You may think the only time you’d see a Star Trek and Wrestling crossover is in the autograph line of a comic convention. However– from The Rock and Cody Rhodes to many unexpected others– the stars, both super and trek, have crossed many times over the years!
The Surprising Connections Between Star Trek and Wrestling
Quite a few Star Trek stunt performers have had short runs in the professional wrestling industry that deserve honorable mentions, such as Spice Williams, Rosine "Ace" Hatem, and Ellie Alexander.
One particular shout-out goes to the inventor of the LeBell Lock himself, Gene LeBell, who played the role of "Unnamed Scarred Klingon Veteran" in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fifth season episode “Apocalypse Rising.” He received no credit for his appearance.
But today, we are looking at current and former superstars who boldly went where no other wrestler had been before (and a certain Captain who has beamed onto wrestling screens many times over the years)!
First, we have Tom Magee. The former Olympic weightlifter and bodybuilder had a brief run with the then WWF in the ’80s. He started as an exciting prospect, being agile for a man of his size, but eventually, he became one of Vince McMahon’s biggest misjudgments.
Did you know? The match between Bret Hart and Tom Magee on October 7, 1986, was blacklisted in the WWE archives, and footage of the obscure bout was lost to history for over thirty years. In 2019, it finally saw the light of day.
After Magee left wrestling, he began a short-acting career, usually playing henchmen and muscle guys in B-movies. It was in the 1991 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called “The Devil’s Due” where he made his appearance in the final frontier.
In the episode, a woman appears on the Enterprise claiming to be the Klingon devil Fek’lhr (careful how you say that), and Tom would play the maybe-Satan in her "true form" under heavy prosthetics (think a cross between a Klingon and The Predator, but with the hair of mythical rock legend Ronnie James Dio)!
“Tiny” Tommy Lister Jr.
Another former wrestler who would get his Kling-on was “Tiny” Tommy Lister Jr.
Lister would play Zeus, the big baddie of the Hulk Hogan movie vehicle No Holds Barred, before playing the character in “real life” in the WWF, feuding with the Hulkster to help promote the film.
He would then return to the ring as Z-Gangster in WCW, again to feud with Hogan.
Despite having a somewhat lackluster wrestling career, Lister would have quite an awesome one on film with movie credits that put most A-lister movie stars to shame! He has made appearances in Jackie Brown, The Fifth Element, Friday, The Dark Knight, and many more, including, of course, Star Trek.
The Tiny one played a Klingon called Klaang in the first story of the two-part series premiere of the television series Star Trek: Enterprise.
As Enterprise was a prequel show, set before all the other Star Treks, and Klaang was the first Klingon seen, this canonically makes Lister the first Klingon ever to appear in Star Trek — a cool piece of trivia to add to an already cool IMDB page!
Paul Wight AKA Big Show
Another first for Star Trek also came from Enterprise, courtesy of the artist formally known as Big Show, Paul Wight.
Wight played an Orion slave-trader in season four, episode four’s “Borderland.”
The reason this was a big deal wasn’t just due to Wight’s stature.
Orions are probably most famous in Star Trek lore for being the green-skinned women Admiral James T. Kirk (portrayed by none other than William Shatner) liked to snuggle up with.
Paul was the first-ever male portrayal of the species, and if Kirk knew how huge the potential boyfriends, brothers, and dads of this space race could get, perhaps he would have kept those busy fingers to himself!
“The Rock” Dwayne Johnson
The most famous wrestler cameo in Star Trek history has to be from “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson.
Years before he became Hollywood’s highest-paid actor, Johnson started cutting his acting chops on TV shows like the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Tsunkatse,” which aired back in 2000. The Rock played a Pendari Champion, who would do battle with Seven Of Nine.
The Rock spoke about one of his first steps into the acting world during the filming of the episode.
“When we have 20, 30, sometimes 40,000 people in the arena, the gratification is immediate. It happens just like that. We have certain designed scripts and spots that I know I’m going to say, that I know I’m going to do, and I work for a reaction.
“We all do in the entertainment industry. The only difference is I have 30,000 people in attendance letting me immediately know how I did.
“Here, obviously, it’s a little different. It takes a lot of time before what we do appears on screen or TV. But for the most part, it basically comes down to entertainment."
The Rock continued, "Ironically enough when we had scripted the final scene [of the Star Trek: Voyager episode], it wound up with me giving Seven Of Nine (the character portrayed by Jerri Ryan) “The Rock Bottom,” which is, of course, The Rock’s signature move. I plant her with The Rock Bottom and leave her for dead, basically, and go about my way!”
