10 Times Current Stars Appeared For WWE Before They Were Famous

We've all got to start somewhere...

Making it to WWE's main roster is tough. It's a journey full of ups and downs that requires an equal amount of willingness and resilience from a performer. Gorgeous American Football players and fitness models aside, those on WWE's main roster have done it all to get there and richly deserve all the success in the world - that's not saying the gorgeous American Football players and fitness models don't deserve any success, but their respective paths to the top were a hell of a lot smoother than the ordeals some of our favourite faces will have endured.

One of the final steps our favourite Superstars make before becoming a fully fledged member of the company's main roster is to make a couple of special appearances, either as an extra where required or even better still, in the ring jobbing to a future colleague. Everybody has to go through this step, it seems, even those who are earmarked for superstardom. Before his main roster debut in 2002, Brock Lesnar took part in a plethora of dark matches before episodes of Raw. It just goes to show that even the best of us with the most powerful of God-given talents have to start at the bottom.

Here are 10 instances where Superstars from WWE's current roster appeared on the company's television shows before they were famous...

AND NO, I'm not including any Rosebuds here or this list would be roughly 200 points long. Nobody has the time to read an article that long.

Honorable mentions go out to Sasha Banks, Charlotte and Alexa Bliss in Triple H's entrance at WrestleMania XXX, TJP as J.T. Quinn in WWE's version of ECW and Roderick Strong challenging Kurt Angle on SmackDown back in 2005. No doubt there's more, ruin my day and let me know, why don't you...

10. Bobby Roode As A Policeman In 2001


Back on the SmackDown before WrestleMania X-Seven, a young Robert Roode was one of the brave boys in blue charged with keeping Triple H and The Undertaker from getting to one another.

In the build-up to the Mania 17 match, Deadman Inc tried to break into The Game and Stephanie's limousine one week, causing the Billion Dollar Princess to take out a restraining order on him - he wasn't allowed within 25-feet of her, hence the need for Roode and his fellow reinforcements.

The Mania matchup was made after Kane was used to circumvent the restraining order, holding Stephanie - a manikin of Stephanie, I should say. It was a manikin dressed in Steph's clothes because Kane couldn't be expected to hold her up like that for so long - ransom in a Gorilla Press position atop a very high ledge. This forced Commissioner William Regal to cave in and give Taker the bout against HHH that he desired.

In a strange turn of events, the people separating two feuding Superstars weren't thrown up to row Z of the arena in this instance. After Taker took to the ring and violated his restraining order in a brief brawl, Roode friends arrested him. Good on them.

9. Matt And Jeff Hardy As Official Door Openers In 1995 (And Jeff Carries King Mabel)


Jeff Hardy made his in-ring WWE debut in 1994. I found this out while researching this point and had to share it with you because I think my youth just officially ended.

Matt and Jeff Hardy seemingly worked for WWE for around 700 years before their debut as a team in 1998. One of the several hundred jobs the pair had to perform before then, and arguably the most famous of their 'dogsbody' run before actual superstardom, came at King Of The Ring 1995 where they were the official door openers. I guess putting 'official' ahead of the title of 'door opener' made the job seem more prestigious than it actually was in WWE land.

After Mabel's King Of The Ring victory at the event, the future Love Machine took on a full blown king persona, wearing a crown and coming to the ring on a litter - apparently, that's what a wheelless, human-powered mode of transport is called. One of the more famous faces of a veritable 'who's that?' of pretenders to the main roster who were forced to carry Mabel down to the ring in the mid-1990s was Jeff. My goodness, did he look like he was having a whale of a time while having a fair share of 480 pounds on his shoulder or what?!

8. Sheamus As A Security Guard In 2006


During DX's BUY OUR MERCHANDISE reunion tour of 2006, Raw took place in Manchester, England. To ensure that DX wouldn't get involved in the tag team championship main event match between Rated RKO and defending champions Ric Flair and 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper, Vince McMahon's Executive Assistance Jonathan Coachman placed a $10,000 bounty on Shawn Michaels and Triple H's heads.

Later in the night, after purchasing front row tickets from Cryme Tyme, HHH squirted mustard in Lita's face prompting her boyfriend Edge to come to ringside with Coachman in tow. Sheamus - along with Wade Barrett - was one one of the security guards charged with escorting the DX pair out of the arena per Coach's orders.

Somehow, after the culmination of the main event which saw Rated RKO win the championships, DX found their way back into the arena with Sheamus and Barrett part of the security team that took to the ring. Barrett was unceremoniously thrown over the top rope while Sheamus was Pedigreed by the King of Kings who would turn out to be his WrestleMania XXVI opponent.

7. Tommaso Ciampa As An Attorney In 2005


Tommaso Ciampa hasn't always been bald. I know, take a second to compose yourself if you need it.

The former DIY member and participant in the single greatest bit of storytelling WWE produced in 2017 played the part of Muhammad Hassan's lawyer, Thomas Whitney, ESQ back in 2005. In the role, Ciampa read a statement on behalf of the 'Camel Clutcher' about how Hassan was just as American as everyone else in the arena and how he wouldn't be appearing on SmackDown again until attitudes towards him changed.

