WWE and pro wrestling have touched upon all aspects of pop-culture. The larger-than-life athletes are often used for all types of commercials and promotional work with various types of companies. Some of these endorsements have reached some levels of success while others flopped so bad you probably don't even remember it ever happening.
On today’s active rosters, you can see Superstars like Dolph Ziggler star in KFC commercials or The Miz appear in Domino's advertisements. These commercials are spread across the programming, the internet and social media.
Back in the day, however, ads were almost exclusively used on television and in print form. Looking back, it may be hard to remember some of the endorsement deals that some legendary wrestlers took on. Watching them again can help bring back a lot of memories and laughs as these stars are put into goofy and crazy situations.
Relive some of these classic commercials featuring Superstars like Stone Cold Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Sting, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, and even Vince McMahon. Not only are some of these products surprising, the commercials themselves feature some odd and whimsical moments that will have you asking how these commercials even got made in the first place.
15 Bret Hart – Humpty’s Omelettes
Humpty’s is a small breakfast chain offering all types of fresh omelette combinations. In this goofy commercial, Bret Hart awaits his opponent in the squared circle. The roaring crowd of around 20 fans is shocked to see an egg mascot make its way down the ramp. Instead of actually wrestling in a match, Bret Hart must show off his culinary skills in an omelette cook-up against the egg.
Apparently, "The Excellence of Execution" can barley use a spatula as he flings eggs and other ingredients all over the ring. The egg mascot easily defeats The Hitman. The use of a wrestling ring was a fun concept and it’s nice to see a lighter side of Hart because he was often too serious during his time in the ring. Seriously, how many time can you recall Bret actually smiling. Three? Ya, it was probably three.
14 Edge – Slim Jim
Everyone can remember the iconic endorsement deal that Macho Man Randy Savage had with Slim Jim snack sticks. Other wrestlers tried to fill his shoes and Edge was part of a select few to last for several commercials. Edge couldn’t deliver the “Snap Into a Slim Jim” line like Savage, but he did provide some unique commercials where kids lived out their fantasies after biting a Slim Jim snack.
In the series of commercials, Edge appears as some type of mountain ruler and Slim Jim adviser. His acting chops are not that great, but he gets the job done. There were also other cameos from various Superstars and Divas in the commercials. After watching a few, you might be entertained, but they are nothing compared to Macho Man’s great series of Slim Jim clips.
13 Hulk Hogan – Hostamania
After Hogan could no longer perform in the ring, he used his star power to appear in a number of different commercials. Some of the larger scale companies included Radio Shack and Rent-A-Center. Then he decided to appear in an ad for his little-known company, Hostamania. Seriously Hulk, was that the best damn name available? In a poor attempt to spoof Miley Cyrus and her song “Wrecking Ball,” Hogan actually swings on a tie-dyed wrecking ball through the duration of the commercial.
Even worse than this embarrassing action is the fact that Hogan appears in a small thong as he rides on it. There’s no explanation for this and the close-up camera shots are really unnecessary. Thankfully, this commercial premiered exclusively online so television viewing families were not forced to see this while enjoying their favorite TV shows.
12 Demolition – Pizza Hut
Demolition made a huge impact in the ring and their scary presence was also used to create several memorable commercials. During the early 1990s, Pizza Hut promoted a special “Kid’s Night.” The night featured personal pan pizzas (awesome when you were a kid!), a drink, and a free issue of Nickelodeon magazine. The deal itself was worth it, but Pizza Hut felt like they needed to bring in some reinforcements. This is when Demolition showed up to threaten the parents and force them to go into the Hut. After a knock on the door, the parents open the door to lock eyes with the imposing tag team wrestlers.
The commercial was funny and memorable, showcasing some of Demolition’s talents outside the ring. Their unique look and face paint should have led to more commercials and endorsements for the former Tag Team Champions.
11 Chris Jericho – Taco Bell
Chris Jericho is a Canadian hero and gets several endorsements that no one ever sees in the United States. One of the best examples of this is his Taco Bell commercial from the early 2000s. Jericho showcases his acting chops and comedic persona by appearing in a fake public service announcement that has to do with the munchies. He plays it up perfectly, recommending Taco Bell, and detailing the issues that arise when the munchies occur.
The short commercial even has time to throw in a short clip of Jericho in WWE action. The commercial is effective and funny. It should have been imported in the United States and used for Taco Bell branding. This would be the first of many endorsements for Jericho during his tenure in the WWE.
10 Chris Jericho, Kane, and The Big Show – Chef Boyardee
Chef Boyardee went all out in the early 2000s to try and lure young wrestling fans into consuming their cans of pre-cooked pasta. The best way to do this was with some of the top stars at the time. Chris Jericho was featuring predominantly in several Chef Boyardee commercials that also acted as a parody of Survivor.
The Big Show appeared as a big man with a big appetite. The Big Red Machine Kane actually used his flame summoning powers to cook FOUR cans of Chef Boyardee at the same time. Unfortunately, his mask prevents him from even taking a bite of the "Beefaroni." Maybe that’s why he was so angry in the ring. Each commercial focused on the Superstar gimmicks and used them to the best of their ability.
9 The Undertaker – Domino's
During the summer of 1994, The Undertaker disappeared from the WWE as Ted DiBiase’s fake Undertaker took over. Even though The Deadman was gone, it didn’t stop him from ordering his favorite Domino’s pizza. In an extended commercial featured on the 1994 edition of SummerSlam, The Undertaker ordeed a pizza to a random cemetery. Without asking any questions, the delivery man brought the pizza and gave it to an unseen Undertaker.
When the delivery man prompted him for a tip, the box is shoved back at him. He lifted it open and received an autographed picture of The Undertaker as a tip. Must be nice for The Undertaker to get this commercial without even appearing in it in person.
