What are some of the best wrestling appearances in commercials?
Wrestling feels like it exists on the outskirts
of popular culture. When wrestling does cross-over into mainstream culture,
it’s a sign of the popularity of that star and wrestling as a whole. There are
some famous examples, like The Rock or John Cena, who find fame in movies. Some
wrestlers have found a way into the mainstream through another medium:
commercials. Wrestlers have made some of the most memorable, ridiculous, and
lasting commercials we’ve seen.
Sit back, relax and enjoy some of the best (and strangest) wrestler appearances in commercials. We’ve got appearances by five legendary wrestlers hocking everything from food to the lottery.
5. Sting for Sprite
This might be one of the unintentionally funniest commercials of all time. Sting, WCW’s premier silent babyface, makes sense to be a child’s wish to meet. He vanquished bad guys, seemed to always fight for what’s right, and looked cool doing it. So when Timmy gets to wrestle Sting for his wish, he couldn’t be happier.
Sting proceeds to wipe the floor with a child. He gets tossed into furniture, atomic dropped, and just thoroughly whipped around by Sting. It’s memorable and hilarious, even if it doesn’t really sell Sprite that well. Still, just for the gif of Sting running Timmy face first across the top of the fireplace makes it legendary.
4. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin for ESPN
The face of the Attitude Era, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was everywhere around the year 2000. As the World Wrestling Federation had its biggest run of mainstream popularity, Austin was everywhere. Even now, Austin is still everywhere. His popularity that lead to his successful podcast and USA Network show really started around this time.
In the commercial, SportsCentre host Dan Patrick offers up a creative solution to Austin getting tired. It really highlights the ridiculous side of wrestling while making Austin still look tough. His deadpan delivery is incredible here, and has served him well in the years since.
3. Kurt Angle for Pizza Outlet
Angle had some fame in the United States before he ever set foot in a wrestling ring. Most fans know the story of Angle’s Olympic success. Angle was an underdog in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and went on to win a gold medal on a broken freakin’ neck. Early on in his WWF career, Angle was already tapped to do commercials.
The commercial shows the goofy side of Angle that would serve him well during his first run with the WWF. Angle watches pizza toppings wrestle intensely, and even talks to the toppings. It is tough to see green pepper go over, since he’s been overpushed by Pizza McMahon, but it was still a good match.
2. Ric Flair for the North Carolina Education Lottery
The 16-time world champion Flair has always been one of North Carolina’s favourite sons. North Carolina is Flair Country, and has always welcomed him back with open arms. Flair has always been a prominent figure there, even once considering a run for Governor of North Carolina. In this commercial, Flair uses his popularity to help the North Carolina Education Lottery sell Flair-branded tickets.
The idea of a Wooooo University sounds interesting to wrestling fans. Learning how to strut like Flair, dole out knife-edge chops, and pick out the best robes is a great set of skills. Plus, who wouldn’t want to graduate as a jet flyin’, limousine ridin’, kiss stealin’, wheelin-dealin’ sun-of-a-gun? That’s a heck of a thing to put on a resume.
1. Randy Savage for SlimJim
We end with probably the most well-known wrestler endorsement of all time. There are some people out there who only know “Macho Man” Randy Savage as a SlimJim salesmen. Savage has an impressive catalogue of SlimJim commercials, and really helped boost the popularity of the snack. Randy Savage was an excellent promo during his wrestling days, and he really carried that over to the commercial world.
Some highlights of the compilation include Savage blowing up a library with flavour, attempting to hypnotise the audience, and breaking through more walls than a Kool-Aid Man & Juggernaut offspring. He also beats up teenagers who don’t think wrestling is extreme. It’s a precursor to his role as Bonesaw in the first Spider-man movie, and is a role he fills perfectly.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @EvanGomes_. Thanks for reading!