A podcast about my number #1 guilty pleasure: Pro wrestling.Heather got it right about Hulk Hogan being a big megastar mostly because of Vince McMahon’s marketing machine. Hogan had the “IT” factor but he was clearly limited in the ring. They made sure to give Hogan the right opponents to highlight his strengths & he rarely wrestled on TV so they didn’t overexpose him in the 80’s. McMahon tried to do the same thing with The Ultimate Warrior, but Warrior didn’t have Hogan’s mainstream appeal & was even more limited.If there are two wrestlers in their prime who I thought could’ve made it in movies, I gotta go with Jerry “The King” Lawler & “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. My wrestling bias maybe showing, but I thought Lawler stole every scene from Jim Carrey in Man on the Moon where he played himself in his famous feud with Andy Kaufman. Even in his 60’s, Lawler still has better comic timing & facial expressions than most of the current roster. Lawler could hit it out of the ballpark in the right comedy.Ric Flair’s character would’ve made for a perfect James Bond villain. I’ll never know why, outside of his cameo in Body Slam, Flair never gave Hollywood a try. If WWE fans during the Attitude Era thought The Rock gave incredible interviews, they should’ve seen what Flair was doing back in the 80’s & early 90’s NWA/WCW. Flair could be serious, funny, charismatic, insane, & sincere all in one interview. The fact that Flair could also deliver in the ring with some of the greatest matches ever makes him one of the all-time greats. WOOOOOOOOOOOO!Of the current stars, Dean Ambrose of The Shield (if you watch WWE RAW, you’ll know who he is) has that Heath Ledger/Joker-like demented charisma to him. If the WWE can give The Miz a few movies to star in, then they could give Ambrose a shot as the main villain in one of them.Since I hate HHH so much (the character & the person in real life who married the boss’ daughter to keep his main event spot), I’ll give worst movie to Blade Trinity.For best, I still have to go with They Live. Did anybody ever see Behind Enemy Lines 2 with Mr. Kennedy who was going through his 15 minutes of fame in the WWE?
Holy Crap- I totally forgot about Behind Enemy Lines 2! I loathed Kennedy in WWE but think he's actually done well in TNA. And I totally agree on Ambrose- really hate that their starting the demise of The Shield now but it gives them all a chance to really breakout and I see huge things for all of them, especially Ambrose if they keep letting him run loose on the mic.I would have LOVED to see Flair do movies- I'm not really sure why he never got a chance. Maybe he was just too much of a wild card for Vince back then (between all the drugs, the booze, the women) so maybe Hogan just seemed like a safer bet all-around.I do enjoy their approach now by not just using typical A-Level guys...which is why I'm also hopeful Ambrose will get a chance to be in something soon.
Rick Flair should have had some villain role in an action movie in the '80s. He has the eyes of a guy who wants to blow up a building.
I'll stick with El Santo, thanks. :-)
Great podcast, guys. I know this wasn't your desired effect, but I can't wait to watch NO HOLDS BARRED now.
You're doing it wrong.
He's got a point. #TeamPomaro
It was great to hear from Heather again (she always knows her stuff), and since I sometimes get mail incorrectly addressed to Heather Holland,AND because I am frequently referenced as HHH, I feel a kinship with many aspects of this episode. I think another aspect of the Hogan phenomenon was the stories themselves. Yes, his technical ability was minimal, but how many times did they drape that bleached-haired bastard in the American flag and have him represent freedom against tyranny and oppression? The correct answer is 4,316 times. Rooting for him was like rooting for America, especially when they had him fighting dudes like the Iron Sheik and Sgt. Slaughter. He is a real American. Fights for the rights of every man. He is a real American. Fight for what's right. Fight for you life!Also, what Heather says about the plot of The Wrestler mirroring the lives of many WWF stars from the 80s is definitely true. Before I moved to the bright lights of sprawling metropolitan Birmingham, I lived in a smaller town in the south of Alabama. There was a little bitty recreation center on one of the corners in a particularly small town called Semmes (population 3,000) and it was really sad to see all the former superstars who would come there and wrestle for tiny live audiences just to make ends meet. They had to have been in their 50s and 60s, yet they were still working the road for whoever would come see them. What else could they do?Lastly, I think Mick Foley talks about the nature of wrestling in one of his memoirs. He says that it's the last living form of the gladiatorial games of ancient Rome. You go to the arena, pay your money, and cheer for your side. It's good versus evil, and unlike boxing or MMA, there are clearly defined, heightened personalities. I think he's right. We root for our fighter, good or bad, because we know at the end of the day that it's all a game for our pleasure. They're doing it all for our entertainment. Also, as of just a few years ago, Ted Dibiase was working the church circuit, doing a motivational speaking thing about how he turned his life around. I think it's interesting that he's balancing that with his WWE work. Not a judgement at all. Just interesting to me, especially since his kids have followed in his footsteps.Great episode. This is one of my favorites.
