Wrestling and celebrity have gone hand in hand for about as long as wrestling's been on television. The relationship is usually one-sided, but when someone famous genuinely wants to be there, it makes the experience better for everyone. Six years ago this week, WWE introduced the idea of using celebrities in guest starring roles on a weekly basis, with its first guest host being the injured Batista (they didn't start using celebrities every week until a couple weeks later). This week's countdown is dedicated to those that made notable guest appearances on the long-running Monday Night RAW. As voted on by you, here are...
The ten best guest stars in Monday Night RAW history.
Before we begin the countdown, here first are...
Five honorable mentions. These are the ones that despite making an impact on the RAW they appeared, they in your minds didn't quite make the RAW Walk of Fame.
1. With a 78% disapproval rating, Kevin Federline may not quite be "America's Most Hated", but the former backup dancer did marry Britney Spears, father two kids with her, and on January 1, 2007, pinned WWE Champion John Cena. While he was generally well received backstage, Federline hasn't been back since. Perhaps it's best it remain that way.
2. If WWE's PG direction wasn't clear to you by late 2010, then perhaps the appearance of Paul Reubens as his alter ego Pee-Wee Herman cleared it up for you. He hammed it up on RAW reprising the role that made him famous with The Miz and Alex Riley. Pee-Wee even brought back a Pee-Wee's Playhouse staple: the secret word. His appearance got him the 2010 WWE Slammy Award for Guest Star Shining Moment and parlayed that to a cameo appearance at Wrestlemania XXVII.
3. An American television institution, the first lady of game shows Betty White is likely the oldest person ever to appear on RAW. In February 2014, Betty appeared on the show to promote the elderly Off Their Rockers and the TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland. And of course, kick some ass.
4. The second person to ever walk on the Moon, Buzz Aldrin has forever cemented his place in American history. And in space for that matter. Buzz's appearance on RAW in May 2010 probably wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for him getting bumped early from Dancing with the Stars (he was the second person out), and well, he didn't contribute much on the show other than get his groove on. So there's that.
5. One of the most influential rappers in history, Snoop Dogg's made more than a couple appearances on WWE programming and they've been awesome a lot more than not. Ok, so his spear isn't quite on point. But he got to hang out with the divas—twice. And he may have been partially responsible for kickstarting the Axelmania phenomenon.
Now that the honorables are out of the way, here now are...
The ten best guest stars in RAW history.
Remember, if your favorite didn't win, that's your fault.
10. Seth Green
The first celebrity to get guest hosting/GM duties in 2009, the comedian/actor/writer/producer/director/voice of Chris Griffin actually got to pop Cody Rhodes in the mouth (Green was involved in the show's main event, a six-man tag match). He set the bar pretty high for guest hosts going forward (a bar that very few were able to clear). Late last year, Green hosted WWE's annual Slammy Awards ceremony. If anything, he was a step above Dennis Miller, which is about all you can ask. Dude did look like he was having a good time though.
9. William Shatner
Best known as Captain James T. Kirk on the original Star Trek television and movie series, these days, Shatner is (more accurately, was) known as the Priceline Negotiator. His 2010 appearance on RAW had Shatner GMing and singing the themes of some WWE superstars (he did dabble in music once). But longtime fans remember that his first appearance on WWE programming came in 1995 when he promoted the USA Network series TekWar. And both the future Road Dogg and Jerry Lawler found out that the Captain's got a mean right hook. It seems all's forgiven between the King and Kirk though: Shatner inducted Lawler into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.
8. Shaquille O'Neal
One of the great centers in NBA history, Shaquille O'Neal was an integral part of four NBA championship teams from 2000 to 2006. His charm also made him a big star away from the court, and on a July 2009 episode of RAW not long after he joined the Cleveland Cavaliers, Shaq—all 325 pounds of him—played guest GM and enforcer for a tag team match between Jeri-Show and Cryme Tyme. Post-match, the big fellas got into it, with the dominant NBAer getting one up on the dominant wrestler. Though rumors persist on a possible match between the two, it has not come to pass. Just like Shaq-Fu 2. His appearance got him nominated for a Slammy, but he was beaten by the next man on the countdown.
