Listing Mount Rushmore of Sports Entertainers for 2017


The distinction between pro wrestler and sports entertainer is well defined by WWE. Pro wrestlers wrestle. Sports entertainers wrestle and more…lots more.

WWE set the bar to this hybrid type of talent, when it termed its company “Sports Entertainment.” The company’s Superstar are sports entertainers, writing books, appearing on game shows, acquiring roles on other TV shows and movies became accepted practice, encouraged and enforced by WWE’s executives.

Quite different from when Hulk Hogan portrayed Thunderlips in Rocky III in 1982. As Vince McMahon Jr. took over the company from his old school style father and then powered the rise of Hulk-A-Mania which launched WrestleMania, the Hollywood-esque style also ran wild.

The concept gradually grew, and the rise of Hogan, Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, Terry Funk, Macho Man Randy Savage, Jesse Ventura on the mainstream paved the way for others like Chris Jericho, Mick Foley, Goldberg, Madusa, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock to reach new heights in the entertainment world.

Bautista and John Cena are today’s modern-day versions, carrying the torch, while The Rock is at a stratospheric level.

Still, you don’t have to be a WWE superstar to entertain or be an entertainer of other dimensions.

Thank U social media

The creation of social media allows all wrestlers — no matter what company — to release their inner sports entertainer. Facebook Live, Podcasts, Tweets, YouTube. All part of the progression of today’s pro wrestler/sports entertainer.

So who are those breaking out from the pack?

Here’s a look at my Mount Rushmore of sports entertainers for 2017

Alexa Bliss:

Started 2017 as the SmackDown Women’s Champ and ended it as the Raw Women’s Champ

Successfully defended her SmackDown title against Becky Lynch in a steel cage match

After losing the SmackDown title to Naomi, she regained the belt by beating Becky Lynch

Became the first two-time SmackDown Women’s Champ

Made her WrestleMania debut as the SmackDown Women’s Champ at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando

Won the Raw Women’s title

Retained her Raw title over Bayley in a kendo stick-on-a-pole match at Extreme Rules

After losing the Raw title to Sasha Banks at Survivor Series, she regained the belt eight days later by beating Banks in the main event of Monday Night Raw on USA Network

Became the first Superstar to win the Raw and SmackDown women’s titles

Represented SmackDown Live as its women’s champ against Raw Women’s Champ Charlotte Flair at Survivor Series

Made History in Abu Dhabi as she and Banks wrestled the first women’s match there

Ranked No.3 of the top 50 female wrestlers in the 2017 PWI Female 50

Named Miami Herald 2017 Sports Entertainer of the Year

Nicknamed Five Feet of Fury, she proves size doesn’t matter

One of the best at cutting promos

Displays tremendous facial expressions

Featured in a WWE YouTube special Alexa Bliss: My Daughter Is A WWE Superstar where she and her parents revealed she nearly died as a teenager from Anorexia.

Appears in the WWE 2K17 and WWE 2K18 video games

Joined the cast of WWE Total Divas on E!

Got engaged

Adopted a deaf piglet (Larry Steve) and set-up a YouTube channel and Instagram for it

Cody Rhodes:

Defeated Kurt Angle in a steel cage match for Northeast Wrestling (NEW) in Connecticut.

Defeated Mike Bennett for the NEW Heavyweight Championship

Held the he GFW NEX*GEN Championship

Held the WCPW Internet Championship

Won the Alpha-1 Tag Team Titles with Ethan Page

Challenged for the Impact Wrestling Grand Championship

Defeated Juice Robinson in his New Japan Pro Wrestling debut match at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome.

Became a member of The Bullet Club

Defeated Christopher Daniels to become the Ring of Honor Champ, his first world title

Can cut a promo

Named the Ring of Honor 2017 Wrestler of the Year

Challenged for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship

Challenged (along with Hangman Page) for the IWGP Tag Team Titles

Ranked No.33 in the 2017 PWI 500

Appears in the WWE 2K17 video game

Appeared as Stardust in the Warner Bros. direct-to-video animated film The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-WrestleMania!

Co-starred in the super successful YouTube series Being The Elite

Reprised his role as Derek Sampson in the CW series Arrow

Participated in tapings with his Brandi as she co-stars on WAGS Atlanta on E!

Charlotte Flair:

Started 2017 as the Raw Women’s Champ and ended it as the SmackDown Women’s Champ

Won the SmackDown Women’s title, beating Natalya

Became the first woman in WWE history to compete in the main events of RawSmackDown Live and a pay-per-view

While representing SmackDown Live as its women’s champ, beat Raw Women’s champ Alexa Bliss for brand bragging rights in a non-title match

Became the first woman to win the Divas, NXT, Raw and SmackDown women’s titles

Solid on mic

Ranked No.2 of the top 50 female wrestlers in the 2017 PWI Female 50

Ranked 29th of 50 in the 2017 Sports Illustrated fittest woman athletes of the year

Appears in WWE 2K17 and WWE 2K18 video games

Became a published author with Second Nature: The Legacy of Ric Flair and the Rise of Charlotte, which she co-wrote with her father and Brian Shields, author of the WWE Encyclopedia.

Made her acting debut as Heather Rockrear in Psych: The Movie on the USA Network

The Miz:

After imitating John Cena and Nikki Bella, Miz and wife Maryse wrestled Cena and Bella at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando

Heated debate with Daniel Bryan on WWE Talking Smack

Defeated Dean Ambrose to win the WWE Intercontinental Title for the seventh time

Host of Miz TV

One of the best on mic

Introduced The Miztourage (Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas)

Ranked No.10 in the 2017 PWI 500

Named Rolling Stone 2017 Wrestler of the Year

Appears in the WWE 2K17 and WWE 2K18 video games

Hosted UpUpDownDown, playing against NFL Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley in the Madden 18 All-Star Video Game Challenge

Starred in the action movie The Marine 5: Battleground

Hosted the reunion special of The Challenge: Invasion of the Champions on MTV

Hosted the MTV competition series The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars

Participated in tapings with wife Maryse as she co-stars on WWE Total Divas on E!

Next: State Of The WWE Universe Address

Was announced he and Maryse will star in the reality series Miz & Mrs. on USA Network

Will be a father for the first time

He is Awesome