performance as Randy “The Ram” Robinson in The Wrestler was widely praised by audiences and critics. Had his planned WrestleMania match with Chris Jericho come to fruition, he would definitely be a lock in the Top 5.

That aside, his matches in the film against wrestlers Tommy Suede, Necro Butcher, and Ernest “The Cat” Miller (as the Ayatollah) should be enough for Rourke to at least deserve a mention. They showed that his training with Wild Samoan Afa and commitment to the role paid off dividends as Rourke racked up nominations and awards, including a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award for Best Actor.


Freddie Prinze, Jr.

11291486It may come as a surprise to see the former teen heartthrob on this list and with good reason. While he didn’t actually wrestle in matches, Prinze worked for WWE behind the scenes as a writer in 2008 and as a producer and director in 2010. It took a while for his then-colleagues to warm up to him, but his contributions as part of WWE Creative shouldn’t go unnoticed. Fans of Jeff Hardy might even have to thank the actor for pushing the idea to give Brother Nero a WWE Championship run.

Aside from his backstage roles, Prinze has also made occasional appearances on WWE programming, most notably as a guest host during an episode of Monday Night Raw in mid-2009.


Billy Corgan

billy-corgan-tnaBelieve it or not, the Smashing Pumpkins frontman has added wrestling promoter and authority figure to his resume. After running the Chicago-based indie promotion Resistance Pro Wrestling for three years, Corgan joined Impact Wrestling in 2015 as its Senior Producer for Creative and Talent Development.

A little over a year after making a creative impact (pun intended), Corgan took over as the company’s President. While his tenure started out promising, Impact’s financial woes led to his departure about four months into his role.

Currently, Corgan serves as the owner and president of the National Wrestling Alliance, having acquired ownership from his predecessor Bruce Tharpe in 2017. He’s also produced wrestling-related works under his production company Lightning One, Inc.


Jurina Matsui

tumblr_ojoh1z8cY91v71bm3o4_1280It’s rare to see Japanese idols who are really interested in wrestling, let alone an idol as popular as SKE48’s Jurina Matsui. But ever since taking on the role of Hollywood Jurina in the 2017 J-drama Tofu Pro Wrestling, Matsui caught the wrestling bug and never looked back since. She’s serving as an ambassador for New Japan Pro Wrestling and is a favorite amongst its wrestlers, most notably current IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega.

While she has yet to compete against an actual wrestler, she has shown the most promise as an in-ring performer out of all the AKB48 members trained by Milano Collection AT. It almost wouldn’t be a surprise if Jurina would consider even a brief run in a joshi promotion once she graduates from idol work.



Emjay Lapus

Emjay wears multiple hats -- communications specialist, aspiring Power Ranger, wrestling fan, sneakerhead, comic book reader, member of the Grizz Nation, part-time musician/full-time music lover, Grove Street OG, occasional photo/video editor (mostly memes), and protector of Earthrealm.