The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Incorporation is well-known for its shredded athletes and the ability to entertain audiences with the art of pro wrestling. It is the largest wrestling promotion in the entire world, helmed by chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. Many stars have spent years remaining in the squared-circle as pro wrestlers, but some of its biggest stars go above and beyond with their diverse talents and have embedded themselves as movie stars in Hollywood.
The most recognizable is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who left the pro wrestling business in 2004 to jumpstart on his acting career. Even though he had some mediocre films released, he eventually found his footing and starred in several movies within the Fast & Furious franchise. He then got more involved in future works such as Skyscraper, Rampage, Moana, San Andreas, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and many more. Johnson even started his own production company, Seven Bucks Productions. He is one of the highest-paid actors around the world, and his charisma and accomplishments have catapulted him as one of the most influential people in the past few years.
John Cena, a sixteen-time world champion in WWE, has followed Johnson’s footsteps and has made himself known in the past few years. He has starred in Blockers, Trainwreck, Bumblebee, and will be in the upcoming F9 and The Suicide Squad (2021) films. He has retained his muscles and flexed his comedic chops and inspiring words to the world as he continues to build his resume in Hollywood.
Dave Bautista carved his path in Hollywood after his time in WWE, finding massive success as playing Drax the Destroyer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He has also stretched into different genres and made appearances in Spectre, Blade Runner 2049, Dune, Stuber, and My Spy.
These three are the most recognizable to have transitioned from WWE to Hollywood and garnered significant attention and stardom. Other WWE wrestlers have also been in some Hollywood works such as Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Jessie Ventura. Many aspire to bring energy and excitement into different places as WWE is only one place where they can reach their highest potential.
Now, two current WWE superstars are getting offers from Hollywood. Becky Lynch and Roman Reigns attempting to serve as the faces of WWE are getting pulled into movie (and television) opportunities. Reigns made a small cameo in Hobbs and Shaw last year, and Lynch has been filming in some television series. However, these two are still in their prime years, and will most likely transition to Hollywood gradually when they cannot commit to WWE full-time anymore.
So, why is it that Hollywood has found a place for these wrestlers? It is because they demonstrate their ability to capture an audience’s attention, whether it was from mic-work to in-ring performance in WWE. Their performances allow them to command a screen when they jump into other forms of entertainment, and it sparks interest and excitement. Some gain a natural ability to flow superbly in front of the camera. These wrestlers (past, present, or future) have become confident and enthusiastic in trying to appeal to any audience.
Will all WWE wrestlers that venture to Hollywood find success there? Not exactly, as Hollywood craves freshness and creativity. People like Johnson, Batista, and Cena have natural charisma and can entice to specific audiences, unlike anyone else. Hollywood is not WWE 2.0, so those that head in that direction will encounter new challenges, and some may not be fit. WWE has also grown a bit weary in letting their major players go elsewhere.
Only time and commitment will tell if another WWE wrestler will find a home in Hollywood.