Professional wrestling shares a lot in common with filmography. Both industries have stars that people pay to see, they have an audience and they put on performances to entertain the masses.
Over the years, a lot of WWE Superstars have made the jump from sports entertainment to Hollywood. Some of these wrestlers managed to find success in the movie industry while others failed to capture the same success as they did in WWE.
Here is a list of the ten Superstars who became movie stars.
Before we start with this list, let’s first take a look at some honorable mentions:
- Andre the Giant
- Roddy Piper
- Triple H
- Bill Goldberg
- Big Show
#10. Dean Ambrose (Jon Moxley)
WWE debut: 18 November 2012
Best movie: 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown
Movie Names: 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown, Countdown, Cagefighter: Worlds Collide
Defining moment: Winning the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank
Dean Ambrose, currently known as Jon Moxley in AEW, is best known for his time in WWE where held several titles including the WWE Championship, Intercontinental and United States Championship.
Ambrose joined AEW after leaving WWE in 2019, and besides wrestling, he has also been on the silver screen. The Lunatic Fringe has starred in several movies.
He made his acting debut in 2015 when he starred in WWE’s 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown movie. He was also seen in the 2016 film Countdown in an uncredited role.
Moxley was cast as Randy Stone in an upcoming movie called Cagefighter: Worlds Collide. The film is set to be released on 16 May 2020.
#9. Hulk Hogan
WWE debut: 17 November 1989
Best movie: Rocky III
Movie Names: Rocky III, Bimini Code, Goldie and the Bears, The A-Team, No Holds Barred, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Suburban Commando, Mr. Nanny, Thunder in Paradise, Thunder in Paradise, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Baywatch, The Secret Agent Club, Spy Hard, Santa with Muscles, The Ultimate Weapon, Assault on Devil’s Island, McCinsey’s Island, 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain, Assault on Death Mountain, Muppets from Space, Walker, Texas Ranger, Little Hercules, Gnomeo & Juliet, Saints Row: The Third, China, IL, American Dad!, The ’80s Called, The Goldbergs
Defining moment: Defeating Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III
‘The Immortal’ Hulk Hogan is arguably one of the biggest stars to ever come out of WWE. The Hulkster was a key figure in the company from the ’80s.
He took part in the first WrestleMania event where he was in the main event. Hogan went on to compete in nine consecutive WrestleMania starting from 1985.
He also held the WWF (now WWE) Championships several times in his career. Hogan played the part of Thunderlips in Sylvester Stalone’s Rocky III movie in 1982.
He also acted in films and series such as The A-Team, Baywatch, 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain, American Dad! and The Goldbergs.
#8. Randy Orton
WWE debut: 16 March 2002
Best movie: 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded
Movie Names: That’s What I Am, 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded, The Condemned 2, Countdown, Long Shot and Changeland
Defining moment: Becoming the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in WWE
Randy Orton is one of WWE’s biggest Superstars. He made his debut for the company in 2002 and till today he is one of the company’s highest-paid wrestlers.
The Viper joined Evolution where he found success including winning the World Heavyweight Championship. He went on to main event PPVs including WrestleMania, WWE’s biggest event and holding the WWE Championship a lot of times.
Orton has also been featured in various movies throughout the years. He acted in movies such as That’s What I am to his latest one being released in 2019.
#7. Kevin Nash
WWE debut: 1993
Best movie: The Longest Yard
Movie Names: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Freejack, Family Plan, The Punisher, The Longest Yard, Grandma’s Boy, DOA: Dead or Alive, River of Darkness, Almighty Thor, Monster Brawl, The Association, Rock of Ages, Magic Mike, The Newest Pledge, John Wick, Magic Mike XXL, The Manor, The Assault, Chick Fight
Defining moment: Teaming up with the NWO
Kevin Nash was a popular name in wrestling in the nineties as Diesel. He had a reign as WWE Champion and WCW World Champion. He joined Scott Hall and Hulk Hogan to form the New World Order (NWO) in WCW.
Besides wrestling, Big Daddy Cool also appeared in movies and shows. In 1991, he played Super Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, The Russian in The Punisher, Francis in John Wick and Cisco in The Assault.
Nash also appeared in various TV shows such as Swamp Thing: The Series, The Wayne Brady Show and Living the Dream.
WWE debut: 9 May 2002
Best movie: Guardians of the Galaxy
Movie Names: Relative Strangers, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?, Wrong Side of Town, House of the Rising Sun, The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption, The Man with the Iron Fists, Riddick, Guardians of the Galaxy, L.A. Slasher, Spectre, Heist, The Boss, Kickboxer: Vengeance, Marauders, The Warriors Gate, Bushwick, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Blade Runner 2049, 2048: Nowhere to Run, Avengers: Infinity War, Hotel Artemis, Escape Plan 2: Hades, Final Score, Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy, Avengers: Endgame, Stuber, Escape Plan: The Extractors, My Spy
Defining moment: Winning the WWE Championship
Dave Bautista is a popular name in the world of movies and professional wrestling. He wrestled in WWE under the ring name Batista where he became a six-time World Champion.
