As WWE prepares to “go back to Hollywood” once again for WrestleMania 39, we’re looking back a lot at past tributes to Tinsel Town.
It’s official, WrestleMania 39 takes place at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
Judging from the trailer and new logo design, it looks like the company is once again embracing red carpet glitz and glamor with a Hollywood-themed show.
WWE and movies are two things that go hand in hand. Both are performances that feature villains and goodies telling stories to thrill the audience.
It’s mind-boggling to understand why WWE Films has produced so many duds. Take John Cena for example. Over the past two years, Big Match John has become one of the hottest stars in cinema, something WWE squandered with movies like The Marine and 12 Rounds.
Still, one thing they do pull off is a good old-fashioned movie spoof, and smart money says early next year that we’ll be bombarded with a few more to help promote The Immortals Showcase.
So what better time to revisit some classics?
2017 Christmas Movie Parodies
To celebrate Crimbo season five years ago, WWE produced a few Christmas movie tributes on its YouTube account.
First, we have “An Elf Among Men” in which the monstrous Braun Strowman does his best to impersonate Will Ferrell, walking the streets in full Buddy The Elf attire.
Highlights include Braun burying the cruiserweight division by mistaking Drew Gulak for another elf. It’s probably not the best way to get 205, but it was pretty fun back then.
Then The Miz and his family got involved in the fun of A Christmas story.
The Miz, Maryse, and Mom and Dad Miz were re-enacting scenes from the American classic (but not really anywhere else).
Some of the films on this list have been the subject of several parodies. AEW would produce its own “Christmas tale” in December 2020.
Oscars 2020 posters
Before the world was destroyed by a horrible virus for two years, and before Will Smith’s career was destroyed by his decision to throw the smacketh on a GI Jane joke, the 2020 Oscars were one of the last great events that took place before dark times.
And what an Oscar it was! Rather than being dominated by 3-hour snoozefests that examine the human condition, the nominees were actually great, enjoyable films that gave the event more hype than it had in years.
What movies can you ask for? Well, WWE provided movie poster parodies of the nominations to help everyone get in the mood.
Movies like Joaquin Phoenix’s stunning turn in Joker, portrayed by WWE’s own crazy dancing face paint villain Asuka
Ziggler and Miz donned their Tarantinos as a tribute to the Once Upon A Time In Hollywood epic.
Another pop at 205 Live with this Knives Out poster.
And of course, Big E is channeling his inner Judy Garland.
And many others !
West Side Story – Royal Rumble 2005
Fast forward to the 2022 Oscars and Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story has earned itself a few nominations, with Ariana Debose winning the Best Supporting Actress gong, oddly precisely 60 years after Rita Moreno won it for the same. role !
Not wrestling related, just a fun fact there. Now back to the graphs.
West Side Story is a musical that features choreographed fight dances known as “rumbles”, making it the perfect choice for a parody of WWE, and for the 2005 Royal Rumble which mimicked California, they did just that.
Superstars like Triple H, Ric Flair, JBL, Big Show and more leaned against the walls and clicked their fingers, cosplaying as the Jets and Sharks, before launching into a number about the fact that there can only be one winner of the Royal Rumble!
The ad ends with a disheveled Vince waking up in bed, stating “That’s not the kind of rumble I had in mind!”
The highlight of the trailer has to be the amazing wigs that each superstar has adorned on their head. Rey Mysterio even has his mat on top of his mask, creating one of the most underrated images in WWE history.
Batista ended up being victorious in that year’s event. Unfortunately, the show didn’t end with him singing “I Want To Win WrestleMania” to the tune of “I Want To Be In America” pointing to the WM sign, while a seated Vince with quads torn double stared.
One thing is certain. It definitely wasn’t the rumble Vince had in mind..
When Daniel Bryan Met Kane
In 2012, to coincide with a Charlie Sheen bond that never really happened, Daniel Bryan and Kane took “anger management” classes to try and work out their differences.
Although we never had a showdown between Sheen and Bryan, we had something much better. Team Hell No was a tag team that was ripe for plenty of comedic opportunities.
One such vignette saw Bryan and Kane at a restaurant for a parody of When Harry Met Sally. Rather than the infamous display of a fake orgasm, the two talked about the fun of kicking ass.
Kane starts pounding the table with his fist, while Bryan starts shouting “YES!” stronger and stronger. After the two “highlights,” the camera reveals the late Mae Young sitting at the dinner counter, ordering “exactly what they have!”
This wasn’t the first time WWE parodied When Harry Met Sally, as evidenced by the last entry on this list…
WrestleMania 21 Thumbnails
Ah WrestleMania 21, that was probably the first thing that came to mind when you read the title of this list.
Following the 2005 West Side Story Rumble, to promote the Hollywood event, WWE made a series of vignettes parodying famous movie scenes, including (deep breath):
Kurt Angle and Christie Helm (When Harry Met Sally, this time with Linda McMahon playing the Dirty Old Lady), JBL, Coach and John Cena (A Few Good Men) Undertaker (Dirty Harry) William Regal and Eugene (Forrest Gump ) Triple H and Ric Flair (Braveheart) Stone Cold Steve Austin (Gladiator) Booker T and Eddie Guerrero (Pulp Fiction) various superstars (Taxi Driver) and Chris Jericho, Stacy Keibler, Chris Benoit and Christian (Basic Instinct).
TNA would do their own Basic Instinct parody a few years later with AJ Style, Samoa Joe and Eric Young.
What made these short parodies great was how incredibly accurate and stunning the costumes and sets were. It must have cost a lot of money to recreate the designs and hire the hundreds of extras used.
We’ll see a few more movie parodies over the coming year. Let’s hope so, because it’s one of the comedic tropes that WWE seems to have got it right!