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Inside the Ring: A nine-time world champion in professional wrestling, Dwayne Johnson’s popular ring name was “The Rock” Rocky Maivia, or just simply “The Rock”. That name came about after audiences in the late 1990s started to tire of his good-guy routine and wanted to see him try something different. The Rock quickly became one of WWE’s most popular fighters, known also for his entertaining press interviews and promos which showcased amply his charisma. His last WWE match was in 2004’s Wrestlemania XX, reuniting with Mick Foley against Evolution (Ric Flair, Randy Orton, Triple H and Batista).

Outside the Ring: Beginning with a supporting role in “The Mummy Returns”, Johnson turned that role of the Scorpion King into a follow-up which became his first in a leading role. He continued his streak of action movies with films like “The Rundown” and “Walking Tall” which were modest successes. But it was in the 2005 comedy “Be Cool” that he convinced critics and audiences that he had the funny bone in him. Since then, he has parlayed his comedic charm to great effect with “The Game Plan”, “Get Smart” and this year’s “The Tooth Fairy”.

Crossover Potential:


Inside the Ring: Seven-time world champion John Cena began his career with WWE in 2001 after spending a year with Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW). Best known for his finishing move known as the STF or Stepover Toehold Facelock, Cena’s most memorable matches featured the use of the STF on opponents such as Big Show and Randy Orton. Thanks to a Halloween-themed episode of Smackdown where he performed a freestyle rap, Cena has also branched out to become a hip-hop musician with his debut album “You Can’t See Me” debuting at #15 on the Billboard charts.

Outside the Ring: Although he did make his big-screen acting debut in WWE Films’ most successful independently produced film to date, “The Marine”, his sophomore film, Renny Harlin’s “12 Rounds” didn’t quite enjoy the same kind of success that WWE was hoping for. With the change in direction for WWE Films, Cena will be the first to star in a WWE Films family comedy. It remains to be seen however whether he has enough charisma to pull off comedy like Dwayne Johnson.

Crossover Potential:


Inside the Ring: Jacobs acquired the name “Kane” after signing with WWE in 2002, where he plays the half-brother of The Undertaker and teaming up as the Brothers of Destruction. He is best known for the Inferno match where he went up against Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP) and Mr. Kennedy, eventually winning against MVP by setting his back on fire.

Outside the Ring: Kane made his feature-acting debut in “See No Evil”, the first film to be fully produced and financed by WWE Studios. All the advance fanfare on WWE’s media platforms did not however help the film’s box office success. Critics were also overwhelmingly harsh on Kane’s performance. He will be next seen in the Will Forte comedy “MacGruber” due out in cinemas this year. Nevertheless, it’s unlikely Kane will be cast as lead again anytime soon.

Crossover Potential:


Inside the Ring: A retired professional wrestler, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin is nonetheless regarded as one of the icons of wrestling. In the late 1990s, Stone Cold was famous for his feuds with now WWE head honcho Vince McMahon, where he even publicly attacked the boss with his signature move, the Stone Cold Stunner. Widely known for his brash image, Stone Cold was also quickly associated with beer drinking. Throughout his career, the iconic fighter has won three Royal Rumbles and has since been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Outside the Ring: Austin’s first lead role came in WWE Studios’ “The Condemned”, which was roundly thrashed by critics. Audiences didn’t give the movie much attention too, as the US$37 mil flick wound up with only a paltry US$7 mil at the US box office. His next lead role is that of ex-convict John Brickner in “Damage”, a gritty bare-knuckles fight film. At the risk of being stereotyped, Austin is also appearing in Sylvester Stallone’s eagerly anticipated war movie “The Expendables” which would add to his resume of action movies. It’s unlikely that he would have much luck in other genres, but as long as we still want to see real action heroes onscreen, Austin may still enjoy a loyal following for his movies.

Crossover Potential:


Inside the Ring: Anderson was best known by his ring name Mr Kennedy during his four-year stint with WWE from 2005 to 2009. His one and only title was winning the WWE United States Championship which he would hold on to for a month. Recently released by WWE from his contract, he is now working with the Nu-Wrestling Evolution (NWE) with a new ring name Mr Anderson.

Outside the Ring: Only one feature film to his credit- the third sequel in the “Behind Enemy Lines” franchise. Critical reception was surprisingly kind, and the film wasn’t thrashed as much as other WWE theatrical releases. Now that he’s been released from his contract with WWE, it’s unlikely he’ll find backing from WWE Films for another feature film.

Crossover Potential:


Inside the Ring: Among the newest of the wrestlers featured here, Ted DiBiase Jr. began his professional wrestling career in 2006 and came onboard the WWE roster two years later as a member of WWE Raw. He won the World Tag Team Championship with Randy Orton and is now part of the Legacy faction alongside Cody Rhodes and Orton.

Outside the Ring: DiBiase made his film debut with the very recent direct to DVD release of “The Marine 2”, the in-name only sequel to the modest WWE Studios’ original starring John Cena. Critical reception to his debut has not been too critical but his future appears, for now, consigned to such action flicks.

Crossover Potential:

If You Missed Part One of our article >

By Gabriel Chong
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