Obviously being a professional wrestler and a professional actor are two very different things. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t come together, as many professional WWE wrestlers have proven. For example, Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson started with a cameo appearance in The Mummy 2, and went on to become a blockbuster superstar in multiple major Hollywood productions in the decade since. There have been many other professional wrestlers who have tried to transfer over to the screen, even if they didn’t have the success of the Rock. Hulk Hogan, one of the most popular professional wrestlers of all time, could not attain the acting success that The Rock did, even though he had a notable appearance or two in movies.
Many of the films that WWE wrestlers have starred in were WWE productions, and most have received a very negative critical reception and did not fare well with audiences at the box-office. But you still have to hand it to professional wrestlers for trying their hand at something new. Their performances definitely didn’t get them any Academy Awards or acting praise, but it’s still admirable to see anyone who’s a pro at something, try something that drastically new and different.
Most of the wrestlers on this list have been able to draw hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people to their shows and promos, but hardly a fraction of that number to their movies at the film theater. But that’s also no reason to bash them. It doesn’t matter if their acting performances weren’t Oscar-worthy, or if the movies themselves weren’t that great; what does matter is that it’s fun to see some of our favorite WWE wrestlers make it to the big screen.
10. Randy Savage in Spider-Man
Randy Savage portrayed another wrestler named Bonesaw, in the 2002 superhero box-office hit Spider-Man, which led to a huge franchise that has grossed billions of dollars over the past years. Savage had a very small role in the film and only appears in one scene, where he and Peter Parker, who has his Spider-man super powers, get into a fight in the ring. The scene is definitely among the most memorable in the entire movie.
9. John Cena in The Marine
The Marine certainly wasn’t a box-office hit and was exactly what you would expect, going into a movie that was produced by WWE. This movie was meant to draw in the same audiences who watched John Cena’s performances each night on their TV screens. The Marine is filled with explosions, corny dialogue, shootouts and multiple fist fights. But so far, it still remains one of the most successful films released by WWE, even though that’s still not saying much.
8. Kane in See No Evil
Just like you’d expect from WWE films, See No Evil was seemingly tacky, and entirely forgettable, but the best part of the movie was the performance by Kane. Something unique about Kane’s role in the film was that he did not have to change his look in the ring for his appearance in the movie. Kane has reprised his role in a sequel entitled, See No Evil 2.
7. Steve Austin in The Condemned
Many comparisons have been drawn between The Condemned, starring Steve Austin and The Marine, starring John Cena. Just like you’d expect, The Condemned is a gunfight, fistfight and explosion filled movie, about ten prison convicts who are forced to fight to the death on a remote tropical island, until only one remains. It was certainly predictable and completely corny, but Austin’s performances in the film kept it worth watching.
6. Big Show in Knucklehead
Knucklehead was the first movie starring Big Show, but like most WWE films, it wasn’t exactly a critical or a box-office hit. Released in 2010, Knucklehead was a chance for Big Show to display his skills as a comedian in front of the camera, instead of as a wrestler inside the ring. Like most WWE films, it was the performance of the wrestler that kept this film worth watching, and not the actual movie itself.
5. Triple H in Blade Trinity
Blade Trinity is notable as being the first major Hollywood production to feature a professional WWE wrestler as one of the main characters (The Rock had made a cameo appearance in an earlier film, The Mummy 2). Overall though, Triple H didn’t have to act much in the film, other then look intimidating. All in all, Blade Trinity is a movie only for the fans of the Blade series in general, but it was also successful in drawing in fans of Triple H to watch his performance in the film.
4. Hulk Hogan in Rocky III
One of the most memorable scenes in the third Rocky sequel should have been the fight between Hulk Hogan and Rocky (Sylvester Stallone), where Hogan smashes Rocky around the ring. Instead, Hogan’s performance in the movie was drastically overlooked by the performance of Mr. T, as the main villain and Rocky’s nemesis in the film. All that Hogan’s role in the movie really did was help become an even bigger star and gain more audiences to his performance, which you probably can’t say is that bad of a thing.
3. Batista in Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy has proven to be one of the most successful and acclaimed summer blockbusters of 2014, but one of the noteworthy aspects of the movie is the performance of Batista, as ‘Drax the Destroyer’. All of the actors in the film garnered critical and audience acclaim, just like the movie itself, but Batista’s role will no doubt lead to more performances in Guardians of the Galaxy sequels, and other movies as well. It’s too soon to tell, but Batista could end up becoming the next Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson in the movie world.
2. Andre the Giant in The Princess Bride
Andre the Giant was known for being a true gentle giant by the people who knew him in real life, being a genuinely nice person and having a big heart. He was such a big and lovable star at the time, that he was offered movie roles in multiple Hollywood products, but none are as memorable as his performance of the giant Fezzik, in the 1987 classic, The Princess Bride. The film wasn’t a box-office or a critical success at the time, but it has gained a following in the years since, and is now an audience favorite. Whenever Andre the Giant is brought up in a conversation, it’s hard not to bring up The Princess Bride too. If Andre hadn’t passed away so soon after the film’s release, it’s likely that he would have appeared in several other Hollywood productions after.
1. The Rock in Hercules
Starting with a cameo appearance in The Mummy 2, The Rock has delivered a number of noteworthy performances, such as in the popular Fast and Furious series, the Michael Bay flick, Pain and Gain and the action-comedy, Get Smart. But The Rock has never displayed as much dedication to a particular role, as he has in Hercules, a 2014 summer blockbuster. The Rock himself is said to have admired the historical figure of Hercules and prepared very extensively for the role. Unlike other WWE wrestlers who starred or appeared in movies, this was a movie that The Rock wanted, that he worked and prepared hard for, and that he got. It’s up for you to decide the quality of the movie itself, but no one can deny the Rock’s intense preparation and commitment to the role.