TO borrow a phrase from Hulk Hogan, WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) stars are currently running wild all over Hollywood.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is at the forefront of this wrestler invasion. He has made an incredible transition from the squared-circle to movie sets, converting his eyebrow-raising, smack-talking charisma into one of the biggest box-office draws in Hollywood. The Rock has gone from being a legend of the wrestling industry to now be a pillar of American action and action-comedy flicks.
John Cena (Trainwrecked, Blockers) and Dave Bautisa (Blade Runner 2049, Guardians of the Galaxy) are impressively close behind in the mainstream movie path blazed by Johnson. Not to forget the likes of Kevin Nash, Stu Bennett (known to WWE fans as Wade Barrett), John Hennigan (John Morrison) and many others who are finding their way in front the camera – albeit on a smaller scale.
Ahead of the WWE’s arrival at London’s 02 Arena next week (May 14 and 15), Close-up Culture has selected four wrestling stars who are prime for a move to Hollywood once their time in the ring is over.
THE MIZ (Mike Mizanin)
THE Miz is one of the WWE’s most effective villains.
Smarmy and arrogant, the self-proclaimed ‘A-Lister’ dresses like a pampered star and boasts about his celebrity exploits – including his starring role in WWE Studio’s films series The Marine. The deeper irony of The Miz’s character, of course, is that his movie career is closer to W(WE)-list than A-list.
Yet that could change one day.
Beyond his on-screen character, Mizanin is renowned for being one of the company’s hardest working talents and has improved immeasurably since he first arrived in 2003. It is hard to doubt that with a similar application to acting The Miz could prove himself to be a viable asset in Hollywood.
The Miz has already silenced his wrestling critics – and he would have a fine chance of doing the same to any doubters in the film industry.
ALEXA BLISS (Alexis Kaufman)
Alexa Bliss is arguably the best character – and the best actor – the WWE currently has to offer.
Capable of turning an audience from cheers to boos at a whim, Bliss has demonstrated the type of assurance as a live performer that makes you believe any transition to film acting would be relatively seamless. Right now, Bliss has perfected the ‘mean girl’ persona, yet she continues to find ways to add layers to her character. Check out the ‘Moment of Bliss’ segments she has recently added to her baddie act.
Bliss has serious talent and genuine Hollywood potential.
BRAUN STROWMAN (Adam Sherr)
BEING 6ft 8in tall and weighing more than 380 pounds, Braun Strowman is real force in the WWE.
But as well as dominating opponents in the ring, Strowman has shown a versatility as a performer that goes beyond his physical prowess. Strowman can do funny and be laid back just as well as he does imposing and terrifying. Last year he even showed this lighter side by donning tights for a parody of Will Ferrell’s character in the 2003 film Elf.
A commanding and charismatic giant such as Strowman would be welcomed in Hollywood – if he can fit in the frame.
BECKY LYNCH (Rebecca Quin)
Becky Lynch will soon give us a better clue as to whether she has a bright future in acting when she stars alongside The Miz in the latest Marine film.
But for the meanwhile, all evidence suggests Lynch has the comedic, pun-appreciating wit to make an impact outside of the ring. As she displayed during WWE’s Mixed Match Challenge series and various skits on twitter, Lynch has an creative energy that would be at home on the big-screen.
This redheaded Irish lass is a Hollywood dark horse.