Let's begin with a question: who in this cruel world doesn't enjoy a good movie? Something that delights the senses or tugs at the heart-strings. Something of cinematic beauty that draws out the basic of human emotions. Movies can make you laugh at misfortune or emphasize with the pitiful paths chosen by a character. Movies can make you think and question something you may have once believed. These emotions of course apply to good movies.
With that, let's ask another question: who enjoys a movie that happens to star a professional wrestler? Well, I don't have a definitive answer since I find it hard for any audience to enjoy some of these “classic” gems. Professional wrestlers are great at what they do inside the ring – on the big screen, not so much. While some degree of acting is a requirement of the craft (being able to sell the fans on injuries and storyline) good ol' Johnny Cena is far from being Johnny Depp.
I get the lure of it all, hoping to make the next box office smash and become something along the lines of The Rock (who may have found his success in Hollywood but has starred in his fair share of bad movies). Nevertheless, wrestlers making movies will continue to happen, especially since the WWE own their own production studio. And hey, maybe one day they will turn out a smash hit? I sincerely doubt it but someone reading this must be the eternal optimist-type.
In the following list we will take a look at some terrible acting performances and terrible plots that go along with these films. While some of the efforts made by these wrestlers seem like a genuine attempt at good acting. they just seem to fall flat. You may also notice the multiple inclusion of Hulk Hogan on this list which is not meant to be any sort of dig at The Hulkster's legacy, but he is just that bad of an actor.
These are the top 15 terrible movies starring professional wrestlers:
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16 Honorable Mention: Ready to Rumble
Before we jump into the actual list, we must first begin with an honorable or better yet, dishonorable mention. The movie Ready to Rumble was released in 2000 and stars David Arquette and Scott Caan as a couple of down-and-out obsessed wrestling fans who make it their mission to make fictitious wrestler Jimmy King the WCW World Champion once again, after he was cheated out of the title by Diamond Dallas Page. Without getting too much into detail, the big climax of this movie comes inside of a triple cage match and a melee of wrestlers. Who won the cage match? Who cares. Ready to Rumble featured a wide selection of WCW talent during a time when the company was completely running out of steam. The worst part of all this was the obnoxious and unnecessary title victory by David Arquette on WCW television. WCW did not last much longer following this incident.
15 The Reunion Starring John Cena
John Cena and his act of hardened cop come in at #15 on this list. The plot of this movie is fairly simple to begin with, as following the death of their father, Nina (sister) must fulfill her dad's final wish and reunit her three brothers – all of whom are intermingled with the law in one way or another. Sam (played by Cena) is the cop, Leo is the bail bondsman, and Douglas, the thief fresh out of prison (get the intended sibling twist?). Anyway, Leo soon discovers that a con has kidnapped one of the wealthiest men in the country and convinces his brothers to join him in tracking this man down. Nothing too original here, just your wacky brothers-of-the-law adventure flick.
14 See No Evil Starring Kane
See No Evil stars Kane as the sadistic Jacob Goodnight. Would you care to know the plot? Watch any horror movie you own and gather up the most cliches you can find. While this movie was being promoted, WWE ran a storyline on television where Kane was subconsciously turning into the character he portrayed, which turned out to be a real dud (both storyline and movie). Profit-wise, this horror-flick did manged to rake in over fifteen million dollars at the box office, nearly doubling the budget it cost to make. I don't know if one would consider that a “success.” Perhaps Vince McMahon does, which would explain why a sequel was produced.
13 Hell Comes to Frogtown Starring Roddy Piper
What the hell is Hell Comes to Frogtown? Well, it's a 1988 film starring legendary professional wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. This movie consists of a hero named Sam Hell, who has been imprisoned by a group of women who have taken over the country following a nuclear war. The mission at hand for Sam Hell is to rescue a group of fertile woman from a mutant gang who resemble frogs in order to fertilize said women and save the human race (following so far?). Now, for Sam Hell escape from “Frogtown” is nearly impossible since he has a bomb attached to his genitalia that will indeed detonate should he stray too far. Yeah, this movie is out there but oddly fitting for “Hot Rodd.”
