Cewsh Reviews – The Top 6 Best (Worst) Wrestler Side Projects.

Today we’ll be taking a look at those times when members of the distinguished brotherhood of professional wrestlers dabbled in other forms of media?  After all, wrestlers in music, movies, and television are a proud and well established tradition dating back to the earliest days of spandex, and some performers have even managed to cross over from one to the others.  So it is these proud, brave people that we salute today, for their ups, their downs, and the amusement value that will never cease rewarding us.  Amusement like…

Number 6 – Professor Toru Tanaka in Running Man.

There probably aren’t many people in our target demographic (that would be people who can read) who have seen the legendarily awesometastic Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Running Man, based on a book that i’m sure it followed absolutely faithfully.  Arnold being the robust reader that he is. 

He Gave Us This After All.

However there is a professional wrestler in this movie, whose contribution goes tragically unnoticed in the annals of cinema history.  But no longer will he toil in obscurity!  Toru Tanaka, former Tag champion worldwide alongside Mr. Fuji,  plays Sub Zero in this film, being one of the living obstacles that unwilling participants in The Game has to contend with in their attempt to escape the maze while on live television (don’t ask).  Ol’ Subby almost gets the jump on Arnold, but ultimately he gets a chainsaw shoved into his crotch, and in his final death throes, the last thing he hears is Arnold standing over him, delivering the line “Here is Sub Zero.  Now Plain Zero.”

And they said wrestlers couldn’t bring anything to cinema.  HA!

(Cewsh Note: Awesome reader Jeccius has chimed in letting me know that Sub Zero’s buddy Buzzsaw appropriately took the aforementioned chainsaw circumcision. Sub Zero was defeated via barbed wire chokeout which is so much less spectacular. Poor form, Sub Zero. Poor form.)

Number 5 – John Cena in 12 Rounds.

Every single miserable second of it.

Number 4 – “Rowdy” Roddy Piper in Hell Comes To Frogtown.

From Wikipedia:

This film is set in an post-apocalyptic wasteland where few fertile men and women exist due to atomic fallout and, as a result, the government places a high priority on those that can still breed. Shortly before the movie opens, a group of mutant amphibians (who have been exiled to the desert by the humans who still look normal) have captured a group of fertile women and are using them as sex slaves. Sam Hell (Piper) is recruited by the government to go recapture the women, then reproduce with them and save the human race. To make sure that the strong headed Hell follows the order of his commander, he is forced to wear a protective codpiece that will explode if he disobeys an order or tries to abort his mission.

This is a movie about Roddy Piper traveling the wasteland to nail some chicks after he gets done fighting off their lizard man captors.  But only if he can avoid having his testicles explode.  Ignoring for a moment what an entire race of Roddy Piper descendants would be like, this means that the director needed someone for their “Needs to have a ton of sex and have the movie centered around his dong” movie and then selected Roddy Piper for that lead role.  A decision which I find definitively questionable.

Number 3 – Ric Flair in Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 – Uprising.

There are some times in life when you need a little money to help you get by.  There are some times when you do things for money that you aren’t proud of.  And then there are other times where you dress up like a fancy military advisory for the cutscenes in a video game, and then advertise the game by having a wrestling feud with a goddamn bear.

Now I know what you’re thinking as you yell “FLAIR VS. BEAR” from the rafters, and believe me, I love Flair vs. Bear as much, if not more, than anyone. 

For The Majority Of You Who Have No Idea What The Fuck I’m Talking About.

See?  Flair vs. Bear is awesome.  What isn’t awesome, though, is a man with a legacy as proud as the one Ric Flair once had having to fight a bear for a paycheck, and then voice a video game character with an anti bear agenda as a result.

But if he’s still looking for work, I have a porcupine he could wrestle for $5.  What can I say?  I’m a giver.

Number 2 – Randy Savage in Be A Man, The Album.

There are some of you who have been following us for years, and there are some of you who have been following us since…now, basically.  However any of you who have known me for 5 seconds, know full well that this bad boy was finding its way onto this list.

Years after wrestling had passed him by, with no call from World Wrestling Entertainment on the horizon, Macho Man Randy Savage sat down one day and decided that if he was going to burn one bridge, he was going to make sure he was thorough and could burn every single bridge that had ever been constructed by him or anyone else.  But how could he be certain that all who had wronged him would have the opportunity to hear his scornful words?  And how could he convince them to pay for the privilege.

And then history was made.

The only thing better will be when Jay Lethal does the cover album.

Number 1 – Hulk Hogan in Santa With Muscles.

The hardest part of this entry was actually deciding which Hulk Hogan starring vehicle to go with.  There’s Suburban Commando (where he’s an alien who teaches Christopher Lloyd how to fight), Mr. Nanny (where he’s a…nanny), Thunder in Paradise (which was…I have no idea), and even a Saturday Morning Cartoon show.  Not to mention countless cameos and the like, and you add it up to the single most unbelievably cheesetastic wrestling side project career of any who have ever entered the squared circle.

So what made Santa With Muscles my ultimate choice for the best and worst side project in the history of professional wrestling?  Well let’s take another look at that picture.

We appear to have Hulk Hogan, dressed as Santa Claus, after he’s beaten up two dudes and kidnapped their daughter and goblin possessed son.  And MAN does he look happy about it.  I mean, we’re talking orgasmic levels of bliss at work here, while everyone around him looks thoroughly miserable to have made his acquaintance.  And that’s just the cover!  After having seen this work of art, I can conspiratorially relate to you that what I just laid out is pretty much the entire plot of the movie, excepting the 35 seconds they dedicate to explaining why a rich man of leisure like Hogan would suddenly start wanting to hang out with little kids.  Though to be honest, after 36 seconds or so, Hogan’s intentions may very likely have started seeming a lot less benevolent and a lot more creepy.

In the end, Hulk Hogan beats up the bad guys, helps the kids, and learns the meaning of Christmas.  It’s a heartwarming tale that we at the Cewsh Reviews Headquarters gather together to watch every year.  To learn lessons about love, about life, and about when it’s appropriate to fire your agent.

(Dis)Honorable Mention.

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