John Bradshaw Layfield made headlines when he decided to climb the seven highest mountains on each continent to raise money for charity.
This was not even close to being the first time a wrestler has done something unique and interesting for a charitable donation.
Whether it is a different sports tournament, game show or art auction, wrestlers have always been more than happy to help raise money for those in need.
The WWE in particular has made a huge effort to raise money and help charities every year. Although it was happening prior to the PG era, the WWE continues to raise the bar for wrestlers doing very cool and awesome things for charity.
With that said, here are the 10 coolest things wrestlers have done for charity.
As a way to raise money for youth outreach programs, John Bradshaw Layfield is climbing the seven highest mountains on each continent.
JBL began the challenge at Mount Elbrus in Russia in June 2012 and plans to complete the challenge in 2014 at Mount Everest.
This is a unique way for a wrestler to raise money for charity, but it also makes sense.
While speaking with the Miami Herald, JBL discussed reading many books about mountain climbing and how he thought it would be the hardest thing he’ll ever do.
WWE.com also covered JBL’s challenge in September 2012 as he planted a WWE flag at the top of Africa.
In March 2003, THQ and Jakks Pacific joined together for WWE Superstar Challenge, a 16-Superstar WWE video game tournament for charity.
The Superstars played WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth. According to a THQ press release, "winners (were) awarded a WWE branded leather jacket and the champion will receive a $2,500 check payable to the Superstar's charity of choice along with other WWE, THQ and JAKKS Pacific donated prizes."
The winner of the tournament was Shelton Benjamin, who won four years in a row.
There are many wrestling fans who enjoy video games, evident by the success of various games produced by WWE. This was a unique and very cool way to integrate their interests. It also shows WWE fans that the Superstars also enjoy video games.
In April 2012, former WWE Superstar Batista participated in a triathlon to raise money for charity.
Carter Lay, California philanthropist and health and exercise enthusiast from the potato chip family that we all know and love, participated in the Nautica South Beach Triathlon this morning with teammate Dave Bautista, WWE Superstar turned actor, and set a record with the most an individual has donated to this event in its entire history with an individual donation of $20,000. The race supports St. Jude’s Research Center.
This was an incredibly cool way to raise money that again makes sense considering it is an athletic competition that wrestlers are clearly in shape to do.
Titus O’Neil, one half of the Prime Time Players, was a fashion model in the 3rd Annual Chillounge Charity Fashion Show in Tampa, Fla.
The fashion show raised money for a parks and recreation organization. O’Neil was chosen to represent the image of an athlete in fashion.
It is a very cool thing to see a wrestler be chosen for a fashion show, as we have seen many athletes on the cover of magazines, such as GQ.
"I not only got to help kids and give back to my community by doing the show, but I also got to show off a little of my style, too," O'Neil said to WWE.com of his time on the runway.
Interestingly, the pictures on WWE.com regarding the fashion show include ones in which O’Neil undresses to his underwear.
In 2009, former WWE Superstar Chuck Palumbo and his motorcycle shop gave away a motorcycle to raise money for injured soldiers in Iraq.
The donation makes a lot of sense since Palumbo’s brother Chris is a war hero.
According to WWE.com in March 2009:
This May, Palumbo plans to build a bike called "The War Machine" and ride it cross-country in The Horse Smoke Out Ten Long Run, a 2,000 mile motorcycle ride from Cottonwood, Ariz., to Rockingham, N.C., where upon completion, there will be a raffle to give away the motorcycle.
This was a great way for Palumbo to use his outside interest of motorcycles to help raise money for charity.
Each year during WrestleMania Axxess, WWE holds a charity art auction and the McMahons match however much is raised.
In 2011, $2,400 was raised for children in Atlanta.
The art auction was interesting in that WWE Superstars created a lot of the art themselves. Jerry “The King” Lawler is known for being a great artist and spoke of becoming an artist way before a wrestler.
This is a different way then just showing up to a hospital and having the wrestlers greet the children. Instead, the children took pictures on the red carpet with some of their favorite wrestlers.
Plus, Mr. McMahon and family agreed to match however much was raised proved to be a great way to raise money for charity.
Among the charitable events that WWE has hosted includes golf and softball tournaments.
Once again, WrestleMania hosted a golf pro-am tournament to raise money. Some of the wrestlers involved in the game were Ted Dibiase Jr., Rey Mysterio and Jack Swagger.
Jimmy “Mouth of the South” Hart held a softball game for athletic veterans and active-duty soldiers who lost limbs while serving their country.
It should not be surprising to hear of WWE Superstars competing in other sports for charity.
Many WWE Superstars and athletes have interest in multiple sports, and these games allow them to play their favorite sports while also raising money for those in need.
In 2009, former WWE Diva Stacy Keibler decided to orchestrate a very unusual way of helping her charity.
According to the Baltimore Sun,
Stacy Keibler is teaming with Captain Morgan in a unique charity promotion at the Super Bowl this Sunday.
The rum company is calling for players on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals to do the “Captain’s pose” at some point during the game. Each time they do, Captain Morgan will donate $10,000 to charity ($5,000 to the player’s favorite charity and $5,000 to Keibler’s charity of choice), the former WWE diva and Rosedale native wrote in an e-mail this morning.
The charity helps families cope with the expenses involved with battling brain cancer. However, it is the unique way of raising the money that helps Keibler make this list.
John Cena is known for having some of the most popular merchandise in the WWE. In October 2012, he and the WWE took advantage of that and teamed with Susan G. Komen for the Cure in the battle against breast cancer.
Cena, a very popular figure in the WWE, changed his attire for the month, wearing breast cancer themed hats, shirts and wrist bands focused on "rising above cancer." All of the attire was made available for purchase online, and 100 percent of the proceeds went to Susan G. Komen.
Changing one’s attire is pretty simple, but it made a huge impact for WWE and Susan G. Komen. Fans were happy to purchase the limited-edition John Cena pink shirts and merchandise because they are fans of the Superstar and to help the cause.
Celebrities have been known to be special guests on game shows to raise money for their favorite charities, so it would only make sense for the WWE to send Superstars to do the same.
The Miz, Kofi Kingston, John Morrison, Eve Torres and Gail Kim once appeared on Nickelodeon’s Family BrainSurge.
The Miz also joined former tag team partner John Morrison, the Big Show and MVP on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?.
However, one game show that stands out in the history of wrestlers on these shows is the guest appearance of WCW’s Sting, a young Brian Pillman and Jim Ross on Family Feud.
A great way for wrestlers to raise money for charity while having a ton of fun.
What were some of your favorite ways wrestlers have raised money for charity?
As a huge fan of game shows, I really enjoy watching celebrities of all kinds on special editions of game shows. It’s even more enjoyable to me when the celebrities are professional wrestlers.
It should be expected that WWE will continue to raise the bar and find interesting and creative ways for Superstars to help out those in need.
Please leave your thoughts on these ways wrestlers have raised money for charity and share other ways as well.
Also, tune in every Wednesday night at 9 p.m. EST on PWPRadio as I host OH YOU DIDN’T KNOW!? wrestling news and rumors at blogtalkradio.com/pwpradio. You can also like Oh You Didn’t Know on Facebook here.