"That was neat to find that even David Letterman had a wrestling connection" --
Jerry "The King" Lawler, in his 2003 autobiography It's Good To Be The King.... Sometimes.
Of course, Letterman isn't the only celebrity with some sort of tie to the squared circle. With that in mind, I tried to see how many famous folks I could find that fit similar criteria.
A few ground rules:
While we could populate this list with Raw General Managers alone, I stayed away from most of them (unless they made a really memorable appearance or have additional ties to the industry). Let's face it, the guest host thing doesn't necessarily require a working knowledge of the business; what fun is that?
Same with celebrities who happen to be in the audience. That's great that you can wave to the crowd when the camera's on you, but does that really count as having a bonafide "connection" to wrestling?
Celebrities that aren't actual human beings (e.g. Robocop, Chucky or The Muppets) don't count, despite their impressive contributions to professional wrestling.
And finally, no wrestlers that later became celebrities because that's almost like double dipping. So you won't see Dwayne Johnson on this list, despite being a popular actor today.
Cool? Let's get to the list!
1) Muhammad Ali (Boxer) - "The Greatest" actually did an angle with Gorilla Monsoon in 1976, which resulted in Ali being caught in Monsoon's airplane spin. That same year, the legendary boxing champion locked horns with Antonio Inoki in Japan in one of the worst "big fight" matches in wrestling history. And of course, he was the special referee for the main event of the first WrestleMania.
2) Pamela Anderson (Baywatch) - The perennial Playboy centrefold was involved in back-to-back WWF pay-per-views in 1995, first as the "prize" for Shawn Michaels, the winner of the Royal Rumble, and then to manage WWF World Champion Diesel in his match against Michaels at WrestleMania XI.
3) David Arquette (Scream) - Mr. Courteney Cox famously won the WCW World Title in 2000 and promptly turned on his mentor Diamond Dallas Page. Years later, he returned to the ring on Monday Night Raw in 2010.
4) Bob Barker (The Price Is Right) - I know, I said earlier there wouldn't be too many Raw General Managers on this list, but Barker distinguished himself in 2009 by putting Chris Jericho in his place and karate-chopping Chavo Guerrero.
5) Wade Boggs (Baseball) - Boggs became good friends with "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig after the two filmed a vignette for WWF television. They were so close, in fact, that Boggs appeared throughout the retrospective DVD The Life and Times of Mr. Perfect, and inducted Hennig into the WWF Hall of Fame.
6) Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family) - Danny actually wrestled a dark match at WCW Spring Stampede in 1994 (against The Brady Bunch's Christopher Knight) and was a key member of the short-lived Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling reality show. And don't forget his feud in TNA with Eric Young, even though most of us have tried to.
9) James Brown (Musician) - The Godfather of Soul made a surprise cameo at WCW Superbrawl pay-per-view in 2000, upstaging Ernest "The Cat" Miller. Imagine if WCW had advertised his appearance ahead of time!
10) Dick Butkus (Football) - Not only was the Chicago Bears great a guest official for the NFL vs. WWF Battle Royale at WrestleMania 2, but his son Dick Butkus Jr. wrestled in Stampede. Furthermore, Dick Sr. was the head coach for the XFL's Chicago Enforcers.
11) Drew Carey (The Price Is Right) - Our first WWE Hall of Famer (celebrity wing) on the list, Carey famously angered Kane backstage at the 2001 Royal Rumble and later they collided briefly at the Rumble.
12) Jim Carrey (The Mask) - Carrey, who portrayed Andy Kaufman in the film Man On The Moon, took his on-camera "feud" with Jerry "The King" Lawler too far when the two had an altercation following the wrap of a tense scene in the film. Lawler claims Carrey faked his injury so that he could be like the real Kaufman, but it still led to legit heat between the two.
