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Dwayne Johnson and 7 other WWE stars who suplexed their way on to the big screen

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You can smell what The Rock is cooking this Friday when Fighting With My Family hits the big-screen.

The WWE wrestling icon otherwise known as Dwayne Johnson executive produces the movie, which is based on the inspirational true story of Saraya-Jade Bevis. A young woman hailing from a scrappy family of Norwich wrestlers, Saraya-Jade (Florence Pugh) goes on to achieve her dream when she's selected for WWE try-outs in America, eventually achieving global stardom with her new moniker Paige.

Directed by The Office and Extras veteran Stephen Merchant, and with an excellent cast that includes Jack Lowden, Nick Frost, Lena Headey and Vince Vaughn, the movie has been warmly received for its affectionate look at both Saraya-Jade's life and also the elaborate world of WWE.

Johnson also makes a good-natured and hilarious cameo in the film as himself, so we thought we'd honour the occasion by looking at seven other WWE stars who broke through into acting.

Dwayne Johnson on Fighting With My Family poster


1. Dave Bautista

Recently quoted as saying he wants a "serious" acting career, there's no denying Dave Bautista has made an impact in a relatively short amount of time. He stole the show as the irony-free bruiser Drax the Destroyer in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy blockbusters, nailing both the character's physical heft and sharp comic timing.

He's also beaten up Daniel Craig's James Bond in Spectre, verbally sparred with Ryan Gosling in sci-fi sequel Blade Runner 2049, and is set to reunite with the latter film's director, Denis Villeneuve, for the forthcoming Dune remake.


2. John Cena

Talking of comic timing, they don't come funnier than WWE showstopper John Cena's appearance in Trainwreck. The Judd Apatow-directed, Amy Schumer-scripted story of messy romance is a filthy and side-splitting experience, largely because of Cena's role as Schumer's clueless on-screen boyfriend.

Whether it's directing inappropriate insults at a fellow cinema patron or saying utterly the wrong thing in flagrante, Cena is hilarious throughout. Cena has since gone on to star in animated movie Ferdinand and last year's Transformers spin-off Bumblebee.




3. Hulk Hogan

He may be somewhat disgraced now, but there was a time when Hulk Hogan was the lycra-clad embodiment of WWE stardom. His acting career, however, was less distinguished, his starring role in forgettable family movie Mr Nanny being the low point.

That said, he did also appear in Rocky III and made a hilariously meta cameo in Joe Dante sequel Gremlins 2, breaking the fourth wall to rage against the infestation of gremlins in a cinema. For the latter's video release, Hogan was replaced with a voiceover from John Wayne.


4. Andre the Giant

Towering doesn't begin to describe French wrestler Andre the Giant. Billed at seven foot four inches tall, he was unmistakeable, and his emergence in movies was perhaps inevitable.

His height in fact stemmed from a condition known as acromegaly, which helped lead to his famous role as Fezzik in Rob Reiner's classic 1987 comedy The Princess Bride.




5. Steve Austin

Mr 'Stone Cold' himself, Steve Austin's big-screen career is perhaps less than illustrious. His film debut came in 2005 remake The Longest Yard opposite Adam Sandler, and he parlayed his tough WWE persona into a string of throwaway action roles in films including The Expendables and The Condemned. Oddly enough, he also appeared in gross-out comedy Grown-Ups 2, again opposite Sandler.


6. Roddy Piper

Sometimes, it only takes one movie to make a movie career. Celebrated WWE figure 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper passed away in 2015 but as far as film fans are concerned, he's immortal for his role in John Carpenter's cult satire They Live. Piper is brilliantly deadpan as the only man on earth to become aware of an alien conspiracy, leading to the much-quoted line: "I'm here to kick ass and chew bubble gum... And I'm all out of gum."




7. Kevin Nash

From WWE star to fictional chippendale: Kevin Nash was one of the guys steaming up the screen in comedy-drama Magic Mike and its sequel, Magic Mike XXL. Truth be told, he didn't have an awful lot to do in either movie, but it's worth noting just in terms of the quirky career progression. (He did, however, appear in the aforementioned The Longest Yard opposite fellow wrestler Steve Austin.)

Click here to book your tickets for Fighting With My Family, released in Cineworld this Friday, and tweet us your favourite WWE-stars-turned-actors @Cineworld.