7. Bob Barker
With all due respect to Drew Carey, who has done a hell of a job in the last few years in my view, The Price is Right will always be associated with Bob Barker. On Labor Day 2009, the television legend showed he could probably roll out of bed and host the classic game show tomorrow. Two years after hanging up the microphone for good, Bob appeared on RAW to promote his biography and reprise his most famous role. Dare I say it, he didn't lose a step. They even had a few Contestants Row moments and Bob karate-chopping Chavo Guerrero because as a rule, you must always poke fun at Chavo Guerrero. His appearance got him the Guest Host of the Year Slammy for 2009. In all seriousness, his replacement being in the WWE Hall of Fame and not Bob is criminal to me. Just saying. Fix that, Vince.
6. Machine Gun Kelly
The most recent guest star of RAW, Colson Baker's first appearance on WWE programming didn't happen a few weeks ago: it happened back in 2012 when he performed the official theme for Wrestlemania XXVIII, "Invincible". He returned to the WWE two weeks ago performing "'Till I Die" and "A Little More" in front of his hometown Cleveland fans. In what was perhaps a sign of things to come for the city, Kevin Owens post-performance powerbombed Baker off the stage. The next night, the Cleveland Cavaliers lost the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors. The Cleveland Indians are 3-8 since MGK's performance. Coincidence? I think not. At least he took the powerbomb like a champ though.
5. The Muppets.
In another sign that maybe, just maybe WWE's passed us older folks by, the Halloween 2011 episode of RAW featured the classic children's characters created by the late Jim Henson. The Muppets were of course promoting the movie of the same name, and... well, come on. Beaker and Sheamus, you guys. Sure Kelly Kelly got kiss Kermit and Miss Piggy got to give Vickie Guerrero and Jack Swagger the whatfor, but... BEAKER AND SHEAMUS, YOU GUYS!
4. Grumpy Cat
It started with a picture on Reddit in 2012. Soon, she would become the stuff of Internet legend. Tardar Sauce, known better as Grumpy Cat, had a guest starring RAW appearance in November 2014. Can't blame you if you missed it. This was in the run of some serious stinkers, but the "grumpy one" was mostly out of the way, unlike most other guest stars. But she did have quite the memorable moment featuring The Miz and Damien Mizdow and Grumpy Cat reacting pretty much for all of us watching.
3. Mike Tyson
When "the baddest man on the planet" appeared on RAW in November 2010, he was a kinder, gentler Tyson, rehabbing an image that had been badly tarnished over the last twenty years. Chris Jericho's jaw would probably disagree with this, however. Longtime fans remember Tyson as, just a few months removed from essentially being banned from boxing in the United States, the guest enforcer for the main event of Wrestlemania XIV. It almost didn't happen though; Stone Cold Steve Austin crashed the announcement and got into a shoving match with Tyson, nearly ruining it for everyone. It was a work, of course, but it made national headlines the next day. The shoving match began the WWF's resurgence in 1998.
2. Jon Stewart
Turned out the longtime host of The Daily Show is a wrestling fan. Who knew? Actually it was Traitorface himself that started it, appearing on The Daily Show the Thursday before, inviting Jon to RAW. What Seth got on March 2, 2015 was one of the more unexpected dressing downs in recent memory, basically being called a fraud by Stewart. And he kicked Seth in the nuts. With the clock ticking down on his Daily Show days, Stewart might wanna look into a career in the WWE. He looked very much at home on RAW.
1. Hugh Jackman
While Jackman, most famous as Wolverine in the X-Men film series, appeared on RAW last April to... well, I'm not really sure what he's doing with Damien Sandow as Magneto... or what Damien Sandow is doing here for that matter (gotta use more of that brainpower, dude), Hugh made quite the impression on WWE fans...and Dolph Ziggler's jaw when he legitimately dislocated said jaw in September 2011, leading to Zack Ryder winning a match.
There you have it. Agree with the list? Who should have been on it? What say you, Cagesiders?