This promo took place during the incredibly distasteful storyline that saw The Undertaker attacked by five masked men dressed in black shirts, ski-masks, and camouflage pants around the time of the London bombings. The bombings actually happened three days after the attack segment was recorded but WWE still aired the unedited footage in America and Canada anyway.

Taker took exception to the statement read out by Mr Whitney, ESQ and attacked the attorney, delivering a Chokeslam and a Tombstone before leaving the ring.

6. Johnny Gargano As The Champion Of Liechtenstein In 2007


We couldn't mention Tommaso Ciampa and then not bring up the Princess Diana of NXT's most infamous main roster appearance, could we?

Ahead of his title challenge at WrestleMania XXIII against Chris Benoit, and in an attempt to prove he was the best representative for the United States Championship, MVP invited world champions from all over the world to take part in matches against him. One of those world champions was a certain Cedrick Von Haussen, the Heavyweight Champion of Leichestein, portrayed by none other than Johnny Gargano.

MVP introduced Von Haussen as being well over six-feet tall and weighing in at a shredded 248 pounds - anybody who has seen Gargano will attest these figures are a bit wide of the mark.

Following a cheap Clothesline before the bell had even sounded, MVP saw off his latest challenger in next to no time.

Michael Cole - that's MICHAEL COLE - claimed Von Haussen looked like an elf before JBL berated the Cole Miner for being a xenophobe... that's a thing that happened.

Gargano would later go on to appear as one of Michael Cole's security guards during the first season of NXT.

5. Tye Dillinger As Stan In 2006


Stan worked hard backstage for WWE at Cyber Sunday 2006. Stan was an honest man. Stan was minding his own business while Shawn Michaels was losing his bananas after finding out Eric Bischoff didn't think he was controversial.

Stan was Superkicked right in the face by the Heartbreak Kid. Poor Stan. He was never seen or heard from again. Rest in peace, Stan.

This, of course, wasn't Tye Dillinger's only televised appearance before he made it to the dance as 'The Perfect 10'. He also appeared on an episode of Sunday Night Heat in a tag match against Hurricane and Rosey in 2005 and on WWE's version of ECW in 2008 as Gavin Spears.

4. Cesaro As A Policeman In 2006


Ethan Carter III is there too... he hasn't changed at all in the last 11 years! I guess I should mention that Darren Young is also part of this scene, but was cut off when Shane McMahon entered the frame.

Cesaro appears to be a master of all trades. Going off his WWE run alone, we know he's a fantastic rugby player, yodeller, Libiterian, Superman, and more recently, Cyborg. Heck, even before WWE, he was an extraordinary investment banker didn't you know?

There's no doubting then, given that he's exceeded at everything else so far in his career, that Cesaro would have done an exemplary job as a policeman when he appeared behind McMahon Junior in 2006. This was the period of time during the DX BUY OUR MERCHANDISE reunion tour when they sent Vince to the brink of insanity and the boss had to take some time away to masturbate - yes, I'm well aware of what that says.

Anyway, let us all rejoice in Cesaro fighting away the telltale signs of balding by sculpting the world's most rickety chinstrap.

3. Dean Ambrose As A Druid In 2006


Imagine going from being what is essentially a prop for The Undertaker to the Deadman himself requesting to work with you. Life must be strange when you're Dean Ambrose.

The Lunatic Fringe appeared as one of Taker's druids at the 2006 Royal Rumble as the reaper threatened World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle following the Olympic gold medalist's successful title defence against Mark Henry.

This isn't the only time Ambrose appeared on WWE TV before he turned into one of The Big Boss Man's children, of course, he also appeared on a few episodes of Velocity in 2006 with his lovely pink hair, most notably losing to the then WWE Tag Team Champions MNM.

2. AJ Styles On Metal In 2002


And you thought Uncle Al was released without making an appearance for WWE after Vince bought WCW... think again! Unless, of course, you did know about the matches AJ Styles had for WWE back in the day, in which case, points to you!

A few Superstars could have been shown here, but since AJ is WWE Champion - against all the perceived odds - and one of the undeniable 'top guys' around at the moment, I've gone with him. Just so you know, Daniel Bryan and John Cena had a match on Velocity in 2003 and Samoa Joe had a match with Essa Rios on an episode of Jacked in 2001.

The Phenomenal one, before he was phenomenal it must be said, made a couple of televised appearances back in 2002 on shows like Jacked and Metal in losing efforts to Superstars like The Hurricane and Rico.

At least they allowed him to attempt a Shooting Star Press and show off a bit... he's come a long way since those days, hasn't he?

1. Daniel Bryan As A Security Guard In 2003


Spanky was trying absolutely everything under the sun to impress Stephanie McMahon and earn a WWE contract back in 2003 and of course, with this being the wonderful world of Sports Entertainment, hilarity ensued. A number of these little skits took place on SmackDown, go check them out on the WWE Network for only 9.99. He got there, in the end, thanks to a victory over Shannon Moore.

In this instance, Daniel Bryan was charged with stopping this naked man from running around in public. That's all the context I have to give and all the context you need.

At least Steph was impressed with Spanky's penis. I bet if the same segment took place today, Mrs Ladyballs herself would have berated Brian Kendrick for having the smallest penis in the history of mankind.

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Ross Tweddell

Written by Ross Tweddell

Written and video journalist for Cultaholic Wrestling | twitter: @rossonrasslin | instagram: @rossonrasslin