Sami Zayn recently took to Twitter to comment on his WrestleMania 38 bout against Jackass star Johnny Knoxville. Zayn tweeted, “My WrestleMania match against Johnny Knoxville is one of my all time favorites…Anyone who saw this match will remember it. That’s as good as it gets.” Zayn’s forte for comedy in pro wrestling was at its peak in the culmination of his feud with Knoxville, which saw the use of outlandish props like a giant mousetrap. The memorable match featured interference from Jackass cast members Jason Acuna (“Wee Man”), Chris Pontius (“Party Boy”), Davon Wilson (“Jasper Dolphin”), and Compston Wilson (“Dark Shark”). While credibility is not, per se, what Zayn and co. were striving for, one of the most surprising facets of the comic feud between the WWE superstar and reality tv prankster was Knoxville’s earnestness in the ring, from his Royal Rumble appearance to WrestleMania 38. This brings us to the deeper topic of celebrity guests in WWE.
Celebrities in WWE: A Different Caliber
From Mr. T’s role in the first WrestleMania, to guest-hosting turns by stars such as Betty White, WWE is no stranger to celebrity guests. However, Knoxville and others represent a different caliber of celebrity guests who are actually willing to enter, and do their diligence to perform admirably, in the ring alongside WWE’s superstars.
Arrow star Stephen Amell was able to parlay his lifelong love of professional wrestling into a starring role in the Starz pro wrestling themed drama Heels. However, Amell also spent time in the ring in real life, as well. He had a match against Christopher Daniels at the groundbreaking pay per view All In, but in 2015 Amell’s sojourn into pro wrestling began in World Wrestling Entertainment. He had an in-ring skirmish with Cody Rhodes, at the time known as Stardust, when Stardust interrupted Neville’s and Wade Barrett’s match. Neville and Amell teamed up against Stardust and Barrett at 2015’s SummerSlam.
Rapper Bad Bunny, like Amell, cherished a lifelong affection for WWE. His hit single “Booker T” pays homage to the WWE Hall of Famer, with Booker T himself making an appearance in the music video, as well. Bad Bunny performed the single at 2021’s Royal Rumble. He was accosted by The Miz and John Morrison, and pulled off an admirable frog splash from the top rope on the pair. Bad Bunny enlisted then-recent NXT call up Damien Priest as a tag team partner, and their feud with Miz and Morrison culminated in a match at WrestleMania 37. Seasoned WWE vets like Randy Orton and Triple H praised Bad Bunny’s performance in the ring.
Controversial YouTube personality Logan Paul has leveraged his online success into other ventures in recent years. Like brother Jake Paul, Logan Paul has dipped his toe into the world of boxing, notably fighting an exhibition bout against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. He has also made several appearances for WWE, playing a pivotal road in Sami Zayn’s and Kevin Owens’s storyline leading up to WrestleMania 37. The next year, Paul was revealed as the Miz’s tag team partner for his WrestleMania 38 match against Dominik and Rey Mysterio. Paul acquitted himself ably in the ring; he and Miz were victorious, but turned on each other after the match.
Celebrity Guests in WWE: In Conclusion
What all of these celebrity guests have in common is that they were fans of WWE and pro wrestling, respectively, before their guest turns. Their passion served them well in learning to keep apace with WWE’s superstars. Amell, Bad Bunny, and Logan Paul have set a higher bar for WWE’s celebrity guests, to more fully immerse themselves, and participate in, the WWE Universe.
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