WWE wrestlers and UFC fighters turned actors - the tale of the tape

Steve Tilley, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:59 PM ET

Dozens of wrestlers and mixed martial artists have made the leap from the WWE’s squared circle and the UFC’s caged octagon to a place that’s fraught with nearly as much peril: Hollywood’s silver screen. And the move doesn’t always go as smoothly as a top rope dropkick.

More professional fighters (or, you know, sports entertainment titans) are showing up at the multiplex than ever before, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson donning a dead lion for Hercules, Dave Bautista playing the musclebound Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy and the likes of Randy Couture and Ronda Rousey in the just-opened The Expendables 3. Here’s a look at who’s on top and who got tossed out of the ring.

Dwayne Johnson

AKA: The Rock

Box office piledriver: Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

Critical bodyslam: Tooth Fairy (2010)

Career outlook: Solid as a… well, you know. Johnson is the poster boy for wrestlers who have reinvented themselves as marquee movie stars.

Gina Carano

AKA: Conviction

Box office piledriver: Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

Critical bodyslam: In the Blood (2014)

Career outlook: The MMA superstar may not have been picked to play Wonder Woman as some were hoping, but Carano’s acting career – which got off the ground with Steven Soderbergh’s excellent Haywire – looks to be in good shape. Just like her.

Roderick Toombs

AKA: Rowdy Roddy Piper

Box office piledriver: They Live (1988)

Critical bodyslam: Hell Comes to Frogtown (1988)

Career outlook: Piper still occasionally ventures into the wrestling ring and has no fewer than six movie credits in 2014, although it remains to be seen how many get theatrical releases. At least he’s still kickin’!

Andre Roussimoff

AKA: Andre the Giant

Box office piledriver: The Princess Bride (1987)

Critical bodyslam: Micki & Maude (1984)

Career outlook: Not very good, being as the gentle giant passed away in 1993. Slumber in peace.

John Cena

AKA: The Prototype

Box office piledriver: 12 Rounds (2009)

Critical bodyslam: Fred: The Movie (2010)

Career outlook: Given that the WWE champ’s current acting claim to fame is playing the father of excruciating YouTube personality Fred Figglehorn, Cena’s cinematic career appears to be in a sleeper hold.

Bill Goldberg

AKA: Goldberg

Box office piledriver: The Longest Yard (2005)

Critical bodyslam: Universal Soldier: The Return (1999)

Career outlook: Goldberg hasn’t done a lot of acting or wrestling in the last few years, but he seems to have banked enough coin in his heyday to be living quite comfortably without Hollywood’s help.

Randy Couture

AKA: The Natural

Box office piledriver: The Expendables 2 (2012)

Critical bodyslam: Big Stan (2007)

Career outlook: Couture holds his own as one of the core members of Sylvester Stallone’s crew of aging mercenaries, but it’s tough to say whether the Expendables will live to see a fourth outing.

Terry Bollea

AKA: Hulk Hogan

Box office piledriver: Rocky III (1982)

Critical bodyslam: Mr. Nanny (1993)

Career outlook: Brother, the Hulkster might not be much of a big screen icon, but he’s got his pythons on so many side projects that he’s not hurting for attention.

Paul Levesque

AKA: Triple H

Box office piledriver: Blade Trinity (2004)

Critical bodyslam: The Chaperone (2011)

Career outlook: After his big break as a baddie in Blade: Trinity, Triple H’s film career withered like a vampire in the sun. He’s still plenty active in the WWE, though.

Dave Bautista

AKA: Batista

Box office piledriver: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Critical bodyslam: The Man with the Iron Fists (2012)

Career outlook: Like his Guardians of the Galaxy castmates, Bautista is signed to a multi-movie Marvel deal that will serve him very well for years to come.

Steve Austin

AKA: Stone Cold

Box office piledriver: The Expendables (2010)

Critical bodyslam: The Package (2012)

Career outlook: Stone Cold can pull off a pretty decent tough guy/villain, but he’s got an awful long way to go before he can even smell what the Rock is cookin’.

Jesse Ventura

AKA: The Body

Box office piledriver: Predator (1987)

Critical bodyslam: Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe (1990)

Career outlook: Ventura seems to have given up on wrestling and acting (other than hosting a TV show about conspiracy theories), but the former Minnesota governor remains active in the political ring.

Georges St.-Pierre

AKA: GSP

Box office piledriver: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Critical bodyslam: Death Warrior (2009)

Career outlook: St.-Pierre is still on hiatus from mixed martial arts, due to injuries and a lack of desire to compete. In the event he doesn’t return, maybe acting will be his second calling.

Ronda Rousey

AKA: Rowdy

Box office piledriver: The Expendables 3 (2014)

Critical bodyslam: The Expendables 3 (2014)

Career outlook: The Expendables 3 is the MMA champ’s acting debut, but she’ll be seen in next year’s Fast & Furious 7 and the big-screen version of Entourage. And, if there’s any justice at all, the all-female Expendabelles.

Twitter: @stevetilley

steve.tilley@sunmedia.ca

 


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