Top Ten Appearances by Wrestlers in Movies

WWE has been the unmatched king of the wrestling business for nearly two decades. It is a multi-media entertainment company. The company produces multiple live wrestling productions in a single week. They also have reality shows, scripted series, and an entire movie Studio. This week will see the first feature film from WWE based on the career of a WWE wrestler. Fighting With My Family is the story of former WWE Divas Champion Paige.

The film is produced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The Rock has become one of the biggest movie stars in all of Hollywood. The lead of multiple franchises, The Rock has proven that wrestlers in film can be more than just a novelty. Today we look at some of the best appearances by wrestler’s in film.

10. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Goldberg, Kevin Nash and The Great Khali – The Longest Yard

The Longest Yard may not be the best Adam Sandler film (that title goes to The Wedding Singer). This was during a time when Sandler films were at least tolerable. The inclusion wrestling big men Goldberg and Khali to the Mean Machine team added some quality jokes to overall funny cast of characters. The highlight of this group for me is Kevin Nash. Known for playing the bad guy in the NWO, seeing Nash as a cheerleader will never not be funny.

9. Terry Funk – Road House

This pick may not stick out to most, but for me it remains one of the most memorable. Road House remains one of my favorite action flicks of the 1980’s. Patrick Swayze is at his most Swayze playing bouncer Dalton. From his one liners, to ripping a man’s heart out of his chest. You don’t mess with the Swayze. The inclusion of Funk is never highlighted, but is a welcome henchman for Swayze to fight.

8. Hulk Hogan – Gremlins 2

The most meta pick on this list, Hulk Hogan in Gremlins 2 is the perfect encapsulation of what Gremlins 2 is. The film is a commentary on consumerism and what better way to portray that than having the Hulkster appear as himself. With the film fulling breaking the fourth wall, the Gremlins terrorize a movie theater. Hogan is asked by the theater manager, played by genre faithful Paul Bartel. The Hulkster Hulk’s out and threatens the new batch to resume the playing of Gremlins 2. A perfect cameo in a movie filled with them.

7. Macho Man Randy Savage – Spider-Man

“Bonesaw is ready!” Who else could play a man named Bonesaw McGraw other than Randy Savage? In one of the most memorable scenes from Sam Raimi’s original, Spider-Man vs Bonesaw does a lot in terms of the storytelling. Peter Parker is given alter-ego name, he showcases his superpowers, and is the catalyst that leads to the death of Uncle Ben. All of this happens because of a wrestling match with the Macho Man. Oh the magic of the movies.

6. John Cena – Blockers

John Cena was able to fully shed his WWE persona in Blockers. Known for being the family friendly superstar, Cena showcases his more raunchy and comedic side here. He portrays muscular suburban dad better than he every should have. John Cena the movie star is born in this film. On top of that, nothing will ever erase the image from my mind of John Cena with a beer bong up his butt.

5. Andre the Giant – The Princess Bride

Possibly the most influential film on this list, The Princess Bride is an all time classic. Andre has always been known to have a heart of gold, and that image never shines brighter than it does in The Princess Bride. Andre’s physicality compared to the rest of the cast allows for the giant to standout on the big screen. The groundwork for wrestlers appearing in film began with Andre and that can never be outmatched.

4. Jesse “The Body” Ventura – Predator

He doesn’t have time to bleed. The former Governor of Minnesota joined the former Governor of California (aren’t politics funny) Arnold Schwarzenegger to fight the extraterrestrial being, the Predator. In one of the greatest action films of all time, Ventura brings the perfect amount of machismo and one liners that every 80’s action flick needs. In no other film will you hear the words “sexual” and “tyrannosaurus” used in the same sentence.

3. Chris Jericho, MVP, Mark Henry, Kane, The Big Show and The Great Khali – MacGruber

Based on the series of Saturday Night Live sketches, MacGruber has become a comedy cult classic. In the vein of Wayne’s World, MacGruber is able to take a short form sketch and turn it into comedy gold. In an effort to recruit the most elite tactical squad in the world, MacGruber looks no further than few familiar faces. Chris Jericho delivers a very funny back and forth with Will Forte’s MacGruber. But the true stand out is The Big Show who plays totally against type in this film.

2. Batista – Guardians of the Galaxy

The most mainstream movie star on this list after The Rock, Batista truly landed the role of a lifetime with Drax the Destroyer. The lovable idiot of the Guardians crew, Drax is a character you cannot help but love. Every line delivery from Batista is given with so much sincerity and believably. With countless quotable lines, Drax the Destroyer has become a fan favorite in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

1. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – Fast Five

How could anyone besides The Rock be at number one. Not only is he the greatest wrestler turned actor, he is undoubtedly the biggest movie star in the world. The man who never sleeps has taken Hollywood by storm since his first appearance in The Mummy Returns. The Rock has delivered in countless films since, including Walking Tall, Moana, Jumanji, and the Fast and Furious franchise. In my favorite Fast film, Johnson comes out swinging as Luke Hobbs. The character will be seen again this summer in Hobbs and Shaw, with Johnson in production of 8 other films as well. This just further proves that The Rock is a series of clones sent to take over Hollywood.

What are some of your favorite appearances from wrestlers in film? Is there any that I might have missed? Drop a comment and let us know! Fighting With My Family hits theaters February 22nd.

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About the Author
Casey Kelderman found a love for film at a very early age. One of his earliest memories of watching movies was the original Star Wars trilogy on VHS. Casey graduated from The University of Sioux Falls in 2017. At USF Casey produced weekly movie reviews and hosted a radio show. He graduated with a degree in Media Studies. Skills he learned in college have allowed him to help create Back Lot 605. He has produced and directed 4 short films. His favorite films include Halloween, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and Die Hard.
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