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With the launch of the very first WrestleMania in 1985, WWE took a giant leap forward in helping to bring pro wrestling further into mainstream popular culture. In an effort to bolster the perceived importance of wrestling’s first “Show of Shows,” Vince McMahon hired celebrities from the worlds of sports, music, and television in a bid to give the event more of a “special” feel. It was a massive financial risk for a relatively inexperienced promoter to take, but the investment paid off. Today, WrestleMania is one of the biggest yearly attractions in all of entertainment, and this Sunday’s 35th installment will be housed in New Jersey’s massive MetLife Stadium, which has a seating capacity of over 80,000. That sea of rabid WWE fans will be joined by countless others watching around the world on the WWE Network. As Gorilla Monsoon used to say, “It’s a happening.”
Bringing in celebrities from other avenues of showbiz to take part in WrestleMania is a clever marketing tactic that is still employed—on and off—to varying degrees of success. A-listers like Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Alice Cooper, and reality stars like Kim Kardashian and Snooki have all appeared on WWE’s biggest annual supershow. Over the years, these guests have acted as everything from musical acts and special ring announcers, to backstage interviewers and managers. Some have even gotten their hands dirty by entering the ring and squaring off against some of WWE’s most notable Superstars.
Here, we take a look at the 10 most jaw-dropping celebrity appearances in the history of WrestleMania.
WrestleMania 35 broadcasts live April 7 on the WWE Network. For further information, visit WWE.com.
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