by Joel Hanek
With the Oscars coming up just around the corner, it’s time that we pay tribute to some of the most versatile and overlooked actors: professional wrestlers. They are masters of the live performance, can pull out surprisingly funny and heart-felt performances on screen, and have convinced me to eat more processed meat than any other acting demographic on the planet. (Rest in peace, Macho Man!)
While these giant men in tights make cameos as the unidentified goon in every other action movie (I’m looking at you, Kevin Nash), here are my picks for the top five starring roles for pro-wrestlers in film.
5. "Walking Tall" (2004)
Way before Dwayne Johnson starred in PG-rated family friendly flicks and even way before he became the franchise savior, the man formerly known as The Rock was destined to be the new Arnold of the action world. In this remake of the 1973 film by the same name, Johnson takes vigilante action against a corrupt town with his fists and a badass weapon: a chunk of wood. Much like after I watch any Batman movie, this film instills the desire to want to patrol the streets and take justice into my own hands – but instead, playing "Arkham City" seems more reasonable.
» HONORABLE MENTION: "The Rundown" (2003). Swap one '90s icon for another (Sean William Scott instead of Johnny Knoxville) as a sidekick, add in an “I’ve been over it since 'Pulp Fiction'" Christopher Walken as the villain, and voila... "The Rundown"!