It’s always seemed that Pro Wrestling and Hollywood would make a great fit. Pro Wrestling is filled with colorful and larger than life characters, much like the characters in a movie. Wrestling is a strange mix of athletics, theatrics and acting. Generally, a wrestler is either cast as a good guy or villain (known as Baby Face and Heel respectively in wrestling jargon). When it comes down to it, wrestling and movies are not that different.
In some cases, when a wrestler is cast in a film it’s proven to be very successful. These include films such as, They Live (Roddy Piper), Predator (Jesse Ventura) and The Princess Bride (Andre The Giant). These films weren’t successful solely because of the wrestler, but they certainly helped add to it. The 2008 film The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke, was universally critically acclaimed. It was based around wrestling and featured appearances by several independent wrestlers such as, The Necro Butcher. However, sometimes Pro Wrestling and Hollywood seem to make the worse pairing. There are the other cases when Pro Wrestling and Hollywood just didn’t make a good fit. They seem like different worlds clashing and the results can be disastrous. Here is a look at 10 of the worst movies starring wrestlers.
10) Hell Comes To Frogtown (1987)
Hell Comes To Frogtown takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where there are very few fertile men and women. One of the few fertile men, Sam Hell is captured by a group of warrior-nurses. They force him to help them free enslaved women held captive by frogmen. To ensure the Sam does what he’s told, the women strap a bomb to his private parts (Yikes!). Hell comes to Frogtown starred wrestling superstar “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Piper was a huge wrestling star in the early 80s. He crossed over into films and also starred in the cult classic film, John Carpenter’s They Live. Hell Comes To Frogtown has received mixed to negative reviews. The film has been criticized for its writing and plot. However, the film has gained a cult following. It holds a 40% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
9) The Marine October 13, 2006
The Marine was an action film that revolved around an honorably discharged marine John Triton (John Cena), whose wife has been kidnapped by the evil criminal Rome (Robert Patrick). WWE Studios produced the film. John Cena at the time was on the verge of becoming a huge star within the WWE. The film made roughly $18.8 Million domestically, and at the time was one of WWE Studios’ best films. However, the film received negative reviews from critics. One critic noted that the film is “either so good it’s bad or it’s really, really bad.” Three sequels have followed the film also starring wrestlers: The Marine 2 (starring Ted DiBiase Jr), The Marine 3: Home Front (Starring The Miz) and The Marine 4: Moving Target (Starring The Miz and Summer Rae). All sequels have received mixed to negative reviews.
8) Knucklehead October 22, 2010
Knucklehead was a comedy that starred WWE Superstar The Big Show (Paul Wight), as an orphan named Walter Krunk. Walter has 10 days to save the orphanage he grew up in from closing down. He enters into an amateur-wrestling tournament to raise the money. The Big Show made his pro wrestling debut in 1995 in WCW. He continues to be one of the featured top stars in the WWE. He has had many legendary battles with the likes of, Hulk Hogan, The Rock and John Cena. The Big Show is known as “The Worlds’ Largest Athlete.” Knucklehead could be also unfortunately be considered “The World’s Worst Movie.” The film has generated overwhelming negative reviews. The writing, directing and acting were all heavily criticized. It was also noted that the film relied too heavily on cliches. It holds a 10% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
7) The Reunion October 21, 2011
John Cena is one of the biggest stars currently in the WWE. He is known for his catchphrase, “You Can’t See Me”. After the release of The Reunion, he might have to change his catchphrase to, “You Shouldn’t See This Movie”. The Reunion was an action film that starred John Cena, Amy Smart and Ethan Embry. The plot revolved around Nina (Amy Smart) fulfilling her father’s dying wish to reunite her three brothers. Soon the siblings find themselves on a wild and dangerous journey. WWE Studios produced the film. John Cena has starred in several other films such as, The Marine, 12 Rounds and Legendary. The film received negative reviews from critics. The writing, directing and acting were heavily criticized. It currently holds an 8% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
6) The Chaperone February 18, 2011
The Chaperone was a comedy that revolved around former criminal and getaway driver, Ray Bradstone. He chaperones his daughter’s class trip while criminals and former associates of Ray pursue them. The film starred Paul “Triple H” Levesque, Arial Winter, Kevin Corrigan and Yeardley Smith. Triple H is one of the biggest names in the wrestling business. He is married to WWE Executive Stephanie McMahon (daughter of CEO and Chairman of WWE Vince McMahon). The film received universal negative reviews. The film was heavily criticized for its poor directing, writing and acting. For the time being, Triple H may have given up acting. Currently, Triple H and Stephanie are being groomed to take over the WWE.