13) Ray Combs (Family Feud) - Combs was a guest ring announcer at WrestleMania VIII, which led to a commentating gig at the Survivor Series the following year. Beyond that, Combs hosted WWF, WCW and GLOW "families" on his game show and became off-camera friends with Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
14) Alice Cooper (Musician) - "The Godfather of Shock Rock" accompanied Jake "The Snake" Roberts at WrestleMania III and helped Roberts get revenge on opponent The Honky Tonk Man and manager Jimmy Hart.
15) Billy Corgan (Musician) - The Smashing Pumpkins frontman is a lifelong wrestling fan with ties to ECW, Ring of Honor and AAA. Not to mention he has his own promotion, Resistance Pro, which is set to debut as a reality-television show on AMC.
16) Bob Costas (NBC Sports) - Costas was a guest commentator for MTV's War To Settle The Score in 1985, and let's not forget his heated talk show confrontation with Vince McMahon in 2001.
17) Mark Cuban (Shark Tank) - The charismatic Dallas Mavericks owner loves taking bumps: in 2003, he was RKO'd by Randy Orton at Survivor Series and six years later, Sheamus put him through a table on Raw.
18) Jon “Johnny Fairplay” Dalton (Survivor) - Prior to his role on Survivor, Fairplay acted as the personal assistant for "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. Later, he joined TNA as a manager, where he feuded with AJ Styles.
19) Dustin Diamond (Saved By The Bell) - After he exploited the Screech character to its fullest, Diamond became a character in Memphis Championship Wrestling and later competed on Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling. He also wrestled on the indy circuit, including this one match I saw live in person.
20) Morton Downey Jr. (The Morton Downey Junior Show) - The controversial talk-show host came to blows with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper in a lengthy Piper's Pit segment at WrestleMania V.
21) James “Buster” Douglas (Boxer) - The man who upset Mike Tyson in 1990 also took his spot refereeing the Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage match on NBC's The Main Event.
22) Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile) - A longtime wrestling fan, Duncan was often found ringside at WWE events in the Los Angeles area. He also starred in The Scorpion King with The Rock.
23) Fred Durst (Musician) - In 1999, the Limp Bizkit frontman staged an angle with Steve Corino and other ECW performers. Plus he's an unlockable character in the video game SmackDown! Just Bring It.
24) Elvira (Elvira, Mistress of the Dark) - The 80's horror film staple was a guest commentator for the Los Angeles portion of WrestleMania II.
25) Kevin Federline ("Musician") - Say what you will, but the former Mr. Spears does own a pinfall victory over John Cena, the result of their match on Raw in 2007.
26) Aretha Franklin (Musician) - The Queen Of Soul sang the national anthem at both WrestleMania 3 and WrestleMania XXIII, forever earnings the R-E-S-P-E-C-T of fans.
27) Judah Friedlander (30 Rock) - The comedian calls himself "World Champion" and has appeared on Raw and WrestleMania 29. He also has appeared on Zack Ryder's Z True Long Island Story.
28) Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond) - Garrett was the voice of Hulk Hogan in the Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling cartoon show.
29) Robert Goulet (Musician) - The Las Vegas legend sang the national anthem (O Canada!) at WrestleMania 6.
30) Seth Green (Robot Chicken) - In addition to several wrestling-related sketches on Robot Chicken, Green also teamed up with Triple H and John Cena to defeat Legacy on Monday Night Raw in 2009.
31) Kevin Greene (Football) - The football player was a celebrity staple of WCW in the 90's, teaming with Steve McMichael and Bill Goldberg. He also main-evented against The Giant.
32) Mary Hart (Entertainment Tonight) - Hart grew up in the famous Hart Dungeon in Calgary and.... just kidding. She was a celebrity interviewer at WrestleMania III.
33) Dennis Haskins (Saved By The Bell) - "Hey hey hey! What is going on here?" Mr. Belding is a well-known WWE fan, following wrestlers around after the shows. He also petitioned in 2010 to become Raw General Manager.
35) Jason Hervey (The Wonder Years) - Kevin Arnold's bullying older brother counts Terry Funk as a godfather and Eric Bischoff as a business partner. Plus he dated Missy Hyatt while she was in WCW, leading to an on-air feud with Paul E. Dangerously.
