The Worst Celebrity Appearances in Wrestling

Celebrities in wrestling… wrestling promoters love it. It gets them some mainstream attention, which they desperately crave. Wrestling fans, on the other hand, hate it. They’re here to see their favorite wrestlers clash, not see some celebrity that probably doesn’t want to be their mug for the camera. Or worse, actually try to wrestle.

I’ve been getting into wrestling lately and decided to make a list of the absolute worst moments of celebrities getting involved with wrestling. A few ground rules:

-The celebrity appearance must be actively bad. A lot of worst celebrity wrestling moments lists feature a bunch of moments that are, at worst, harmless. Maria Menounos gets a lot of flack just for wearing white pants while facing a wrestler with spray tan.

That’s just low-hanging fruit and even I’m above that.

-No going after celebrities just because I hate them. A lot of these lists feature Snooki’s match at Wrestlemania XXVII. I can only assume that they didn’t actually watch it since she was actually decent. Not great but she held her own well. And Logan Paul… he’s a detestable little shitstain but he’s not half-bad in the ring and is an amazing heel. I’d legit pay money to see him get his ass kicked. If I based this just on my hatred of the celebrities, the tenth place celebrity would be number one.

25. KISS

As WCW was circling the drain, Eric Bischoff threw basically everything they could to get ratings back up. One of their more bizarre choices was to feature several concerts during shows… without telling anyone ahead of time. Megadeth fans might have tuned into Nitro if they knew ahead of time. KISS gets a spot on the list not only for their concert but because WCW debuted a KISS-themed wrestler with it, known as The KISS Demon. The KISS Demon was supposed to be the first in a series of KISS-themed wrestlers, for each of the members. The KISS Demon was a dud with the fans and was repackaged as just The Demon but that did nothing to help.

24. Steve McMichael

Steve McMichael is a special case because he was unwanted by fans in three different promotions. In the lead-up to Wrestlemania XI, where fellow football player Lawrence Taylor had a match, he showed up on an episode of Raw as a commentator alongside Vince himself and brawled with Kama. It was so bad, Vince didn’t bring him back. This didn’t deter Eric Bischoff from hiring him as a commentator on Nitro. Much like his time in WWF, he was also a dud. Unlike his time in WWF, he stuck around. WCW even had him join the legendary Four Horsemen stable.

Mysteriously, McMichael wasn’t included when the Horsemen were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Against all odds, McMichael popped up again in TNA (now Impact Wrestling) a decade later, this time as a referee. It seems TNA has to include every WCW disaster, a tradition they continue to this very day.

This was from last month.

Amazingly, he might have been a worse referee than he was a commentator or wrestler. He counted pinfalls real slowly. So slow that it killed the pace of the match and legit annoyed the wrestlers involved. Worst of all, the match was actually decent aside from his refereeing and probably would have been a great match without him. This was McMichael’s last brush with wrestling. Tragically, he was diagnosed with ALS a few years ago. Move fast Tony Khan, you don’t have a lot of time to include him in AEW!

23. Danny Bonaduce

Matches between wrestlers and celebrities are always random but Danny Bonaduce’s match against Eric Young in TNA might just be the most random. There was literally no buildup to the announcement of their match, it was just announced one day. The match itself was a disaster but what truly made it embarrassing was the interview Bonaduce and Young did to promote the match. It quickly became apparent that Bonaduce had never watched TNA, having no idea who his opponent was and being confused about why there were six sides to their ring (stopped clock right there). He also revealed that he was mainly participating in the match to prove that he actually lived in Philadelphia (the match was held there). But it was worth it to see his city support him:

Fun fact: in 1994, Bonaduce wrestled a dark match (not televised) with Christopher Knight at a WCW show. Yes, this is the third entry in a row where TNA re-used a bad WCW wrestler.

22. Rob Gronkowski

WWE has the majority of the moments on this list but I’ll give them this: at least they usually only have celebrities in the ring if they can actually wrestle. One of the rare counter examples is Rob Gronkowski, who stunk up Wrestlemania 33 by wrestling Jinder Mahal. Mahal’s championship run later in the year was terrible enough but the memory of him getting embarrassed by Gronkowski made it even harder to take seriously. And then three years later, they had Gronkowski actually win a title! Sure, it was the 24/7 Title (the Stephen Baldwin of WWE titles) but it still devalued an already thoroughly devalued title.

