Over the years, several WWE stars have crossed over into movies with a mixed bag of roles. Who can forget Andre the Giant as Fezzik in The Princess Bride? Who would like to forget Hulk Hogan in No Holds Barred? Could anyone have predicted Kevin Nash would play a stripper in two Magic Mike films? We think not.
There are three actors you can’t have this conversation without: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Dave Bautista, and John Cena — all former WWE Champions who this year alone starred in Rampage, Avengers: Infinity War & Blockers, respectively, at the same time at the multiplex.
Their massive personalities and growing star power in back-to-back Hollywood blockbusters got us here at IGN thinking, who’s next, and who on the current WWE payroll has the potential and charisma to make the successful leap from the wrestling ring to the big screen? Check out our six picks in the slideshow below, or keep reading for the list.
6. Alexa Bliss
This multi-WWE Women’s Champion has been on the main roster since mid-2016 but she often feels like a veteran of the industry. Her sweet ‘n sparkly NXT days are long behind her, giving way to a villainous, mean-spirited bully who commands attention anytime she’s in the ring. Her promos are some of the best in the entire women’s division, even when the writers give her a less than exciting segment to work with. Whether it be the next Marvel superhero or a remake of “Clueless,” (and not just because she’s a total Betty) Alexa could command any role with ease. We love watching her belittle her competition or throw tantrums mid match and given how different this side of her is from her past NXT character, we know she’s a shoe-in for showbiz.
5. Xavier Woods
Xavier and the rest of The New Day not only hold the record for the longest reigning Tag Team champs but have been WWE’s biggest pop culture crossover successes in recent memory. The guys (and their merchandise) have been damn near everywhere these past few years and it’s easy to see why. We dare you not to have fun when they hit the ring! Kofi Kingston is basically the human highlight reel and Big E wields the power to make you laugh and feel uncomfortable simultaneously (those dance moves will make your momma blush) but the glue here is Xavier Woods. His in-ring skills are arguably the most underrated in WWE, but the real magic is how identifiable he is. Under his alias, Austin Creed, his YouTube channel allows him to showcase his hosting talent, hamming it up and sometimes being downright scary, all while letting fans learn more about him and his guests. Now that’s range! We could easily see him in a summer blockbuster like the next Power Rangers or GI Joe film (yeah, we’re looking at you, Hasbro Studios) or doing some voice acting for Disney.
One of the newest members of WWE’s NXT locker room, Ricochet certainly isn’t new to the wrestling scene. His dazzling atheleticism has been on display for years now across multiple wrestling companies around the globe. Now, we know he isn’t really known for his mic skills. In fact, El Rey Network’s Lucha Underground made him their top star but only gave him one or two lines across his entire three-season run. But hear us out: There is something undeniable about him. He has that ever elusive “It” factor. He looks like a star and he moves like almost no one else in the ring. Even in his short time with WWE, we have seen his character development, so we know he has it in him. Check out his work with Velveteen Dream and you’ll see a man that is honing his skills. Still don’t believe us? Just ask The Rock.
3. Braun Strowman
At 6’8,” 385 pounds, Braun Strowman is certainly the easiest person on this list to pick out in a crowd. Braun has been entertaining WWE audiences for the better part of two years and his domineering presence only continues to grow. From the darker Wyatt family storylines to his current run as a lovable monster who offers “these hands,” Braun has shown he has more depth than his giant frame might dictate. WWE often allows him to sit on the border of indestructible monster and oversized funny-man and he delivers on both with surprising ease. Last Christmas may have shown his biggest departure yet via WWE.com’s movie spoof, The Elf Among Men. With the right movie role we think he’d easily be a star.
2: Zelina Vega
It’s been a long time since someone came into WWE and immediately caught fire like Zelina Vega. Her sharp tongue and sparkling ferocity are so undeniable that her debut not only catapulted her to the top of WWE’s NXT food chain, but also her on-air business partner, Andrade “Cien” Almas. Almas had been an in-ring competitor in WWE for a little while but was floundering with fans when it came to emotional connection. Enter Zelina Vega, and suddenly Almas was able to shine with his five-star match capabilities while Zelina reeled in the audience with her wicked words. WWE loved what they saw and fast-tracked them both to their Smackdown Live show. Before arriving in WWE, Zelina had dabbled in a couple of smaller indie films and will star as wrestler AJ Lee in the upcoming film Fighting With My Family that just so happens to have The Rock as executive producer. He was obviously impressed by her as he’s touted her talents on social media several times. We think this is just the tip of the stardom iceberg for Zelina (and also we just don’t want to be yelled at by her. She’s so short, yet so mean).
1: Mike “The Miz” Mizanin
Arguably the best talker in all of WWE at the moment, The Miz has already caught the acting bug with his leading man role in WWE Studios’ The Marine franchise. He took the reins of this series back in 2013 with The Marine 3: Homefront, and with the sixth installment (yes, sixth!) out this year, he’s obviously had a chance to stretch his acting muscles. The USA Network must see his star potential too, recently giving him his own reality show, Miz & Mrs., co-starring his lovely wife Maryse. In the WWE proper, he makes everyone feel something whenever he is on the mic. Love him or hate him, he gets you emotionally involved. Bonus points for being one of WWE’s best pitchmen on the late night talk show circuit whenever there’s a WrestleMania or big project to promote. He seems the most Hollywood-primed in our opinion and getting to see his growth over the past decade-plus in WWE has been a real joyride. Mike’s Real World roots now seem like a long faded memory … and we couldn’t be happier about it.
For more on the WWE, check out the wrestlers we think deserve to be in the WWE Hall of Fame, and why we think WWE 2k19 should’ve featured a female wrestler on the cover.