Over the past few months, WWE Superstar Stardust (formerly Cody Rhodes) and CW’s Arrow star, Stephen Amell has been involved in a feud which has primarily taken place on social media. This month, the two men finally got to go at it on Monday Night Raw right before COO Triple H confirmed that Amell will fight Stardust at SummerSlam in a tag match (teaming with Neville, another target of Stardust’s attacks).
The hype of the match has brought an incredible amount of media attention, and an astounding number of Amell’s fans who aren’t familiar with the current WWE product that are tuning in just because he’s going to be there. This is hardly the first time that movies or TV has crossed over in the unpredictable and sometimes surreal world of professional wrestling. In a landscape that is populated with undead wizards, leprechauns, and men claiming to be from the cosmos, it is one that celebrities from the across the board want to be part of.
So before Amell and Stardust get into the ring tonight, let’s take a look at some of the more memorable celebrity cameos, run-ins, and crossovers that have come before.
Freddie Prinze, Jr
Hollywood heartthrob Freddie Prinze, Jr was an unabashed WWE fan when he was growing up and even was seen attending WrestleMania XXIV. Prinze's relationship with the company became a professional one when he was hired as a member of the creative staff and helped in putting together programming for TV as well as pay-per-views for the SmackDown! brand. His time at the company lasted barely a year and it was announced that they had parted ways in February of 2009.
In August of the same year, the Scooby-Doo star returned to the WWE as a guest host of RAW and was attacked by then-WWE Champion, Randy Orton. Orton, who was irate that Prinze wouldn't cancel the tag team match with Orton and John Cena (who was scheduled to right Orton for the title at that year's SummerSlam).
Prinze got his revenge on Orton later as he made the tag match of Orton and Cena against Jeri-Show (Chris Jericho and the Big Show) and Lumberjack Match with some of Orton's biggest rivals at the time.
A year later, Prinze came back to the company as a producer and director and even directed and starred in a skit with Vince McMahon who was waking up from a coma.
Prinze left the company again in 2012, but he speaks very highly of his time there.
Yes, the star of the horror franchise Child's Play, Chucky, has wrestling ties.
Before he was stalking Rick Steiner, WCW actually had a promotional tie-in to Child's Play 3: Look Who's Stalking back in 1991. That's right, one lucky WCW fan could have won a special screening of the movie with 100 of their friends...or you could just win a shirt.
That is a narrow spectrum of prices, WCW.
Now, going back to the Rick Steiner situation. Rick had been taunted by the plastic, ginger monster before his match with his brother, Scott at Halloween Havoc '98 as Chucky favored Scott over Rick. I'm not sure if the Chucky's opinion was really important and he plugged the upcoming Bride of Chucky movie before never being heard from again in the world of professional wrestling.
At some point Chucky mentioned that he wants to branch off into directing and he sees Scott as his leading man. Yes, beyond bizarre, but you have to love "Mean" Gene Okerlund treating Chucky like a viable threat as well as a real talking, sociopathic doll.
Art imitates life...or something to that extent.
Coming off of his Academy Award nomination for portraying a troubled wrestler whose career is fading off into the sunset in the aptly-titled The Wrestler (as well as being cast in Iron Man 2), Mickey Rourke took to the ring with one motive: to punch Chris Jericho's face off.
The thing is, the whole scenario was supposed to be leading up to a match between Jericho and Rourke at WrestleMania, but it was going to be announced after the Oscars. Well, Rourke spilt the beans too early where he essentially shot a promo on the red carpet at the SAG Awards, which Jericho didn't take too kindly to.
The two continue to build up the match, even appearing on ">Larry King. Unknown to Jericho though, Rourke didn't realize he was in character, which resulted in a pretty hilarious altercation. Jericho explains what went down in his latest autobiography.
"Hey, man, I hear you're a little pissed off at me for the Larry King thing, but I want you to know that I was just putting on a show, ya dig?" Rourke's face hardened as if he'd been waiting to get to the heart of the matter from the moment I got into the ring. "No, brother," he said with his distinct New York accent. "You don't say the things you said to me and not mean it. In my world, in the boxing world, when you say that shit, it's because you're looking for a fight."
The two eventually patched things up, but since Rourke's insurers vetoed an actual match, Jericho took on Ricky Steamboat, Jimmy Snuka, and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper in a three-on-one handicap match instead. Jericho insisted that Rourke hit him as hard as he wanted "as long as it looked good."
Promoting your movie isn't always the easiest things to do. You've got to do the talk show circuit, lots of interviews, and sometimes, you help an underdog get a pinfall victory.
Such is the case with Hugh Jackman back in 2011 when he was promoting the rock'em sock'em robots-esque Real Steel. See, the thing was around this time that current Presidential hopeful Donald Trump "bought" Monday Night RAW and assigned a guest host each week (Trump himself was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013).
Jackman was in the middle of his promotion of the movie when interrupted by Vicki Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler. Check out the confrontation below.
