10 worst movies starring WWE Superstars ranked
It's not hubris to suggest that WWE is unmatched in the world of professional wrestling. The company has some of the best talents around in professional wrestling currently employed in their organization. But it's not always clear that they have crossed over successfully into other mediums.
Considering that streaming is at an all-time high in the age of COVID-19, people are also interested in escapism, and what better way to do that by diving into some films that pique fans' interest, especially those starring your favorite WWE Superstars.
There are exceptions to this rule like The Rock, Batista, and, most recently, John Cena. Accurately, their performances on the silver screen, while successful, haven't always translated. Some of the feature films have been box office smashes while others landed with a dud.
Critics have even savaged those films to the point, but general audiences have loved them. With that said, this list was created using the Rotten Tomatoes aggregator, which takes an overall look at the critics' scores and aggregates them. Let's see if these films fit fans' favorite or are the critics out-of-touch with the WWE Universe.
With that said, here are the ten worst films starring WWE Superstars, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
NOTE: The content in the article reflects the views of the author, based on his interpretation of the ranking system.
#10 The Rock and The Great Khali in Get Smart (2008)
Get Smart was released in 2008 and starred Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Alan Arkin, The Rock, and former WWE Superstar The Great Khali. Based on the television show of the same name, the film was an action-comedy that parodied the spy genre, with Carell in the lead.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%
At this point in his career, The Rock was still relegated to supporting roles and hadn't yet reached the box office power he commands today. His turn as turncoat Agent 23 was forgettable, but with its share of laughs.
On the other hand, former WWE Superstar, The Great Khali, as Dalip (his real name), plays a henchman with marriage problems. In a way, Khali has some laugh out loud moments in this. The movie was a success grossing over $230 Million worldwide. A sequel was planned, but it didn't seem to work out.
Considering that this was 2008, this is The Rock at his 'slimmest' considering the size and muscle he has gained in the years since. To put it another way, The Rock was more Dwayne Johnson than his current avatar.
#9 Stone Cold Steve Austin in The Expendables (2010)
The Expendables, released in 2010, was the ultimate team-up film of action stars of the past and present with Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, and a supporting cast filled out by Terry Crews, UFC Legend Randy Couture and of course, WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 42%
Austin plays a henchman working for Eric Roberts' character and is essentially the 'tough guy' who is meant to have a couple of outstanding fight scenes. His fight with Stallone was showcased as a drag-out fight between two icons. This isn't the first time Stallone fought a WWE Superstar as he wrestled Hulk Hogan in Rocky 3.
Austin has a dream match of sorts with Randy Couture, in a WWE vs. UFC situation, but Couture gets the win. He TKOs Austin, who is burnt alive, as he gets knocked out. Perhaps, Dana White was 'booking' that fight.
The film was a success and garnered more than $270 Million at the box office and spawned two sequels. Ronda Rousey was also a part of Expendables 3.
#8 Batista in Stuber (2019)
Former WWE Superstar Batista has improved as an actor since he took up the art seriously. While he was still relegated to supporting roles, he kept growing. He had a fitting part in the James Bond film, Spectre, but it was his breakout role as Drax in Marvel's Guardian of the Galaxy that brought him mainstream attention. Even better, he got cast in a small but powerful role in Blade Runner 2049.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 41%
Stuber was an attempt by former WWE Superstar Batista to go more of an action-comedy route with its r-rated fare and over-the-top buddy-cop exploits. Working alongside Kumail Nanjiani, this film was a throwback to the eighties movies like 48 hours or even recent fare like the Rush Hour franchise.
Audiences enjoyed the movie, but that didn't seem to translate into box-office success. The film only grossed $32 Million at the box office, but critics seemingly enjoyed the chemistry that Nanjiani and Batista enjoyed onscreen. On a side note, Kumail Nanjiani was at WWE WrestleMania 34 to cheer Batista in his final match against Triple H.
#7 Sheamus in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows - 37% (2016)
When the sequel to the Michael Bay's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was released, it's fair to say that fans were very excited about this one. This version had the same elements from the highly successful 1980s-1990s animated series with Krang and The Technodrone making an appearance and even fan-favorite henchmen Bebop, and WWE Superstar Sheamus as Rocksteady.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 37%
To round off the cast, Arrow's Stephen Amell was cast as Casey Jones, and the film itself was a dream come true for most TMNT fans. While fans of the film enjoyed WWE's Sheamus in the role, the movie was not as successful as the first one pulling in a little under half the worldwide box office receipts at $245.6 Million.
It's unclear whether Sheamus sees himself as an actor going forward, or will continue to stay in WWE for the foreseeable future. At the time of the film's release, he expressed his interest in playing Venom and wanted to join the Marvel Universe and said:
“I want to be a part of the Marvel Universe,” Sheamus said. “I’m a big fan of the Marvel comics and The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, but I would love to be a part of the Marvel Universe.”
In the entertainment world, whether it's movies or professional wrestling, never say never.
#6 Kevin Nash and other WWE Superstars in The Longest Yard - (2005)
Looking back now, it seems that the producers of The Longest Yard just decided to go to WWE and recruit several professional wrestlers as either correctional officers or prisoners. With that said, the movie had tons of star power. Adam Sandler plays an ex-football player, who is sentenced to Allenville Penitentiary, where the Warden (James Cromwell) decides to use him to consult and help train the prison's official football team in their upcoming season.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 31%
Sandler says that the teams need to get a couple of practice matches in and the Warden suggests to use the prisoners instead. Thus the film sees Adam Sandler with the help of Chris Rock and Burt Reynolds, recruit a colorful set of characters, including Terry Crews, Goldberg, The Great Khali, and others. The guards included WWE Hall of Famers Stone Cold Steve Austin and Kevin Nash.
