Being one of the internet’s foremost authorities on bad wrestling, I get a lot of emails asking me about celebrity involvement in pro wrestling. Here’s my take – if a celebrity is used to help promote a wrestler or an event without dragging them down, then I’m cool with it. Look at, say, Mike Tyson – he was brought in when the WWF was in dire need of attention, and was booked in such a way that he made the wrestlers look strong, and the event – Wrestlemania XIV – a must watch show.
Contrast that with WrestleCrap 2000 Gooker Award Winner David Arquette. He made not only his promotion look bad, but was a black eye on all of wrestling by virtue of getting the WCW World Title. A title that is supposed to mean something, not just handed to the current D-Level celebrity of the week.
The WWF did something along these lines back in the mid 1990’s, although admittedly, it wasn’t nearly as bad. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that it was, indeed, WrestleCrap.
It involved a very famous guy by the name of William Shatner, who you may know as James T. Kirk of Star Trek fame. You know, the captain before the bald guy.
Or maybe, as connoisseurs of bad pop culture, you know him for his hideous renditions of classic rock songs such as Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and Mr. Tamborine Man. (And trust me, if you’ve never heard those, you need to.)
Anyway, Shatner was hopping all about the USA Network hawking his latest creation, a Sci Fi series by the name of Tek War.
So it only made sense that Bill would appear on USA’s highest rating show, Monday Night Raw. And he did so, showing up one week as Bret “The Hitman” Hart’s manager for a bout against “Double J” Jeff Jarrett.
It started out ok, amazingly enough. Shatner stood at ringside, holding Bret’s jacket, and cheering him on.
No, the problem started after the match, as Shatner physically interjected himself. He ran at the Road Dogg (known then simply as “The Roadie”), and levelled him with a forearm…
…then proceeded to ram his head into the turnbuckle….
…and climaxed by sending Road Dogg over the top rope and to the floor, all while commentators Vinnie Mac and Shawn Michaels sang his praises.
So why does this angle get inducted, while other celebrities slide by? Simple – by pummelling the Road Dogg, he made wrestlers look like a joke. It would appear to the slack jawed yokels who tuned in that anyone could be a wrestler – even Capt. Kirk!
Thankfully, though, Shatner’s WWF stay was very short lived. He appeared only two or three weeks before he returned to oversee Tek War.
Ironically enough, Tek War lasted only a couple weeks longer than Bill’s WWF stay.
William Shatner (overacting as only William Shatner can): “SUDDENLY! SOMEONE! IS THERE! AT THE TURNSTYLE! The giiiirl with kaleidoscope eyes (eyes eyes eyes)”
Horrible background singers: “Lucy in the Sky-y with Diamonds…”
William Shatner (sounding exhausted, almost as though he just got done climbing a hill): “In the…JINGLE JANGLE MORNING…I’ll come FOLLOWING you!”
Horrible background singers: “Hey, Mr. Tambornine Man…”
Shatner (screaming as though he he had just watched Brisco-Patterson evening gown match): “MR. TAMBORNINE MAN!!!”
Vince McMahon: “William Shatner is taking it to the Roadie!”
Shawn Michaels: “I can’t believe this – William Shatner is actually everything he says he is!”