21. J-Woww

J-Woww from Jersey Shore once showed up on an episode TNA so they could introduce a pair of Jersey Shore-inspired wrestlers, Cookie and Robbie E. She also did a shitty match against Cookie. Honestly, in a vacuum, it’s not worth mentioning except for two important things:

1. J-Woww was paid an exorbitant amount of money for this appearance, much more than the actual wrestlers. This was around the time it came out that Taylor Wilde, the then-TNA Knockouts Champion, was working a second job at Sunglass Hut just to pay the bills.

2. J-Woww’s appearance coincided with a new episode of Jersey Shore, so the people that they were trying to appeal to almost certainly weren’t watching.

20. The Misfits

WCW wrestler Vampiro has a “not as bad as it could have been” alliance with Insane Clown Posse but they eventually had to leave for their actual jobs. Vampiro decided to drop his ICP theme music for The Misfits and this eventually led to The Misfits actually wrestling alongside Vampiro… kind of. Jerry Only was the only one that actually wrestled but the other members of the band played interference in their matches. It was pretty bad. Their partnership with Vampiro ended after the band became afraid that WCW was trying to “steal” their branding. The best that could be said of Only’s time wrestling is that it’s not the worst showing a member of The Misfits has shown in a fight.

19. Johnny Damon

Not gonna lie, I feel a little bad over this one since it’s mostly WWE’s fault that this one was such a disaster. Johnny Damon’s Raw appearance was shot in Tampa, home of the Yankees’ ALE rivals the Rays. The crowd hates Damon so much, they boo him for wishing them a merry Christmas. Poor Johnny was like a deer in the headlights. It’s very uncomfortable.

18. Susan St. James

Uh oh!

17. Buzz Aldrin

Much like Damon’s appearance, Buzz Aldrin’s guest hosting Raw was also very uncomfortable but for different reasons. Aldrin looked like he wasn’t really comprehending what he was seeing and it was very painful to see a historical icon in such a confused state.

16. Mancow

It’s always annoying when wrestling shows shove in a celebrity to try and appeal to the mainstream but it’s especially annoying when said celebrity barely counts as a celebrity. Unless you live in Chicago (alright, that’s a lot of the people here) or are familiar with embarrassing radio host feuds, you probably have no idea who this guy is. Anyways, Jimmy Hart showed up on Mancow’s radio show, they got into a tussle, and Mancow challenged him to a wrestling match. The match was just abysmal, there was one whole wrestling move in the whole match (from Hart), most of it was just them flopping around on the mat. Also, this was on a PPV! You had to pay for this shit.

15. Robert Wuhl (as Arliss)

WCW was so horny for celebrity appearances that they had fictional characters show up. There’s RoboCop helping Sting out:

Chucky trash talking Rick Steiner:

And even the villain from Quest for Camelot:

But by far the worst was Arliss’ appearance. Arliss spent most of his appearance dismissing the wrestlers and talking about how great Dennis Rodman was (we’ll get to him shortly). It’s so bizarre and awful. In a bit of irony, despite dismissing wrestling Arliss is mostly remembered today by wrestling fans for his shit appearance.

14. Jeremy Piven & Ken Jeong

The entire Guest Host era of Raw is reviled but no appearance inspired as much bile as Jeremy Piven & Ken Jeong’s. There to promote their flop movie The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard, Piven and especially Jeong are utterly grating. It’s clear that neither one cares about wrestling and are just there because their managers’ told them to, a fact made clear when Piven calls “SummerSlam” “SummerFest.” Still, I’ll cut Piven some slack because of this sick jump:

But Jeong is so awful that it drags the whole appearance down.

