Five Movies Wrestlers Appeared in That You Missed

Santa's Slay Movies Bill Goldberg Horror Movie

Wrestling and movies have gone together for decades. This was partly spurred on by the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE). It is undeniable that Vince McMahon understood the benefits of working with the much larger Hollywood. From Wrestlemania I to today with WWE Films, the WWE athletes have crossover appeal. It is not just WWE though, there are many non-WWE athletes, many never set foot in a WWE owned ring, that have also starred in movies. The five wrestlers in this list are just a sampling of the total number that have appeared in movies. How many did you know about?

MacGruber (2010) by Universal Pictures

Beating out The Expendables debut with a comedy style version was not enough for this Saturday Night Live born movie. While that other group effort brought together big-name action stars from the 80’s and 90’s, MacGruber went with a mix heavy with professional wrestlers. While The Expendables as a homage to the 80’s action movie, MacGruber is a spoof of sorts in the vein of Austin Powers.

MacGruber is tasked with stopping terrorists who have taken control of a powerful missile. Considering MacGruber has disappeared and resorted to a life of solace makes him tough to find. When he is found he has reservations about how the United States government wants to handle the situation. Going off on his own to pull together a team he can trust sees things go awry rather quickly seemingly never really letting up either.

MacGruber wrestlers in movies

Wrestlers that you will see in MacGruber include Chris Jericho, Mark Henry, Great Khali, Big Show, MVP, and Kane. Not one for the family to watch. Fans of the Austin Powers franchise wanting something covering action entertainment of the 80’s will be at home here.

Universal Soldier (1992) by TriStar Pictures

What military in the history of the world would not want to be able to reanimate their fallen personnel? That is basically the premise of Universal Soldier – the United States Army has seen progress in this area. The Universal Soldier unit is an elite counter-terrorism unit. So elite

Tommy Lister Zeus Universal Soldier Movies

you have to be dead to get in. Things are going great until Jean-Claude Van Damme’s character begins regaining his memories slowly growing more and more defiant of orders.

While the main stars are well known figures in movies, there is an interesting character in the background you might miss. Tommy “Tiny” Lister (aka Zeus), who passed away on December 10th 2020, plays the role of “GR55” – Universal Soldier unit member.

Lister has a storied movie career that started in 1985 with Runaway Train, later Beverly Hills Cop II and No Holds Barred opposite Hulk Hogan. He would also see roles in The Fifth Element, Little Nicky, Santa’s Slay (see below for more on that one) and of course, the Friday movie franchise. Lister was active in movies up to 2019.

His television career started a year earlier with a role on 1st & Ten in 1984. He would see roles on Matlock, Perfect Strangers, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Martin, Star Trek: Enterprise, and voice actin on The Cleveland Show.

X-Men (2000) by 20th Century Fox

The first mainstream box office release featuring Marvel’s X-Men was a hit. The film opens gives a glimpse into the childhood of Erik Lehnsherr, aka Magneto, in 1944 Nazi-occupied Poland. We meet the principal players in the X-Men universe – Jean Grey, Rogue, Storm, Cyclops, Wolverine, Professor X, Magneto, and Mystique to name a few.

The one character we are focusing on here is Sabretooth. As far as I know, this is the only time this enemy of Wolverine has been portrayed in live action movies. Tyler Mane did the honors for this intimidating rendition of the beast. Mane also did the honors for a certain mask wearing killer in a remake and its sequel in 2007 and 2009.

Tyler Mane Sabretooth X-Men 2000 movies

Mane started his wrestling career by briefly training with Stu Hart. He would then move on to train with Red Bastien in 1986. That same year he would debut under the name “Skywalker Nitron” wrestling in various Canadian based promotions. His early career would see him wrestling all over the world from Canada to the United States and to South Africa and the United Kingdom before Japan came calling.

In 1993 Mane would wrestle as Big Sky and teamed with Vinnie Vegas. His stay in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) would be short lived. Mane retired from professional wrestling in 1996. He would stay in movies and even see a few roles sharing the screen with then current wrestlers in the coming years.

Ready to Rumble (2000) by Warner Bros

Ask most wrestling fans and they will point to this movie as being the pivot point of WCW’s downfall. Regardless of if that is true or not, it is not, it was the film debut of a future WWE super star that would return to movies decades later.

The plot of Ready to Rumble is all over the place. There are evil promoters screwing over “good ole boys” and other backstabbing situations. The movie can be fun if you go in with low expectations and just enjoy the ride. It stars David Arquette and many WCW athletes of the time – Goldberg, Diamond Dallas Page, Sting, Randy Savage, and John Cena (?).

Well, John Cena is a stretch as he was not exactly under contract with WCW at the time. He was simply in the right place at the right time to get in on the movie as a background extra. Pay special attention to the scene in the gym.

Cena has no lines in the movie, but it is his film debut. It could be where he came up with the whole “you can’t see me” gimmick as he was in plain sight – yet missed by most.

Santa’s Slay (2005) by Media 8 Entertainment

Do you really know the history of Santa Claus? No, not the Tim Allen version, nor the one most kids are told growing up. The real story of Santa is slightly darker than we all believed.

Here we find out that Santa has a mean streak a country mile wide in him. Deep down, Santa is evil only doing good because he lost a sporting event with an angel. What a guy.

In the year 1005 A.D. Sant was evil and could run wild one day a year – Christmas day. Being born of a virgin birth involving Satan, Santa Claus is somewhat an anti-Christ figure here. Santa had bet 1,000 years of doing good on his little sporting event that he lost. That means in 2005, the same year the movie is set, Santa could return to doing evil.

Santa's Slay Bill Goldberg Movies

The man playing Santa Claus likes to portray the bad ass in the ring but a nice guy to younger fans outside of it. Bill Goldberg may not be your first choice for such a role but give him a chance, he just might grow on you as an evil character. Goldberg would also star in movies such as Universal Soldier: The Return and The Longest Yard among many others.

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This article is archived in the Pro Wrestling section of the Blockchain. Check it out for more great entertainment.

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