Wrestlers from the WWE are most often known for their work inside the ring, but that’s a trend that’s increasingly becoming a thing of the past. Wrestlers like Dave Bautista, John Cena, and of course, Dwayne, “The Rock” Johnson, have paved their way in Hollywood, and as a result, perhaps gotten other wrestlers a bit more respect. Of course, one could argue that had it not been for guys like Randy Savage and their excellent cameos in big films, wrestlers wouldn’t have a place in movies now, period.
The following aren’t necessarily WWE wrestlers' best movie cameos in terms of screen time, but certainly among the most memorable. These athletes have worked with some of the best actors we have, and made themselves stars in their own right, even with relatively small roles in some notable films.
Randy Savage (Spider-Man)
Even without his cowboy hat and colorful attire, it’s hard not to recognize Randy Savage in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. The gravely-voiced WWE legend is seen towards the beginning of the movie and is Peter’s opponent, Bonesaw, at the pro wrestling venue. The moment itself isn’t too unique, because Savage is doing pro wrestler stuff in his scene, but it’s always a great time to bring up that Bruce Campbell shared a wall with Savage during filming and was often subjected to the sounds of passionate love-making as a result.
Hulk Hogan (Rocky III)
Hulkamania ran wild in the early 1980s, and it’s probably because of that phenomenon that Rocky III featured a scene in which Hulk Hogan went up against Rocky Balboa in the ring. Of course, Hogan didn’t portray his real-life persona, but a womanizer heel-type wrestler by the name of Thunderlips. He goes a little hard on Rocky in their encounter, but Rocky ends up giving as good as he got later in the match. Everyone in the crowd seemed pleased with the match, outside of Clubber Lang, and to be completely fair, Lang clearly had some stuff going on, given how upset he was about the charity match.
Big Show (Jingle All The Way)
Before The Big Show had his own short-lived series on Netflix, he made a splash in an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. No, WWE’s seven-foot giant wasn’t featured in one of his action thrillers, like The Terminator or Predator. Instead, Big Show came on as the absolutely massive Santa featured in the warehouse scene in Jingle All The Way. Big Show’s Santa absolutely made life difficult for Schwarzenegger’s character and only backed off his attack after a wayward punch blasted a smaller Santa (played by Verne Troyer) clear across the warehouse. Maybe not the most notable pick on the list, but certainly memorable.
Chris Jericho (Jay And Silent Bob Reboot)
The Rock, John Cena, and Dave Bautista may have paved the way for wrestlers to get more prominent parts in movies, but that doesn’t mean all wrestlers get bigger roles. Chris Jericho had a notable gig in 2019, in which he appeared in Jay And Silent Bob Reboot as a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Not exactly the type of part I’d think any budding actor would wish to seek out, but Jericho plays the character of an ignorant racist quite well, and it makes for a comedic scene in the movie.
Kevin Nash (John Wick)
Kevin Nash may not get quite the level of love as the most respected pro wrestlers turned actors, but make no mistake, he’s done some impressive stuff throughout his career. Some of you may know him as Super Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, or maybe one of the many other characters in his career where he played a strong, imposing guy. My personal favorite is in John Wick, which, by and large, I think has been a great franchise for actors from other backgrounds. Nash doesn’t say much in his scene, but the short exchange his character has with John really sets the tone for the weird relationship that assassins have in this film universe.
John Cena (Sisters)
John Cena’s journey in Hollywood has had some ups and downs, but thanks to his role as Peacemaker in The Suicide Squad, I think it’s fair to say he’s back on an upwards trajectory. That’s thanks in part to some more minor roles he had in films leading up to that, one of which may be my favorite pro wrestler cameo in any recent film. John Cena plays a tattooed drug dealer in Sisters, and it’s mainly hilarious because it’s just so wildly out of character with everything John Cena is known for. Check it out if you’re a wrestling fan, and secretly wish this was the villainous persona Cena would adapt before he retires from the WWE.
Stone Cold Steve Austin (Grown Ups 2)
Stone Cold Steve Austin was absolutely not someone I ever expected to do anything but pro wrestling, but the iconic WWE Superstar has surprised audiences a lot over the years. He's actually a nice surprise in Grown Ups 2, as Austin was able to hold his own as an actor in his brief exchanges with Adam Sandler. It's also one of the few wrestling cameos that can make me legitimately laugh out loud, mainly because it's just such a departure from what he did during his time in the WWE.
Goldberg (Looney Tunes: Back In Action)
WCW booked Goldberg as one of the most dominant wrestlers of his era in his prime, and even now he’s put up against the best of the best in WWE. I guess it's for that reason that I can’t help but find it so hilarious that he was in Looney Tunes: Back In Action as the muscle for Steve Martin’s Mr. Chairman. What’s better is that we learn in the movie that he’s actually a Tazmanian She-Devil. Again, we’re not going for the most Oscar-winning performances here, just the ones that stick in our brains. This one, if nothing else, is certainly memorable.
Ronda Rousey (Furious 7)
OK, so technically, Ronda Rousey was known as a UFC star when she appeared in Furious 7, but the fact that she was in WWE a year later makes it feel like this should certainly count as a notable cameo by a pro wrestler. Rousey’s fight with Letty gets a good bit of screen time in the movie, and her appearance was noteworthy enough to be a selling point for some people to see it. Rousey wasn’t in the WWE as long as some of the legends on this list, but it’s hard to dispute she’ll be remembered as a notable women’s wrestler in the company all the same.
It’s an exciting time to be a WWE fan, with the rivalry between it and AEW ramping up. CinemaBlend will have a lot of the latest news on the pro wrestling organizations, including the key WWE star who will reportedly be off television for a good while.
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Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.