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12.29.2006by: Jim Law

Top 10 Wrestler Roles

It's scary when I think how much wrestling influenced my life during the eighties and then again in the late nineties. As a child I would slap the camel clutch on my dog, Peppy, at any given moment. Taking an afternoon nap in my living room? Expect a flying elbow from the perfectly positioned lazy-boy or at least a thunderous leg drop and a quick three count before you even realize what the f*ck is going on. I've stunned girlfriends, piledrived classmates, and even tried breaking a pineapple over some guys head during a bar fight. This is all due to watching wrestling. These guys deserve to be in the movies because, in my humble opinion, they're some of the greatest entertainers in the world. What?

10. Gorgo - King Kong Bundy, MOVING (1988)

One of the most under-rated comedies of the eighties includes one of the greatest villains in the history of the squared circle. King Kong Bundy was literally awesome. I watched in horror as he repeatedly splashed Andre The Giant, breaking his sternum, laughed my ass off when he body-slammed a little person during Wrestlemania III, and loved to hate him during his epic feud with Hulk Hogan. He doesn't have much to do in the film but just seeing him is always a treat.

9. Tor Johnson - George The Animal Steele, ED WOOD (1994)

It's weird to think of the guy that was once known as George 'The Animal' Steele acting in a movie. It's even weirder when you find out the guy has a masters degree and was a teacher in Michigan. The funniest thing about this role is that George, real name Jim Myers, spent his whole life being mistaken for the fellow wrestler and b-movie actor he was portraying in the film.

8. Jerry Lawler - Jerry Lawler, MAN ON THE MOON (1999)

I realize the role wasn't much of a stretch for Lawler who was just playing himself and re-enacting events from earlier in his life but to his defence, the whole incident was a staged joke so he's actually acting twice as much. It was good to see Lawler as a bad-ass again though as his role in the WWF at the time of filming was more of a jokester and he was only involved in announcing. That slap is still the most memorable moment on Letterman ever.

7. The Russian - Kevin Nash, THE PUNISHER (2004)

Hidden in a somewhat disappointing film is a fight worth writing about. Kevin Nash enters the film with a punch and absolutely steals the show from Thomas Jane as they throw each other around for the better part of five minutes. Everything from a toilet to the kitchen sink is used.

6. Beck - The Rock, THE RUNDOWN (2003)

The Rock has the chance to be the greatest wrestler / actor ever, but as of right now, this is his only role I feel is worth mentioning. THE RUNDOWN proved to be one of the funniest action films in the last five years and that has everything to do with Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. From the moment he got the go ahead from Arnold, early in the film, Rocky doesn't hold back with the ass whippings. Football players, crazy little jungle people, and even monkeys feel his wrath before it's over.

5. Bone Saw McGraw - The Macho Man Randy Savage, SPIDER-MAN (2002)

Winner of the best name category of the entries (character name and wrestler name), The Macho Man leaves his mark in one of the biggest money making films of all time. He's the first to feel the power a radioactive spider bite wields and holds his own in a scene obviously dominated by the greatness of Bruce Campbell. One of the greatest wrestling personalities that's ever lived.

4. Fezzik - André the Giant, THE PRINCESS BRIDE

The biggest of them all gives a heart warming performance that wins your love and scares the shit out of you at the same time. André mumbles his way through plenty of dialogue and while real life chronic back pain kept him from actually being the strongest man in the world, he had me fooled the moment he threw that first boulder at Westley's head. He was 7'4" and 500 pounds of fantastic Frenchness that could dominate in the ring and knew when to take a back seat on the big screen.

3. Thunderlips - Hulk Hogan, ROCKY III (1982)

There is no role on this list that meant more to the popularity of the WWF and it's biggest superstar, Hulk Hogan. Thunderlips (a close second in that name category, by the way) took this charity match a little too serious and makes The Italian Stallion wish he never stepped into the ring. Wrestling owes everything to this seven minute stretch of film - as do short Italian guys who think they can beat up the world.

2. Nada - Rowdy Roddy Piper, THEY LIVE (1988)

Rowdy Roddy Piper is one of the top five greatest wrestlers of all time. This movie has one of the top five greatest fight scenes of all time and one of the greatest lines of dialogue of all time ("I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubble gum"). This turns out to be a pretty good combination for fans of cheesy science fiction and professional wrestling alike. The only way this film is more fun is if Piper wears a quilt and fights with coconuts and a bagpipe.

1. Blain - Jesse The Body Ventura, PREDATOR (1987)

The best character in the best movie on this list deserves the number one spot. Jesse ' The Body' Ventura is number one. The tobacco, the helicopter gun, the lack of bleeding time, it all makes us worship the ground he walks, and eventually dies, on. I've always argued that the only flaw of this film was killing Blain so early, or even killing him at all. Imagine the potential of PREDATOR 2 with The Body instead of Danny Glover.

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