12 Leprechaun: Origins Starring Hornswoggle
I can recall watching the movie Leprechaun as a young kid back in the nineties – a frightening film for a young lad to witness. In Leprechaun: Origins, let's just say the fright level is far from terrifying. The film stars Hornswoggle (real name: Dylan Postl) as the unruly leprechaun who seeks to kill two young couples who had been backpacking through the beautiful Irish countryside. Postl, having already assumed the role of a leprechaun in WWE , seemed sure to nail this part, but he didn't. Perhaps the best role Postl ever played was the illegitimate son of Vince McMahon, as exposure with the boss can lead to many great opportunities such as this film.
11 Bending the Rules Starring Edge
In recent years, Edge has been forced to retire from in-ring action due to the severity of his injuries. While Edge has since found some level of success with his acting career with a recurring role on the television series Haven, not all of his acting ventures have gone in that direction. Hence the 2012 action-comedy Bending the Rules. In this movie, Edge stars along side comedian Jamie Kennedy. Unfortunately, the comedic chemistry between the pair never quite evolved – despite a solid effort by Edge. This redundant plot of two sides of the law coming together to work as one falls flat and feels very recycled.
10 The Condemned Starring Steve Austin
It is hard not to root for “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and the success of his projects outside of wrestling. However, it is even harder to give The Condemned a good review. The film pits ten convicts against each other in an illicit game of cat-and-mouse where they must fight each other to the death while being broadcast to a public audience. The movie was a box office disaster, lasting a mere four weeks in cinemas and taking a loss of over fifteen million dollars. “The Rattlesnake” may have been the biggest star in WWE but his cinematic impact has been dim.
9 Suburban Commando Starring Hulk Hogan
The first of a few Hulk Hogan films to make this list is the confusing Suburban Commando. You have to understand that understanding this movie is probably not going to happen. Hogan plays some kind of interstellar being who is on quest to capture an intergalactic General who has captured the President of a planet. The President is killed by the General when Hogan fails in his rescue mission. Hogan, now distraught, is forced by his superior officer to take a vacation which of course lands him on Planet Earth and in suburbia where hilarity is meant to ensue but never quite does. Anyway, Hogan befriends a middle-class family, they bond, he eventually goes back to where he came from, and all that cheese.
8 Mr. Nanny Starring Hulk Hogan
Keeping with the immortal mega-star and his acting career, we come across a film that should have won an Academy Award. Mr. Nanny is a classic tale where an ex-wrestler (yes, a professional wrestler struggled with the task of acting like a professional wrestler) is hired as a bodyguard/nanny to two mischievous children whose father, an inventor, has created a new anti-missile system which is stored on a microchip that must be guarded for dear life. Naturally, this film contains an old rival who attempts to steal the precious chip and naturally nanny-Hogan must be the hero. I don't get how the Academy could have overlooked this film?
