The Essentials: WrestleMania Action Part 4
We are now one week away from this year’s WrestleMania extravaganza, which you can watch on the WWE Network or on pay-per-view.
If you missed the previous three parts of this 5 part series, you can access Parts 1 – 3 via the links below:
This week I’m going to look at the men and women who competed at WrestleMania 13 – 19, who crossed over into the world of action entertainment, and we start off with the biggest wrestling superstar turned action star of them all…
THE MAIN EVENT
The Rock: At WrestleMania 13 in Chicago, a young, fresh faced babyface known as Rocky Maivia defended the Intercontinental Title against The Sultan. Rather humble beginnings for a man who would go on to headline multiple WrestleMania’s as one of the biggest stars in professional wrestling history, The Rock!
It probably should have been no surprise with Rock’s look and charisma that Hollywood would eventually come calling. First, The Rock had a small role in The Mummy Returns and that would lead to him being the star of a spin off sequel, The Scorpion King. Then it was the Rundown, a remake of Walking Tall and Doom.
The Rock’s action career was put on hiatus as he signed a deal with Disney and found himself in family friendly films for a few years, but he eventually made his way back to the action genre with the vigilante film, Faster and then the next year being the newest addition to the Fast & Furious franchise, in Fast Five. He stuck around for 6 and he’s in the upcoming Furious 7.
He also played Roadblock in G.I. Joe Retaliation, starred with Mark Wahlberg in Pain & Gain, got a chance to be Hercules and will be in another big movie this summer, San Andreas.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN
Chyna: While Chyna, aka Joanie Laurer, did eventually get into acting in a variety of projects, I believe a golden opportunity was missed with the Chyna that first arrived in the WWE back in 1997. I’m talking the pre-plastic surgery Chyna when she really looked like she could destroy anyone. She could have been a female UniSol, she could have had a bodyguard role similar to what she was doing for Triple H in the WWE or she could have been the Barbarian Sister to David and Peter Paul.
Chyna’s action projects came after her WWE stint was over in 2001. She was on the Tia Carrere action tv show, Relic Hunter. She was on two episodes of Tracker with Adrian Paul. And she was in a Hunter TV movie with original stars Fred Dryer and Stepfanie Kramer as well.
- Edge: “The Rated R Superstar” first made a WrestleMania name for himself in tag team action by competing in a Triangle Ladder Match at WrestleMania 2000, then in a TLC rematch at WrestleMania X-7, both matches won by Edge (and his partner, Christian). Edge would go on to have memorable singles matches with the likes of Mick Foley, The Undertaker and John Cena at the WWE’s biggest extravaganza of the year. He made his acting debut in Highlander: Endgame.
- Trish Stratus: Some would call Trish Stratus the greatest WWE Diva of all-time and I would agree. Trish made her in-ring Mania debut in her hometown of Toronto at WrestleMania X-8. Her action movie debut would also take place in Toronto, when she starred in the 2011 movie, Bounty Hunters.
- Ken Shamrock: A legend in the UFC, Ken Shamrock was the special referee for the Steve Austin/Bret Hart Submission Match in Chicago at WrestleMania 13. Shamrock would become an active competitor and challenge The Rock for the Intercontinental Title the following year in Boston at WrestleMania XIV. Last year he was in the action movie, The Bunker, and ironically his character’s name in that movie is Rock.
- Rob Van Dam: RVD made his WrestleMania debut at WrestleMania X8 where he became the Intercontinental Champion. But Van Dam’s movie career started well before he ever performed at WrestleMania. He was in Blood Moon with Gary Daniels, Black Mask 2: City of Masks and Wrong Side of Town.
- Kurrgan: The 6’10” giant from Canada, Kurrgan was involved in the tag team battle royal at WrestleMania XIV. But Kurrgan’s movie career has already overshadowed his short stint in the WWE. Kurrgan or Robert Maillet, has appeared in several films including Sherlock Holmes, 300 and 2014’s Hercules.