WWE has been using celebrities as cross-promotional tools for a long time, but few have ever produced what could be considered a good wrestling match.
Being a good wrestler takes years of training and practice, so it's understandable that most celebs would have a hard time putting on a believable performance, but there's a few names out there who might be capable of doing the job.
Evan Real of HollywoodLife.com is reporting that there are plans for Stephen Amell to wrestle Stardust at SummerSlam. While the report is unconfirmed by WWE and Amell himself, there's no denying that it would be great if it actually happened.
Stephen Amell might not be a name everyone is familiar with, but his stock is rising fast. He is the star of the hit show Arrow on the CW Network and is also set to play Casey Jones in the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.
Playing iconic characters like the Green Arrow and the hockey mask-wearing Casey Jones has helped Amell build up a large following, and many of those people are probably WWE fans, too.
Wrestlers are basically superheroes with their over-the-top personalities, colorful outfits and crazy nicknames. It's safe to assume that there is a large cross section of comic book and pro wrestling fans.
Before we look at what would make Amell a good candidate to deliver the best celebrity wrestling match, let's take a look at some of the stars who have given wrestling a try.
Celebrities Who Tried Wrestling
Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone were a big part of the WCW vs. nWo angle. Rodman aligned with Hulk Hogan, while Malone was Diamond Dallas Page's partner. They stepped into the ring at Bash at the Beach 1998, and thankfully, it was the last time.
Being an athlete doesn't necessarily mean you will be good at everything that requires athleticism. Rodman and Malone were great publicity tools, but they were not so great when it came to grappling.
Going back a little further, Mr. T was involved in the first two WrestleManias. He teamed with Hogan to take on Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff at the inaugural event, and then he faced Piper in a boxing match the following year.
Mr. T was already known as a huge star thanks to his roles in The A-Team and Rocky III, so he was able to draw in fans, but that was the extent of his value. He wasn't terrible in the ring, but he certainly wasn't great.
Today's fans may be more familiar with the wrestling exploits of Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Maria Menounos. Snooki put on abysmal performance at WrestleMania 27, but her match was partially saved by the talents of Trish Stratus, John Morrison, Dolph Ziggler, Layla and Michelle McCool.
Menounos is a big fan of WWE. She has worked with the promotion several times over the years in both a wrestling and hosting capacity.
While she is not known for being an athlete, Menounos was surprisingly good for someone with absolutely no wrestling experience. She even wrestled after suffering two cracked ribs during practice for Dancing with the Stars. Her matches won't be viewed as instant classics, but she was better in the ring than the majority of celebrities who have tried their hand at wrestling.
All of these people were willing to take a bump for the sake of entertainment, but no celebrity has been as associated with professional wrestling more than the late Andy Kaufman.
Kaufman had a highly publicized feud with Jerry Lawler during his days as the king of Memphis wrestling. The two did not exactly get along in real life, which made the drama that much more entertaining.
Despite his brilliant mind and intense humor, Kaufman was not good in the ring. Most of his bouts were against women as part of a performance gimmick he used, and his time in the ring with Lawler was more about bringing eyes to the product than it was about putting on good matches.
Celebrities are used for publicity, so nobody expects them to put on an incredible performance, but Stephen Amell could be the man who finally proves that it's possible. Let's examine some of the qualities he possesses that will help him in the ring.
If you have ever watched Arrow, then there is a good chance you have seen Amell with his shirt off. The writers of that show seem dedicated to including a shirtless scene in every episode to give the female fans something to swoon over.
Amell works very hard to keep his physique in superhero form. When they show scenes of him doing the salmon ladder, it's really him doing it.
His workouts also include parkour, which is necessary for his role as Oliver Queen. Running and jumping around might sound easy, but the way he does it is much harder because he incorporates acrobatics.
Watch the included video and you will see how hard he works to make sure his performance as a caped vigilante is as believable as possible.
To break it down into simple terms, wrestling is nothing more than staged fighting. It's all about performing moves safely while making it look like the other person is legitimately being hurt.
A huge component of Amell's role as Oliver Queen is fighting. Arrow has produced some of the best televised fight scenes ever seen on a network television show, and that takes a lot of practice.
He has to work hard to make every fight scene look good because the program relies on intense action sequences to keep its fans happy. Some of the moves you see are performed by a stunt team, but most of what is shown is actually Amell doing the work.
Several different styles of martial arts are incorporated into his fighting style. He utilizes a lot of different weapons, but he also relies on judo throws and various strikes to take down his opponents.
Pro wrestling is mostly throws and strikes, so Amell is already ahead of the curve when it comes to knowing how to perform these moves safely.
All he has to do is work with Stardust for a few weeks leading up to the event and they will be able to choreograph a great match.
Stardust is the Perfect Opponent
Amell has a lot of qualities that would allow him to put on a great match, but it's not all about him. He needs an opponent who is capable of masking his weaknesses.
Stardust is one of the more technically proficient wrestlers on the roster, which makes him the perfect person to help hide any shortcomings Amell might have in the ring.
It's not just Stardust's technical ability that makes him an ideal opponent, it's also his character. He already looks like a comic book supervillain, so his gimmick would complement Amell's superhero image perfectly.
Cody Rhodes has proven more than once that he can disappear into a character, whether it's his old playboy persona, his Dr. Doom-like personality with a hood and mask or his current gimmick which seems to combine traits of many different comic characters.
Some celebrities get stuck with performers who aren't great at making others look good, but if Amell is lucky enough to wrestle Stardust, he won't have that problem.
If Stephen Amell ends up going against Stardust at SummerSlam, it could go down as the greatest celebrity wrestling match of all time.
He has the physical prowess and agility to perform all the necessary moves, the ability to learn any necessary choreography and the kind of popularity that will get the fans on his side.
As a fan of Arrow and WWE, the possibility of seeing this makes this writer very happy. If any Hollywood celeb would be able to put on a great show, it would be the man known on television as Oliver Queen.
Let's all hope this comes to fruition, because if it doesn't, we might have to watch another reality star try and fail to put on a believable performance.
A Little Fun
With all this talk about Arrow, WWE and Stardust, it got me thinking. If the CW Network were to recast Arrow with WWE Superstars, who would best fit each role? Here is who this writer thinks could get the job done.
- Renee Young is Felicity Smoak
- Big E is John Diggle (he is the only guy with arms big enough to pass for David Ramsey)
- Vince McMahon is Ra's al Ghul
- Paige is the Black Canary (she can wear a blond wig)
- Brock Lesnar is Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson
- Kane is Solomon Grundy (Cyrus Gold)
- Triple H is Malcolm Merlyn
- Randy Orton is Deadshot (he would be a better choice than Will Smith)
- Neville is The Flash
- Lana is Amanda Waller
Which WWE Superstars would you cast in a new version of Arrow?
What do you think? Would Amell be capable of putting on the best celebrity wrestling match of all time? Who do you think could get the job done if not him? Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter @BR_Doctor.