In honor of Dwayne Johnson’s next big film Hercules set to hit your local cinemas on July 25th, and Dave Batista set to return to the big screen in a small independent film called Guardians of the Galaxy, I thought it would be very appropriate to look at a few WWE centric lists. I’ll do a series of lists for you; the first will be Top 5 WWE Superstar movie cameos, the second will be 5 “best” movies where a WWE Superstar had a major role, the last will be 5 current WWE Superstars who may be prime for a film/TV jump.
Let’s begin our first list.
5. Edge in Highlander: Endgame
Adam Copeland, better known to WWE fans as the Rated R Superstar: Edge appeared briefly in the 2000 film. The 4 time WWE champion and 7 time World Heavyweight Champion appeared as a road bandit who was defeated in a swordfight by Adrian Paul’s character. As a nod to Copeland’s wrestling persona Paul’s character remarks in the fight “Looks like you lost your edge, lad.” Copeland retired from the WWE in 2011 as World Heavyweight Champion due to issues with his surgically reconstructed neck. Copeland can be seen regularly on SyFy’s Haven as Dwight Hendrickson.
4. Kevin Nash in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze
This 6 time World Champion had a very brief cameo in the 1991 film, although no one would blame you if you missed it. Nash was the actor underneath all of the armor as the Super Shredder. In the film after the Shredder ingests some of the ooze he becomes the Super Shredder. At the time Nash was just beginning his career in professional wrestling, so he wasn’t a household name and the appearance was not hyped. Nash is currently signed as a WWE Legend (brand ambassador) and has gone on to be featured in Adam Sandler’s The Longest Yard and as the Russian in the Punisher. Nash was also up for the role of Sabretooth in 2000’s X-Men, but the role went to one of Nash’s former WCW tag partner Tyler Mane.
3. The Undertaker in Suburban Commando
Back when the wrestling world revolved around a sun named Hulk Hogan, Hollywood released two movies that tried to cash in on Hulkamania; No Holds Barred and Suburban Commando. No Holds Barred introduced us to Tiny Lister who would go on to milk the Zeus/Hogan feud into WWE rings in 1989. In 1991 Hogan’s second star vehicle Suburban Commando was released. This movie featured a young Mark Calloway as an intergalactic bounty hunter with a high voice after Hogan’s character. At the time Calloway was just introduced to WWE audiences under the gimmick of the Undertaker. Taker would go on to win 7 World titles and a record 21 consecutive matches at Wrestlemania.
2. Macho Man Randy Savage in Spider-Man
He is perhaps one of the greatest performers in professional wrestling history. Randy Savage is a six time World Champion and one of the most recognizable characters not named Hulk Hogan. Savage made his film debut in the Sam Raimi directed Spider-Man as Bone Saw McGraw, the wrestler that Peter Parker beats to earn some scratch for a car. Savage’s cameo was short and sweet; he even got a few lines. Savage was one of the few Superstars in the '80s that was able to have a successful title run. Savage also was the spokesman for Slim Jims. Savage passed away in 2011, but his legacy in the business of Pro-Wrestling earns him the #2 spot on this list.
1. Hulk Hogan in Rocky III
This is the Wrestling cameo that defines all Wrestling cameos. Hogan was a star on the rise at the time and he filmed this cameo against the wishes of Vince McMahon’s father who was running the WWF at the time. After filming the cameo Hogan went on to wrestle in the now defunct AWA. In 1982 Vince McMahon bought the WWF from his father with the intention of turning it into a nationwide promotion (at the time Pro Wrestling was a territorial business). Vince found the star he would hitch his wagon to in Hulk Hogan. In Rocky III Hogan played a wrestler named Thunderlips who manhandles Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky in a wrestler vs. boxer gimmick match. Many wrestling historians believe that the combination of Rocky III being successful, Hogan’s charisma, and Vince McMahon’s ambition led to rise of Hulkamania and the Professional Wrestling landscape we see today.
Now, I am sure that I have missed some that you may consider your favorites, so head on down to the comments section and voice your opinion. Heck just drop me a comment to let me know what you think. That is all I have for the Cameo countdown. Next up we will countdown the 5 “best” movies where a WWE Superstar has had a major role.