The Rock’s co-star Jeri Ryan had no idea who The Great One was at the time and reflected on their first meeting in a 2021 interview with The Big Issue.
"I had no idea,” Jeri admitted.
“It was his first or maybe second acting job ever. I didn’t know who he was. I didn’t watch wrestling. I wasn’t aware of his character of ‘The Rock.’
"The first time I met him was a fight rehearsal and he came in and he was just a super sweet, unassuming gentle guy named Dwayne. We’re talking about our kids and he’s just lovely. We had a nice time working together.
“When I got to my trailer, he left a signed picture in character as The Rock – and it said, ‘The Rock smells what you’re cooking!’ Like, what?! It’s the weirdest thing I’d ever seen somebody write!
"The makeup guys in the prosthetic trailer were like, ‘Dude, it’s The Rock. That’s his thing! He smells what you’re cooking!’
"He was very sweet and lovely. And the few times over the years I’ve run into him since, he’s been just as lovely, just as sweet and just as down to earth. I couldn’t be happier for him."
So Jeri remembers The Rock being sweet and lovely; what were The Rock’s thoughts on her?
"Well, let me see. I’ve beaten Stone Cold Steve Austin on numerous occasions, The Undertaker, Mankind, the list goes on and on and on. But Jeri Ryan? She is probably one of the toughest, dare I say THE toughest The Rock has ever faced!”
So we spoke about wrestlers appearing in Star Trek. Now it’s time to talk about when Star Trek beamed into the WWF/E in the form of Starfleet Captain James T. Kirk himself, William Shatner!
Shatner has made many appearances in The Fed over the years.
In the mid-’90s, William Shatner assisted Bret Hart in overcoming the villainous Jerry “The King” Lawler (via a Judo toss across the ring no less!) during his guest appearance on The King’s Court on January 9th, 1995’s edition of Raw.
Shatner would later induct The King at 2007’s WWE Hall Of Fame ceremony.
Returning to Raw as a guest host in 2010, Shatner did a great job entertaining the crowd, with one particular highlight being his own interpretations of WWE superstar theme songs in his trademark spoken-word style.
Then, in April 2021, it was The King’s turn to induct William Shatner into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Shatner reminisced about his time in the company with Jerry Lawler during an episode of WWE’s The Bump.
“The truth of the matter is Jerry took care of me the whole time. He was marvelous.
“In addition to that, at [Jerry’s] WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony, I had an unreal experience. I don’t think I’ve ever told you this,” William said to Jerry. “They said, ‘Here to help introduce his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, William Shatner,’ and I went out.”
"We were in Detroit with this enormous audience of passionate lovers of you- they didn’t want to see Shatner and Hollywood, so they began to boo! I’m like, ‘Whoa! I’m getting booed…’ which every wrestler understands, but actors, it’s their nightmare. ‘They’re booing me!’"
"I remember that well, Bill," replied Jerry.
"I told you as soon as I came up on stage, ‘This is a tough crowd. Especially here in Detroit. WWE fans can sometimes be a tough crowd.’
Lawler continued, “They booed me many, many times, but I want to say, going back to our first meeting, other than me piledriving Andy Kaufman, getting the Alien Monkey Flip from you, Bill, that was one of the highlights of my career. I loved that.
"I know, but in reality, I did it so poorly," Shatner expressed. "The toss was so badly done."
"No, you did it perfectly," Lawler assured.
Of course, we can’t end this article on Star Trek by giving a mention to WWE’s latest resident Trekkie, Cody Rhodes.
Rhodes is a massive fan of the franchise, something he made clear with his entrance attire at AEW All Out 2019.
With he and DDP wearing Star Fleet command red and MJF wearing the engineering gold, we can tell this is a nod to Voyager as Brandi is rocking out the Jeri Ryan ‘Seven Of Nine’ costume.
Sadly no one dressed as The Rock’s Pendari Champion.
But the real question is: Who is Cody’s favorite captain?
While speaking on the Rich Ellis Show, he revealed all.
“Captain Picard, by far,” said Cody with no hesitation.
“Maybe I look at it from a production standpoint as far as when TNG (The Next Generation)hit TV, they were the king of cable. Deep Space Nine came out at the same time, and Voyager. At one point there were three different Treks on TV, and it all stems back to Patrick Stuart as Picard.”
So will there be any more Star Trek and Wrestling crossovers?
With new Star Trek shows and movies constantly being announced, and with more major wrestling companies getting a spotlight than ever before, including one with its president being a Trekkie himself — apparently, Tony Khan is a huge original series fan (insert Wrath Of Khan joke here) — to quote a certain Vulcan, that would only seem “logical!”
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