13. Morton Downey Jr.

Rowdy Roddy Piper had a famous recurring segment called Piper’s Pit where he’d interview and hassle people. It was great and one of the reasons why Piper was so beloved. One Piper’s Pit segment that everyone wishes never happened (yes, even more than the one where Piper calls Jimmy Snuka racial slurs) however was his interview with Morton Downey Jr. Downey was his usual asshole self, grating on Piper and Brother Love. The only high point was the end, where Piper blows a fire extinguisher in Downey’s face. Everyone hated it, especially Piper who greatly disliked having to interact with Downey.

12. Tito Ortiz

Getting actual athletes to wrestle seems like a no-brainer idea but it almost always fails for one simple reason: the athletes have to be in good condition for their real jobs and can’t take any real bumps in matches. And even then, accidents can still happen, as this entry shows.

In July 2013, TNA got several bizarre videos from someone who claimed to be a superstar who would come to shake up TNA on August 1st. It was clear to most people that it would be Tito Ortiz and lo and behold it was. This was shortly before Ortiz was to have a fight with Rampage Jackson, who by sheer coincidence was also appearing on TNA. Also by sheer coincidence, TNA at the time aired on the same station as Bellator MMA. Anyways, Ortiz spent most of his time in TNA farting around with Aces & Eights (TNA’s answer to the New World Order, except they skipped the good parts) before getting injured and ruining Bellator’s plans.

11. Kid Rock

At Wrestlemania 25, WWE held a Diva Battle Royale featuring several iconic female wrestlers from the ’90s clashing with contemporary female wrestlers. If this sounds like a fun match, perish the thought as it was an absolute embarrassment. There wasn’t a proper introduction so no one had any idea who was even wrestling until they were eventually eliminated. Not even the announcers had a clue. Even famous pervert Jerry Lawler had trouble picking out Sunny! It ended with the winner being “Santina Marella,” a male wrestler in drag. If you’re wondering why I’m talking about this match, it followed a ten minute long Kid Rock performance (side note: the tag team title match was pushed to the pre-show to make room for this) and the female wrestlers lacked a proper introduction so they could be introduced all at once to fawn over Kid Rock.

10. Donald Trump

Even ignoring that he’s the worst person to ever step into a wrestling ring (despite stiff competition from Grizzly Smith and Jimmy Snuka), Trump’s WWE appearances were atrocious. His most infamous appearance was the storyline where he bought Raw. It caused the actual WWE’s stock to drop and led to the Guest Host era that everyone hated.

9. LaVar Ball

In 2017, LaVar Ball and two of his children appeared on MizTV, The Miz’s shit Piper’s Pit knock-off. He was there to promote his line of shoes and it quickly went sideways. The Balls didn’t seem to realize how kayfabe worked and LaVar started shouting over The Miz before threatening to fight him (and LaMelo Ball called Miz the n-word). The Ball family disappeared from the program during a commercial break and announcers Corey Graves and Booker T later called the shoes ugly. An unpleasant, uncomfortable situation that, worst of all, made me feel sad for The Miz.

8. Butterbean

This one requires some explanation but it’s one of the more shameful examples on this list. In 1998, the WWF ran a boxing tournament called the Brawl for All. The whole point was for Dr. Death Steve Williams to win and eventually feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin. Allegedly, WWF gave Williams the winnings ahead of time. However, things went sideways when Bart Gunn knocked out Williams and wound up winning the whole thing. You’d think that the WWF would instead have Gunn feud with Austin since he won. Instead, they had Gunn face Butterbean at Wrestlemania XV where he got demolished. Gunn was fired as soon as he got back to the locker room. Vince McMahon, petty motherfucker.

7. Jay Leno

The Miz isn’t the only one with a shitty Piper’s Pit knock-off. Eric Bischoff had one too. Called nWo Nightcap, it lasted for 20 minutes and was pure agony. He would regularly slag off Jay Leno and Diamond Dallas Page. This led to a feud between them where Bischoff roped in Hogan to fight Page and Leno alongside him. You’d think that Page and Hogan would do all the actual wrestling while Leno and Bischoff just did comedy spots but no. Leno did most of the moves. Hogan sold for Leno better than any actual wrestler he faced. BTW, this was at a PPV because of course it was.

