It’s remarkable how successful so many wrestling stars have been in recent years. With Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Dave Bautista, and John Cena presently dominating our screens in films such as F9, Jungle Cruise, The Suicide Squad, and Bautista’s upcoming Dune, there’s never been a better moment to be a wrestler-turned-actor. But who is in charge of the belt? In our own thespian royal rumble, we rated the 5 of these wrestlers turned actors.
5. Steve Austin
Despite his electrifying ring presence, Stone Cold Steve Austin has had a shaky Hollywood career. He’s been in a few supporting parts, although he’s mostly seen in direct-to-DVD films. One unexpected highlight? In Seasons 3 and 4, he portrays a famous villain in Chuck, NBC’s little-remembered action spy comedy.
4. The Great Khali
The adaptation of The Longest Yard included a wonderful buffet of improbable talent. Sandler, Adam. Nelly. Mr. Burt Reynolds (may he forever RIP). Chris Brown. Diaz, Joey “Coco” Then there was The Great Khali (Dalip Singh Rana) as Turley, a 7-foot-1 solitary confinement unit. Turley is presented while violently smashing his head against the wall of his cage to emphasise his menace. Is this correct? No, but who is going to question a guy of his stature?
3. John Cena
Cena’s foray into Hollywood began with usual WWE Studios fodder, but surprisingly successful roles in comedies such as Trainwreck and Blockers established Cena as a legitimate celebrity. 2021 was another busy year for him: he featured in F9 as Dom’s brother, and then in The Suicide Squad as Peacemaker. F9 is good work, but Peacemaker appears to be the most fully developed version of Cena’s skill set, allowing for both strength and levity. Keep a watch out for his HBO Max series, which will feature the character.
2. Dave Bautista
For many wrestlers in the aughts, playing a heavy on a CW series was one path to success. Dave Bautista made his start here, portraying a villain in one of Smallville’s latter seasons. He made an immediate impression, although his acting skills required some improvement, as he openly admits. The hard work paid off, with performances in Guardians of the Galaxy, Spectre, and Blade Runner 2049 that were legitimately startling. Working with famous filmmakers like as James Gunn, Denis Villeneuve, and Sam Mendes, he’s become a true chameleon: his natural physicality is always a component of those parts, but never the distinguishing aspect. Bautista has gone a long way since Smallville, establishing his credentials and demonstrating his worth.
1. Dwayne Johnson
Johnson’s ability to cut promos in his prime demonstrated a natural charm well-suited to Hollywood success. It took a time — and a few Mummy films — for Johnson to break through, but his outstanding performance in the underappreciated The Rundown served as the formal statement that he’d arrived. His appearances in the Fast and Furious franchise helped to resurrect the series, which was on the verge of becoming dormant. (There’s a reason Johnson refers to himself as a “franchise viagra.”)
He’s done a lot, but his most important duty is still ahead of him: introducing the world to DC Comics’ cult anti-hero Black Adam. But if anyone is up to the task, it’s The Rock.