Jackman meets up with Zach Ryder and assists him ringside during his match with Ziggler, helping him secure a victory. However, this would not be Jackman's only moment with WWE.
Last year, promoting X-Men: Days of Future Past it was Jackman and Dolph Ziggler being berated by Damien Sandow dressed as Magneto. During the segment, Jackman actually hit Sandow with a hip toss while Ziggler performed his finisher, the Zig Zag.
I guess Jackman forgave Ziggler for his previous attitude towards him.
Back in the fall of 1999, SmackDown! debuted on UPN, but needed some star power to make sure it was on par with the company's flashship RAW brand. Arnold Schwarzenegger was brought in as he was also promoting his horror/action movie End of Days. Vince McMahon even presented Arnold with a championship belt, signifying his reign as undisputed box office champion.
Backstage though, actual WWF Champion, Triple H is getting peeved that Schwarzenegger is stealing his thunder and is ruining Trip's plans of making it a "DX Night". Check out the hightlights of the SmackDown! episode below.
Just like Jackman, this would not be Arnold's first time in a WWE ring. Last year, Arnold, True Blood alumni Joe Manganiello, and Hulk Hogan confronted The Miz and promptly threw the so-called "A-Lister" out of the ring.
Schwarzenegger was inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame earlier this year and is actually part of a DLC pack when you preorder WWE 2k16. The influence doesn't stop there either as Triple H even had a Terminator-style entrance this year at WrestleMania.
Much like the Chucky moment, this is another moment presented by a crossover that just is so insane it's downright incredible.
At Capital Combat '90, WCW had been promoting the return of Robocop, in junction with the release of Robocop 2. He was even featured on the poster for the event.
While not in an official match, the cybernetic police officer from Detroit helped Sting out during an attack from the Four Horsemen during the PPV.
He was even announced on as he headed towards the ring. That's right. Hall of Fame commentator Jim Ross actually had to say the words "Great ovation for Robocop as he makes his way to the ring." Sting was then caught from behind and caged by his rivals, the Four Horsemen.
Robocop demonstrated such great strength that the Horsemen decided it was wise to back off and not fight a man with robopowers. This moment has lived in infamy for almost 30 years now, and encompasses the rule about how anything can happen in professional wrestling. Even if it shouldn't.
Which leads us to the next moment...
During the promotion of the WCW-based comedy Ready To Rumble, actor David Arquette started attending Nitros and Thunders and actually became part of the show. During an episode of WCW Thunder, Arquette pinned Eric Bischoff to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
It is one of the most loathed moments in professional wrestling, even ranking up there with the Montreal Screwjob. In interviews since, Arquette has stated he was downright vehemently against becoming the WCW World Champion, believing that fans would hate a non-wrestler winning the title. The head booker for WCW at the time, Vince Russo, insisted that Arquette holding the title would be good publicity for the company.
WCW was already a sinking ship, losing the Monday Night Wars at this point, but there was one good thing to actually come from this ordeal. Arquette actually donated the money that WCW paid him to the families of Owen Hart, Brian Pillman, referee Brian Hildebrandt, and to recently-paralyzed Darren "Droz" Drozdov.
Despite this, WWE invited Arquette to RAW as a special guest host and was actually in a handicap match teaming with Alex Riley against Randy Orton.
Arquette may have degraded the value of the WCW world title, but his stint didn't last long. He was only on two shows as champion, the May 1 episode of Nitro and the following pay per view, Slamboree. He did actually defend the title successfully his one time, with the help of Diamond Dallas Page, against Tank Abbot on the said Nitro episode.
So readers, you see that Hollywood and wrestling is a pretty common fling that happens and is happening more and more these days. Whatever happens between Stephen Amell and Stardust, it won't be the last time actors and celebrities tangle up with the superstars of professional wrestling.
Honorable Mention: Andy Kaufman
This is one you probably remember the most, or at least know the most about.
Performance artist/comedy legend Andy Kaufman started wrestling women as part of his act and crowned himself "Inter-Gender Wrestling Champion of the World". He even tried taking his act to the WWF with Vince McMahon, Sr, but was turned away as he felt "show business" and wrestling didn't belong together.
Kaufman then befriended Bill Apter, a known wrestling journalist and was introduced to Jerry "the King" Lawler. Lawler brought Andy through the Memphis wrestling territories, and finally escalated to a match between the two. The feud ended by Jerry actually breaking Kaufman's neck and the two took their drama to Late Night with David Letterman, in the now famous episode.
The two man just came together for their love of the sport and was a "work", but was seen as very real at the time. Lawler has often praised Kaufman's mind for the business and how he could work a crowd. In his biography It's Good to Be the King ... Sometimes, Lawler detailed how they came up with the angle and the secrecy behind it. Even though Kaufman's injury was legitimate, the duo acted as though the injury was more severe than it was.
Kaufman later became an unlockable character in the video game Legends of Wrestling II and a standard character in 2004's Showdown: Legends of Wrestling.