Maybe it’s not the greatest spectacle on earth (as the WWE claims) but Wrestlemania has surely always been entertaining. I think I kind of stopped watching after Wrestlemania X but that doesn’t mean I haven’t followed the results and read the stories all these years. I can only assume that celebrities will be the highlighting the event for years to come but there certainly have been a fair share of great celebrity moments at Wrestlemania. Here are 10 worth a mention.
Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin Sing “America the Beautiful” – Wrestlemania II and III
The legendary Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin’s renditions of America the Beautiful are possibly the two most soulful versions of the song ever heard. While Wrestlemania 2 was weak, Ray Charles presence gave it a true classy quality. Wrestlemania III is probably the biggest Mania ever, and Aretha Franklin only added to it.
Kane Tombstones Pete Rose – Wrestlemania XIV
When baseball legend Pete Rose was announced as the guest ring announcer for the Undertaker/Kane match at Wrestlemania XIV, I really thought it was nothing more than just another celebrity appearance (since Mania is cluttered with them). However, once an angry Kane stepped foot into the ring, it just took one tombstone to throw Pete Rose into Wrestlemania history.
The Mr. T and Roddy Piper Boxing Match – Wrestlemania 2
The main event of the first WrestleMania included both Rowdy Roddy Piper and Mr. T, and they continued their rivalry into WrestleMania 2. This time, they tried to settle their differences in a boxing match. Piper jumped out to the advantage in the first round, but Mr. T came storming back and by the time the fourth round was coming to a close, Piper became frustrated and bodyslammed Mr. T earning himself a disqualification.
Andre Chokes Bob Uecker – Wrestlemania IV
Bob Uecker’s interviewing skills lent itself to one of the funniest moments in WrestleMania history, unless you’re Bob Uecker that is. Uecker was interviewing Andre the Giant backstage, and Andre had his hand on Uecker’s shoulders. Uecker quipped, “Get your foot off my shoulder,” and Andre was none too pleased. He responded by wrapping his massive hands around Uecker’s neck, shaking him to and fro.
Laurence Taylor vs. Bam Bam Bigelow – Wrestlemania XI
There have been countless celebrities come through WWE throughout the years during the first 20 WrestleManias, but perhaps none had a bigger impact than former New York Giants Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor. After being pushed at the Royal Rumble while in his ringside seat by Bam Bam Bigelow, LT signed to face the big man in the center of the ring at WrestleMania XI. Taylor took to the ring like a fish takes to water and finished off Bigelow with a flying shoulder block off the ropes for perhaps the biggest upset in WWE history.
Liberace Dancing with the Rockettes – Wrestlemania I
The first-ever WrestleMania was not only jam packed with the biggest Superstars in WWE, it was also filled with some of the world’s top celebrities. Among the stars on hand for the event were Liberace and the Rockettes. Liberace filled the roll of timekeeper for the nights’ main event match, and in traditional Liberace style, he made a grand entrance. The glitzy piano-playing celebrity danced around the squared circle with the Rockettes in one of the most famous celebrity moments in Wrestlemania history.
Cyndi Lauper helps Wendi Richter win the Women’s Championship at Wrestlemania
Wrestlemania was one of the highlights of the Rock N’ Wrestling era. The recording industry’s Cyndi Lauper, who is most well-known for her timeless song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” was a big fan of Wendi Richter and stood in her corner at WrestleMania. She even got involved in the match, and her interference helped lead Richter to a win over Leilani Kai. Lauper’s involvement made her one of the most influential celebrities in Wrestlemania history.
William Refrigerator Perry pulls Big John Studd over the top rope in the WWE and NFL Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 2
To answer the age old question of Who’s tougher, wrestlers or football players? A Battle Royal was signed for WrestleMania 2 that included Superstars from both WWE and the NFL. Among the NFL players involved was hometown favorite William The Refrigerator Perry, who had his eye on Big John Studd. Studd ended up eliminating Perry, but Perry got the last laugh when he conned Studd into shaking his hand only to pull him out over the top rope leading to his elimination.
Alice Cooper drapes Damian over Jimmy Hart at Wrestlemania III
Alice Cooper was one of the more controversial rock n’ roll acts of his time, and he brought that main stream notoriety with him to WWE at WrestleMania III when he seconded Jake The Snake Roberts in his match against Honky Tonk Man. Although Honky Tonk Man pulled off the upset, Cooper and Roberts got the last laugh as they draped Roberts’ snake Damien all over Honky Tonk Man’s manager, The Mouth of the South Jimmy Hart.
Donald Trump vs. Mr. McMahon – Wrestlemania XXIII
Two of the most famous and cheesy hairdos in popular culture were on the line in this battle of billionaires. Rather than physically fighting each other, Trump and McMahon each selected a WWE star to represent them in a match in which the losing billionaire would have his head shaved. Trump picked Bobby Lashley, and McMahon went with Umaga. The bout itself was nothing special, but the post-match scene was surreal. After Lashley emerged victorious, McMahon was forced into a barber’s chair and shaved bald by Trump, Lashley and special referee Stone Cold Steve Austin.