Artcile by Mike
I’m a wrestling fan, I enjoy wrestling, I like the athleticism, the violence, the storylines, but that doesn’t mean I like everything wrestling related. Wrestlers often appear in other media, whether they’re contestants on a game show, or they’re guests on a talk show, they pop up everywhere. But it doesn’t always work, there’re some things wrestlers should stay away from, but sadly, they never do, so this is a list about everything that’s bad about wrestlers in other media, and even a few good things.
Let’s start off by talking about wrestlers in film and TV. A lot of wrestlers have tried a hand at acting, and most have failed miserably. You may think that wrestlers would make good actors, because let’s face it, they’re just playing characters in wrestling. But you’d be wrong in thinking that.
We’ll start off by looking at WWE Studios. It started in 2002 as WWF Films, and since then it has lost about 31 million dollars, and shat out such films as 12 Rounds, The Marine Trilogy, The Chaperone, and Knucklehead.
Doesn’t this just scream Oscar gold?
WWE Studios is their biggest money loser, and with six more films scheduled for 2014 and 2015, it seems as though Vince McMahon, the owner of the WWE, hasn’t got the hint.
The most popular, or at least best known wrestler turned actor is Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who has managed to make a career in acting work for him, appearing in such greats as… uh… Doom? Uh, no. Umm… Tooth Fairy? No, no not that. Umm… well… Race to Witch Mountain… … … never mind. All joking aside, The Rock is still acting, recently getting a part in the Fast and Furious movies, so he must be doing something right.
But the films mentioned above are hardly the worst movies featuring wrestlers ever made. Oh no. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… No Hold Barred, starring Hulk Hogan. Everything about it is wrong. The writing is bad, the acting is bad, and the action is bad. Sure, it’s not the worst film ever made, but it’s definitely the worst wrestling movie ever made, and that’s what this article is about. The writing is just lazy, the characters are one dimensional and boring, and at their worst, annoying. Like Hogan’s little brother, he annoys you by just standing around, and when he gets (spoilers) put in the hospital, you’re happy for it. But the film is famous for one scene, this scene:
But not all wrestlers make bad actors. Robert Maillet, who wrestled as Kurrgan, has found a new career in playing the big scary guy in films such as 300, Sherlock Holmes, and Pacific Rim. Just as well because he couldn’t wrestle for shit.
Then there’s The Princess Bride, a family film that has become a cult classic, which starred Andre the Giant, who manages to give us a good performance as Fezzik, which is odd considering the guy could barely stand up. And I would be remiss in my duty if I didn’t acknowledge the work of Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura, who had a promising career in the late 1980’s with films such as Predator and The Running Man. But we’ll talk more about Ventura later on. But for now, let’s move on to:
Yes, wrestlers have even attempted careers in music, and no, they haven’t really succeeded at it. We’ll start off, again, with the WWE. These days WWE release albums featuring the wrestler’s music, which is, I think, a pretty good idea. But it wasn’t always that way, they’re first three albums The Wrestling Album, Piledriver: The Wrestling Album Two, and Wrestlemania: The Album, all featured wrestlers singing. And trust me, it sucks.
A bunch of wrestlers, some of whom can barely speak, singing not just one song, but a whole album of songs, is obviously not a good idea. Well it seemed like a good idea to Vince McMahon who made three of them. Piledriver: The Wrestling Album Two, is the only WWE album not to be released on CD (it was released on vinyl in 1987), and featured songs like Waking Up Alone, a love ballad sung by a 6’ 7 hillbilly. Then there is the last track on the album, If You Only Knew, a horrendous track sung by the WWF wrestlers:
But it’s not just WWE who made bad music, former WWE and WCW World Champion, the late great Macho Man Randy Savage is known these days as one of the best wrestlers of the late 80’s and early 90’s, and is remembered as one of the best people to cut a promo, and luckily most people have forgotten his 2003 rap album, Be A Man.
The title track is essentially a challenge to his former partner and real life rival Hulk Hogan. In the song he calls him out, makes fun of his acting career (which we briefly spoke of), points out how Hogan once wore a ballerina outfit in a film while Macho himself was featured in the first Spiderman movie (as Bonesaw McGraw if you’re interested), and mentions how Hogan was once considered a big, tough muscle man, and now is a joke.
But I’m being too harsh, sure those songs were bad, but there are some good ones out there. Jimmy Hart’s song Eat Your Heart Out Rick Springfield, featured on The Wrestling Album, is a great 80’s pop/rock song. Bret Hart’s (no relation) mostly spoken ballad, Never Been a Right Time to Say Goodbye, on Wrestlemania: The Album, is a stand out, and the Wrestlemania Theme featured on the same album is a classic. But while that’s all well and good, none of them had a career in music (although Jimmy Hart started out in a band in the 1970’s). But then there’s Chris Jericho, former World Champion, who in 2000 released his first album with his band Fozzy. You’d expect that a band named after a Muppet would fail, but Fozzy are still going today, and they’re looking to be releasing their sixth album this year.
Let’s leave music for now, and move onto something else:
Wrestling advertises a lot, I mean, you get a bit more money that way, but some wrestlers have actually appeared in adverts, and oftentimes, they come out looking stupid. Let’s take a look at WCW (World Championship Wrestling) Roos, a brand of shoes with, wait for it, pockets! Hurray! Now I have somewhere to put my stuff. Some of WCW’s wrestlers were signed to appear in a series of adverts for Roos Shoes in the early ninties. But Roos were considered geeky (Air Jordans were the cool shoes back then), and so a bunch of WCW’s top stars, including wrestling legend Sting, were paid to look like utter morons for shoes that no one wore.
But WCW weren’t the only company making their supposedly tough wrestlers look stupid, ECW also decided to get in on the action too. ECW was a company that focused on ‘extreme’ wrestling, hence the name Extreme Championship Wrestling. Their wrestlers would often bloody each other up with chairs, tables, barbed wire and even fire, so what were these guys doing when they weren’t mutilating each other? Why playing with toys of course!
But one advert that everyone remembers fondly (well, people who lived in America in the early nineties that is) is Macho Man’s Slim Jim commercials. While WCW’s guys were clowning showing off their dumb shoes, Macho was starring in the most memorable and recognisable Slim Jim adverts ever. Then there’s the WWF Smackdown commercials, advertising the old PS1 games. The first featured The Rock, but the advert for Smackdown 2: Know Your Role featured Kurt Angle, and is my favourite of the two.
So that’s it, for now, be sure to look out for part two of this article, where I’ll be looking at wrestlers who take on the worlds of comedy, politics, and other sports.