5) Leprechaun: Origins August 22, 2014
Leprechaun: Origins is the seventh film in the Leprechaun series and an attempt at a reboot. The film was produced by WWE Studios and starred wrestler Hornswoggle (Dylan Postl). Hornswoggle is a midget professional wrestler who has been with the WWE since 2005. The plot revolves around two young couples that go backpacking through Ireland. They become the victims of a deranged Leprechaun whose gold has been stolen by villagers (please note; none of that is supposed to be sarcastic or a joke). The film has received overwhelming negative reviews. The film was criticized for its writing, directing and acting. Many felt the film relied too heavily on cliches.
4) Tooth Fairy January 22, 2010
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the most electrifying man in all of entertainment. He’s the great one, he’s the Brahma Bull, he’s…The Tooth Fairy? The Rock is one of the biggest and most popular stars in wrestling of all time. He crossed over into films and has never looked back. He’s starred in films such as, The Scorpion King, Get Smart, The Other Guys and Fast and The Furious. The Tooth Fairy revolved around a hockey player that magically becomes a tooth fairy. In the process of accepting his newfound responsibilities, he starts to bond with his girlfriend’s children. The film did well at the box office but received negative reviews from critics. It holds an 18% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
3) No Holds Barred June 2, 1989
No Holds Barred starred wrestling legend and icon Terry “Hulk Hogan” Bollea as Rip Thomas. The plot revolved around World Wrestling Champion Rip Thomas, who battles the evil head of the World Television Network and his monster, Zeus (Tom Lister Jr.). At the time, Hulk Hogan was one of the biggest stars in the world. Hogan had his big breakthrough in Hollywood after appearing as Thunderlips in Rocky III, in 1982. No Holds Barred was the first time that the WWE and owner Vince McMahon attempted to get into the movie business. The film has received universal negative reviews and holds an 11% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. According to Hogan, the film’s budget was around $ 8 million. Reportedly, Vince McMahon broke even. During the 90s, wrestling announcer Jim Ross joked, “No Holds Barred? More like No Profits Allowed.”
2) Ready To Rumble April 7, 2000
Ready To Rumble was a comedy film about two die-hard World Championship Wrestling (WCW) fans. They go on a journey to help their favorite wrestler make a return to the ring. The film was based on the now defunct WCW promotion. The film starred David Arquette, Scott Caan and Oliver Platt. It also included several WCW wrestlers, such as Sting, Bill Goldberg, Diamond Dallas Page and Randy “Macho Man” Savage. The film received overwhelming negative reviews. The film currently holds a 23% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film was heavily criticized for its writing, directing and acting. However, controversy erupted during the promotion of the film. David Arquette is an admitted life long fan of professional wrestling. It’s common to see a wrestler become an actor but rarely do we see an actor become a wrestler. Arquette made several appearances on WCW TV to help promote the film. In one of the most infamous moments in wrestling history, David Arquette won the world title. It’s no secret that wrestling is pre determined, but Arquette winning the title legitimately angered wrestling fans all over the world.
1) Mr. Nanny October 8, 1993
Hulk Hogan may be one of the greatest and most recognizable wrestlers of all time; however, his film career has been full of ups and downs (mostly downs). Hulk has starred in forgettable films such as Suburban Commando, Santa With Muscles and Assault on Devil’s Island. But all those films pale in comparison to the film Mr. Nanny. Hulk plays Sean, an ex-wrestler who becomes a bodyguard and glorified babysitter for two rich kids. The film has received overwhelming negative reviews and holds a 7% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It was a commercial and critical failure. The film was heavily criticized for its plot, writing and acting. It also famously features Hulk Hogan wearing a pink tutu.