Today, Domino’s is back to endorsing the WWE as The Miz now appears in various commercials for the company.
8 Hulk Hogan – Honey Nut Cheerios
One of the earliest WWE endorsements came in the 1980s with mega star Hulk Hogan. As Hogan was battling foes like King Kong Bundy and Andre the Giant in the WWE, he decided to take on the little Cheerios "Honeybee" for the commercial.
The commercial features Hogan chasing down the animated bee as he refuses to try Honey Nut Cheerios. Once he does, he expresses his love for the cereal by bending and breaking a spoon. No wonder Hogan had to make so many career comebacks, just imagine how many spoons he destroyed during his finer days...
The commercial showcases how strong the cereal brand was and still is. The same types of concepts are still used today. The little bee mascot has outlasted The Hulkster in television dominance.
7 Sting – Sprite
Soda companies are always looking for ways to appeal to children, but the Sting Sprite commercial was an odd choice. In the commercial, Sting shows up at a child’s house and makes his dream come true by giving him one on one battle with "The Icon." After a sip of Sprite, the kid proceeds to endure the biggest beat down of his life.
No joke – Sting punches him in the face, slams him against a fireplace, throws him through a glass cabinet, and performs a number of bone-crushing wrestling moves. While this occurs, his parents happily look on and record the entire ordeal using their bulky video camera. The surprisingly violent commercial basically ends by saying that you should drink Sprite. It was also weird to see because Sting was a good guy at the time and he just spends the entire commercial beating up a child.... the concept was pretttyyyyy weird!
6 John Cena – GameCube & Day of Reckoning
Before we dive in, let us all take a moment of silence to remember the legacy of the GameCube. Ok, thank you.
WWE video game commercials are not made like this anymore. During John Cena’s “Thug Life” stage, he would constantly freestyle and rap on WWE SmackDown. Things got taken to another other level when he was hired to promote the WWE: Day of Reckoning video game for the GameCube console.
The commercial features John Cena rapping about the game highlights, players, and features on the GameCube console. It’s a very impressive rap, with fast-paced lyrics and cool tie-ins to all types of video game references. His rap clips are mixed in with action from the game that looks terribly outdated now. Watching this commercial again will make you wish that Cena would return to this character, even if it was just for a brief run.
5 Andre the Giant – Honeycombs
Imagine hanging out in a tree-house with all of your best friends when a giant appears in the window. That’s exactly what happens in a 1980s Honeycombs commercial featuring Andre the Giant. Andre could apparently smell the Honeycombs from miles away as he sought out the treat and demanded his own bowl from the children.
Instead of screaming in horror and running out of there, the children decide to sing the Honeycombs theme song. Andre joins in on the song, dances around, and then launches a robot into the sky for no reason at all. The commercial is a little nutty, but Andre’s goofy personality really shines. Andre is also dressed in a similar outfit to the one he wore for the film The Princess Bride.
4 Booker T – Hungry Man
Booker T was hungry for a couple of things, one of them was increasing his "FIVE TIME...FIVE TIME" World Heavyweight Championship reign. While he often came up short for the big title, he did get to feed his hunger in a Hungry Man TV commercial. The commercial has the cheesiness of the 1990s, but it aired during the 2000s. Booker T comes home after a long day of body slamming and is presented a TV dinner on an elegant tray.
Booker T also appeared in several other versions of Hungry Man commercials, but none of them were that great. It’s hard to get over that overly processed food, but Booker's corny comedy helps the products case a little. Maybe if Booker T defeated Edge at WrestleMania X8, he would have gotten that coveted shampoo commercial they feuded over. Man wrestling had some weird concepts....
3 Stone Cold Steve Austin – 1-800-Collect
Stone Cold Steve Austin may not come off as the most compassionate wrestler, but he truly does care about making collect calls. In the years before cell phone technology blew up, it was hard to watch a show without seeing some sort of collect call commercial. In this one, Stone Cold is in the middle of a match with D’Lo Brown. Between moves, Austin complains to Brown that he no longer wants to talk him. The night before, Brown dialed him using “0” instead of using 1-800-Collect.
Austin’s comedic timing is great. You’d expect to see him in a beer commercial more than a phone commercial, but he plays it wonderfully and supplies some fun in-ring action. Now if we only knew what Austin and D’Lo Brown were actually talking about during their late-night conversations. Had to be about their favorite types of wines.
2 Sting – Roos
Surfer Sting was a great character that perfectly played into the 80s and early 90s wrestling eras. The bright colors also helped during that given time period.
The blonde-haired Sting was hired to star in a commercial for Roos. The trendy high-top sneakers featured a small pocket on the side. The pocket could hold a few coins and maybe a note. Somehow, they caught on and was popular for a bit.
In the role, Sting surfs on a surfboard in front of a fake beach scene while wearing the shoes. He never wore them in a WCW ring, but if he did, they would have been a great place to hide a small razor for any blade jobs he needed to perform. Roos are outdated and this commercial does not hold up today. Thankfully that time, Sting did not beat on any young children. That was saved for later.
1 Vince McMahon – Miller Lite
Other than Stone Cold constantly guzzling cans in the ring, the WWE was rarely associated with beer companies. This is why it’s so odd to see the owner of the company in a 1980s commercial for Miller Lite. As was the case at the time, Vince McMahon plays the role of commentator in the scattered and chaotic pro wrestling commercial for beer. Oddly enough, John Madden is by his side in an announcing duo that would have been great for any WrestleMania.
At the end of the commercial, several people begin to pull off their masks, including Vince McMahon. McMahon removed his mask to be revealed as Sonny Bono. The commercial was very odd and didn’t really have anything to do with beer other than having Miller Lite logos placed everywhere.