The spectacle of WrestleMania has always been a hybrid of wrestling, celebrity and music right from the get-go. Ever since Vince McMahon first came up with the idea back in the early 1980s, his vision has always been to thrust the biggest wrestling superstars into the public eye by mixing them with some of the hottest icons in popular culture. With WrestleMania 33 fast approaching, there's no doubt that we'll be treated to some other headline making moments involving musicians, sports stars and those from TV and film, but they've got a lot to live up to. So what are the best and most memorable celebrity appearances over the past 32 events? There's certainly a lot to choose from, with names such as Alice Cooper, Snoop Dogg, Pamela Anderson, Burt Reynolds and Mickey Rourke to name but a few – and they've not even made our top five! Let's kick off where it all began..
1. Mr. T and Muhammad Ali: Wrestlemania I
OK so I've cheated a little bit by putting two people here but it's hard to separate these two as they represent such different worlds. With Mr. T being the big TV star and Ali a huge sports star, McMahon managed to bring together two hugely significant names and mix them with his own superstars Hulk Hogan, Jimmy Snuka, Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. This was literally the dream for Vince and something that he has tried to replicate every year since. It's a formula that works well, sells Pay-per-views and brings wrestling to a wider audience. You can't fault the logic behind it, and to have a guy like Mr. T actually being a participant in a match made things even more exciting. This was where the dream started and WrestleMania became an iconic brand in itself. You don't need to be a dedicated wrestling fan to know what it is or the phenomenon it has become today.
2. Lawrence Taylor: WrestleMania XI
While he may not have been a big name to worldwide audiences unfamiliar with his NFL career, there is no doubt that Taylor was a huge star in the United States and to have him wrestle in the main event of the biggest PPV of the year was a real coup for the then-WWF. News outlets were picking up the feud between Taylor and Bam Bam Bigelow here, there and everywhere, and the NFL lineback put in a great in-ring shift, surpassing all expectations. The PPV itself has gone down in history as one of the worst WrestleMania events of all time, and there will always be a question mark over having Taylor beat Bigelow to win the match, but the smart money is often on the long game of mainstream exposure. It certainly wouldn't be the last time.
3. Pete Rose: WrestleMania XIV, XV and 2000
Another big American sports name, Rose is a Baseball legend known for being a highly successful player and then manager. In the 1970s his team The Cincinnati Reds were known as “the Big Red Machine” so who better for him to work with than wrestling's own Big Red Machine himself Kane! Three years running he managed to get involved in altercations with the monstrous 7 footer and each time the crowds absolutely loved it. Not many celebrities can say they've been invited back that many times to WrestleMania, and so Pete Rose has a very special place in the hearts of wrestling fans, especially considering he gave us an unforgettable memory of a man in a chicken costume receiving the Tombstone piledriver. What more could you want?
4. Donald Trump: WrestleMania 23
Trump's relationship with wrestling has a storied history and he not only hosted a number of WrestleMania events in the late 80s but appeared on camera during numerous other events later on. However it's his 2007 appearance at 23 that really got people talking, and numerous GIFs and video clips have had a resurgence as of late due to his current role as President of the United States! It's a very strange thing to look back on, but at the time he was known to many primarily for being host of the US Apprentice. Taking part in the 'Battle of the Billionaires,' Trump played a supporting role by supporting Bobby Lashley against Umaga who was backed by Vince. The storyline would be that either The Donald or McMahon would have their head shaved if their wrestler lost. Luckily for Trump his man won and there are no videos of him getting shaved to mock him with sadly. At least Vince can say that one of his WWE Hall of Fame entrants is now in charge at the White House.
5. Floyd Mayweather: WrestleMania XXIV
Mayweather is a great example of McMahon and co having their fingers on the pulse and understanding who exactly will get tongues wagging in the mainstream media. The undefeated boxer is a man that certainly causes audiences to be divided, some liking his boxing style while others wishing he'd keep his mouth shut. That flamboyant and cocky attitude was perfect for a wrestling environment and he was thrust into a feud with Big Show, the largest athlete in the world. The spectacle of seeing a giant take on one of boxing's biggest names was again what WrestleMania is all about, and Mayweather knocked out his opponent to remain undefeated – albeit with a little help from brass knuckles!
Special mention: Ronda Rousey, WrestleMania 31
The Rock leading UFC's biggest female star into the ring to face up to Stephanie McMahon and her husband Triple H? You couldn't ask for a more electrifying moment. How will WWE top it this year?
Disagree with David's choices? Leave your suggestions or comments below on the greatest celebrity appearances at Wrestlemania.