Throughout the years, many former and current wrestlers have tried to make the jump into Hollywood but have failed pretty miserably. Only a handful of former WWE superstars have managed to earn some success in Hollywood. The Rock is the most obvious name that comes to mind. Batista is also the latest WWE superstar to enjoy success outside of the ring and onto the big screen.
Many others have failed miserably though, and this list will feature 11 superstars that failed to break into Hollywood. Some of these wrestlers played minor parts in TV shows, while others were given movies to star in, only leading to absolute failure and in one case, a ticket back to the world of pro wrestling. Don’t feel too bad, his return changed the landscape of wrestling forever (can you guess who we're talking about?). You’ll find out who in this article in the number one entry. Here are 11 wrestlers that had failed acting careers. Enjoy!
During her time away from the WWE, Sable turned to Hollywood for a new opportunity and adventure in her life. As you can imagine, her new ambition didn’t go over so well, appearing in little known TV shows like Relic Hunter and First Wave.
Her most notable gig was in 2001; Sable appeared on the big screen for the first time in the film, Corky Romano alongside Chris Kattan. Sable played the role of a female bouncer denying Kattan entrance into the club. Her time in the movie is extremely limited, however, in her short time in the film, she does manage to attempt a flying elbow drop off the couch.
A couple of years later Sable would return to the WWE in April of 2003, shocking the WWE Universe. When acting doesn’t work, you can always go back to your roots.
10 Rob Van Dam
Surprisingly, Van Dam had quite the acting career appearing in more than 15 different films and TV shows. Van Dam used acting as an extra side job during his time with ECW.
Down the road, Van Dam actually scored a pretty cool gig alongside Tobin Bell, in the film Black Mask 2. Van Dam also had some notable appearances on television, playing a part in The X-Files and the sitcom, City Guys.
With his wrestling career on the shelf, Van Dam is currently pursuing some projects in Hollywood. One of them is a role in the film 3 Headed Shark Attack. In addition, Van Dam did some voice over acting for the game Saints Row. Whether he made it or not, props to Van Dam for all his work and experience over the past couple of years.
9 The Great Khali
Standing at 7 feet tall and weighing over 300 pounds, you’d figure Khali would be a mainstay in the entertaining world that is Hollywood, but this hasn’t been the case. Khali has appeared in a couple of films in Hollywood, including the comedies The Longest Yard, Get Smart and MacGruber. The last time Khali appeared in a Hollywood film was in 2010. After his final film in Hollywood, Khali changed his sights to his home in India, appearing in some Bollywood films such as Kushti and Ramaa: The Saviour.
Kane’s Hollywood career actually started off looking quite promising, as Kane was literally the only wrestler to appear in a decent WWE Studios film, starring in See No Evil 1 & 2. He later appeared in the hit television series Smallville, playing the role of Titan in 2007.
Kane also appeared in the film MacGruber, alongside the Great Khali. Kane’s new film is set to release in 2016 and is entitled 6:42, the demon of the WWE will be playing the role of Lt. Cronin.
7 The Big Show
Props to Big Show; despite not being a mainstay in Hollywood, he still has quite the track record appearing in over 20 TV shows, including Star Trek, Burn Notice, Royal Pains and Saturday Night Live. The giant has also appeared in 8 films, most notably in Jingle All the Way and The Waterboy. Big Show was also given a chance by WWE Studios to be the star of his own film, Knucklehead in 2010. Big Show played the role of Walter Krunk, a 35-year-old orphan.
It remains to be seen if Big Show will pursue a career in Hollywood following the end of his WWE career.
6 Randy Orton
This film is known as one of the rare decent productions that WWE films has ever made, due in large part to the fact that wrestler participation is limited in this film. The film that was released in 2011, featured Academy Award nominee Ed Harris. The film entitled That’s What I Am, is a moving story on how children can overcome bullying. Randy Orton played the role of Jason Freel’s dad, Ed Freel. His role was quite minimal, but played decently.
The problem with Orton’s films is that they simply haven’t drawn in enough money. His role in the film That’s What I Am drew $6,400 at the box office, which is absolutely nothing. His other film, 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded drew $1.5 million on a $4 million dollar budget. Judging by these numbers, Orton’s future in Hollywood seems to be in serious doubt.
5 Shawn Michaels
One frontier The Heart Break Kid will not be adding to his resume is a successful career in Hollywood. During his prime days of being The Heart Break Kid, in 1996, the showstopper made a guest appearance on an episode of the popular TV show Baywatch. Shawn Michaels appeared as “Vinnie” in the episode entitled, Who’s coming to dinner. Michaels played the role of a bodyguard for mobster Tony Malanto, a very different role that wrestling fans are used to seeing Shawn in. He also appeared in two episodes of Pacific Blue during his time away from the WWE in 1999.
4 Triple H
Unlike The Rock and Stone Cold, Hunter hasn’t fared all that well on the big screen. His star roles in the WWE Studio films The Chaperone and Inside Out, bombed at the box office, causing the WWE to lose close to $4 million combined on these two films.
Hunter also had some roles outside of the WWE Studios, which included Blade Trinity in 2004. He also appeared on The Drew Carey Show and Pacific Blue (where he suplexes Mario Lopez. Check it out, it’s hilarious). I Don’t think Hunter will have anytime to pursue this acting career any further though, due to his new role in the WWE.
3 Trish Stratus
Trish Stratus made her big screen debut in the R-rated Canadian independent film, Bail Enforcers. Trish starred in the film as Jules Taylor, a bounty hunter. The movie premiered at ActionFest in 2011, and was then released on DVD as Bounty Hunters. If you miss Trish and want to have a good laugh, I advise you to watch the trailer for this film (maybe not the entire movie). Trish also made some TV show guest appearances on Canadian television, appearing on the TV show Da Kink in My Hair and Royal Canadian Air Farce.
Despite limited success in Hollywood, Trish just recently appeared in another Canadian film entitled Gridlocked, which made its world premier at Fantastic Fest, on September 26, 2015.
If you’re looking to watch a nice holiday film with the family, check out Goldberg’s 2005 film Santa’s Slay. Just kidding, please don’t.
All jokes aside, despite never really becoming a popular Hollywood actor, Goldberg has certainly tried his best, appearing in over 20 TV shows and 10 films. Despite all the films he appeared in, most of them bombed at the box office. These movies included Universal Soldier and Ready to Rumble. Goldberg’s most successful appearance was on the hit reality TV show The Celebrity Apprentice. The show played on NBC in front of a huge audience, giving Goldberg some great exposure.
Bill is still quite active completing the film Soulmates. He is also booked for the film Holy, Jingles and Clyde, which is set to release in 2017.
1 Hulk Hogan
Don’t get me wrong; yes, Hulk does have quite the impressive resume outside of the WWE, but quality and performance-wise, his short lived Hollywood career was quite the disaster. Hulk should have just stuck to guest appearances and commercials.
Hogan caught a huge break appearing in the film, Rock III. This appearance set him up for some big time success, so much so that he would decide to leave the wrestling business to pursue acting full time. This proved to be a terrible decision, as he only appeared in films that absolutely tanked. These films included, Mr. Nanny, Santa with Muscles and 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain. Hulk also appeared in numerous TV shows.
In 1994, enough was enough and the Hulkster went back to his roots, signing a mega deal with Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling. This deal would eventually turn the landscape of pro wrestling upside down.