5 Awesome Film Appearances By Wrestlers
Though many fans still prefer to treat it as a sport, there is a clear dramatic element to professional wrestling. And this, combined with the rare and impressive physique of most of the biggest stars, has led to many wrestlers being eyed by Hollywood over the years. Sometimes these wrestlers merely wind up playing small side roles as extra muscle, or even versions of themselves. But several times in the last few decades we've also seen wrestlers score pretty legitimate film roles.
These are five of those roles that stand out above the rest.
Batista - "Guardians Of The Galaxy"
In arguably the most impressive film role for a pro wrestler not named The Rock to date, Batista exploded onto the Hollywood scene as Drax the Destroyer in the surprise hit Guardians Of The Galaxy. One list describing great roles by pro wrestlers in film went so far as to say Batista walks away with the film, and while that's a tough call to make in a movie that had so many fun characters in it, the argument is legitimate. Painted green and red, handed an array of deadly weapons, and made to befriend a talking raccoon, an animated tree, and and the ever-obnoxious Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Batista pulled off a shockingly believable - and hilarious - performance.
Randy Savage - "Spider-Man"
It may be the smallest role on this list, but it's probably also the most amusing. Randy "Macho Man" Savage essentially played a small-time version of himself, stepping into an underground wrestling ring as Bone Saw McGraw. Portrayed as the crowd favorite (as well as a wheezing, flexing psychopath) in the underground arena, Bone Saw is, in a way, a young Peter Parker's first opponent. Parker (Tobey Maguire) takes him on in an effort to win some prize money. It's a brief but memorable scene for Savage, and though it's wholly ridiculous he kind of nailed the over-the-top nature of minor comic book villains.
Hulk Hogan - "Rocky III"
There are a handful of "villains" from the older Rocky films that have come to define Rocky Balboa's opposition in the franchise. Even today, a popular Rocky-based slot reel game online, boasting numerous features from the films, includes a bonus game consisting of a bout with one of these villains: Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang, or Ivan Drago. Those are the three we always hear about, in games or in recaps of the early films. But let's not forget that Hulk Hogan fought Rocky too, making his own impact on Hollywood's most renowned fighting franchise. Hogan played an insanely imposing champion named Thunderlips, who took on Rocky in a charity event in Rocky III.
Tyler Mane - "Troy"
This is another role that was on the smaller side - though perhaps small isn't the right word for it. Mane played the role of Ajax, a towering Greek warrior who's one of the only people on the planet that Achilles (Brad Pitt) seems to respect. Mane had to flash some acting chops in a few minor interactions with Achilles and others, and is even part of a critical scene in which Hector (Eric Bana), the Trojans' greatest warrior, proves his mettle by besting Ajax. Incidentally, Nate Jones also had a role in Troy, as the champion Boagrius in this unforgettable scene used to demonstrate the might of Achilles.
The Rock - "Fast & Furious" Franchise
And then there's The Rock, who almost seems unfair to place on the list given that he's become as much an actor as he ever was a pro wrestler. Often credited as Dwayne Johnson, he's appeared in a number of movies to date. But his greatest impact has probably been as Hobbs, a character introduced in Fast Five who's appeared in both films since. Fast Five is largely credited with lending new life to the series, and it's fair to say that without The Rock we might not know this franchise as the surprise action juggernaut it's become.
Beyond these there are actually plenty more examples of WWE stars taking the time to act in movies. But these are five of the best and most impactful roles we've seen from wrestlers.