Kevin Nash in Magic Mike
Kevin Nash has been in a few movies like The Punisher, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II, and The Longest Yard (alongside Steve Austin) but his best role — and my predictable personal favorite — is Tarzan the stripper in Magic Mike. By no means is he a particularly talented stripper but he is at least game for the role. So game, in fact, that he’s reprising his role in the sequel.
The Rock in The Fast and the Furious franchise (and everything else)
Of all the wrestlers on this list, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has had the most successful and impressive switch to movies. Beginning with The Mummy Returns/The Scorpion King, he then proved himself in various genres: drama (Gridiron Gang, Snitch) action, (Pain & Gain (his most underrated performance), Walking Tall), family (Tooth Fairy, The Gameplan), and comedy (The Other Guys, Get Smart). Seriously, it was tempting to not just pack this list with The Rock and no one else. But he’s surely best known (outside of the ring, that is) for the last three Fast & Furious movies as Agent Hobbs, where he doesn’t so much have conversations as he has one-liners in between beating the crap out of people.
Batista in Guardians of the Galaxy
It’s a testament to just how good and funny Batista is in Guardians of the Galaxy that he’s included in this list (and so highly ranked) because his semi-recent return to WWE was one of my least favorite storylines of the year. Batista — ahem, Dave Bautista — was a risky choice for the role of Drax the Destroyer (he has barely any film credits and, as we’re learning, wrestlers are pretty cursed when it comes to movies) but he totally pulled off the role, actually adding to the movie’s solid cast rather than distracting from it.
Andre the Giant in The Princess Bride
Even rarer than finding a wrestler who can seamlessly transition from the ring to the big screen is finding a movie, starring a wrestler, that has become a beloved classic. In fact, The Princess Bride might be the only member of this category. This 1987 Rob Reiner film featured Andre the Giant in a substantial role as Fezzik and still holds up today.