WWE is always looking for extra talent to appear in segments. It's easier to use unknown wrestlers or people wanting to get in the business rather than an average actor or stunt person. The wrestlers hired will typically get paid very little or nothing at all because the talents are just looking to build connections and gain experience. It has led to many future stars having fun moments looking back in their history. Quite a few relevant wrestling names have surprising backstories in WWE before anyone really knew who they were.
These wrestlers received the opportunities to be extra talents through different circumstances. Some of them already worked for WWE in developmental getting the chance to work with the main roster stars with someone needed for extra work. Others were local talent called in to appear when WWE did a show in their area. The biggest benefit for WWE in using wrestlers in these sneaky spots is the fact that they're trained athletic professionals that understand the business. An average actor could mess something up easily without knowing the ins and outs. We'll take a look at fifteen of the sneakiest instances of wrestlers you didn’t realize appeared on WWE television.
15 CM Punk Is John Cena’s Gangster
CM Punk was a standout talent for WWE developmental from day one after his success in Ring of Honor. WWE decided to give him the honor of performing at WrestleMania 22 in a very minor role. John Cena had an elaborate fancy entrance with a group of gangsters coming out on his behalf as a throwback to 1940s Chicago.
14 Jeff Hardy Carries Mabel
Many wrestlers had to metaphorically carry Mabel to good matches due to his lack of talent. Jeff Hardy had to literally carry him to the ring as an extra talent during the era of King Mabel. Following the King of the Ring victory, Mabel went all in with the King gimmick wearing a crown. WWE planned out an entrance for a show with Mabel being carried to the ring on a throne by many wrestlers holding it.
13 Cesaro & Ethan Carter III As Security
Another segment featuring future wrestling stars working with D-Generation X showed Cesaro and Ethan Carter III playing security guards. Shane McMahon entered the locker room of DX with hired security protecting him. Cesaro was a standout talent for various independent promotions at this point and EC3 was a local performer. WWE ended up attempting to sign both men shortly after this appearance.
12 Johnny Gargano: Champion of Lichtenstein
The tag team of Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa as DIY is one of the best units in NXT today. Gargano became a huge star on the independent circuit before coming to WWE. The amazing selling ability and an explosive offense make him a tremendous all-around performer. Gargano has been involved in a few sneaky WWE appearances before joining NXT.
11 Becky Lynch & Braun Strowman as Rosebuds
Adam Rose’s partying character gave television time to many relevant names. WWE would place developmental talents and local independent wrestlers in the Exotic Express of partiers wearing wacky costumes and dancing with Rose to the ring. Two of the biggest stars in WWE were a part of this when Becky Lynch and Braun Strowman played the Rosebuds during an episode of NXT.
10 Joey Ryan Can’t Believe Mark Henry’s Strength
One sneaky appearance by a wrestler on WWE television that slipped under the radar featured Joey Ryan at Summerslam 2011. The match between Mark Henry and Sheamus featured Henry using his strength to power slam Sheamus through the barricade in the first row. Ryan was spotted in the first row reacting in awe of seeing the move up close in person.
9 Tony Nese Gets Thrown By Bray Wyatt
Tony Nese is currently a member of the Cruiserweight Division, but he appeared on WWE television in the recent past in a different role. WWE booked Nese as a literal weapon in a match involving Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns. Nese played a random employee helping produce the show with a headset towards the producer area.
8 DDP The Driver
Diamond Dallas Page actually made his first WWE appearance many years before the WCW invasion storyline. WWE allowed him to be a part of an entrance during WrestleMania VI. Page drove Honky Tonk Man, Greg Valentine and Jimmy Hart to the ring for their match in a pink Cadillac. If not for the power of the internet, no one would have likely ever noticed this given how hard it is to spot the driver’s face during the entrance.
7 Tye Dillinger Is Stan
The backstage antics of D-Generation X led to Tye Dillinger having a cool appearance in WWE over a decade ago. Shawn Michaels tried to prove his reputation of being a controversial figure in the wrestling business. Dillinger played a backstage employee doing his job as Michaels walked up to him to ask his name. Upon Dillinger saying his name was Stan, Michaels gave him a super kick.
6 Dolph Ziggler Protects Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle and Dolph Ziggler are two rare wrestlers to have strong amateur wrestling backgrounds before entering WWE. Another thing they have in common is the fact that they worked together during a forgotten segment in 2005. Angle came to the ring with his own personal security guards during an episode of SmackDown. WWE used a couple of developmental wrestlers in the role, including current star Ziggler.
5 The Young Bucks Cosplay As DX
The Young Bucks are known for doing super kicks and crotch chops in both satire and tribute to D-Generation X. Funny enough, Matt and Nick Jackson actually appeared in WWE dressing as Triple H and Shawn Michaels during an edition of The Dirt Sheet. John Morrison and The Miz were in a short-time feud with DX and used the segment to mock their rivals.
Matt and Nick dressed as Triple H and Michaels doing the DX entrance before Miz and Morrison beat them up. The Young Bucks have become huge stars outside of WWE as one of the best tag teams in the world. They adopted some things learned from DX to help them become big names. You can’t script out things playing out as fitting as this one did.
4 Tommaso Ciampa The Lawyer
NXT star Tommaso Ciampa is a great addition to the roster today as one half of DIY with Johnny Gargano as his partner. WWE employed Ciampa over a decade ago in the developmental system. They used him as an extra talent for a segment with The Undertaker of all people. Ciampa played a lawyer threatening Undertaker on behalf of Muhammad Hassan.
3 Rob Van Dam Kisses Ted DiBiase’s Foot
A sneaky moment of a future star appearing on WWE television featured Rob Van Dam getting involved in a Ted DiBiase segment. This actually wasn’t planned like the rest of instances on this list. DiBiase was in the midst of his arrogant wealthy heel character. The segments would show him offering fans to do humiliating things as a way to show his power.
2 Lita Appears In A Role She’d Like To Forget
The Attitude Era gave us characters like The Godfather. WWE allowed him to play a pimp with his own personal “ho's” leading him to the ring each week. Unlike other instances of WWE looking for local wrestlers, they frequently hired local exotic dancers for the role. There were a few wrestlers selected for the spots as Lita played one of the them accompanying Godfather to the ring one week.
1 Alexa Bliss, Charlotte and Sasha Banks appear with Papa Hunter
Triple H is currently viewed as the proud papa of NXT singing the praises of the young stars he helped get to the main roster. The women’s revolution may be the best thing to come out of NXT creating a new credible world for the female performers of the business. Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss are arguably the top three women on the roster right now.
All three were handpicked by Triple H to play a role in his WrestleMania XXX entrance for his match with Daniel Bryan. WWE wanted to hire models to stand by his side for the entrance that played up his King character. Banks, Flair and Bliss all were shown in the WWE 24 special ecstatic about having a role on such a big stage. It was only the beginning with all three participating in title matches at WrestleMania 33 this year.
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