Whether the Oscars or WrestleMania is your favorite show of the year, you’ll be sure to find a wrestler or actor you love on this list!
Every spring, a year of hard work from the world’s greatest performers culminates in a wonderfully extravagant ceremony with decades of tradition. I’m talking, of course, about WrestleMania, where the WWE’s biggest stars come out to shine and desperately hobnob with celebrities that usually crack the b-list at best.
Of course, there’s the Oscars too, but with the pomp and circumstances of Hollywood’s biggest party attracting the most famous people in the universe, it’s rare that you’ll see self-absorbed celebs from the biggest critical darlings rubbing elbows with muscle-bound grapplers. Just as stars like Clooney, Affleck, and Penn are unlikely to show up ringside at Raw, it’s also as unlikely that stars like Triple H, Stone Cold Steve Austin, or The Rock will get any offers to act in Scorsese films anytime soon. Still, there have been a few times where Oscar winners have interacted with WWE’s top talent and a couple more times that nominees threw some love towards the biggest wrestling company in history. Here are some of the most notable instances.
OSCAR WINNERS WITH WWE TIES
Three 6 Mafia Made Mark Henry’s Entrance Theme
In 2016, the #OscarsSoWhite movement showcased the Academy’s gigantic blind spot to awarding exemplary performances from people of color. A look at Oscar winners over the show’s entire history affirms this, but one instance where the Academy’s racism was more overt was the scoffing that happened when when “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from the movie Hustle & Flow brought a gold statue home for the members of Three 6 Mafia. It’s weird because not only is Three 6 Mafia’s work more heartfelt and epic than a large amount of treacly garbage that wins Best Original Song, it stands head and shoulders above the other two nominees that year from Crash and Transamerica.
Three 6 Mafia has more than just one of the best-ever Oscar-winning songs, they’ve also penned one of the WWE’s best entrance themes. “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry fluttered around from gimmick to gimmick for the first decade or so of his WWE career, but when he became solely focused on inducting competitors into the “Hall of Pain,” his entrance theme of “Some Bodies Gonna Get It” from Three 6 Mafia has brought his career to a new level and put World Championships on Henry’s mantle.
Phil Collins Did a Music Video with Ultimate Warrior
On the other end of the Best Original Song spectrum is Phil Collins, who won an Academy Award for one of the schmaltziest songs ever included in a movie when “You’ll Be in My Heart” from Disney’s animated Tarzan adaptation beat out far better competition in 1999 from the likes of Aimee Mann and the sublime soundtrack from South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.
However, this win does work out in WWE’s favor, since the 90s was bookended with the greatest professional wrestler cameo in a music video. When Collins got his own CBS special entitled “Seriously… Phil Collins” in 1990, his 1988 hit “Two Hearts” got a new music video featuring then-WWE Champion The Ultimate Warrior beating the crap out of Collins (after a wonderful intro featuring Gilbert Gottfried at his Gilbert Gottfried-est). It’s made even more wonderful by the fact that this was one of the ever-so-brief periods during the early 90s where Hulk Hogan wasn’t WWE’s top good guy, as you know he would have campaigned for the cameo had he not been off making some garbage movie at this point in time.
Jennifer Hudson is Married to David Otunga
Hudson is part of a very select group of black women who have won acting Oscars, and she’s also intimately connected to the WWE. She’s never made a significant appearance on-screen for WWE, but she’s been with performer David Otunga since before WWE hired him. Hudson and Otunga have a son together, and have been engaged since 2009, which is pretty dang long to plan a wedding.
In fact, some gossip sites say Hudson is upset with David’s choice in career, which may explain why the incredibly toned lawyer hasn’t wrestled in the last few years, instead co-hosting the WWE Network Raw pre-show which nobody really watches. It’s a wonder that Harvard-educated lawyer Otunga doesn’t have a regular Raw segment where he oversees the contract signings that always go wrong. -Henry Gilbert
Halle Berry is in WWE’s Most Popular Movie (also with David Otunga)
Pop quiz, hotshot! What’s WWE Studios’ highest-grossing film? No, the answer is not “none of the above,” and surprisingly, it’s not one of their earlier works like John Cena’s role in The Marine or Steve Austin performance in the very underrated The Condemned. It’s actually The Call, a movie about an emergency dispatch operator featuring the two-time Oscar-affiliated wrestler/actor, David Otunga.
Years after her Academy Award-winning performance in Monster’s Ball, Halle Berry took the role of Jordan Turner, a 911 operator who takes matters into her own hands and her own awful wig. David Otunga plays one of the cops who’s dispatched on the calls in a forgettable role. His true award-winning performance is in a promotional skit where he calls Berry during her press tour before she gets a call from Kane (who saps the fun out of the skit faster than he does in the ring).
The oldest Oscar win associated with the WWE, the WWE star who appeared alongside Charlize Theron, and much more on the next page!