When Vince McMahon created the concept of WrestleMania, he immediately brought in celebrities. The first WrestleMania featured Mr. T teaming with Hulk Hogan against Rowdy Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff.
Why does WWE choose to include celebrities in WrestleMania matches?
Well, first you have to realize that celebrities have been involved in all parts of WrestleMania. From ring announcing, special guest referees to actual competitors, celebrities have always been involved with WrestleMania.
WWE chooses or resorts to celebrity for WrestleMania for a number of reasons, such as mainstream exposure, taking advantage of non-wrestling athletes and giving lower card Superstars something to do.
WWE prides itself on being a sports entertainment company—keyword entertainment. McMahon loves the mainstream exposure WWE gets, which is why The Rock is the new WWE champion. He will go on interviews and movie shoots with the WWE belt.
When WWE partners with celebrities for WrestleMania, it gives WWE that mainstream exposure it loves so much. Television talk shows, news stations and websites all cover WrestleMania. They have even more incentive to do so when celebrities are involved.
WWE used to be more about the sport of wrestling. McMahon has made changes starting with WrestleMania. WrestleMania began the idea of crossing the sport of wrestling with entertainment. It is because of WrestleMania that WWE became sports entertainment.
There are a decent number of celebrities that have appeared at WrestleMania who are legitimate athletes. Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, Lawrence Taylor and others have participated at WrestleMania. Tyson and Mayweather are fit athletes who could definitely make an easy transition into wrestling.
Shaquille O’Neal is an athlete that teased a WrestleMania match with Big Show. Looking at Shaq, he looks like he belongs in WWE. He is over seven feet tall and extremely muscular. Athletes in football and basketball especially look like they could be wrestlers.
WWE and wrestling in general would be a great way for athletes to be involved in a sport, or sports entertainment after they retire.
For WWE Superstars, working with a celebrity in a WrestleMania match gives them a feud and an opportunity to be on the big event’s card.
Heath Slater had some interactions with Flo Rida at WrestleMania 28. Although there have not been any indication that a match will happen, it would give Slater a WrestleMania match. Slater is a great example of someone who most likely would not have a match at WrestleMania if it weren’t in this situation. He is currently part of 3MB, but the group is not currently in a feud.
At WrestleMania XI, Lawrence Taylor squared off against the late-great Bam Bam Bigelow. The Beast from the East was not a main-event star but an upper-midcard Superstar. He was in the perfect position to be the one to have a match with Taylor.
Bigelow was part of the Million Dollar Corporation at the time, giving exposure to many Superstars even though it was a one-on-one match.
WrestleMania was McMahon’s creation to partner wrestling with mainstream entertainment. It only makes sense to have celebrities involved.
What better way to involve celebrities then in having them in WrestleMania matches?
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