Hey! Another list article for the folks of EWN. I’m going to let my writing take a backseat as we take a look at wrestlers who have featured in cameos in popular TV series and movies. I will not include shows/movies where the wrestler is playing a leading role (like The Rock in Fast & Furious, and a few others I can’t remember), and I’d like to shy away from movies with lots of wrestlers like Ready To Rumble and The Longest Yard. I’ll also not include talk/sketch shows like Saturday Night Live, or interviews for news channels. I aim to do a few of these (10 each time) so we get some of the best cameos to exist together in a neat collection.
Warning: Some Content Is Not Suitable For Children. Some Videos May Contain Excessive Violence, Bad Language, And Other Controversial Behaviour. I Do Not Own, Or Condone Anything Seen In These Shows.
Steve Austin, Mr. McMahon & The Undertaker In Celebrity Death Match (1998-2002)
When celebrity reality shows slowly grew popular in the late 90’s .. Celebrity Deathmatch went one further by having them fight literally to the death in clay animation. It was gruesome, it was cheesy, but hell .. it had an amazing announce team, one of the best referees of all time (“Let’s Get It On!”), and of course .. Stone Cold Steve Austin.
He was the voice of reason, and was also known to be the shows scientist, doctor and weapons expert. He disappeared in later episodes as the guy who played Nick Diamond stated Austin 3:16 was too expensive to bring back.
Austin fought his Attitude Era nemesis Mr. McMahon on one of the shows. The Undertaker also turned up as a guest commentator on the Halloween episode, but ended up having a match against a possessed boy to save his soul from evil. All of this went down in the remaining few years of The Attitude Era when the WWF got the upperhand over WCW.
Lita In Dark Angel (2002)
At the height of her popularity Lita appeared on several shows including Dark Angel. However, during the taping of an episode, she was practicing the hurricanrana with a stunt double who accidentally dropped her on her neck and shoulders. She sustained three cracks in her vertebrae which sidelined her from the ring, so while recovering from surgery she spent time as a colour commentator on Heat.
The Rock In Family Guy (2010)
During filming of the Tooth Fairy movie, Dwayne Johnson befriended Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlene, so it was only fitting McaFarlene would return the favour and have Johnson on his show. It was brief, but Johnson enjoyed doing it as he’s a big fan of the show.
Randy Savage In King Of The Hill (2007)
A couple of years after his short stint in TNA Wrestling, Randy Savage showed up in an episode playing a character known as Gorilla. No agony, no bragony am I right?
Batista In Neighbours (2009)
In 2009 Batista was forced to vacate the WWE Championship due to a torn left biceps injury which sidelined him for three months. To keep himself relevant, he showed up on the popular Australian soap Neighbours in a light-hearted confrontation with a young fan.
Hulk Hogan As ‘Thunderlips’ in Rocky III (1982)
Could well be considered one of the most crucial and beneficial cameos in wrestling history. Hogan was still working for the AWA in 1982, so for him to land a role as the villainous Thunderlips was massive for his career and the industry. Vince McMahon was looking to take over from his father and bring in someone to lead the WWF in to a new age. Vince signed him up in late-1983 and Hulkamania was born only a few short weeks later as Hogan defeated The Iron Sheik to become WWF World Heavyweight Champion.
If you’ve never seen Rocky III (shame on you!), here’s a brief rundown on what this cameo is and why it was so great. Rocky was the World Champion, he was a star, he had all the money and exposure that goes with it. While he did this, his future nemesis Clubber Lang (played by Mr. T) watched on with disgust as he trained hard. As a publicity stunt, a match was booked between the boxing champion Rocky Balboa, and the world wrestling champion Thunderlips as an exhibition for charity. Rocky was losing a lot of height and weight to the ripped and tall Thunderlips, who mocked him and the boxing crowd endlessly.
Rocky tried to talk to Thunderlips to figure out how they’d work the match, but Thunderlips was hell-bent on crushing Rocky for real. After a crazy bout, in which Rocky somehow came out victorious, Thunderlips broke character and thanked Rocky for the match before posing for photographers. What I loved especially about this cameo is Hogan looks the part and does it so well. It is certainly one of the key factors in swaying him to the WWF were Vince would make him a mega star throughout the rest of the decade, and leave every other promotion clambering over one another to survive.
Kane On Smallville (2007)
After 2006’s See No Evil, Glenn Jacobs appeared in his first television show called Smallville, where he played an enemy of Clark Kent known as Titan. So in a way, this is as close as we’ll ever get to a Kane vs. Superman fight.
The Rock, Ken Shamrock & The Hardy Boyz On That 70’s Show (1999)
Again during the height of The Attitude Era, the WWF were doing everything to get attention on the product. This time it was during an episode of That 70’s Show when they decided to go on a trip to the local wrestling promotion. Here they watched a match between young Jeff & Matt Hardy wrestling in old school ring gear. The Rock popped up, playing his dad Rocky Johnson before the rise of The Great One. And we also got to see Ken Shamrock wrestling in the main event for a change.
Bret Hart On The Simpsons (1997)
Bret Hart recently commented on why he sounded strange in his one-off cameo in The Simpsons:
Hart: They approached me about doing a voice as a wrestler, but not Bret Hart. It was the Mad Russian or something. I said, “I don’t want to be the Mad Russian, I want to be Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart!” We went back and forth for a while and they eventually said, very politely, “This is the way it’s written, take it or leave it.” I agreed, and flew down to FOX Studios. They had blocked off this huge chunk of time for my three lines, and were saying things like, “We need you more mad,” “Okay, not quite that mad!” I did my lines about 100 times in two minutes!”
“I went outside to wait for my limo that had gone to get gas, and I signed autographs and took pictures for 45 minutes. The guy that was in charge of my episode came up to me and said, “I had no idea you were this big of a star! If we haven’t already started the artwork, we’re going to draw you in as yourself.” That’s why the voice doesn’t really sound like me, because I thought I was playing a crazy Russian!
The Rock On Star Trek: Voyager (2000)
Keeps cropping up doesn’t he? My dad’s a huge trekkie so it’s only natural I ended up watching it. I’ve always enjoyed Voyager, but what made it better was that my 13-year-old self was going to see The People’s Champion in Star Trek as a bad guy. Granted, it’s a small role compared to what he’s done since, but I rather enjoyed his fight with crew member and former Borg drone Seven Of Nine. He even managed to sneak in a couple of trademarks. Needless to say, Seven ends up hitting Rock Bottom against The Great One.
And that’s all for today .. stay tuned, as I may decide to bring this back if enough of you enjoyed it. Please leave a comment with your favourite cameos from the list. My personal faves are Thunderlips and Stone Cold’s contributions to Celebrity Deathmatch. Thanks for reading, and watching! Shutting down all broadcasts.