Cool podcasts guys, wrestlers getting into movies is tough for them, that might be why so few have been able to get into mainstream movies. Hell I like The Rock Johnson a lot but certain movies he's done have come off as very awkward (Snitch comes to mind) when he is supposed to play someone who can't kick ass.The Hulk in Gremlins 2: The New Batch is definitely his best movie role (apologies to Rocky III Thunderlips) which actually makes me think of an alternate version of the movie where there are scenes of Hogan wrestling the Gremlins and eventually being overtaken by them. Gremlins 2 is already a movie I love (hence my avatar) but this would be a hell of a Blu Ray special feature.
Yeah his roles in movies haven't always been the greatest, but it's hard not to like him when he's in a movie, even if his acting is shoddy... he's just such a likable dude.
Okay, I'm gonna settle this right now. Worst film starring a wrestler: END GAME with Kurt Angle. Trust me. Look it up.
Great episode, guys! I was vaguely into wrestling as a kid (back in the glory days of the WWF in the 1980's) but am completely out of the loop now so it's interesting to get a more modern perspective from wrestling fans on a lot of movies that I've glossed over in the past as "eh" direct-to-video type movies (like The Marine). I was going to ask your opinion on Here Comes The Boom, since I remember hearing weirdly interesting things about it, but my memory failed me and I see that's an MMA movie instead of wrestling.
Ive never been into wrestling and I dont think Ive ever watched a full episode of one. It wasnt that big in Australia growing up and my only point of reference was the WWF Saturday morning cartoon. When I was 9 (1989) I went to Canada and was surprised at how much all the kids were into wrestling, but no one was talking about Junkyard Dog so I was out of the loop. Despite this, I still listened to the episode (that's just how much of your bitch I am).I gotta side with Heather (to an extent) on Pain and Gain. I didnt dislike it anywhere near as much as Patrick & Co did. I wouldnt go as far as to say it was nuanced (although I have only seen it once) but I did like the themes it explored and social commentary it was making despite it being quite heavy handed, and overall it was well acted and an interesting story. I might go watch it again though before I start banging the drum too loud.HeatherForLife! Always a pleasure to listen to you :-)
Oh man, you're the Brad from Australia the other 7 kids in Canada used to talk about? I had the mumps that week. Wish I'd been there - I loved Junkyard Dog!
This comment has been removed by the author.
A couple more good wrestler performances in movies I just happen to remember.I got a big kick out of Mr. USA Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle as the ultimate Russian MMA fighting machine Koba in Warrior. Angle was perfectly cast as he got to look intense & no-nonsense while he’s using suplexs, takedowns, & submission moves. The smartest part was they didn’t bother to have him even attempt a Russian accent or say a single word. That’s how you use a wrestler’s strengths & hide his weaknesses in a movie.Macho Man Randy Savage was just freakin hilarious in his cameo as Buzzsaw in Spiderman.Since Patrick mentioned seeing Survivor Series 1989 live, I decided to check it out on YouTube & Good Lord is that PPV full of wussy copout finishes. Piper & Rick Rude both get counted out, Andre the Giant gets counted out just a minute into the match(!), three members of the Million Dollar Man’s team gets DQ’d, Hacksaw Jim Duggan got counted out to lose the match. Except for Hogan pinning Dibiase, were all the big stars afraid of losing by pinfall that night? It’s a PPV, there should mostly be clear winners and losers. If the WWE tried to run a show with those decisions today, they would get booed out of the building.