7 Santa's Slay Starring Bill Goldberg
Bill Goldberg is not exactly the first professional wrestler that comes to mind when you think of one assuming the role of Santa Claus. Santa's Slay is a black-comedy horror film in which Goldberg portrays the jolly man from the North Pole as a deranged killer. The story goes; Santa was defeated by an angel 1,000 years prior in a curling match thus forcing Santa to deliver presents on Christmas for the next thousand years. You see, before Santa's loss, Christmas was known as “the day of slaying,” and now that his debt is resolved; Santa can return to his demonic ways. If you can actually make it through the end credits you will see Santa-Goldberg going over his “naughty list,” and inquiring to the camera, “who's next?” (That's right, they used his wrestling catchphrase)
6 The Marine Franchise
The Marine has become a franchise for WWE Studios with it's first installment starring John Cena being released back in 2006, The Marine 2 starring Ted DiBiase Jr. came out in 2009, The Marine 3: Homefront starring The Miz in 2013 and believe it or not; a fourth installment once again starring The Miz and WWE Diva Summer Rae is scheduled for release. There is really no point in explaining the plot of each film individually as it's pretty much all the same; a Marine comes home, struggles to adjust back to normal life, someone is kidnapped or endangered and the pursuit begins. All in all; a really bad collection of movies. (Only the John Cena film was released in theaters)
5 The Chaperone Starring Triple H
The Chaperone starring Triple H is a 2011 comedy film designed to be a heartfelt and moving story of a man doing right by his daughter and ex-wife. Essentially, Ray Bradstone (Triple H) is the best getaway driver in the business. When his old bank-robbing crew enlists him for one last heist, Bradstone agrees to do the job but backs out at the last minute. (Kind of ironic: Triple H refusing to do the job). Instead of participating in the robbery, Bradstone volunteers to chaperone his daughter's class field trip which is where the fun really starts when Bradstone's old crew boss places the blame squarely on him for the robbery going awry and chases the school bus – driven by Bradstone – all the way down to New Orleans. And, that ladies and gentlemen is The Chaperone.
4 Knucklehead Starring Big Show
This next movie is just oh, so bad in every which way – approach, delivery, writing, acting, attempted comedy. Knucklehead stars Big Show as an orphan man-boy who destroys the kitchen of his former orphanage and now must raise enough money to stop the foreclosure of the very same orphanage. In order to raise the money he teams up with a manager and a worker from the orphanage to take on the world of amateur wrestling with the ultimate goal being to win the big tournament down in New Orleans. This entire film just reeks of petty-humor that only a true knucklehead could find funny.
3 Tooth Fairy Starring The Rock
You didn't think The Rock was going to avoid this list, did 'ya? While there are a number of bad movies starring “The Brahma Bull,” one particular flick stands out as the worst; Tooth Fairy. So, a minor league hockey player nicknamed the “Tooth Fairy” due to his ability to knock out the teeth of opposing players upon a body check is one night transported to a magical world where he grows wings and becomes a fairy. How did The Rock look at this script and think, “hey, this role sounds like a real game-changer?” I get how the movie is directed towards children and it's cool that The Rock wants to take on such roles but the most electrifying man in all of entertainment doesn't quite shock the same while wearing a tutu and fairy wings.
2 Santa with Muscles Starring Hulk Hogan
The holiday season is right around the corner and perhaps this year you would like to change up the tradition of watching Charlie Brown, Rudolph, and Frosty. If this is the case; why not check out Santa with Muscles? (Real title of a real film) Hulk Hogan stars in this Christmas “comedy” that is painful to watch at times. Blake (Hogan) gets amnesia and believes that he is Santa Claus. Meanwhile, an evil scientist tries to take over an orphanage in order to gain access to the magical crystals that lie underneath. Often times, Christmas-themed movies come across as corny and overdone but it's Christmas and there is nothing wrong with feeling a little corny around that time of year. However, Santa with Muscles takes corny to a whole other level.
1 No Holds Barred Starring Hulk Hogan
No Holds Barred is so awful that it's almost delightful. I have seen this movie more than any other on this list as it helped provide a long-running inside joke between myself and a buddy during our adolescence. There is nothing too significant about the plot. Hogan plays a wrestler named Rip Taylor who refuses to work for a cable network. The evil network exec holds a tournament which is won by Zeus who eventually challenges Rip to a match. In between all of this, there is a spy working for the network who turns her back on them thanks to Rip's good nature. She is assaulted and kidnapped. Rip's brother is beaten to a pulp. All leading to the epic match in which Rip is victorious. The acting in No Holds Barred is downright terrible but if you were going to watch any of the movies that made this list; I would say watch this one – at least for the unintended humor.
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