In the world of professional wrestling it is well-accepted that the core objective of putting on wrestling shows is for the sake of entertainment It might seem like it goes without saying but most casual fans and those doubters of sports entertainment seem to forget that the art of pro-wrestling is innately staged theater. Wrestlers get to portray larger-than-life characters and usually make this industry their livelihood in the same way some of the greatest actors and actresses in film & television. Many actors have dipped their toes in the world of wrestling from Andy Kaufman making wrestling a part of his act for a point to David Arquette’s stint as the admittedly maligned World Heavyweight Champion in WCW to Stephen Amell at the first ever All-In PPV. Given these similarities and parallels that are present between both mediums, what if we were to hypothetically live in a world where any actor could flawlessly transition to wrestling then who would be some of the most successful ones? Here we take a look at some of those that seem like a shoe-in for the transition.
10. Terry Crews
The hilarious comedic actor Terry Crews started his acting career in small roles in the films The Sixth Day and Training Day and has gone on to be a staple of the goofy-comedy genre with iconic roles in White Chicks and the television series Brooklyn Nine-Nine. First of all, Crews has the right physique to reasonably be seen as a threatening opponent just based on looks alone as he’s jacked. Second, he is versatile in how he can portray himself. While fans are more used to funny deliveries and zany faces, Crews has been known to be meticulous in how he unravels personal details about his characters. Lastly, he played a wrestler-turned-president in Idiocracy, so it’s practically already a thing.
9. Jason Momoa
Leading star of Aquaman, J-Mo is just the kind of star that a certain McMahon would love to push right to the stars. Standing at 6’4” and weighing 235lbs at his physical peak, Momoa is the right kind of imposing look and even has scars to back up his tough-guy demeanor should he join the world of wrestling. His role in Game of Thrones as Khal Drogo is enough evidence to see how menacing and intriguing he could be without even having to talk much. If he could get some of the bare basics down and find an in-ring style then it would be a great new career path.
8. Ryan Reynolds
When it comes to star power, there are few actors that really garner celebrity status quite like Ryan Reynolds. In the world of wrestling, it is important to be marketable and well-versed as a performer in general. He has been a serious and brooding lead in films like Smokin’ Aces and The Amityville Horror and is the equally iconic Deadpool and Detective Pikachu. Reynolds has been a powerhouse on the microphone as a voice actor and has even worked with Triple H on the set of Blade: Trinity. He might not be the biggest guy on this list, but he is definitely charismatic and athletically built enough to convincingly wrestle.
7. Jennifer Lawrence
Women’s wrestling has seen a major surge in both popularity, quality, and become a staple for every major wrestling promotion in North America. Jennifer Lawrence is arguably the most popular actress of the last decade, with hits like The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook and her iconic role as Mystique in the new X-Men franchise. She has the right kind of attitude and spunk to deliver feisty remarks, but is convincingly fit enough to seem like a threat in the ring. Not to mention a lot of her roles have been primarily badass women, there is no doubt that her theatrical prowess would translate to the world of wrestling in spades.
6. Vin Diesel
Big, buff guys have been a staple of wrestling since it’s inception. Vin Diesel is easily one of the most iconic muscle men of the silver screen and regularly plays a character that is powerful and brooding. His roles in Fast & Furious, The Chronicles of Riddick and XXX are the perfect examples of how he could be booked as a character in a major fed. Admittingly, he doesn’t appear to be the most graceful actor on this list in terms of athleticism, but perhaps his raw demeanor and gruff delivery along with his strength could be enough to get him over if given the right push.
5. Mark Wahlberg
Marky Mark was actually an underdog in the world of acting for quite a while before he landed roles in movies like The Departed and The Fighter. The Massachusetts native actually started his career as a rapper, and morphed into one of the biggest stars of his industry. Sound familiar? John Cena might have been a kayfabe rapper, but the skill set and overall on-screen presence with attitude is something that the two share. He might be a bit short to be a wrestler, but we have seen many shorter wrestlers get over in the past two decades. Perhaps his role in Pain & Gain with co-star Dwayne Johnson gave him a taste of the braggadocios nature of the wrestling industry, as he no doubt shows to be just as much of an intriguing character.
4. Scarlett Johansson
ScarJo is a dream-come-true. When it comes down to it, very few thespians can portray both a deadly assassin and a tender-loving soul yearning for love within the same career with such convincing execution. That kind of depth that we have seen form her in films like The Avengers franchise and Lost In Translation among many films is exactly the kind of acting depth that the world of wrestling needs. If Johansson could get the in-ring part of wrestling down to a bare minimum then she could easily be a character with infinite amounts of potential in terms of storytelling.
3. Chris Pine
Standing at about six feet and weighting 175lbs, Chris Pine could be the cruiserweight savior that the world doesn’t deserve. It might sound a bit strange at first, but the case for Mr. Pine to be a competitor in the squared circle starts with his amazing acting. Sure, he is known for his role as Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek trilogy but his roles in movies like Wonder Woman and Hell Or High Water make him a totally chamelonic actor. Despite his thin stature, Pine has that look of a charming ruffian that can get into a scuffle and come out with a few bruises as the winner. This man could be the answer to all of 205 Live’s issues!
2. Samuel L. Jackson
Perhaps the best entry on this list if it was for actors that could be the best talkers, Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most legendary performers in the film industry. Award nominated and respected by the entire medium, his roles in movies like Pulp Fiction, Black Snake Moan, and Jackie Brown show that he can be badass in a multitude of character archetypes. Then his lead role in Shaft shows that he can be physically imposing in a more hardcore tough-guy way. He even got a chance to show a reserved side in the Star Wars series as Mace Windu. Sure, he might not be a main-event level of talent but his talking itself would be enough to get the crowd going every night.
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Hollywood really never had a legend the likes of Arnie, who has been a part of some of the biggest movies of all-time. The former Mr. Olympia has been The Terminator, Conan The Barbarian, and even fought Predator. His real-life charisma got him to serve as Governor of California not unlike Glen Jacobs and Jesse Ventura. Arnold has even showed up as a special guest on Smackdown back in the day (before appearing at Wrestlemania 31 as the T-800) where Vince McMahon seemed to look on with envy as one of the biggest stars in the world shared the ring with him. In his prime, there would be no doubt that the Austrian hero could be a perfect main-event level talent with his unique acting style, understanding of drama, and imposing physical presence tick every box of what the ideal wrestling prospect could be.