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Memorable Acting Performances By Professional Wrestlers

Kris King Kris King
July 30th, 2008 10:44am EDT
The MarineAh acting-a craft that stands as one of the finest, and most difficult in the world. Some of our culture's most influential people were actors: William Shakespeare, Ronald Reagan, Yul Brenner, the list is endless, really. Then you have professional wrestling. Pro-wrestling feels a bit like modern gladiatorial combat, except it would drive a Ford F-150 complete with a sticker of Calvin peeing on a Chevrolet in its rear window. You see how these two coincide, right? Sure, it's fair to call wrestlers entertainers. Athletes? Why not? Actors? Eh… Did you guys see The Marine? Neither did we, but it's probably not very good. But it's unfair to write off everything that happens to star a wrestler. Sometimes things just click. After all, when you go into something that stars Captain Lou Albano, you don't exactly expect high art.

Randy "Macho Man" Savage, Spider-Man

Not only does this scene in Spider-Man pit The Macho Man against the Spectacular Spider-Man, it also features Bruce Campbell as the ring announcer. It's like nerd heaven. Savage throws every possible pro-wrestling cliché at little Spidey including repeatedly smashing him with a steel chair. Besides looking like an ogre, Savage delivers his lines with the eloquence of a roided out freight train. Even though he's essentially playing himself, Savage's Bonesaw manages to personify everything that's good about pro-wrestling. He's a massive freak show, has an obvious problem with substance abuse, and says things like "Booooonesaw is reaadddy" with the eloquence of a chainsaw. Apparently, Savage's co-stars found the wrestler difficult to work with as he reportedly broke character repeatedly to demand that everybody on the crew eat a box of Slim Jims. SNAP INTO IT.




"Captain" Lou Albano, "The Super Mario Bros. Super Show"

Who better than an overweight Italian-American pro-wrestler to bring life to one of Nintendo's most popular characters? Forget Bob Hoskins, only one man can do the Mario and that's Captain Lou Albano. Albano played the 8-bit hero during the host segments of the cartoon show "The Super Mario Bros. Super Show." Considering that Albano's performance came at a time when all Mario could do was walk and jump, he ads a lot of goofball personality to the rather two-dimensional character (pun both intended, and regretful). By far the best part of the show is Albano's Mario dance that he performs at the end of every episode. If you listen to Mario's directions closely, you may just find yourself walking! Now, do the Mario with special guest Pro-wrestler/G.I. Joe, Sgt. Slaughter!




Jesse VenturaJesse "The Body" Ventura, Predator

Ah Predator-a film whose legacy stands as being the only feature film to star both a former bodybuilder and a former professional wrestler who both ultimately became United States governors. Hell even the guy who played Billy (Sonny Landham) ran for governor of Kentucky in 2003. Regardless of its impact on politics, Predator also goes to show that a wrestler can leave a lasting impression on the big screen. Jesse Ventura manages to take his bite-sized role and make it one of the best parts of the movie. Who else but a Navy Seal turned wrestler turned governor could get away with making lines like "son of a bitch is dug in like an Alabama tick" sound like great cinema? In fact, Ventura only has six or seven lines in the entire movie, but the man makes each count. Everything Ventura says in this movie is pure, unadulterated win. The type of things you can say every day. Well, if you don't mind people thinking you're a bit of a bigot:




Too bad he gets the front of his chest blown out by an alien with a shoulder mounted laser cannon.

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper, They Live

While never elected governor, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper performance in They Live manages to exceed Jesse Ventura's performance in terms of unbridled badassery. The film, directed by John Carpenter, let's Piper loose on a race of tyrannical aliens who subliminally rule the planet. Along with his magical sunglasses show the aliens for who they really are (burn victims, apparently), Piper rips through the movie with plaid shirt, a shotgun, and some bubblegum. Wait. He's all out of bubblegum.




Only a pro-wrestler could ad-lib something like that. Piper puts the skills he learned growing up in the ring to use during filming by staging a now legendary fisticuff with co-star, and Carpenter regular, Keith David. Originally set to last about twenty seconds, the fight between Piper and David stretches out to over five minutes, with only the few shots to the face and the groin faked. The film takes Piper's tough guy act and makes it work to the film's advantage. In the end They Live still feels like a movie starring a pro-wrestler, but it's certainly more entertaining than anything like Santa With Muscles.




Eight wrestlers, Steven Spielberg, and the cast of The Goonies; Cyndi Lauper's "The Goonies R Good Enough"

Let's just describe some of the things that happen in this 12-minute opus: Cyndi Lauper fights an octopus, Roddy Piper dresses like a pirate, Josh Brolin hangs out with The Iron Sheik, and Nikolai Volkoff milks a cow while singing the Soviet national anthem in the back of a pick up truck. Can a music video get an Oscar? Directed by Richard Donner, the video feels more cartoony than Lou Albano playing Mario, and manages to feature an ensemble cast of wrestlers without turning into something stupid like No Holds Barred. Other wrestlers in the video are Captain Lou Albano as Cyndi's father, Wendy Richter, The Fabulous Moolah, Freddie Blassie, and André the Giant dressed like some sort of gay central European deity. I'm not sure what motives lay behind Lauper's apparent obsession with pro-wrestling at the height of her career, but it certainly made for entertaining music videos.




Kris King
Story by Kris King

Starpulse contributing writer


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