So it’s nice to see Stacy Keibler in the news today, stepping out with her new man George Clooney to the premiere of The Descendants. And it’s intriguing to note that some media outlets are making quite a meal of the fact that the former Dancing with the Stars contestant outshone her beau on the red carpet, which suggests it won’t be long before the telephoto lenses of the mainstream are pointed more fixedly in her direction. All of which is quite some feat for a former wrestling personality, don’t you think?
Yes, before the bright lights and glamour of A-list junkets and dating Hollywood royalty, Stacy worked for the USA’s two most prestigious wrestling companies: the WWE and the now-defunct WCW. As those organisations’ top valet, she got herself involved in all manner of undignified in-ring hijinks during her career, including “marrying” wrestling nonentity David Flair and playing the unwitting Barbara Windsor to WCW manager Eric Bischoff’s Sid James. But those days are long since over and unlike a good 99 per cent of those involved in “sports entertainment”, she’s made the leap into the mainstream.
But while most folk who’ve chosen a career in the squared circle have little to look forward to after their days in the ring are over, there are some remarkable success stories from the world of wrestling besides Stacy’s. Let’s have a look at some of the grapplers who also managed to escape a dotage battling in the school halls and fairground tents of the independent wrestling circuit… The Rock
- Or as he’s perhaps better known these days, Dwayne Johnson, is possibly the most successful wrestler-turned-mainstream entertainer ever. The charismatic People’s Champion, who raised the People’s Eyebrow and dropped the People’s Elbow to rapturous acclaim on a weekly basis in the WWE in the late 90s and early noughties, has gone on to make a slew of Hollywood films, starting with The Scorpion King in 2002 and culminating this year with the mega-grossing Fast and Furious 5. With a whole host of film roles ahead of him, including a part in the next Fast and Furious movie, the Rock’s star shows no sign of fading anytime soon.
(Seriously, with charisma like that on show below, was there any doubt he'd make it in the movie world?)
You can’t help but wonder if Hulk Hogan ever looks at his career trajectory with jealousy. Speaking of whom… Hulk Hogan
- The man who made the Legdrop of Doom the most feared move in all of wrestling needs no introduction. Certainly not to the legion of Hulkamaniacs who followed Hulk’s in-ring career that lasted for most of the 80s and 90s, at any rate. But Hulk Hogan’s more than just a wrestler: the man’s a cultural icon. Not only is he the walking definition of "wrestling" for most people, he’s dabbled in films (appearing in respected fare like Rocky III as well as, well, less respected fare like Santa with Muscles), politics (he ran for US President in 2004), TV (reality series Hogan Knows Best showcased his obsession with his daughter’s chastity, which to be honest came over a bit creepily) and music (he made a toe-curlingly bad album in 1994). A modern-day renaissance man, Hulk Hogan has ensured that, in the public consciousness, Hulkamania will never die. Whatever that means.
Hogan showcases his acting skills in WWE: