Professional wrestlers often make the transition to starring in feature films, and horror films in particular. It's actually not much of a stretch when you think about the skill set required to excel in both. A hulking, charismatic bone-breaker in the ring really just needs some makeup to transform into a terrifying monster straight from your nightmares. Many wrestlers have played horror movie baddies to great acclaim, but others like "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and El Santo have comfortably filled leading roles, too.
If you've ever wondered, "Is there a definitive list of movies with WWE wrestlers in them?" then your search is now over. Here are 12 superstars of the ring, and what can affectionately be called their pro wrestler horror movies.
Wrestling Claim to Fame: After starting his career as a wrestling manager in 1988, "Diamond" Dallas Page signed with WCW in 1991 and switched his focus to wrestling. He was a three-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, and the fourth wrestler to become a WCW Triple Crown Champion. After WWE purchased WCW in 2001, Page made his WWE debut later that year before retiring from wrestling in 2002 due to injuries. In 2017, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Horror Films: The Devil's Rejects (2005), Driftwood (2006), Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror (2006), Gallowwalkers (2009), The Murders of the Brandywine Theater (2015)
Greatest Cinematic Moment: He's had roles in several horror movies, but we'll go with his role in The Devil's Rejects as one half of "The Unholy Two," a pair of amoral bounty hunters who help Sheriff Wydell track down the Firefly family.21146Awesome?
Wrestling Claim to Fame: Long before starring as Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie franchise, David Bautista was one of the most successful WWE wrestlers of all time. After he first was rejected by the WCW and told he'd never make it as a wrestler, Bautista joined the WWE and spent several years in the Ohio Valley Wrestling developmental league before making his WWE debut in 2002. Appearing under the name "Dave Batista" or just "Batista," Bautista went on to six total WWE championships and was the longest-reigning World Heavyweight Champion. He retired in 2014, but still makes occasional appearances.
Horror Films: My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? (2009), L.A. Slasher (2015), Army of the Dead (2020)
Greatest Cinematic Moment: So far, Bautista's only true horror film appearance was in 2015's L.A. Slasher, about a serial slayer who targets reality stars and socialites. Bautista plays "Drug Dealer #1" and ends up getting taken out by the machete-wielding slasher.19054Awesome?
Wrestling Claim to Fame: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is one of the most popular and successful wrestlers of all time, and one of the few whose pop culture success eclipsed his WWE popularity. The son of WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson, Johnson is the first third-generation star in WWE history. After playing football at the University of Miami, he made the transition to pro wrestling in 1997 and was an immediate success, winning the Intercontinental Championship just five months after turning pro. He would go on to win eight WWE championships and headline Wrestlemania. Do you smell what the Rock is cooking?
Horror Films: The Mummy Returns (2001), The Scorpion King (2002), Doom (2005)
Greatest Cinematic Moment: Although he later had his first starring role in the spinoff sequel The Scorpion King (and has since headlined too many movies to count), we're gonna go with his big showdown at the end of The Mummy Returns, when he appears in half-man, half-scorpion form to fight Rick (Brendan Fraser).20883Awesome?
Wrestling Claim to Fame: Bill Goldberg, known in the ring as just "Goldberg," burst onto the pro wrestling scene in 1997, dominating the WCW with a record of 173-0. He joined the WWE in 2003 and immediately started a feud with the Rock by spearing him. Later that year, he defeated Triple H to win his first and only World Heavyweight Championship. Goldberg competed in his final WWE match at Wrestlemania XX in 2004 before retiring from in-ring competition. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2018.
Horror Films: Santa's Slay (2005)
Greatest Cinematic Moment: To date, Goldberg's only horror film appearance has been the starring role in the Christmas slasher comedy Santa's Slay. Goldberg plays a gritty, reimagined version of Kris Kringle who's the son of Satan. After losing a bet 1,000 years ago, Evil Santa was forced to distribute toys to the children of the world, but now he's abandoned that life for Christmas-themed mayhem. It's impossible to pick just one moment from this film - he takes out a dude with a Christmas tree throwing star, destroys a Nativity scene just for fun, and dunks Fran Drescher in eggnog - so we'll just go with the whole thing.14855Awesome?