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Professional Wrestling Battles Hollywood
by Lauren Ciccone

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If you've ever heard of professional wrestling, were a fan, or still are, you are aware that it is an industry that looks to dominate every corner of the entertainment market. It should not surprise you that in early 2002 World Wrestling Entertainment founded WWE Films (later changed to WWE Studios in May 2002). WWE studios is responsible for solely producing more than 15 films, which includes THE MARINE and LEGENDARY staring John Cena and co-producing four films including THE SCORPIAN KING staring Dewayne "The Rock" Johnson.

With the superbowl of WWE, Wrestlemania XXVIII (28), less than 3 weeks away, Dewayne "The Rock" Johnson and John Cena are feuding for the spotlight and the win. Ironically, both superstars have vested interest in WWE and in Hollywood. While The Rock has clearly wrapped circles around Cena in quantity of movies, the quality of movies is the aspect that is continually tossed up.

The Rock has
Luke Hobbs in action with Dominic Toretto- Fast Five

Luke Hobbs in action with Dominic Toretto- Fast Five
starred in films packed with action, love, and suspense. From The GAME PLAN to FAST FIVE, The Rock continues to star in movies that gross well over millions of dollars and captivate audiences for years following release.

In THE GAME PLAN, The Rock is a charming father who still packs a punch as the star quarterback for the Boston Rebels. He steals the heart of each viewer with his spot on performance of being a first time parent and a superstar. On the flip side, The Rock lit up the big screen most recently in FAST FIVE. As a United States Federal Agent, The Rock seeks fugitives Dominic Toretto and Brian O'Connor on the run in Rio. The Rock was made for the roll in which he portrayed passion, power, and compassion for others. With his professional wrestling background, The Rock played suit to the roll of Luke Hobbs who is frantically trying to complete the task without defeat.

The Rock's current performance in WWE
John Triton in pursuit - The Marine

John Triton in pursuit - The Marine
is an uphill battle against his counterpart John Cena. Cena is determined to belittle The Rock for leaving his home roots of WWE to explore Hollywood and captivate the big screen. Cena shot insults at The Rock including the fact that as a WWE superstar Cena has starred in feature films and still preformed a full wrestling schedule. Cena portrays the fight as Cena defending professional wrestling and The Rock defending Hollywood.

However, with the feud heating up, it would be foolish to not peruse and comment on the acting experience of Cena. While Cena is a huge star in WWE, it may be quality that Cena is lacking in his films. Cena's roles are incomplete and basic from a storyline stand point. They lack finesse and character build-up.

In THE MARINE, Cena is United States Marine John Triton who is home from war. During a vacation commute, Triton's wife is kidnapped and Triton sets out on a war path to save her.
Wrestlmania 28 Banner - Rock VS Cena

Wrestlmania 28 Banner - Rock VS Cena
Without the explosions, fast paced action, and constant battle to stop disaster, THE MARINE is a hollow shell without a steady plot. 12 ROUNDS is another movie containing the whereabouts of Cena's character's significant other. Again, Cena's character is on a chase to save his girlfriend and has to jump through hoops in order to do it. Cena is not a bad actor; he simply has incomplete roles to fill.

Cena simply fills shells in movies and The Rock creates blockbusters. With the building tension of Wrestlemania XXVIII around the corner, each superstar has his own point to make. The Rock and Cena continue to hurl stones at each other every Monday at 9pm eastern time on USA .

In the coming weeks, view the movies I have mentioned and leave your comments regarding your thoughts. Maybe you agree and see what I am depicting or maybe you disagree and feel Cena is a well rounded actor who completes the movies in which he stars.

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Mike Thomas
Mar 15, 2012 1:12 AM
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I don't think anyone's done a column on wrestling! Even though the modern wrestling movie has been around since 1986 with BODY SLAM with Dirk Benedict and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. There's an untapped genre out there, with movies about wrestling and movies featuring wrestling.

An interesting column would be the wrestlers that did comedy - badly. There's at least a half dozen movies that wrestlers won't be putting on their resumes!

Good to have a new voice in the bull pen!
Mar 15, 2012 10:41 AM
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Thanks Mike. I appreciate the feed back and ideas.

I've read your columns and they are very good. You have a great perspective. I love your ideas and thoughts.

I look forward to writing columns along with you.
Mar 15, 2012 6:43 PM
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Mar 15, 2012 6:48 PM
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lol hey that was 2009....an honest mistake on Mike's part!
Mike Thomas
Mar 15, 2012 7:11 PM
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My apologies, Tim - that was before my time. I just read it, and its hard-core Old School!

THEY LIVE had THE best knock-down, drag-out fight in cinema history bar none!
Mar 15, 2012 7:42 PM
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agreed..... Keith David rocks
Mike Thomas
Mar 15, 2012 7:46 PM
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I just remembered I did a column on actions stars in embarrassing movies. They weren't all wrestlers, but they were mentioned:
Mar 15, 2012 7:55 PM
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Thanks. Yeah, for all it's badness, They Live is pretty frickin' awesome.

Mar 15, 2012 5:51 PM
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i remember when the Rock was Rocky Maivia, he was the wrestler that we made fun of every time he came out because he sucked so bad....if you would have told me that years later he would be an "a" list movie star I would have laughed myself to death...

Mar 16, 2012 2:07 AM
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Hey, Lauren - What about women wrestlers? Don't they deserve some mention here (and a picture, as well)?
Mar 16, 2012 10:32 AM
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I chose to focus on The Rock and Cena since we are just about 2 weeks away from Wrestlemania. However, I do not intend to leave out women wrestlers or other male wrestlers. I intended on setting a mood with this column.
Mar 18, 2012 6:00 AM
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Well - So far, I like the mood that you're setting. I look forward to your up-coming columns.

Mar 22, 2012 10:38 AM
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There's a local production company in Charlotte, NC that produces wrestling films with women only. I don't think women are the prime viewers. Enjoyed your column.
Mar 22, 2012 10:59 AM
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Thanks Jon. Would you happen to know the name of that production company?

Apr 13, 2012 1:44 AM
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I know this column is a few weeks old, but I just wanted to comment on how terrible an actor Hulk Hogan is. I remember when we went to see No Holds Barred when I was little, Hogan played a scene in a French restaurant so badly that my dad spit out his Coke.

Also, I've always been a big fan of The Rock's acting ability: he knows how to do it. Piper in They Live was great too.

But to me, perhaps the greatest performance by a wrestler in movie history is given by Andre The Giant in The Princess Bride. Truly the perfect combination of casting and presence.

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Other columns by Lauren Ciccone:


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Lauren Ciccone
As a young child, writing became more than a momentary pleasure. Writing became a livelihood. Each moment I spend with a pen resting on my paper is one that will become part of my history and experience as a writer. Unpublished and unfounded – Lauren Marie is a writer undiscovered and enjoying the journey from behind the paper.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Lauren Ciccone by clicking here.

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