Top 5 Wrestlers In Film

Written by Joey Simpson November 10, 2011

As an unabashed fan of WWE, this particular list gives me the utmost personal pleasure. Since last year or so, my twice a week ritual (RAW on Mondays, Smackdown on Fridays) has been the most stable factor of my life, overtaking studying, work, and meaningful relationships. It is escapism at its purest form which consistantly enthralls, and provokes heated, passionate arguments amongst friends.

Anyone who has seen at least 5 minutes of Pro-Wreslting knows that to some degree, wrestlers contain some “acting” abilities, and usually those who can rouse a crowd get top booking. Sometimes, the celebriry of one performer can supercede the ring and branch into other media. Some are musicians (i.e. Chris Jericho) while others attempt real acting. Those confident enough can feel they have what it takes to act in feature films, hoping to attain Dwayne level stardom, but the results can vary (see: any film released under WWE Films). This countdown looks at the best appearences of Pro-Wrestling and WWE alumni in all forms of the film medium.

#5: R-Truth, others in The Wreslter (2008)

Personally, this is my favourite Arronovsky film and one of the best representations of any wrestler in mainstream media. The film is about Randy “The Ram” Robinson, played by Mickey Rourke, an 80’s superstar whose fame is dwindling and is forced to retire due to a heart attack. What makes this a very personal film is the poingnancy and honesty that Arronovsky approaches with his subject. The film accurately and tragically depicts a wrestler who can no longer perform and sinks further into depravity simply because their livelihood and identity no longer exists. The film also uses alot of sets and wreslters from Ring of Honour, a real-life wrestling promotion, which adds to the film’s realism. Many famous wreslters make a cameo in the film, most famously Ernest Miller (who plays The Ram’s “nemesis”) and R-Truth, currently one of the big names on WWE’s RAW brand.

#4: Christian in Dark Rising (2007)

Admittedly, this is a guilty pleasure of a film and makes no bones about it. The movie is a horror/dark comedy involving a boy’s encounters with supernatural demons as he tries to reconcile with his ex-fiancee. A typical splatter-comedy built for cheap, lovable thrills, a gem in this film is the appearence of Jason Reso (aka, Christian). Reso, one of my current favourites employed by WWE right now, is not much of an actor, but his quirky, psuedo-macho persona in this film is definetely worth remembering. Fans will also love the appearence of Christian’s signature finisher, The Killlswitch, as a loving ode to the wrester.

 

#3: Chris Jericho, Mark Henry, MVP, The Great Khali, Kane and the Big Show in MacGruber (2010)

By far this is not the best film on the list, nor is it the best SNL movie ever made. Frankly, the film is mediocre and largely built for fans of the character and SNL devotees…wherever they are. What puts this film on the list is the sheer volume of WWE Superstars in the cast, most of which are still employed and popular. This is the typical film of the WWE audience, full of cruded humour and high action, which surely cannot disappoint a WWE devotee.

 

#2: André the Giant in The Princess Bride (1986)

I simply would not be able to sleep at night if this were not on my list. A near perfect film with the casting of one of the greatest professional wreslters in the sport’s history. André the Giant appears as the hulking side-kick to Inigo in this lovable, heart warming, and all-around pleasing work by Rob Reiner. André fulfills his role to a tee and delivers a great performance, contrary to many wrestler-turned-actors of today. While many wrestlers feel the need to play as typecasted tough guys, André did what he did best, which earns our respect and adoration. “Anybody want a peanut?”

 

#1: Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross in Man on the Moon (1999)

Where Man on the Moon succeeds is the absolute appreciation and adoration of its subject, the late comedian Andy Kaufmann. Every element of this movie was crafted as a loving tribute to the man who sincerely tried to make comedy funny again and to break ground as no one before could ever fathom. One of Andy’s most notorious hijinks was his “feud” with Jerry “The King” Lawler during the 80’s, which brought the dimension of wrestling out of the ring and forced into the minds of viewers wherever Andy appeared. Directed by Milos Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest),the film, though admittedly an unfaithful adaptation, reconstructs the feud with precise detail, even bringing Lawler and Ross into shooting, despite being almost 15 years older by that point. Kaufmann, played by Jim Carrey, was an unabashed fan of wrestling and he gave the utmost respect to the sport throughout his career. Forman captures this, as well as Lawler’s unabashed respect and admiration of Kaufmann, which creates a full, and complete euology to one of comedy’s greatest visionaries.

Honourable Mention: Randy Savage in Spider-Man (2002)

In honour of the recently deceased “Macho Man” Randy Savage, I present his cameo from Sam Raimi’sSpider-Man

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