We all know that wrestling is at least partially staged, right? It seems only natural that wrestlers should have a crack at acting, as they often have a taste for the acting bug while in the ring. Here, we give you the top five wrestlers who have laid the smackdown in both the wrestling ring and the acting world.
Number Five: Triple H (aka Paul Levesque). Having established himself in the wrestling ring as one of the strongest contenders, Triple H made a number of small guest roles in TV shows such as The Drew Carey Show and Grown Ups. H was then cast in the 2004 Blade franchise film Blade Trinity as Jarko Grimwood. In 2011, he was given the leading role of Roy Bradstone in The Chaperone. In the same year he was also cast alongside Parker Posey and Michael Rapaport in Inside Out. That’s quite a roster for someone who hasn’t been seen in Hollywood since.
Number Four: John Cena. John Cena has been a wrestling star for many years, and he has a number of nicknames in the ring. But Cena has also had a fairly productive acting career. Cena began his acting career in a little-known 2000 TV show called Manhunt. In 2006, Cena was then cast as the lead in the WWE-made film The Marine. Since then, Cena has appeared in films such as 12 Rounds, Legendary and most recently he starred in the barefaced comedy Trainwreck alongside Amy Schumer. He can also be seen in 2015’s Sisters.
Number Three: Hulk Hogan (aka Terry Bollea). Potentially the most well-known wrestler out there, Hulk Hogan began his acting career early on, starring in 1982’s Rocky III as Thunderlips. His next film role didn’t come until 1989 when he starred in No Holds Barred. In 1991, he starred as Shep Ramsey in Surburban Commando, and since then he has flexed his acting muscles in Mr. Nanny, Thunder in Paradise, The Secret Agent Club and Santa With Muscles. In the late 90s Hogan starred in the 3 Ninjas franchise playing Dave Dragon in 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain. Roles followed in Little Hercules in 3D, Gnomeo and Juliet and most recently the TV series China, IL. Is hulk mania still running wild, brother?
Number Two: Stone Cold (aka Steve Austin). In the mid-to-late 90s, Stone Cold was one of the most popular stars of the WWE. It wasn’t until the end of the 90s that Stone Cold turned his big manly hands to acting, taking on the role of Det Jake Cage in the TV Series Nash Bridges. Five years later, and in 2005 he was at it again, this time playing alongside Ben Stiller in The Longest Yard as Guard Dunham. The bug must have bitten, as then followed roles in The Condemned, Damage, The Stranger, The Expendables, Hunt to Kill, Recoil, Born to Fight, Tactical Force, The Package and Grown Ups 2. Most recently, he can be seen playing Ray Peters in the 2015 film Chain of Command. And that’s the bottom line, because Stone Cold says so.
Number One: The Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson). Can you smell what the Rock is cooking? Everyone could smell it during the 90s. The Rock was one of, if not the, most popular wrestlers of the time. He inspired children everywhere to practice their moves whenever they could, much to the chagrin of teachers worldwide. Other than small parts on TV shows such as Star Trek: Voyager and The Net, The Rock didn’t start his acting career until he was cast as The Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns in 2001. From that came The Scorpion King film where he played Mathayus. A part as Beck in The Rundown came later, and then came Walking Tall, which saw The Rock in the lead role of Chris Vaughn. After this came numerous film roles in Doom, Southland Tales, Gridirion Gang, The Game Plan, Get Smart, Race To Witch Mountain, Planet 51, Tooth Fairy, The Other Guys, Faster, Fast 5, Fast and Furious 6, Fast and Furious 7, Journey 2: The Myterious Island, Snitch, GI Joe: Retaliation, Empire State, Pain and Gain, Hercules and San Andreas. With a number of projects currently in production, The Rock is definitely the number one wrestler to break into a successful acting career.