Wrestling Odds – Next WWE Star Headed for Hollywood?
It’s not entirely surprising to see WWE stars take off their wrestling boots and strap on their acting … ascots? After all, every time they step into the ring, they’re really stepping onto a stage.
Myriad maulers have made the jump from the ring to the silver screen, but only a select few have found real success in Hollywood.
Harold Sakata, who wrestled as Tosh Togo, played the near-mute henchman Oddjob in Goldfinger; Andre the Giant put in a fantastic performance in The Princess Bride; and Roddy Piper did likewise in They Live. At the height of his career, Hulk Hogan went from leg drops to being Mr. Nanny.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the biggest success story. He’s already been a part of massive hits, like sequels five through seven in the Fast and Furious franchise, and has two more films coming out this year (Disney’s animated feature Moana and the action-comedy Central Intelligence). Johnson is set to continue his meteoric rise in entertaining “The Millions and the Millions!” of his fans.
John Cena claims we can’t see him, but it’s hard not to notice him in smaller roles in comedy gems like Trainwreck and Sisters, where he showed great comedic timing and fantastic improvisation skills.
Former WWE star Dave Bautista was a pleasant surprise when he played Drax the Destroyer in Marvel’s blockbuster hit Guardians of the Galaxy, and with roles in Spectre and the upcoming Blade Runner 2 and Guardian of the Galaxy 2 films, his acting career looks bright.
So who will be the next pro-wrestler kicking ass in Hollywood? WWE has partnered with Lionsgate Films and has started making B-level films with some of their current superstars as leads. Most of those projects have been rather terrible, but it’s been a great way for some of these guys and gals to get their feet wet and work on their acting chops.
Below are a list of wrestlers who could be the next big thing in Hollywood and the odds of that actually happening. Whatcha gonna do, brother!?
Kane (Glenn Jacobs): 17/3
Kane is a very large and scary man who has actually found some success in the cult horror films See No Evil and See No Evil 2. If there is anyone currently on the WWE roster who has a shot at making a nice career in film, it’s Mr. Jacobs. He stars in the upcoming, WWE-produced film Countdown, alongside fellow WWE star Dolph Ziggler. There are also whispers that Jacobs will be doing a See No Evil 3.
The Miz (Mike Mizanin): 17/3
Miz is one of the busiest working actors in pro-wrestling. And that fits with his wrestling persona, who already considers himself a Hollywood celebrity. Mike Mizanin actually started his career as a cast member of MTV’s The Real World. Since that time, he’s been doing both television and film with roles in TV shows like Psych, Pair of Kings, and Supernatural and films credits in The Marine 3 and 4 and Santa’s Little Helper. Good looks, and some actual acting talent, will propel Miz to bigger roles. Sometimes I think pro-wrestling is getting in the way of his acting career.
The Big Show (Paul Wight): 22/3
It’s somewhat surprising that The Big Show hasn’t already been in a ton of films. He has done a bit of television but, for the most part, his acting has been within the WWE ring. He’s not only very large and menacing, but he is absolutely hilarious and can play a variety of characters. Having just starred in a WWE/Lionsgate production called Vendetta, which was actually pretty good, Paul Wight has a movie career in his future when he’s done throwing dudes around for a living.
Randy Orton: 9/1
The former WWE World Champion has dabbled in the film biz already and has credits in the indie films That’s What I Am, 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded, and The Condemned 2. With his grizzled good looks and charisma, Orton has great prospects when it comes to action films and maybe more. And with injuries mounting, a move to the bright lights of Hollywood is probably in the not-too- distant future.
Dolph Ziggler (Nick Nemeth): 10/1
Ziggler has just started to make steps towards an acting career. He was cast in an independent film called Me Him Her, which got terrible reviews. However, he recently signed on as the lead in a WWE produced film called Countdown. Ziggler has a unique look but will his in-ring charisma translate to the silver screen? Doing these smaller films will at least help build his resume.
Dean Ambrose (Jonathan Good): 11/1
Dean Ambrose has that unique ability to give a single look that says, “I’m bat shit crazy.” Having just starred in a WWE film called 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown, Ambrose seems to have movie star written all over him. Currently, he’s a full time performer for WWE, so the movie roles will be few and far between, but look for him to do more indie films to pad his resume.
Roman Reigns (Joe Anoa’i): 12/1
Reigns is big, he has the good looks, and is marketable if used in the right way. He’s currently the WWE World Champion and probably isn’t headed to the big or small screen anytime soon, but don’t rule out an acting career when the wrestling life becomes too much for this family man. He’s also Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s cousin so there is an instant Hollywood connection there.
Seth Rollins (Colby Lopez): 13/1
Rollins hasn’t done any acting for film or television. Besides some of the original “reality” programming on the WWE`s network, Rollins has not been talked about in regards to real acting roles. He did, however, do some TV with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show and they became good friends, and he definitely has the good looks and personality to succeed. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him cast in a WWE production somewhere down the line. Currently he is rehabbing from injury.
Sasha Banks (Mercedes Kaestner-Varnado): 15/1
When you’re the cousin of Snoop Dogg, and you’re extremely beautiful and athletic, a successful transition to TV/film is made that much easier. If Sasha Banks wants to have an acting career outside of the squared circle, it’s probably hers for the taking. But she’s currently one of the focal points in the WWE’s push to put women’s wrestling on the map, so she’s likely too busy for anything outside of pro-wrestling. Don’t be surprised if you see her acting outside the ring one day, though.
(Photo Credit: shstrng ([CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons).)