36) Ice T (Musician) - Ice T recorded the song "Pimpin' Ain't Easy" for The Godfather, and accompanied Godfather and D'Lo Brown to the ring at WrestleMania 2000.
37) Insane Clown Posse (Musicians) - Between appearances in ECW, WCW, WWE and TNA, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope have appeared in numerous rings over the years. And let's not forget Juggalo Championshit Wrestling.
38) J-Woww (Jersey Shore) - The reality TV star showed up in TNA in 2010 to put Robbie E. and Cookie in their place.
39) Hugh Jackman (X-Men) - The Wolverine star showed up as a guest on Monday Night Raw to punch out and then side with Dolph Ziggler. More recently, he challenged John Cena on ESPN's SportsCenter.
40) Adam “Pacman” Jones (Football) - The controversial Bengal is the second celebrity titleholder on this list, winning the TNA World Tag Team Champions with Ron Killings in 2007, despite not being legally cleared to wrestle.
41) Kim Kardashian (Keeping Up With The Kardashians) - The reality television star was actually the guest host for WrestleMania XXIV, paving the way for fellow thespians The Rock and Hulk Hogan to do the same.
42) Alex Karras (Webster) - Webster's father George was a grappler in the late-1950's, feuding at one point with Dick The Bruiser.
43) Andy Kaufman (Taxi) - Kaufman's feud with Jerry "The King" Lawler in the early 1980's garnered national headlines, and the angle is still talked about to this day.
44) Toby Keith (Musician) - "The Angry American" showed up on the very first TNA pay-per-view in 2002, suplexing Jeff Jarrett. The two are still connected; Keith and Jarrett apparently tried to buy TNA last year, and Keith is rumored to be an investor in Global Force Wrestling.
45) Kid Rock (Musician) - Kid Rock has composed songs for both WCW and WWF, including Undertaker's American Bad Ass.
46) KISS (Musicians) - The heavy metal legends performed on WCW Nitro in 1999, leading to the debut of The KISS Demon.
47) Cyndi Lauper (Musician) - The entire rock and wrestling connection (not to mention the industry's current popularity) may have not taken place without Lauper, who aligned herself with Captain Lou Albano and Wendi Richter in the mid-1980's.
48) Robin Leach (Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous) - The lifestyle reporter was the official presenter of the vacant WWF World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania IV. He also featured Hulk Hogan and Ted DiBiase on his show.
49) Jay Leno (The Tonight Show) - No fan from the Monday Night Wars era will ever forget Leno teaming up with Diamond Dallas Page to vanquish Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff on pay-per-view.
50) David Letterman (The Late Show) - In the early stages of his broadcasting career, Letterman was a ring announcer for Dick The Bruiser, and has admitted admiration for the industry. Of course, he also mediated the infamous blow-up between Lawler and Kaufman.
51) Karl Malone (Basketball) - Like Leno before him, Malone teamed with Diamond Dallas Page as they took on Hulk Hogan and Dennis Rodman.
52) Mancow (Radio DJ) - The Howard Stern knockoff feuded with Jimmy Hart during the dying days of WCW, and even locked horns with The Mouth of the South on pay-per-view.
53) Master P (Musician) - WCW brought in Master P and his No Limit Soldiers in 1999, which led to a feud with Curt Hennig's West Texas Rednecks.
54) Floyd “Money” Mayweather (Boxer) - The boxing main-eventer crossed over to the main event of WrestleMania XXIV, upending The Big Show and collecting a reported $20 million in the process.
55) Jenny McCarthy (Playboy) - The poster child for vaccination was not only in Shawn Michaels's corner at WrestleMania 11, she also pledged to "lay the smack down on autism" during an episode of Saturday Night's Main Event in 2008.
56) Steve McMichael (Football) - Speaking of WrestleMania 11, McMichael first entered the ring as a cornerman for Lawrence Taylor at Mania before joining the WCW announce team a few years later and eventually becoming one of The Four Horsemen.
