5 Great Movie Performances By Wrestlers (& 5 That Were Bad)

At first glance, the wrestlers acting in the films make perfect sense. They’re already performers used to fooling thousands of fans into thinking they’re hurt in the ring, so persuading some onlookers into a performance shouldn’t be too difficult. Some wrestlers have made the leap to true box office stardom, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson the most famous example. Others have succeeded in smaller roles, from Batista to John Cena, to doing well in movies.

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Of course, there’s a long list of really bad movies featuring professional wrestlers, mostly live-on-video. Somehow, the same charisma that clicks so well in the ring fails on screen and isn’t helped by a bad script. Sometimes they can trigger a bad movie, but when a wrestler’s performance is poor, it’s more noticeable. These are five of the greatest real-life movie performances by wrestlers and five bad ones to show that going from the squared circle to the big screen isn’t as easy as it seems.

ten BAD: The Rock, Doom

Of course, The Rock has had as many bad movies as hits (The little smile comes to mind). But even he acknowledges that Doom was a low point in his career. The video game adaptations are already hit or miss, but this is one of the worst (aside from a brief first-person shooter scene).

Along with a bad script and terrible direction, it also casts Johnson as a villain, a ruthless soldier who gets worse as the movie progresses. The fact that Johnson doesn’t speak warmly of the film speaks volumes, as it was almost a disaster for his film career.

9 BIG: André the Giant, the princess bride

It’s incredible that an entire generation knows André the Giant more by this role in the cinema than by being “The eighth wonder of the world”. He was a perfect choice for Fezzik, the gentle giant of Rob Reiner’s beloved fantasy film. Andre nailed the character’s humor, warm heart, and sense of honor to not just crush the hero in one go.

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While he fit the “giant” part perfectly, André’s warm personality made the role and the film, a tremendous turning point that makes the film a wonderful watch 35 years later and André’s crowning achievement in the field. entertainment.


8 BAD: Trish Stratus, bounty hunters

Trish Stratus has been fantastic, going from “eye candy” to one of the best female wrestlers of her generation. But that formidable charisma was nowhere to be found in that forgettable 2011 film (also known as Bail Enforcers). She is one of many bounty hunters in a competition to catch a crook for a big payday.

While it was definitely worth throwing her around, Trish’s usual flawless delivery falls flat and she even seems to struggle to handle some of the fight scenes. It’s not helped by a cliched script and poor supporting cast as Trish made a much better wrestler than a serious actress.

7 BIG: Lenny Montana, The Godfather

Lenny Montana may not appear on lists of the most famous wrestlers of the Golden Age. But he wrote himself into cinematic immortality with one of the best parts of one of the most iconic films ever made. In The Godfather, Montana played Luca Brasi, the loyal, if stubborn, enforcer of the Corleone family.

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His imposing attitude is offset by the nervousness with which he meets the Don (Montana was really intimidated by Marlon Brando) and his fate led to the famous “sleeps with the fishes” line. It’s harder to improve for a professional wrestler than to be in a certified masterpiece.

6 BAD: Hulk Hogan, Mr. Nanny

Really, the challenge is to figure out which of Hulk Hogan’s movie roles is the worst. Apart Rocky III, his resume is filled with one horrible movie after another, but this might be the worst of the bunch.

He is a former wrestler who must be the bodyguard of a rich man, who becomes in a way the nanny of his children. Cue some low rents Alone at home style antics, Hulk in a tutu and more nonsense. This makes suburban commando resemble Fast and Furious and while he’s arguably had worse movies since, Hogan’s performance here is downright painful.

5 GREAT: Roddy Piper, they live

John Carpenter’s 1988 sci-fi thriller not only holds up today, it’s ahead of its time. Roddy Piper (between WWE stints) is a homeless man who finds a pair of sunglasses that reveals the truth: the world has been taken over by hideous aliens who use subliminal messages to keep the public in check.

Related: 10 Acting Roles Wrestlers Forgot On TV Shows

Piper is good at selling this world-weary figure who runs a global conspiracy with a fun attitude. With the famous line “I came to chew gum…” and the epic brawl with Keith David, Piper helped make this film a cult classic that still shines for fans today.

4 BAD: Edge, Money Plane

Sometimes a movie is so terrible that it sort of becomes a cult classic. This 2020 “thriller” is a good example. Edge is a thief forced by con artist Kelsey Grammer to steal a mid-air plane which is essentially a flying casino. The movie can’t decide if it’s meant to be serious action or camp, and isn’t helped by how “the plane” looks like it was filmed in someone’s house. .

Edge is too bland, not even leaning into the camp aspects and didn’t help being pushed aside for Grammer’s hammered performance. It adds to the film’s “so bad it’s good” reputation, but it’s still not a great performance.

3 BIG: John Cena, Blockers

John Cena made great action movies like F9 in turn comic Rail accident. But Blockers shows surprising depth as a father whose wild actions are driven by his genuine love and concern for his teenage daughter.

Related: 10 Best John Cena Movies Ranked According To Rotten Tomatoes

He certainly gets some fun stuff, like crazy antics with his wife and wild car chases, but Cena wins over audiences more with his heart to help make this movie a success. For all its big action success, this comedy is what shows Cena at his best acting and a surprisingly good fit for a fatherly role.

2 BAD: Goldberg, The Santa Claus Murder

In the annals of “WTF” horror movie plots, it’s hard to top. The story goes that Santa Claus was a demon who lost a curling contest to an angel and therefore had to perform a thousand years of good deeds. That time is up, so now Santa Claus is free to be a killer again.

It’s crazier than it sounds and Goldberg as Santa makes the lines crazier (“I’m not a vampire,” he yells at someone who throws a flashing light at him) right down to the silly characters, making it a huge piece of cinematic smut.

1 BIG: Batista, Guardians of the Galaxy

It’s amazing to remember that at the start of 2014, most expected Batista to make a huge return to WWE as a champion. It never worked out, but it turns out that Batista found a more lucrative career thanks to this hit MCU entry.

His casting in Drax was excellent as he not only matched the murderous cosmic warrior but also carried great humor in taking everything literally yet to heart. It made a one-dimensional character much better than he could have been, and led to more success for Batista on the big screen.

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