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The History Of Jackass In WWE Ahead Of Johnny Knoxville’s Royal Rumble Appearance

The Jackass crew and RK-Bro on SmackDown
(Image credit: WWE)

There is a lot that WWE and Jackass have in common including being two forms of entertainment often viewed as lowbrow by more sophisticated critics and social commentators and the way in which their participants put their safety on the line to draw fans. And so, it should come as no surprise that the two properties would have some crossover at some point. However, the news that we’ll soon get to see Johnny Knoxville on Royal Rumble 2022 isn’t the first time it has happened. In fact, the two share a history that goes back more than a decade-and-a-half and features multiple run-ins that, more times than not, ended with some painful moments.

So, with Jackass and WWE getting back together for one of the most anticipated wrestling events of the year (and the release of Jackass Forever right around the corner), now seems like the perfect time to take a trip, a stumble, and a fall down memory lane…

The Jackass crew and Umaga on Monday Night Raw

(Image credit: WWE)

Steve-O And Chris Pontius Got Destroyed By Umaga On Monday Night Raw In 2006

Back in October 2006, Jackass and Wildboyz alum Steve-O and Chris Pontius appeared on a seemingly normal episode of Monday Night Raw where they had an interaction with the late Umaga, who, for those not well-versed in mid-2000s WWE, was an absolute powerhouse of a man. What started out as a way to promote the release of Jackass: Number Two quickly unfolded into one of the most infamous unscripted (and painful) moments in modern WWE history.

Basically, Umaga came to the ring to confront Steve-O and Chris Pontius (which was part of the script) and give them a beatdown. But Steve-O, as he remembered on his official YouTube channel, made the mistake of laughing after his co-star was given a Samoan Drop. The segment was supposed to end not long after that with Umaga frog-splashing on Steve-O, but the beating kept going with kicks to the ribs and an errant elbow to the head. But apparently Vince McMahon loved the whole ordeal.

Steve-O on Monday Night Raw

(Image credit: WWE)

There Were Plans For A ‘Jackass Invasion’ At SummerSlam 2007 But The Appearance Was Dropped

The whole Umaga vs. Steve-O/Chris Pontius interaction made for one of the most unforgettable moments of early 2000s wrestling (at least in terms of celebrity appearances), but there were at one point plans to bring in the entire Jackass crew to face-off with him at SummerSlam 2007. And while the match was never made official, WWE produced some early promotional material including a video featuring Umaga choking out Steve-O as the Jackass star talked about the match.

But as fate would have it, just before the angle was supposed to get underway with a planned “Jackass invasion” at The Great American Bash in July 2007, Johnny Knoxville pulled out and the deal fell apart. So, what happened? There were reports that the Jackass crew wanted to distance themselves from the company after the Chris Benoit murder-suicide, but Knoxville later said in a JackassWorld.com interview (via PWInsider) that plans fell through because WWE wanted more than one match but he couldn't work it into his schedule at the time.

Johnny Knoxville on Monday Night Raw

(Image credit: WWE)

Johnny Knoxville Was Demolished By Four WWE Superstars On A 2008 Episode Of Monday Night Raw

But the aborted SummerSlam 2007 angle wouldn’t be the end of WWE’s relationship with Jackass, and the cast of the groundbreaking MTV series would continue working together in the years following. Throughout 2008, Johnny Knoxville toyed with WWE superstar The Great Khali in a series of videos on JackassWorld.com but he would finally get his comeuppance when he sat ringside at an episode of Monday Night Raw.

On the night in question, Johnny Knoxville was invited to enter the ring where he was given a beatdown by Beth Phoenix, Hornswoggle, The Boogeyman, and none other than The Great Khali, who finally got back at the celebrity with a barrage of moves including a Khali Bomb that reportedly knocked him out, per Bleacher Report.

Jeff Tremaine and Dolph Ziggler on Swerved

(Image credit: WWE)

WWE And Jackass Director Jeff Tremaine Teamed Up In 2015 To Create The Prank Show Swerved

In the years immediately following the debut of the WWE Network, the company was in need of non-wrestling content to keep subscribers interested between major events and what not. One of these shows, Swerved, which was essentially WWE’s version of the MTV prank show Punk’d where instead of celebrities getting tricked, it would be wrestlers, sometimes with disastrous results. Leading the charge behind the camera was none other than Jeff Tremaine, the co-creator of Jackass and pretty much every show connected to the successful property.

When chatting with Gorilla Flicks in 2015, Jeff Tremaine revealed that WWE approached him about making a prank show where wrestlers would prank other wrestlers, and he thought it was a good idea. And even though some of the WWE superstars weren’t on board with the idea of being pranked, Tremaine explained that most had a lot of fun with it.

The Jackass crew and Rk-Bro on SmackDown

(Image credit: WWE)

The Jackass Forever Crew Interacted With RK-Bro On SmackDown In December 2021

In December 2021, several members of the Jackass Forever cast appeared in a backstage segment with Raw Tag Team Champions Riddle and Randy Orton, aka RK-Bro. Riddle, who has long gone by the moniker “King of Bros,” felt like a long-lost member of the crew and fit in perfectly with Johnny Knoxville, Chris Pontius, and the rest of the crew in attendance. Orton, however, wanted nothing of it and made a quick exit without offering up any advice.

This short and sweet interaction wasn’t as explosive or painful as previous times the Jackass crew appeared on WWE programming, but as we would find out one month later, it was only the beginning.

Johnny Knoxville on SmackDown

(Image credit: WWE)

Johnny Knoxville Announced His Plans To Enter The Royal Rumble In January 2022

WWE didn’t waste any time getting the year started with the WWE Day 1 event on New Year’s Day 2022, and neither did Johnny Knoxville, who announced his plans to enter the upcoming Royal Rumble match. During the event, Knoxville took to his social media accounts to share a video of his declaration before running down the roster. But this wasn’t the end of it. 

Not even a week later, Johnny Knoxville showed up on SmackDown where Sami Zayn, attempting to be the bearer of bad news, informed the Jackass star that he had not yet qualified for the Royal Rumble match. Later on, Knoxville would throw Zayn out of the ring and somehow qualify for the 30-man match, setting the stage for his in-ring debut.

Who knows what the future holds for Johnny Knoxville and the rest of the Jackass crew at Royal Rumble, but whatever does end up happening can be seen on the WWE Network on Peacock.

Philip Sledge

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.