57) Maria Menounos (Access Hollywood) - The entertainment journalist has donned the tights several times in WWE, competing at Raw, SummerSlam and even WrestleMania. She also inducted Bob Backlund into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.
58) The Misfits (Musicians) - The punk rock pioneers formed a faction with Vampiro in WCW during 1999.
59) Jenna Morasca (Survivor) - The actress joined TNA in 2009 and worked a match against Sharmell on pay-per-view.
60) Motorhead (Musicians) - Lemmy and the gang have long been contributors to Triple H's theme music, composing "My Time", "The King of Kings" and "Evolution".
61) Steve-O (Jackass) - The stuntman was punished by Umaga on Raw in 2007, a beating was reportedly taken ever further when Steve-O didn't follow the script. Oh, and there was a wrestler in the AWA named Steve O, but there's no relation.
62) Shaquille O’Neal (Basketball) - Shaq was in the corner of Hulk Hogan for his very first WCW match, and later had a confrontation with The Big Show in 2009, leading to rumors of a WrestleMania match that never materialized.
63) Ozzy Osbourne (Musician) - Ozzy was in the corner of The British Bulldogs at WrestleMania 2, and later resurfaced as a guest host of Raw with his wife Sharon.
64) Willie Nelson (Musician) - The Red Head Stranger performed the national anthem at WrestleMania VII, decked out in an official Mania tee-shirt, Bret Hart sunglasses, a Hulk Hogan bandana and WWF championship belt.
65) Chuck Norris (Walker, Texas Ranger) - The action star turned meme was a referee for the match between The Undertaker and Yokozuna at 1994's Survivor Series.
66) William “The Refrigerator” Perry (Football) - Fridge was the biggest NFL celebrity in the WrestleMania II battle royale, and was 2006's inductee in the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame.
67) Regis Philbin (Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee) - The veteran talk show host has often credited Fred Blassie to making his career in the 1960's. Regis was also a guest at WrestleMania VII, inciting one of the only comedy vignettes ever from The Undertaker.
68) A.J. Pierzynski (Baseball) - A.J. seconded Dale Torbourg during the "Basebrawl" segment in TNA in 2005.
69) Jeremy Piven (Entourage) - SummerFest gaffe aside, Ari Gold delivered one hell of a highspot on Raw in 2009, diving on top of John Cena.
70) Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi (Jersey Shore) - What would WrestleMania 27 have been without Snooki's in-ring debut? If you answered 'better', you're probably correct.
71) Elvis Presley (Musician) - According to Jerry Lawler's autobiography, The (other) King was a huge wrestling fan who attended shows at the Mid-South Coliseum and had contemplated some sort of match with Lawler prior to his death.
72) Freddie Prinze Jr. (I Know What You Did Last Summer) - The actor guest-hosted Monday Night Raw in 2009 and became a member of WWE's creative team on two separate occasions.
73) Burt Reynolds (Smokey and The Bandit) - The veteran actor was guest ring announcer for the main event of WrestleMania X between Bret Hart and Yokozuna. He also worked with Steve Austin, Bill Goldberg and other grapplers on his film The Longest Yard.
74) Joan Rivers (The Joan Rivers Show) - The talk show host was a guest ring announcer for WrestleMania II.
75) Chris Rock (Saturday Night Live) - While filming a scene for his film Head of State, the comedian made a guest cameo on NWA-TNA and proclaimed the company had the greatest wrestling in the whole world. Yes, we are assuming that was a joke.
77) Pete Rose (Baseball) - Charlie Hustle (not to be confused with "Charlie Haas-le") had several run-ins with Kane beginning at WrestleMania XIV. Rose even earned himself a spot in the WWF HOF celebrity wing for his efforts.
78) Peter Rosenberg (Radio DJ) - The hip-hop deejay from Hot 97 has been an advocate for wrestling, featuring everyone from Bully Ray to The Bella Twins on his program. He's even used the forum to ask Vince McMahon for a job.
79) Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) - Rourke's performance as Randy "The Ram" Robinson in The Wrestler earned him an Academy Award nomination in 2008. He parlayed that into a mini-feud with Chris Jericho that culminated with him punching Y2J at WrestleMania.
80) Run DMC (Musicians) - The rap legends came up with the "WrestleMania Rap" at WrestleMania V, and later composed "The Kings of Rock" For D-Generation X.
82) Arnold Schwartzenegger (Terminator) - Between training with Bruno Sammartino back in the day, films with Jesse Ventura, appearing on SmackDown in 1999 and offering to enter the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale in 2014, Arnie is as big a celebrity as WWE has ever hosted. Plus he inducted Sammartino in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.
83) William Shatner (Star Trek) - Captain Kirk backed up his Canadian compatriot Bret Hart during a feud with Jeff Jarrett and Jerry Lawler. He returned to induct Lawler into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007, and in 2010, "negotiated" a match on Raw.
84) Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men) - What? We're not going to count Sheen's run as WWE's first social media ambassador and near-feud with Daniel Bryan in 2012?
85) Snoop Dogg (Musician) - Snoop considers himself a huge wrestling fan, putting the boots to Santino Marella at WrestleMania XXIV and being a guest host of Raw in 2009.
86) Sylvester Stallone (Rocky) - Stallone is responsible for bringing Hulk Hogan to international promince with his role in Rocky III. Twenty-three years later, Stallone inducted Hogan into the WWE Hall of Fame.
87) Ben Stiller (There's Something About Mary) - Zoolander was attacked by Jeff Jarrett during a Raw taping in 1999.
88) Stu Stone (Donnie Darko) - A lifelong wrestling fan and huge mark for Canadian Bulldog's World, the actor, musician and podcaster recently became a manager in NWA Championship From Hollywood. Look for big things for this promising youngster!
89) Mr. T (The A-Team) - I pity the fool who doesn't know this man's contributions to wrestling, including main-eventing the first WrestleMania, being a special enforcer in WWF and WCW, and earlier this year, respecting his mother by becoming a WWE Hall of Famer in the celebrity wing.
90) Alex Trebek (Jeopardy) - What is "Celebrity Guest Interviewer at WrestleMania VII"?91) Donald Trump (The Apprentice) - Not only did The Donald host WrestleManias IV and V, but he played a major part in The Battle Of The Billionaires at WrestleMania XXIII. Did I mention he once "owned" Raw?
92) Mike Tyson (Boxer) - Another lifelong wrestling fan, Iron Mike famously had a confrontation with "Cold Stone" Steve Austin on Raw in 1998. He later refereed Austin's WrestleMania XIV match versus Shawn Michaels and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame celebrity wing in 2013.
93) Bob Uecker (Baseball) - Another Hall of Famer, "Mr. Baseball" was a special guest at WrestleMania IV and was choked out by Andre The Giant.
94) Adam West (Batman) - Holy Kayfabe, Batman! In 1976, West (decked out in full Batman regalia and possibly drunk) defended the city of Memphis from the evil Jerry "The King" Lawler.
95) Betty White (The Golden Girls) - Earlier this year, the actress became possibly the oldest guest host for Raw ever earlier this year, and even managed to prank The New Age Outlaws.
96) Reggie White (Football) - The NFL Hall of Famer took Steve McMichael to the limit at Slamboree 97.
97) Vanna White (Wheel of Fortune) - The third White on our list (and no, Kerwin isn't next), Vanna helped explain the WWF Title tournament at WrestleMania IV.
98) Henry Winkler (Happy Days) - Fonzie (not to be confused with the ECW manager with a whistle) played a pro wrestler in the 1978 film The One And Only. He also gave the fans his patented "thumbs up" from ringside at WrestleMania VII. Ayyyyyy!
100) ZZ Top (Musicians) - The bearded rockers have been ringside at numerous WWE events, and even guest-hosted Raw in 2009.
So whaddya think? Did we miss anyone? Let me know in the Comments section below...