Pro wrestling and Hollywood intersect and will intersect frequently, as wrestlers are there to entertain, perform and pretend. With the buildup of a wrestling match comes the trash talk between brightly colored and memorable characters – the heroes and villains of their respective plays – and, yes, the inevitable brawl. In its simplest form, your standard WWE match follows exactly the same basic storyline as any current Marvel studio image (and if you’re a Dave Bautista, doubly so).
Sports stars in movies are an odd take, period. Does their natural divine talent in the ring, in the field, or on the pitch seamlessly transition to the set? For veteran wrestlers, it wasn’t mere luck or the “right place at the right time” that they found themselves in the middle of the rolls. With the company’s own dedicated wrestling film company, WWE Films (formerly WWF Films), there has always been a direct effort by those in charge to make their stars even more cinematic and mainstream. — with varying results.
Elsewhere in the film multiverse, pro wrestlers have found some niche in superhero imagery lately, as the subgenre recognizes that these impressive body shapes match the characters portrayed in their beloved panels. With people like Bautista in guardians of the galaxyJohn Cena Makes Headlines In His Own Spinoff Show With DC Comics Peacemakerand Dwayne Johnson soon in black adam, these athlete-turned-actors fit in well in the business and bring with them the signature panache that has made them so beloved in the ring. In this list, we unbox the greatest scenes featuring a wrestler.
7 The Rock’s Army is Defeated – The Mummy Returns
Although The Rock’s terrible CGI manipulation might be the main talking point when discussing his performance in The return of the mummy, this opener kicks off the story and really sets the tone for the antics to come. In the continuity of The Mummy (1999), that first game led by Dwayne Johnson (when he was still nicknamed “The Rock”) feels like we’ve never been far from the story.
In the opening sequence, a large army, led by King Scorpion (Johnson), is defeated and banished to the sand. Before dying, the dictator makes a pact with the god Anubis and gains power over his mortal warriors. The scenes of The Rock leading an entire army of vicious dog soldiers who conquer Egypt, complete with beheadings and utter carnage, remind us of the biblical epics of the 1950s. Like Johnson’s first film, all tanned muscles and a smile to die for , The return of the mummy would launch its own spin-off series (starting with Scorpio King followed by several straight-to-video movies), and was just a hint of what a career was to follow.
6 Dave Bautista smashes K through a wall – Blade Runner 2049
Having hidden from the Blade Runners until now, Dave Bautista’s android in Blade Runner 2049 (after the short above, Blade Runner 2048: Nowhere to Run) is faced with being rejected by new model, K (Ryan Gosling). Disliking him kindly and using his massive on-screen physique, Bautista’s sapper stabs K and repeatedly kicks him against the drywall until he smashes it.
It’s a testament that Bautista could prove himself so well as an actor in the guardians of the galaxy series that it would feature this intro to one of the most sought after sequels of all time. Before their confrontation, this scene is melancholic and restrained. The two characters, who have just been introduced, seem tired of the world. Do we think Ryan Gosling could really beat Bautista in a fight? No.
5 Randy Savage has 3 minutes playing time – Spider-Man
The inclusion of the late Randy Savage in Sam Raimi Spider Man only lasts a few minutes, and he plays a lot himself but, boy, is it a special. As Bonesaw, Macho Man bulges out and makes “Human Spider” seem all the smaller and completely out of his depth. With his collective of groupies verbally assaulting Parker on the way to the ring, Bonesaw is charismatic and fights dirty, hitting Tobey Maguire repeatedly with a chair.
Before Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus… there was Bonesaw. As a direct storyline from the original Spider Man comics, and when it comes to Chaos Theory (and the death of Uncle Ben), Bonesaw’s inclusion is surprisingly important and valid for the world.
4 John Cena kills Rick Flag – The Suicide Squad
The inclusion of John Cena in The Suicide Squad is inspired, and something that writer/director James Gunn would remind us of throughout his process of creating the follow-up Peacemaker series. It’s here that we realize John Cena’s Peacemaker (essentially a deformed Captain America) reveals he has a mission of his own, and the ensuing fight between Peacemaker and Rick Flag results in Cena’s character stabbing his commander at Chest. In a team of villainous egos, Flag’s last words bring Peacemaker’s irony straight to his face: “What joke.”
3 Jesse Ventura has no time to bleed – Predator
Like a “god * amned sexual tyrannosaur,“Jesse Ventura is the ideal jerk required in the group of commandos in charge of this mysterious mission in foreign land. Ventura is so sure of himself and ridiculous in Predator like Blain, that even when he’s in a war zone and he’s bleeding, he tells his comrade that he “don’t have time to bleed.“When his character (probably the physically tallest of the lot) is dispatched by the Predator, his death is intentionally quick and disappointing. — showing that even this giant of a man is no match for an advanced killer in every way.
2 Hulk Hogan threatens the Gremlins – Gremlins 2: The New Batch
Gremlins 2 is just wacky. His whole existence is weird, and this scene in particular cements that. In a careful reminder of the original’s love for White as snowthe story continues to Gremlins 2 crumbles before our eyes with the reel scorching and the Gremlins’ hijinks completely interrupting the film, a cut-to-length montage at the theater itself. Sitting in the cinema audience watching the film is a fully clothed Hulk Hogan, threatening “the gremstersto continue with the film for the benefit of the movie-going public. Hogan then apologizes and assures us that this will never happen again. Truly Hogan’s finest committed acting on screen.
1 All Out Of Roddy Piper’s Bubblegum – They Live
Finally, eyes open to the evil of the world in They live, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper enters the bank to see that he is surrounded by monsters posing as human beings. Having plunged into it to avoid the cops, he understands the task at hand and calls out the resident aliens with the iconic line, “I came here to chew gum and kick ass… and I’m out of gum.“With mullet, shotgun and sunglasses aplenty, it’s all extremely over the top, fun and cool and watching the aliens get blown away in black and white (from the shades perspective) makes it all that much better. This scene (alongside the ridiculously long fight scene with Keith David) helps make They live always exciting and one of John Carpenter’s most enjoyable films.
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