Hi folks! Today, we’ll be looking at five of the worst celebrity wrestling matches of all time. There have been many, so it’s not too difficult to put something together. The hardest part is deciding which matches won’t make the cut, but I’m sure you guys can help me fill out a theoretical top ten? And it’s not just about the quality of the wrestling within the match, but the impact it had on the promotion who booked it. Other times it might just have been a disappointment. Either way, let’s take a look at some of the worst ways to feature celebrities in wrestling.
Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichaels: “Nevermind that s***! Here comes Mongo!”. A line made famous by Botchamania, is a former NFL defensive tackle who transitioned in to wrestling in 1995 as a commentator. Later the same year, he joined WCW and trained to wrestle by 1996. Much to the bewilderment of longtime fans, The Four Horsemen recruited McMichael to their ranks. Now, there isn’t a specific match you can cherry pick from his career, but fans of Botchamania will tell you that he botched often enough to question his status as a member of the Horsemen.
It slightly cheapened what has always been a well-respected and consistent stable in WCW. By the end of his tenure however, McMichael improved enough to become a United States Champion and didn’t look totally out of place. There were probably more deserving wrestlers to join the Horsemen, but at least he gave his all despite the sheer lack of experience. I think he gets a bit too much shtick considering there are full-time wrestlers with worse skills.
Frank Trigg vs. AJ Styles: At TNA No Surrender 2008, former fighter Frank Trigg squared off against TNA original AJ Styles in what was dubbed a “MMA match”. But it was nothing like that. Instead, we got some kind of strange, worked “fight” for six minutes, with elements of wrestling thrown in; such as kendo sticks. The match was so poorly received the fans booed and chanted “We Want Wrestling!”. For some reason, the referee stopped it after an accidental low blow.
Understandably, it cannot be easily found anywhere. Impact Wrestling won’t upload it to YouTube, and other videos skip over it like it doesn’t exist… which is probably for the best. I believe the only way to see it properly would be to get Impact Plus, but it’s certainly not worth the expense.
5. Gorilla Monsoon vs. Muhammad Ali
On the way to Ali’s fight with Antonio Inoki in Japan, he stepped in a WWF ring for a short-lived encounter with Gorilla Monsoon; who had been winding down his career for some time. Now, I’m not saying this didn’t garner a ton of mainstream media attention, because it definitely did. What I am saying though, is that it was a disappointing “match”. Ali didn’t get a single shot on Monsoon, and an Aeroplane Spin is enough to put down a World Champion? Well, at least Ali wasn’t making the business look weak compared to boxing. *cough* Tyson Fury *cough*
You can see his bodyguard step in and defend Ali like his life is on the line (as he likely had no idea it was a work). What is strange about this however, is that it may have gained the WWF some attention, but it was all to hype a fight in Japan for a different company. I’m guessing Vince McMahon Sr was happy to have someone of Ali’s popularity doing anything to build a company still confined to its territory? Opening the door meant they could use him again for the first WrestleMania, so at least some good came of it.
4. Jersey Shore Make An Impact
The year is 2011. Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff have effectively taken over TNA Impact Wrestling and turned it in to WWE-lite. Jersey Shore is everywhere and cannot be escaped. Robbie E & Cookie show up using a gimmick inspired by the Jersey Shore, and soon enough we’re getting crossovers. I don’t know how much exposure the company garnered from having C-list celebrities like J-Woww on the show, but I can’t imagine it bringing in enough to make big waves in the media.
To go further, TNA Wrestling had a couple other, lesser Jersey Shore “stars” wrestling in matches. I decided to include both as one entry, because they’re about as bad as each other. One is Ronnie Ortiz-Magro teaming with Eric Young against Robbie E and Rob Terry. The other we see Angelina Pivarnick taking on Velvet Sky, with help from some friends. I understand trying to capitalize on what was a popular show of the time, but it didn’t age well in the slightest. Who the hell are these guys?! Does the Jersey Shore audience watch wrestling and vice versa??
3. Kevin Federline vs. John Cena
Amid the media attention of Kevin Federline and Britney Spears’ divorce, WWE thought it would be fun to bring him in for a few shows. And you know, the thing about Federline is he’s really easy to hate. He obviously doesn’t have the musical talent to be where he is, and only seems to be well known because of his relationship with Spears. It was confusing to WWE fans, because he’d done nothing in wrestling before, and it’s not like he was planning on doing it full time.
To anyone in the know, they groaned knowing that Federline’s association with WWE was a cheap payday and a fleeting partnership. Management decided he wouldn’t go after a mid-carder… no, he would challenge the WWE Champion John Cena. And well, this could have worked out, but the glaring problem is… fans were already tiring of Cena. Had he not been so polarizing, the fans would’ve eaten this up because Federline was exceptionally obnoxious. Incredibly, he fished for heel heat better than most wrestlers today. So when Federline squared up against Cena, it was difficult to care because both of them were so well-hated.
There were some cheers for Cena, but not anywhere near as much as there should’ve been considering Federline’s heat. And well… the match, I have to say that Federline played it to perfection. But if you’re looking for any kind of wrestling holds, then you’re going to be disappointed. So yeah… the WWE Champion was pinned by a second-rate celebrity who had no logical reason to be there. And I guess the only person who somewhat gained was Umaga? With his post match beat down? But it’s not like he went to the PPV and won the title. So in the end… none of it mattered.
2. Jenna Morasca vs. Sharmell
MINUS FIVE STARS! – This match is well-known for being one of the worst rated matches in the history of wrestling. And I have nothing against Morasca, she is likely a genuinely friendly person who did everything she could to make this entertaining. But it was bad… and I’ll tell you why. It takes two to tango, but Sharmell couldn’t do much more to carry Morasca. Also, remember this was a PPV match and people actually paid for this!