Batista had a very successful career as a wrestler and he found even more success as an actor.
He made his acting debut in 2006 in the film Relative Strangers. His most successful works, however, were in Guardians of the Galaxy, Spectre, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
He also appeared in TV series such as Smallville, Chuck, and See.
WWE debut: 5 October 1997
Best movie: See No Evil
Movie Names: See No Evil, MacGruber, Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery, See No Evil 2, Countdown
Defining moment: Defeating Stone Cold Steve Austin to win the WWE Championship at King of the Ring 1998
WWE Superstar Kane is one of the most entertaining wrestlers in the company’s history. The Big Red Machine has been in WWE for over 20 years and during his tenure, he has defeated a lot of other stars and he’s captured a lot of titles.
He is one of the scariest Superstars in WWE and standing at 7-foot tall weighing 323 pounds, it’s not hard to see why. Besides wrestling, Kane is also a politician. Glenn Jacobs, the man behind the mask, is the mayor of Knox County, Tennesse.
The former WWE Champion has also acted in a couple of movies. He made his movie debut in 2006 starring in the horror film See No Evil. The movie was a box office success and a sequel titled See No Evil 2 was released in 2014.
The brother of The Undertaker voice acted in the film Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery and he starred in his last movie, Countdown, in 2016.
#4. The Miz
WWE debut: 2006
Best movie: The Marine 5: Battleground
Movie Names: The Campaign, The Marine 3: Homefront, Queens of the Ring, Christmas Bounty, Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery, The Marine 4: Moving Target, Santa’s Little Helper, Scooby-Doo! and WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon, The Marine 5: Battleground, The Marine 6: Close Quarters, Fighting with My Family and The Main Event
Defining moment: Headlining WrestleMania 27
Mike The Miz is a former WWE Champion, Intercontinental Champion and the reigning SmackDown Tag Team Champions with John Morrison. Miz has had a successful run in WWE and acting.
He made his film debut in the 2012 movie The Campaign where he played himself. He became the star of The Marine and other movies produced by WWE.
His latest work was in the Netflix film titled The Main Event which came out in 2020. The Miz also has his own show with his wife Maryse called Miz and Mrs.
#3. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
WWE debut: 8 January 1996
Best movie: The Expendables
Movie Names: Beyond The Mat, The Longest Yard, The Condemned, Damage, The Expendables, The Stranger, Hunt to Kill, Whoop Ass, Recoil, Knockout, Tactical Force, Maximum Conviction, The Package, Grown Ups 2, Chain of Command, Smosh: The Movie
Defining moment: Feud with Mr. McMahon
“Stone Cold Steve Austin” is the biggest star in WWE history and the most profitable wrestler in the company. He has main evented WrestleMania several times and has held the WWE Championship six times.
Austin was forced to retire from in-ring competition in 2003 due to a series of knee injuries and a serious neck injury. He made his film debut as a guard in the 2005 movie the Longest Yard.
Since then, he has taken part in various other films such as The Condemned, The Expendables, Maximum Conviction and Grown Ups 2.
He has also appeared in TV shows such as V.I.P., The Bernie Mac Show and Chuck. He has also hosted several TV shows including Redneck Island, Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge and Straight Up Steve Austin.
#2. John Cena
WWE debut: 27 June 2002
Best movie: Bumblebee
Movie Names: Ready to Rumble, The Marine, 12 Rounds, Legendary, Fred: The Movie, The Reunion, Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred, Fred 3: Camp Fred, Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery, Trainwreck, The Nest, The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown!, The Wall, Ferdinand, Blockers, Bumblebee
Defining moment: Feud with The Rock
John Cena is another WWE Superstar that is considered to be an all-time great. The Leader of the Cenation has held several championships in WWE including the WWE Title.
He has also starred in a lot of major films. He made his film debut in the 2005 WWE produced film playing John Triton. Cena starred in his second film 12 Rounds in 2009.
His biggest work was in movies such as Daddy’s Home 2, Bumblebee and Fast and Furious 9. He was also cast for an undisclosed role in The Suicide Squad, a role originally intended for Bautista.
#1. The Rock
WWE debut: 4 November 1996
Best movie: Fast & Furious franchise
Movie Names: The Mummy Returns, The Scorpion King, The Rundown, Walking Tall, Be Cool, Gridiron Gang, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Fast & Furious 6, 7 &8, Central Intelligence, Moana, Baywatch, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Rampage, Skyscraper, Fighting with My Family, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Jumanji: The Next Level
Defining moment: Defeating Austin at WM, winning the WWE Championship
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a worldwide renowned actor and retired professional wrestler. He had a very successful career in WWE where he became the first African American WWE Champion and he headlined WrestleMania several times.
Johnson has become one of the highest-paid and most successful actors in Hollywood over the years. He has produced and starred in a lot of box office attraction films.
From The Scorpion King to The Rundown, Walking Tall, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Fast & Furious movies and more, The Rock is the most successful wrestler turned actor.
He has estimate net worth of $220 million and it’s not hard to see why. He also owns Seven Bucks Production, a company that has produced many movies that Johnson starred in.