It should be noted that The Great Khali had not yet debuted in WWE, but it's fair to argue that the film gave him great exposure and perhaps played a role in the WWE recruiting him. A good piece of trivia is that all four men (Austin, Nash, Goldberg, and Khali) were former WWE World Champions.
All four former WWE Superstars had their time to shine in the film, but out of the four, Kevin Nash stole the show, after having his steroids swapped out for Estrogen. Let's say that his personality changed towards the end of the film.
The film grossed over $190 Million worldwide, and while the critics savaged at the time, most audiences have to come to enjoy on repeated viewings via home video rental and now streaming platforms.
#5 Triple H in Blade: Trinity - 27% (2004)
With The Rock's success in Hollywood, even at that point, Triple H would also attempt to cross over into film with the much-maligned Blade: Trinity. In the third film of the Blade franchise, the film had many problems due to Wesley Snipes' alleged on-set behavior and his clashes with writer-director David Goyer.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 27%
The film in itself is not that bad, with it being a standard action film set in the world of vampires. With that said, it was a far cry from the heights of the first two films, lacking those films' kinetic energy. The film also starred Ryan Reynolds, dropping his trademark wisecracks, which became central to his on-screen persona in the years to come.
Triple H is relegated to the role of "Vampire Henchman," but if WWE fans were looking to see what would happen if the Cerebral Assassin takes on the Merc with a Mouth, they're in for a treat. Thankfully, Triple H found his calling with the creation of NXT and helping launch the careers of future WWE Superstars.
#4 Multiple WWE Superstars and WCW stars in Ready to Rumble (2000)
Multiple wrestling fans know what happened to WCW and where it ended up. It eventually ended up being purchased by WWE. But before that could happen, Ready to Rumble released in 2000 to terrible reviews, and the film ended up being a flop at the box office. Set in the world of WCW, the film showcased an evil promotor who legitimately cheats WCW Champion Jimmy King (Oliver Platt) out of the world title with the help of Diamond Dallas Page (DDP) and others.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 23%
Infuriated by the loss, WCW fans played by David Arquette and Scott Caan make it their mission to make Jimmy King world champion, believing pro wrestling to be real. The film veers into the absurd with multiple WCW stars, and features appearances by future WWE Superstars.
The cast of wrestlers included Goldberg, Sting, Bam Bam Bigelow, Randy Savage, Booker T, Sid Vicious, Juventud Guerrera, Curt Hennig, Disco Inferno, Billy Kidman, Konnan, Rey Mysterio Jr. (unmasked), Perry Saturn and even The Nitro Girls.
Controversially, the film even led to Arquette becoming WCW Champion to get some mainstream attention. It's safe to say that fans were not impressed and is considered one of the low points in WCW and wrestling history.
#3 John Cena in The Marine - 20% (2006)
The Marine is a significant hallmark of WWE Films as it spawned multiple sequels that went straight-to-DVD and starred various WWE Superstars. With that said, John Cena was the one who starred in the first film, though it was written with Stone Cold Steve Austin in mind.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 20%
The movie has John Cena's character, an honorably-discharged Marine who is having trouble adjusting to civilian life. After being fired from his job as a security guard, he and his wife played by Kelly Carlson go on a vacation, and then, trouble ensues. After stopping at a gas station, his wife is kidnapped by a gang, and Cena has to rescue her.
It's a standard action film, but it didn't establish Cena as a Hollywood star. Years later, Cena's WWE career is limited; he is now more established with roles in the Fast and Furious Franchise, The Suicide Squad, and even the well-received Bumblebee. Cena has come a long way, and it looks like he's only going to get better in the future.
#2 Stone Cold Steve Austin in The Condemned (2007)
In a film that was supposed to be a starring vehicle for WWE Hall Of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin, the film was a box office disappointment. The Condemned's premise was simple. Ten convicts are to fight each other to death, with the winner gaining their freedom in the process. The big catch is that it's being broadcast on the internet as the ultimate reality show.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 15%
While that sounds like a good action movie, the film's action takes precedence over any story that is being told. The film's cast includes the likes of Vinnie Jones, former WWE Superstar Nathan Jones, Manu Bennett, and Rick Hoffman.
Critics savaged the film for its violence with one critic writing:
"Be warned: This is the worst kind of movie, one that insults its audience by purporting to condemn violence while simultaneously reveling in it."
The film only ended making $8 Million at the box office and can be seen via DVD or multiple streaming platforms. While WWE Films have moved on to more family-friendly fare, it's safe to say that they didn't start on a good note.
#1 Kane in See No Evil (2006)
WWE's entry into a horror fare, with See No Evil, was, in a way, a perfect fit. More importantly, it starred Glen Jacobs, aka Kane in the main role as Jacob Goodnight. The film is inherently a slasher flick with Kane's character along the lines of Jason Vorhees, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, or Leatherface.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 9%
The film is brutal, and its inherent violence will leave most viewers squirming. Horror fans would probably enjoy it as the audience score enjoys a 50% score. On the other hand, critics didn't spare the film. Ty Burr of The Boston Globe wrote:
"See No Evil is proficient junk, which makes it something of an improvement over recent horrors like An American Haunting."
Joe Leydon of Variety wrote:
"Although much blood is spilled and splattered, precious little suspense is generated during See No Evil."
Interestingly enough, the film was a success making over $18 Million at the box office and even gaining a straight-to-DVD sequel in 2014. It may not be for everyone, but it certainly has gained traction over the years. Will there be another one? Only time will tell.
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