Right, let’s get deep in to this disaster with glorified detail. This angle centered on jealousy between the ladies of the Main Event Mafia. Even Awesome Kong at ringside couldn’t save it. Ok so… Morasca enters the ring in such a way you might as well tell kids not to watch because her snatch & arse couldn’t be anymore on show. It’s like something you’d pay a pole dancer to do. Yeah yeah, I know Beautiful People shake their booty around, but it was never on this level. Sojo Bolt’s reaction says it all.
After the lockup, you can tell pretty quickly that Morasca has little wrestling skill. Sharmell rags her around, which is how it should be… end it quickly. Morasca does not know how to run the ropes. After several minutes, she survives a camel clutch, dodges an elbow strike after an Irish Whip and hits a crossbody. You can tell the fans in attendance don’t care for any of this. Jenna hits a jawbreaker and mounts a comeback. After Sharmell reverses an Irish Whip, Sojo Bolt trips Jenna and she sells it like a truck hit her. She lies there motionless… even while they stomp her behind the ref’s back.
Sharmell gets Jenna to her feet and fails to connect with a slap. Morasca fires back with the most hilarious flurry of slaps of all time! My god… it’s so bad I cannot adequately describe it; you have to see it yourself to believe. Next up is probably the worst spear in the history of spears. She slaps Sharmell like a little kid… who taught her how to strike? Did Awesome Kong do any training with her at all?! In predictable fashion, they cat fight and Earl Hebner gets rolled over.
Hebner gets Jenna off Sharmell and it seems she has ripped out some of her hair. Jenna goads Sharmell with it, who charges at her… but she doesn’t bother to sidestep. Sharmell has to run by Morasca and knock Sojo off the apron anyway, because that’s the spot. Jenna hands the hair to Kong. For some reason, Sharmell wants the hair so badly she pleads with Kong to have it back. Kong hands it to her, then pops her in the face with a stiff strike while the ref is seeing to Morasca.
This knocks Sharmell out so hard it gives Jenna time to shake her body like a stripper on top of her, and get the pinfall victory in the most nonchalant way you could imagine. Then Jenna celebrates like she won a title. So clarifying… she hit Sharmell with a crossbody, jawbreaker, choked her a lot, and took advantage of Kong knocking her out. And she’s the babyface? She wants to get on Kong’s shoulders, who doesn’t look happy as she does it anyway. For no reason at all, Jenna gets annoyed with Kong and gives her a trademark fairy slap. And well, the best part about this is Kong crushing her with a splash. Kong’s face looks similar to my own after enduring this trash once again. Wow.
1. David Arquette Wins The World Title
Was there any doubt? David Arquette winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in 2000 remains one of the most controversial moments in the history of wrestling. Twenty years on, and it hasn’t been forgotten and likely never will be. There has always been a pointing of the fingers over who is responsible for the booking. Vince Russo claims it wasn’t his idea, but in fact belongs to Tony Schiavone. Talking to David Arquette:
“I write the shows. The shows are in the can. The shows are written, the shows are done. That tag team where it was you and Diamond Dallas Page against Eric Bischoff and Jeff Jarrett, that was already written. The show is written. We have our production meeting. I don’t remember the finish of that match but you were not going over. When I was writing that show, you winning that title was not even a thought in my mind. Not even a thought. So, we have the whole production meeting and we lay out the entire show. I don’t remember what the finish of the match originally was,” Russo said.
“The meeting is over and everybody leaves; Tony Schiavone comes up to me, and you can verify this with Tony, but he goes, ‘Vince, I want to pitch you something.’ I’m a huge Tony Schiavone mark, who is a great guy. Tony is the guy. He looked at me and said, ‘What if David Arquette won the WCW World Title?’ Now, you know me and my reputation. I was the swerve master, so anytime I could swerve you and give you surprises I did it. When he said that to me I stopped dead in my tracks because here is the swerve king, that thought never even crossed my mind. I looked at Tony and I said, ‘Tony, that thought never crossed my mind. If Vince Russo wasn’t even considering that can you imagine the people watching the show?’
Russo made sure that Arquette would pin Eric Bischoff, because he knew no wrestler would ever allow Arquette to pin them:
“Now, I am like, we have to do this. I’m like, bro, if I did not consider this nobody is going to see this. The beauty of it was Eric Bischoff was in the match so pinning an Eric Bischoff was not you pinning a Jeff Jarrett,” Russo said. “We would not have been able to do it if you were pinning a wrestler, so I’m like, if he can pin Eric Bischoff we can probably get away with that.”
Arquette would later state that he understood why wrestlers didn’t like the decision, with one unnamed wrestler sharing their frustration with him in person. But Arquette had the chance to live a childhood dream, so went through with it anyway. What makes this moment worse, is that it all went down on a random episode of the “B Show” WCW Thunder. And how the referee ignored Jeff Jarrett pinning the champion… when he was closer, and then only counted Arquette’s pin, is another reason it remains so controversial. In any other promotion the ref would have counted both pins and therefore deemed it a draw.
Also, DDP lost the World title to his celebrity tag team partner that night. DDP was the champ… so why would he be happy and celebrate the victory with Arquette? Looking at it logically, it’s a mind numbing decision. The common misconception though, is that this match helped to kill WCW. No, it didn’t. Yes, technically it hurt WCW’s reputation and they lost some viewers, but in no way did it kill WCW. There so, so many other contributing factors, and if you would like to understand the demise of WCW more, please check out my 5+ year old piece on the subject at the link below. Thanks for reading!