6. K-Fed

One of the hilarious ironies of wrestling’s attempts to get mainstream attention via celebrity appearances is that most of the attention they get is from news sources saying “Why is [insert c-lister here] stooping to showing up on WWE?” With K-Fed’s appearances, the reaction was reversed: “Why is the WWE letting this dirtbag on their show?” K-Fed’s appearances were unintentionally fascinating as he gradually lost all relevancy as his time there dragged on. His album bombed horribly (John Cena’s hip hop album actually sold better), Britney Spears dropped his ass, and all mainstream fascination with him dried up. One of the hilarious moments from his time there was saying that all people that respected him had to call him “Kevin Federline” instead of “K-Fed.” And that’s why I’ve been calling him K-Fed for this whole entry. At least K-Fed can take solace in the fact that he’s not the worst rapper appearance in wrestling history.

5. Master P

WCW’s attempts to get music fans to watch Nitro reached a nadir with this one. Master P showed up to Nitro to do mediocre rapping and set up a stable called the No Limit Soldiers. The No Limit Soldiers quickly got into a feud with the West Texas Rednecks. Despite being the heels of the feud, audiences much preferred the Rednecks and cheered for them. Master P chalked it up to racism (probably a large element, sadly) but it goes deeper than that. The Soldiers outnumbered the Rednecks and the Rednecks were actual wrestlers. All the Soldiers had on that front were Konnan and a maskless Rey Mysterio. The angle quickly died, after blowing $2 million to get Master P to show up.

4. Pac Man Jones

In 2007, Tennessee Titans cornerback Adam “Pac Man” Jones was suspended for the entire year for his involvement in a strip club shooting that left a person paralyzed. TNA saw an opportunity and signed him up. However, his football contract stated he couldn’t do any in-ring action. Instead of dropping the angle, they put him in a tag team with Ron Killings and had Killings do all the work. Jones would then make it rain on their fallen opponents, because reminding people of why he was suspended from the NFL was a great idea. They eventually won the Tag Team Championship because of course they did. His involvement did win TNA an award though:

3. Jenna Morasca

In 2009, former Survivor contestant appeared on TNA to wrestle Queen Sharmell (a manager, not a wrestler). It is, zero hyperbole, the worst wrestling match I’ve ever seen. A pair of quadruple amputees in comas would have a better match than this. I’m genuinely angry thinking about it. Even worse, Sojourner Bolt and Awesome Kong, two actual wrestlers, were at ringside watching this. Those two could have done a better match in their sleep and they’re stuck watching this. Jesus Christ.

This won an award too.

Also, this was at a PPV. Imagine paying money to see this? And yes, it won an award as well:

2. Dennis Rodman

As bad as Jenna Morasca was, at least she was exiled from wrestling pretty quickly. Rodman, on the other hand, dragged on and on… when he actually showed up. He no-showed a lot of events and showed up drunk for a lot of others, including one PPV where he fell asleep. He then attempted to sue WCW after that. He dropped the lawsuit after WCW agreed to give him more appearances. And yes, he no-showed the first appearance. What little action he did were basic wrestling moves and a gross storyline where he attempted to assault Macho Man’s girlfriend (who later left him for a member of The Misfits). He also wrestled in Australia afterwards too for some reason.

Imagine being The Road Warriors and having to settle for second billing to this tool.

1. David Arquette

I tried to think of reasons to not put this at number one. It’s overdone. It’s so obvious to put this at number one. Arquette realized how shit the angle was and donated his salary to the families of dead and crippled wrestlers. Arquette later became an indie wrestler and he’s not half-bad. But let’s be real, Arquette winning the WCW championship is the absolute nadir of celebrity wrestling moments. It’s what turned celebrity appearances from an annoyance to something all wrestling fans dread.

To promote the flop movie Ready to Rumble, its star David Arquette was brought in to promote it. He got into a match that ended with him winning the WCW championship. It was a disgraceful moment that virtually everyone hated except for the people behind the scenes.

A year after this happened, WCW died and WWF bought its remains for chump change.

What terrible celebrity moments did you think I missed?