WrestleMania: Top five celebrity moments, including Mike Tyson and Donald Trump

Pamela Anderson and Aretha Franklin have been involved too

It’s not just the wrestlers who help make ‘The Showcase of the Immortals’ the biggest sports entertainment event of the year.

Here are five of the biggest and best celebrity cameos...

1) Mike Tyson (WrestleMania 14, 1998)

It’s hard to imagine now but for a period in the nineties, the WWF was actually number two in the wrestling world, behind its major rival, WCW. Three men would turn the tide back in the WWF’s favour. While ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin was the hottest new fan favourite in the wrestling world and Mr McMahon (Vince McMahon’s on-screen character) its new biggest villain, it was the introduction of ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson to the federation that was the springboard for the company’s return to the top. Debuting on the Monday Night Raw after the 1998 Royal Rumble, Stone Cold took umbrage to Tyson being paraded in what he saw as ‘his ring’ and, following some choice words, the two engaged in a pull-apart brawl which would land the WWF its first mainstream media coverage in a long time. Riding the crest of the wave, Tyson soon joined D-Generation X, led by Austin’s WrestleMania opponent Shawn Michaels. With Tyson now serving as ‘Guest Enforcer’, Austin’s chances appeared slim, but Tyson would betray DX by counting the decisive pinfall and raising Stone Cold’s hand in victory. The ‘Austin era’ had begun, and Tyson would round off the event by knocking out The Heartbreak Kid. WCW never recovered and the WWF never looked back.

 

2) Donald Trump (WrestleMania 23)

It was deemed ‘The Battle of the Billionaires’ and it helped set - at the time - pay-per-view records for the clash. Although they didn’t actually meet in the ring, the stakes couldn’t have been higher – the loser would have their head shaved bald. Trump, whose Atlantic City casino hosted WrestleMania IV and V, was one of the most famous men in America (if not the world) at the time due to his smash hit TV show, The Apprentice. He shared more than incredible wealth with McMahon: they also shared famously-questionable and much-mocked haircuts. Following weeks of fantastic build-up, including the appointment of McMahon’s nemesis ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin as special referee, Trump would be in the corner of his man, Bobby Lashley, while McMahon would second his choice, the late Umaga. After a back and forth contest and some of the world’s worst punches thrown by Trump on McMahon, Lashley would win the bout, leaving McMahon to face the barber’s chair. In one of the world’s best examples of over-acting, McMahon was shaved bald, much to the delight of the fans. Trump would go on to donate his $1 million pay day to charity.

 

3) Pamela Anderson/ Jenny McCarthy / Tommy Lee (WrestleMania 11)

The reward for winning the 1995 Royal Rumble was not only the chance to fight for the WWF Title at WrestleMania XI, but also to be walked down the aisle by none other than Baywatch’s own Pamela Anderson, arguably the most famous pin-up of the 90s. Shawn Michaels went on to win the Rumble but not the arm of Anderson, as she would betray ‘HBK’ by walking down the aisle with his opponent, Diesel. Michaels would have to settle for the company of MTV host and Playboy playmate Jenny McCarthy, which was no small consolation. This angle would result in a real life fight between Michaels and Anderson’s husband at the time, Tommy Lee. It is not known if Michaels won the fight with his patented Sweet Chin Music superkick.

 

4) Aretha Franklin (WrestleMania 3 and 23)

The biggest wrestling event of the year traditionally kicks off with a rendition of ‘America the Beautiful’, with famous names from the music world ranging from Boyz II Men to Little Richard performing .  At Wrestlemania III, ‘the Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin kicked off the event that saw Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant clash in their famous bout. Twenty years later, Franklin would return to perform the song again to open the aforementioned ‘Battle of the Billionaires’. While it was known for its main event and the famous clash between ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage and Rickey ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat, it is worth tracking down Wrestlemania III for the introduction of Franklin alone, as well as Vince McMahon’s incredible hair and suit combination.

 

5) Cyndi Lauper (WrestleMania I)

Following a chance meeting on a plane to Puerto Rico with ‘Captain’ Lou Albano and the subsequent casting of him as the grumpy father in the ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ video, Cyndi Lauper put her day job on hold to manage Wendi Richter to the WWF’s Women Championship at the inaugural WrestleMania. At the time one of the biggest pop stars on Earth, Lauper’s role as part of the ‘Rock and Wrestling’ connection helped launch the WWF towards global popularity and saved the McMahon family from certain bankruptcy.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Sales Apprentice

£15000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £20,000 - £60,000

£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Team Leader

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Engineer - Linux, Windows, Cloud - Central London

£40000 - £48000 per annum + 10% bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engin...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence