wrestling / TV Reports

411’s WWE This is Awesome Report: Most Awesome Celebrities

May 7, 2023 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
WWE This Is Awesome Image Credit: WWE

-I didn’t realize a new episode of this series dropped until I was scrolling through Peacock looking for something to watch. I guess it makes sense considering Backlash is being hosted by Bad Bunny. Let’s get to it!

-Run Time: 1:00:13

-Greg Miller welcomes us to the show and tells us today we are celebrating the most awesome celebrities and celebrity moments.

-Opening video package with talking heads discussing their favorite celebrity moments. Betty White: “I’m going to kick some ass.” Jericho getting knocked out by Mickey Rourke. Little Joe C! MGK GETTING POWERBOMBED THROUGH A TABLE BY KEVIN OWENS. The Muppets! Snooki at WrestleMania XXVII (I was there for that one). Hey, Stephen Amell is a talking head here. I think he just follows wherever Cody goes. Snoop Dogg saving Shane and his torn quads! GEORGE F’N KITTLE! You may not care, but I do. BANG BANG NINER GANG! Hugh Jackman, which is one of the biggest catches they ever had. I mean, it’s WOLVERINE!

Andy Kaufman

-Well, DUH! If you are going to start anywhere with celebrities in wrestling this would be the place to start. Jerry Lawler mentions he brought the first celebrity into the wrestling world 40 years ago. Kaufman was the star of the top TV show, Taxi. Kaufman was a pro-wrestler at heart and had a deal where he would wrestle women and insult them. He wanted to do his spiel on a big promotion and Vince Sr passed, but Lawler in Memphis was all over it. Kaufman trying to teach people from Tennessee how to use soap is amazing. Kaufman had so much heat and then got murdered by Lawler in the eventual match. Things blew up when they appeared on David Letterman together. Kaufman goes on a rant about suing Lawler for everything he is worth, so Lawler slaps the piss out of his mouth. Letterman doesn’t know what to do and when they come back from commercial, Kaufman just loses it with f bombs and any other curse word he can say. Heavy stuff at the time that blurred the lines of what was real and wasn’t. Lawler notes his match with Kaufman is the best match of his career. Andy Kaufman was finally inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this past year and it was a great moment. Kaufman finally getting his flowers as far as pro-wrestling is nice to see.

Mr. T

-Another great choice and another WWE Hall of Famer. X-Pac mentions T being Clubber Lang (my favorite Rocky villain) and his appearance on A Team. The talking heads give their “I pity the fool” imitations. Enter Roddy Piper who is called one of the biggest jerks in wrestling history and I am sure Piper would be honored by that. The first WrestleMania was sold on Piper/T getting into it and a tag match Main Event with Hogan and Mr. Wonderful was set for the big show. Hogan and Mr. T were all over the place as far as media appearances. They show vignettes of T and Hogan training and grocery shopping and Austin Theory isn’t sure how Hogan held it in and didn’t corpse. Pac says WrestleMania wouldn’t have been WrestleMania without Mr. T involved. They skip over WrestleMania II and get to T’s Hall of Fame speech where he thanked his mom. Awesome! Pac says WrestleMania should be dedicated to Mr. T and his mother. Breeze says everyone should thank their mom. Good stuff!

Mike Tyson

-I mean, so far, they are crushing it with each choice. For those too young to know, Mike Tyson was legit seen as the baddest and scariest man on the planet. He absolutely obliterated people inside a boxing ring and you didn’t care you spent a bunch of money to see a boxing match that was likely going to be over in a round or two as you were just paying for the carnage. WWF was locked in the War with WCW and in 1998, pulled Mike Tyson to their side. We see the Austin/Tyson confrontation and it even Eric Bischoff take notice of how big of a deal it was. Austin flips off Tyson and they get into a shoving match and it’s all over the news because Mike Tyson draws eyeballs. Tyson ends up joining DX to stack the odds against Austin. It was also done to advance the story with Shawn basically being unable to do anything because of his back and piss poor attitude about being replaced as the top guy. At WrestleMania XIV, Tyson fast counts Shawn (which Austin wishes didn’t happen) and then punches Shawn out. Mike was then inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017.

Johnny Knoxville

-Sami Zayn says Knoxville is the leader of Jackass apparently. Theory calls Knoxville an American Icon. I grew up on Jackass and then the spin-off series with Bam, so this was all in my wheelhouse. My best friend is even crazier into it and has met Steve-O and others. So, Sami gets annoyed that Knoxville is trying to get involved in WWE and they start a war at The Rumble. Knoxville flying Zayn’s phone number over LA is awesome and Zayn says it was kind of traumatic all the calls and texts he was getting. The have a match at Mania that many hated, but I loved it for what it was. The crowd was losing it during the match and they delivered crazy stunt filled entertainment. As mentioned, my best friend is way into this and he signed up for Peacock just to see this match. Sami Zayn deserves all the credit in the world for making this work and good on Knoxville for going all in. I could see WWE putting Knoxville in the Hall of Fame down the line because of this run.

Pete Rose

-Wooo! JBL notes that Pete Rose should be the baseball Hall of Fame. Pete was a guest ring announcer at Mania XIV in Boston and goes heel on the crowd. Pete was awesome there as he referenced Bill Buckner and his Reds beating The Red Sox in the World Series. Enter Kane who gave Pete a Tombstone to make his a babyface for a few split seconds. A year later, The San Diego Chicken attacks Kane and yes, it’s Pete and he gets planted with another Tombstone. Now to WrestleMania 2000 and Pete tries again and again, eats a Tombstone and then a Stinkface from Rikishi. JBL says they are smarter than baseball as they put Pete in the Hall of Fame. Pete was great and seemed to be having a ball with the annual gag and looked like he was deeply honored at that Hall of Fame ceremony.

Tyson Fury

-The first one that I have no real feeling towards one way or the other. I mean, I obviously know who he is, but heavyweight boxing coverage has fallen off over here since the mid 90s. I totally get the UK crowd loving the man, but sadly interest died in the US once Tyson and Holyfield were gone and the UFC took over. Fury appeared at Crown Jewel in 2019 and got a win over Braun Strowman via TKO. Fury showed up again at Clash at The Castle last year when he knocked out Austin Theory to keep him from cashing in his Money in The Bank shot. Candice LeRae giggles as she says that Theory probably deserved getting knocked out. Nikki Cross thinks WWE and Tyson Fury go hand in hand and Sam Roberts isn’t surprised that Fury works as an attraction in WWE. Again, I am kind of meh with his involvement.

Dennis Rodman

-Hey, something that happened in WCW is included. Where is this man’s Hall of Fame induction? Dennis Rodman was the bad boy of the NBA and has been a friend of Hulk Hogan. Rodman was basically a walking heel so it was a perfect fit and JBL notes just that as he talks about Rodman being in the nWo. Hogan calls Rodman a wild card, but he was gold when the red light came on. Nash thinks it is awesome that Rodman blew off a Bulls’ practice to go to Nitro. Then they just wrap things up without even getting into his two Tag Main Event matches including one against Karl Malone after they just faced each other in the NBA Finals. Boo!

Pat McAfee

-Pride of Plum High School in Western PA! Also, congrats to Pat McAfee and his wife of the birth of their first child this week. Welcome to the Dad Club! Anyway, McAfee is a former punter in the NFL and we get highlights from his career with the Colts. He has always been a fan and got added to NXT pre-shows because of his following through his various podcasts and shows. Then he get in the ring and he was a natural. The man can talk on the mic and can play a douche bag heel or the party frat boy face. McAfee says he was born to be a wrestling fan and knew he was destined to be inside the ring one day. McAfee got asked by Vince to work Mania and the crowd was crazy into him. McAfee gets the win over Theory and then gets to drink beer with Stone Cold before being stunned. McAfee says he is the most fortunate human and he doesn’t know why. That Stunner sell was beautiful and Austin laughs at McAfee drinking beer while selling the stunner outside on the floor. McAfee puts over all the admiration for the wrestlers before him and the current stars put over McAfee and his respect for the business. Again, McAfee is awesome. Even for a WVU guy!

Cyndi Lauper

-Talk about a Hall of Fame induction that is long past due. Lauper was one of the biggest stars in music in the 80s and was all over MTV back when they played music videos. Cyndi notes she met Albano on a plane and decided to use him for her music video while people around her wanted Gorgeous George. Lauper wins The Grammy for Best New Artist and has Hulk Hogan come up on stage with her. Think about that for a second! Lauper was part of WrestleMania as a manager for Wendy Richter. Richter beats Moolah for the Woman’s Title and celebrate with Lauper in front a screaming crowd in MSG. They touch on Becky Lynch playing Cyndi in a recent episode of Young Rock. She killed it and does her Lauper impersonation for us. Again, killed it! As mentioned, Lauper for Fall of Hame 2024?

Arnold Schwarzenegger

-SmackDown in 1999 Arnold is brought out by Vince McMahon and gets presented his own WWF Title. The talking heads all mark out as Arnold fans. Bubba Ray goes over Arnold’s credentials in body-building and then as a box office draw in the 80s and 90s. Later in the show HHH takes a shot at Arnold and misses, which lets Arnold land a sweet spinning back hand before some ground and pound. That backhand was glorious! Bubba notes that HHH probably still feels that today. JBL says Arnold had his kids backstage and was asking if they could get photos and they were just amazed that Arnold was back there. Arnold has popped up several other times in the WWF and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by HHH.

Bob Barker

-Here we go! Barker was brought in as a guest host of RAW and they just went for it with him. Liv Morgan calls Barker a National Treasure and she isn’t lying. Bliss is a massive Price is Right fan as she gushes. Barker hosted a version of The Price is Wrong on RAW and Jericho showed up with a name tag on his bare chest. Santino wanted to buy a vowel and Barker just rolled with the punches. Jericho and Barker came face to face and traded verbal jabs. Ciampa: “Wait, Bob Barker is better than Chris Jericho.” Barker threatens to take Jericho over his knee and I lost it watching at home. Barker was named Guest Host of the Year at the Slammys that year. Miz says that Barker 100% deserved that Slammy. I mean, he is one of the few guests hosts I can remember in any kind of detail.

Floyd Mayweather

-More from the world of boxing as it’s a natural fit with pro-wrestling. Mayweather may be the greatest boxer of all time, pound for pound, and is easily one of the best defensive boxers ever. The guy just doesn’t get hit and while some hate that style, it’s kind of the point. Getting punched isn’t fun! At No Way Out, Big Show challenged Mayweather to come in the ring and drops down to his knees. Mayweather legit breaks Show’s nose with a crazy quick combo that looked like it legitimately pissed show off. They have a match set for Mania and JBL notes that Show has had lunches bigger than Floyd. It was a total spectacle, but it was a lot of fun. Show has a lot of experience working with celebrities and knew exactly what to do. To his credit Floyd was all in and I can’t leave out the guy in his posse that was screaming during the entire match. He was fantastic! Floyd uses brass knuckles to knock out Show for the win. Floyd says he is the greatest fighter who ever lived, but WWE is as big as it gets.

Bad Bunny

-Fitting considering Backlash just ended. For reference this show dropped before Backslash obviously. Bunny first showed up at Royal Rumble and I won’t lie as I had no clue who he was. Then again, I am 42 years old and my current music is limited to the CDs from my youth and 20s and XM Radio stations with R&B from the 90s/2000s and the 80s and 90s stations. Bunny moved to Florida so he could train in the Performance Center to get ready for his Mania Tag Match. Again, show up and put in the work and everyone will respect what you are doing. Liv thinks Bunny may be the best celebrity crossover ever and he did knock it out of the park. They touch on that Backlash will be Puerto Rico and Theory says it will be a wild PPV. They use this to plug Backlash and the Street Fight with Priest and Bunny.

-Miller with one last plug for Backlash.

-Next time the most awesome factions in WWE history. Sweet! SHIELD, EVOLUTION, DX, BLOODLINE, HORSEMEN, NWO!

-In a wonderful touch they include Jerry Springer saying, “take care of yourself and each other,” and then putting up an In Memory photo! Very classy and well done!

-I enjoyed this episode way more than I thought I would. Again, this show is all about the nostalgia for someone my age. While there was a lot of that it was fun hearing celebrities and athletes talk about being fans and what they love about pro-wrestling. I can’t argue with anyone featured other than including Logan Paul, who may be the best of the bunch. I was also surprised Lawrence Taylor only got a passing mention. The guy closed WrestleMania. I also assume they didn’t want to start anything political even by accident by bringing up Donald Trump. He wasn’t mentioned but I will mention the work Kevin Greene did in WCW. He was all in with every appearance and his tag match with Mongo against Flair and Anderson was one of the first good celebrity matches. Check this show out as I think you will have as much fun watching it as I did. Thanks for reading!