Professional wrestling has been a popular form of entertainment for over a century. In turn, wrestling was among the earliest television programming. Well over 50 years since premiering on television, wrestling continues to draw tens of millions of weekly television viewers around the world. That said, it has always been somewhat taboo to be “out” as a wrestling fan.
In recent years, we’ve seen Kylie Jenner wear an nWo Wolfpac shirt — even if she had no idea if she knew what the shirt meant — and John Cena host major televised awards shows and even the Ellen show in April 2019. Meanwhile, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has arguably been the world’s biggest movie star for the last few years. It is clear that wrestling is not only a mainstream form of entertainment but one that attracts followers from all walks of life.
Below is a list of 15 famous people who you may not have known were wrestling fans. The extent of their fandom varies from person to person, but the key is these entertainers “get it” the way that you and I do. And this is without factoring in commonly-discussed famous fans like David Arquette, Andy Kaufman, Freddy Prinze Jr., Drew Carey, or the anchors of Weekend Update from Saturday Night Live.
Famous celebrities you may not have known were wrestling fans:
1) Matthew McConaughey
Late last year when appearing on The Graham Norton Show in the UK alongside John Cena, Matthew McConaughey attempted to get on the same page as Cena and may have let out more than he intended. By doing such, McConaughey surprised John by talking about his hatred of Skandar Akbar as a kid and how that led him to getting thrown out of a wrestling show! This interaction is shown below for your amusement.
2) Melissa Joan Hart
Melissa Joan Hart first won the heart of countless teenagers via Clarissa Explains It All on Nickelodeon. She continued her mainstream television domination a few years later with Sabrina The Teenage Witch. However, not everyone realizes what a big WWE fan she is. Beyond appearing at 2015’as Summerslam on a WWE.com exclusive a few years back (seen below), Hart had a brief Twitter feud with Kevin Owens.
3) Macaulay Culkin
Macaulay Culkin was inarguably one of the world’s biggest movie stars in the early 1990s thanks to the Home Alone franchise and several other starring roles. Culkin has been selective with his acting roles in recent years, but he is currently active as a writer and podcaster for his Bunny Ears brand. Beyond challenging Rusev to a fight through social media last year, Culkin has also been seen at many WWE-related events over the years. He even once interfered in a wrestling match using ‘Home Alone’ tactics at a Bar Wrestling show in Los Angeles in 2017.
4) Rancid guitarist and frontman, Lars Fredriksen
As a guitarist and vocalist in Rancid for close to 30 years, Lars Fredriksen has toured the world many times over. Those who remember the American punk explosion of the mid-1990s may recall Rancid being mainstream to the point of appearing as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live at one point. Either way, Frederiksen has been spotted at countless wrestling shows over the years
📰 INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS: Lars Frederiksen of Rancid/Old Firm Casuals discusses Cody & AEW, WWE creative issues, thoughts on Joey Ryan https://t.co/Xx4Pr7g2Ed
— The Daily Smark (@thedailysmark) April 18, 2019
5) Jon Stewart
Prior to becoming the host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart was popular for his work on MTV’s The Jon Stewart Show and HBO’s The Larry Sanders Show. At this point in his life, Stewart has both the financial resources and career stability to only work on projects he is truly interested in. Given his involvement with the WWE in a storyline related to John Cena a few years back and his participation in last year’s Tribute To The Troops, he is clearly a fan of wrestling.
6) John Oliver
Speaking of The Daily Show, most Americans first learned of John Oliver as a result of his anchor work under Jon Stewart. Oliver made headlines in early April of 2019 on his show Last Week Tonight when he featured a 20-minute-plus exposé on WWE’s controversial takes on employment law and employee healthcare. While the segment may have aimed to point out many of WWE’s flaws, Oliver did clearly identify himself as a wrestling fan within the segment.
7) Nita Strauss
Nita Strauss is a solo artist in her own right but is best known these days as one of Alice Cooper’s guitarists. Strauss is also a big proponent of DDP YOGA. Strauss discussed her wrestling fandom on a Talk Is Jericho podcast in April of 2018 and has notably played guitar at a few WWE live events, including 2018’s WrestleMania.
8) Adam Sandler
Beyond co-writing and/or producing many of the films he has starred in, Adam Sandler has been one of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars for over two decades. A good number of those films have included cameos by professional wrestlers, including The Great Khali, Bill Goldberg, Kevin Nash, and Big Show. Sandler has also been seen ringside at various wrestling events including WrestleMania 21 alongside close friend and regular co-star, Rob Schneider.
9) Billy Corgan
As the leader of The Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan has sold tens of millions of albums. To this day, he is still playing arenas and major festivals. But as a truly outed wrestling fan, Corgan has been involved with storylines within TNA/IMPACT and ECW over the years. Currently, he is the owner of the National Wrestling Alliance, helping to restore the legacy of the classic NWA promotion.
10) Mike Tyson
As one of boxing’s most dominant competitors of all-time, Mike Tyson was one of the most famous people in the world in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Since leaving the sport of boxing behind, Tyson remains recognizable for a variety of reasons, including his cameo in The Hangover and his namesake animated series Mike Tyson Mysteries. Tyson’s late 1990s WWF storyline alongside “Stone Cold” Steve Austin helped the McMahon Family ultimately win the “Monday Night Wars,” but if you listen to Tyson’s appearance on the Talk Is Jericho podcast from a few years back, you will hear Tyson’s encyclopedia-esque knowledge of the business which goes back to the early WWWF days.
11) Jay Mohr
After getting his start as a stand-up comic as a teen, Jay Mohr first found national success as the then-youngest-ever cast member on Saturday Night Live. Mohr eventually became a leading man in various television and film projects. Currently, beyond acting and stand-up, he is a podcast host and has had his fair share of wrestling talent on Mohr Stories.
12) Andy Richter
Beyond starring in a few sit-coms of his own, Andy Richter has worked as Conan O’Brien’s late-night sidekick for well over two decades. Richter has occasionally weighed in on being a fan of professional wrestling. But rather than focusing on this, check out Andy Richter’s on-air visit to the 1996 Cauliflower Alley Club which includes appearances by Sunny, “Classy” Freddie Blassie, “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, and “Captain” Lou Albano.
13) Method Man
As a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, Method Man has been a big name in hip-hop for over 25 years. In Limp Bizkit’s “N 2 Gether Now,” Meth referenced Big John Studd. But that’s just the start of his fandom within the wrestling world, per this pre-Cheap Heat video.
14) Slipknot and Stone Sour’s Corey Taylor
As the lead singer of both Slipknot and Stone Sour, Corey Taylor has been on top of the metal world for over 20 years. He was also a performer on the inaugural edition of Chris Jericho’s Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Rager At Sea. And two years prior to that, he was involved in an NXT match between Baron Corbin and Samoa Joe.
15) Adam Jones
Adam Jones is a common name, and weirdly there is more than one famous “Adam Jones” that are into wrestling including the Tool guitarist, the NFL player nicknamed “Pacman”, and the MLB player. Most interesting of those however is that the Tool axeman supposedly proposed to his now-wife at a WWE live event!