Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is, without a doubt, the most successful pro-wrestler-turned-actor today – he is one of the most sought-after and highest-paid Hollywood actors and a real action star. He first made waves in the role of The Scorpion King in the 2001 fantasy adventure film “The Mummy Returns”, followed by a solo movie for the character with him in the title role. Since then, his filmography has been constantly growing, with his movies collecting more in ticket sales than the next Mayweather money fight (if we ever get to see it).
The Rock is, in turn, not the only professional wrestler who found a successful second career in acting.
Four-time World Heavyweight Championship winner and two-time WWE Champion, Dave Bautista is considered the second-best World Heavyweight Champion after Triple H. A former car thief and night club bouncer, he worked as a lifeguard, then took up bodybuilding, then transitioned to wrestling, turning it into a career. His first role on screen not playing a wrestler was in an episode of the popular superhero series “Smallville” in 2006, followed by another minor role in 2009 and a role in the direct-to-video film “Wrong Side of Town” in 2010. In the following years, he repeatedly played in various movies, like 2012’s “The Man with the Iron Fists” and 2013’s “Riddick” before being cast in the role of Drax the Destroyer in 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy”. The movie was an instant hit, propelling him to stardom. Since then, he played in movies like the James Bond film “Spectre”, “Blade Runner 2049”, “Avengers: Infinity War”, and “Hotel Artemis”. His career as an actor is far from being done, though, even if he took up MMA: as of today, he has five movie projects in the making.
John Cena wears many hats: he is a professional wrestler, a rapper, a television host, and an actor. He won 16 world titles, he is a five-time US Champion, a four-time World Tag Team Champion, and he is one of the most polarizing characters ever to step in the ring. His first movie role in “The Marine”, produced by WWE Studios, a limited box office success but did well in rentals. After two more movies shot with WWE Studios, he played in a children’s movie “Fred: The Movie”, then appeared in several comedies. Here, he had a chance to showcase his talent as a comedian – critics agreed that he has a talent for timing and he was good at delivering self-deprecating jokes. Last year, he starred in the “Transformers” spinoff “Bumblebee”.
For the coming years, he already has some roles coming: he will play with action movie legend Jackie Chan in the upcoming action thriller “Project X-traction”, he will return to comedy in Andy Fickman’s “Playing with Fire”, and play a former Navy SEAL in the upcoming thriller The Janson Directive based on a novel by Robert Ludlum.