Sunday, April 14

Random WWE Golden Era Celebrities

As many modern fans of WWE are likely aware, celebrity guests are pretty much a given in pro wrestling. For decades, fans have seen people who are famous for things outside of wrestling venture into the kayfabe world, with some like Bad Bunny and Lawrence Taylor even stepping into the ring. At one point, WWE had a period that involved different celebs hosting Monday Night Raw.


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The phenomenon of incorporating famous people in WWE dates all the way back to its Golden Era, a period that covers the early 1980s to the early 1990s. While fans know all about Mr. T and Cyndi Lauper getting involved during this time, there are also loads of random celebrities that showed up at big shows like WrestleMania. Let’s take a look at 10 of them.


Elvira Became Famous For Hosting Horror Movie Presentations On TV


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WrestleMania 2

4/7/1986

Guest Commentary


An icon herself, actress Cassandra Peterson solidified her place in pop culture history with her character of Elvira, the spooky, buxom host of B-grade horror flicks on television. Given that she got huge in the 1980s, it was only natural that WWE would bring her onto one of its shows. She was one of the many celebrities that took part in WrestleMania 2, doing guest commentary for the portion of the three-city show that was held in Los Angeles — the city where Elvira first gained notoriety.

Alex Trebek Was Doing The Opposite Of Hosting Jeopardy In WWE

The Iconic TV Host Conducted Backstage Interviews

alex-trebek-wwe


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WrestleMania 7

3/24/1991

Ring Announcer & Interviewer


He hosted a litany of game shows throughout his legendary career, but modern fans know the late, great Alex Trebek best for hosting Jeopardy, the program where contestants show off their breadth of knowledge. Given the sense of intellect and sophistication that Trebek exuded, it’s hilarious that WWE tapped him to appear on the opposite of Jeopardy: WrestleMania 7. In addition to conducting backstage interviewers Trebek also served as the guest ring announcer for the absurdly patriotic main event bout between American hero Hulk Hogan and villainous turncoat Sgt. Slaughter.

Ozzy Osbourne Backed Up The British Bulldogs

It Was Because Ozzy’s British, Too


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WrestleMania 2

4/7/1986

Manager

The British Bulldogs vs. The Dream Team


Of the Golden Era pay-per-views, there’s no show more packed with celebs than the excessive WrestleMania 2, where every match seemed to have a special guest something or other. For The British Bulldog’s tag title against The Dream Team, Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid were managed by a fellow countryman in rock god Ozzy Osbourne.

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Ozzy being involved in pro wrestling makes sense given “the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection” that was all the rage, but WWE wouldn’t embrace hard-rock and metal until over a decade later. That this heavy metal guy was hanging out with the clean-cut-looking Bulldogs seemed even more incongruous.

Joan Rivers Was A Guest Ring Announcer

Rivers Was A Comedian & Host Known For Her Abrasiveness

joan-rivers-howard-finkle


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WrestleMania 2

4/7/1986

Ring Announcer


Most living people likely know Joan Rivers for her myriad appearances discussing celebrity fashion on the E! Network, but in decades prior Rivers was a well-known comedian — one who would guest host The Tonight Show on occasion. While Rivers would certainly have a field day with some of the fashion wrestlers donned in the 1980s, her role at the aforementioned WrestleMania 2 was as the guest ring announcer for, of all things, the Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper boxing match.

Robert Goulet Sang “O Canada” At WrestleMania 6

The American-Born Singer Grew Up In Canada

Robert Goulet at WrestleMania 6


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WrestleMania 6

4/1/1990

Singer


An event best known for its epic winner-take-all match between WWE Champion Hulk Hogan and Intercontinental Champion Ultimate Warrior, WrestleMania 6 emanated from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which meant some special attention to the international locale. To open up the show, WWE tapped singer Robert Goulet to deliver a rousing rendition of “O Canada.” A well known singer at the time, “younger” fans likely know Goulet for Will Ferrell’s recurring portrayal of him on Saturday Night Live — and that was over 20 years ago.

Steve Allen Was Seen Hanging Out With The Bolsheviks

Allen Was A Former Host Of The Tonight Show

Steve Allen with The Bolsheviks


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WrestleMania 6

4/1/1990

Interviewer


Joan Rivers isn’t the only Tonight Show host to get involved in WrestleMania. The sixth edition of WWE’s biggest show of the year boasted Steve Allen, who pioneered the late night talk show format as the program’s first-ever host, dating back to the 1950s. In his late 60s at the time, the multi-talented Allen — who was also a prolific composer and author — worked ‘Mania as a backstage interviewer, with his most memorable moment being coaching The Bolsheviks in their rendition of the Russian National Anthem.

Clara Peller Is Known For A Commercial Catchphrase

Of Course, She Said It On The Show


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WrestleMania 2

4/7/1986

Timekeeper


Not every celebrity that WWE brought in was a long-tenured legend of show business. Any pop culture event wouldn’t be complete without a few flashes-in-the-pan, and one of the most random to show up in the Golden Era of WWE was none other than Clara Peller.

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While fans likely don’t know the name, they’re more likely to know her famous catchphrase: “Where’s the beef?” which she uttered in commercials for the Wendy’s fast food restaurant. Her role at 1986’s WrestleMania 2 was to serve as a guest timekeeper during the show’s Illinois portion.

Cab Calloway Judged WrestleMania 2’s Disastrous “Boxing Match”

Calloway Was A Legendary Jazz Singer

Cab Calloway and Roddy Piper at WrestleMania 2


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WrestleMania 2

4/7/1986

Judge

Mr. T vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper


Fallout from the first ‘Mania led to a unique match at the second, as The A-Team star Mr. T took on Rowdy Roddy Piper in a (kayfabe) boxing match. The bout was a complete disappointment, but the boxing match format allowed WWE to cram in a bunch of celebrity guests. In addition to Joan Rivers as the ring announcer, one of the guest judges of the bout was Cab Calloway, the legendary jazz performer. With a career going back to the 1920s, Calloway was best known for songs like “Minnie the Moocher” and “St. James Infirmary Blues,” having performed the latter in the film The Blues Brothers.

Liberace Was The Timekeeper For The First-Ever WrestleMania Main Event

The Famous Piano Player Did Not Perform


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WrestleMania 1

3/31/1985

Timekeeper


As previously referenced, Mr. T was one of the most well-remembered celebrities in WWE history, having main evented the first-ever WrestleMania alongside Hulk Hogan in a bout that boasted Muhammad Ali as a special enforcer. But the main event was even more star-studded than that, as WWE had famed pianist Liberace on hand to serve as the match’s guest timekeeper. While he did not play piano on this show, he did come to the ring alongside The Rockettes.

Robert Conrad Was A Guest Referee

Conrad Was The Star Of TV’s Wild Wild West

Robert Conrad as Guest Referee at WrestleMania 2


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WrestleMania 2

4/7/1986

Guest Referee

Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy


While Muhamamad Ali was only the enforcer (not a referee) at WrestleMania, WrestleMania 2 had a special celebrity guest referee in the main event — though it’s seemingly random one that modern fans are probably totally unaware of. Officiating the main event steel cage match between WWE Champion Hulk Hogan and King Kong Bundy was Robert Conrad, an actor best known for playing James West on the 1960s sci-fi western series The Wild Wild West, which would later become a much-reviled summer blockbuster film starring Will Smith.

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