The Essentials: WrestleMania Action Part 2
We are now three weeks away from this year’s WrestleMania extravaganza and our look at the men and women who have participated in WrestleMania and have crossed over into the world of action entertainment continues with wrestlers who were a part of WrestleMania VII – WrestleMania XII.
If you missed Part 1 of this 5 part series, you can check it out by clicking here.
THE MAIN EVENT
THE UNDERTAKER: If you know your WrestleMania history you know that The Undertaker has the most impressive win/loss record in the 30 year history of the event. “The Streak” ended last year at WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans when Brock Lesnar defeated “The Dead Man” making his record 21-1. Undertaker started “The Streak” at WrestleMania VII in Los Angeles when he defeated future WWE Hall of Famer, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. But it was Undertaker’s role in Hulk Hogan’s movie, Suburban Commando that ultimately led to him getting his WWE job in the first place.
DIESEL: “Big Daddy Cool” Diesel or Kevin Nash, was the reigning and defending WWE Champion going into WrestleMania XI in Hartford, where he defended against his former tag team partner Shawn Michaels. Nash’s immense size caught Hollywood’s attention even prior to his stint on top of the WWE. Nash played Super Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. He played The Russian in The Punisher starring Thomas Jane. And just last year he had a role in John Wick.
LAWRENCE TAYLOR: Regarded as the best linebacker in NFL history, LT had a Hall of Fame career playing for the New York Giants. He also main evented WrestleMania XI against Bam Bam Bigelow. His post football career has also seen Taylor do some work in the movies including In Hell with Jean-Claude Van Damme and in the Shaft reboot starring Samuel L. Jackson.
TRIPLE H: WrestleMania XII saw the debut of two future main eventers and game changers for the WWE, one of which was Hunter Hearst Helmsley, better known as Triple H. His Mania debut was short lived as The Ultimate Warrior made quick work of him. But Triple H would headline future WrestleMania events against the likes of Chris Jericho, Batista, Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels. He also tried to end The Undertaker’s Streak unsuccessfully on three occasions. Triple H would get his first taste of Hollywood in Blade: Trinity with Wesley Snipes, Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds. He would also star in the WWE Films action comedy, The Chaperone.
“STONE COLD” STEVE AUSTIN: The other future main eventer that debuted at WrestleMania XII was a man by the name of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Austin broke every record there was to break in WWE history in terms of box office, pay-per-view revenue and merchandise sales. He won his first WWE Championship at WrestleMania XIV in Boston and his final match (to date) was at WrestleMania XIX in Seattle. Austin has used his superstardom in the world of wrestling to get into the movie world. He starred in WWE Films The Condemned. He has been in a number of direct to video titles with Hunt to Kill and Recoil being two of my personal favorites. And he also had a role in The Expendables.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN
SGT. SLAUGHTER: I am not sure how the producers of the two G.I. Joe movies missed out on the golden opportunity to utilize the first live action G.I. Joe character EVER into one of their movies. I don’t think he needed to have a huge role, but a cameo appearance of the Sarge in his drill instructor role calling some of the Joes maggots and scum would have been a nod to Sarge’s contributions to the classic G.I. Joe cartoon series.
- GIANT GONZALES: Standing at nearly 8 feet tall and wearing a ridiculous body suit, Giant Gonzales is one of the most unique characters in WWE history. His one and only WrestleMania appearance was at WrestleMania IX in Las Vegas losing to The Undertaker. He made several appearances on Hulk Hogan’s Thunder in Paradise TV show and in the TV movie, Hercules in the Underworld starring Kevin Sorbo.
- AHMED JOHNSON: The WWE had big plans for Ahmed Johnson. He could have been the third guy to debut at WrestleMania XII to have gone on to become a main eventer for the WWE, but it wasn’t meant to be. Johnson competed in back to back six man tags at WrestleMania XII and WrestleMania 13 and he would eventually find himself out of the WWE. His action entertainment career was also short lived, having appeared in a single episode of Walker, Texas Ranger.
- MABEL: Mabel (born Nelson Frazier Jr.) made his debut at WrestleMania X in New York City as part of the tag team known as Men on a Mission. He would compete for the WWE Tag Team Titles that evening. He would also compete as Viscera at WrestleMania 2000. His action entertainment resume includes a role in the film Wrong Side of Town, that also features wrestlers Batista and Rob Van Dam. He was also in the action comedy The Legend of Awesomest Maximus.