Let's face it—we all know the WWE is scripted. Its employees are athletes and actors. But while some excel at the wrestling, individuals such as The Big Show succeed at playing their written roles.
Wrestling is fake.
But we as a society slip into fantasy to escape the troubles and stress of reality. The better the show can aid us in the escape, the easier it is for the line between fantasy and reality to be blurred.
At that point, it's entertaining for all of us.
So who has the best acting chops? Who among the locker room makes us forget we're watching characters and tricks us into thinking the entertainers are real-life heroes, goons and monsters?
That would be these six members of the WWE.
A couple of guys just miss the list. These men play a character decently, but don't hit the spot as well as the six on the actual list.
Alberto Del Rio
While talking wrestling in the press box of a baseball game, a fellow media member remarked that he had Del Rio in studio and that surprisingly he was one of the nicest guys he'd ever met. Del Rio went out of his way to do whatever the producers and reporters asked of him.
That's quite the switch from the Mexican Aristocrat who talks down to "peasants." Still, not many would stop him from trying out a new angle, which means he's not all that believable. That or he's just not likable.
If CM Punk's character does not reflect his actual persona at all, then he's a fabulous actor. But living the straight-edge lifestyle in real life and on television blurs the line. If he is completely different from his on-air personality, he's done a great job of fooling this writer.
Can he sell his pants off? Absolutely. Outside of acting hurt better than anyone else, his gimmick isn't the most believable. Does anyone really think he's the best at everything and can steal anyone's woman? Please say no.
While it's doubtful people actually believe Slater is a one-man rock band, it's easy to be suckered into following his brainless antics than to consider him to actually be delusional.
It's obvious the Miz has acting chops—he went from The Real World to the WWE. But being one of the few to go from reality television to wrestling (not to mention to dating Maryse) would make anyone's confidence explode.
So how real or fake is it? No one but those close to him can be sure. Entertainment-wise though, it hardly seems like acting.
See the argument for CM Punk above. Heyman's real character doesn't seem too far off from his fake persona on television. He possesses a "take no prisoners" business mindset and aligns himself with people who will make both parties successful.
I'm sure he's a lot nicer and a lot less conniving in person, but he's an "agent" type on- and off-screen.
Raw general manager AJ Lee is crazy—or is she?
If you just started watching wrestling in 2012, you would have found a sweet and innocent young girl who followed Daniel Bryan around everywhere he went.
She played the naive card so well, enduring weeks of emotional and verbal abuse at the hands of Bryan.
Then she snapped.
Whether it's the shy, quiet girl or the crazed, edgy woman, AJ is a master at the art of acting.
Furthermore, as shown on weekly programming, AJ has the ability to snap in and out of a variety of emotions, ranging from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs, with such ease.
It's almost crazy how well she does it.
Why does the Big Show switch from babyface to heel and back again so often? Because he's good at it.
When he's a good guy, he's the lovable giant everyone wants to see do well. He's a big softy who is quick to tears—a cuddly teddy bear who makes women and children want to issue hugs.
We—well, most of us—feel for the guy.
He's been fired, his father's casket has been stolen and he's been verbally abused for years by so many different Superstars that it's hard to keep track. Yet he is strong.
Then he turns.
Big Show becomes an unstoppable monster. He bullies the weak and small. He spits viciously as he talks. And because of his size, we believe he's a monster—and monsters need to be destroyed.
So we root for his collapse.
Until of course, he melts our hearts again, that big softy.
Don't you hate when someone corrects your grammar in front of a group of peers? It's unnerving.
Well, lucky for WWE Superstars and fans, Damien Sandow has arrived to save us all. With his help, we should all be speaking properly and acting accordingly in no time.
Sandow is the worst kind of heel.
He's utilizing the "I'm better than you in every way, and I'm going to remind you of your inferiority every time I see you" shtick. But while he's the "worst," we love him for it.
We in the WWE Universe are simple beings. We don't like to be told how to speak or how to act, but most of all, we don't like being told we're unintelligent.
Sandow is the perfect man to hate.
Here's the thing: Sandow likely does not speak any better than the average WWE fan. But the character he plays would lead us to believe he must be of high intelligence and an owner of impressive collegiate degrees.
Nope. He's just a wrestler.
The beauty of Daniel Bryan is that nothing he does is really out of the ordinary.
He doesn't act like an unstoppable beast. He doesn't want us to believe he just loves to dance. He's not a low-rider bicycle enthusiast, the leader of a band, a Harvard-taught lawyer or an older man with an invisible friend.
Nope, he's just a guy.
But that guy has recently taken the WWE Universe by storm with his act. It's an act of confusion and anger. Feelings many have in real life.
But his is simply funnier.
Bryan has the ability to go over the edge with non-stop kicks while shouting NO! Then he gives the look of utter terror, sometimes referred to as a "goat face."
In yet another shot, he's engaging fans in yelling matches without breaking character.
It's amazing to watch.
He could pull it together and dominate an opponent, or he can snap and lose control. You can never be sure what he'll do next, and that is exactly why you must keep an eye on him at all times.
Eve could truly be the sweetest, most caring person on Earth when she isn't on camera, but you'd never know it, based on her onscreen portrayal.
On camera, she's the most conniving woman alive.
She'll walk down the ramp, clutching her "hard-earned" Divas Championship belt, while flashing the most beautifully dazzling smile you've ever seen. Then she'll offer her opponent a hand out of respect.
This of course is followed by vicious and relentless kicks.
Eve will do whatever it takes to win a match, even if it's cheap and dirty. And afterwards, she'll turn the charm right back on with an apologetic look of concern for her downed opponent.
So which is it? Caring, or evil?
The great thing about an actor is, it can be both. The brilliant ones pull off both at the same time.
Wait, you mean Kane isn't an actual monster and the Devil's favorite demon?
Twice a week (Monday and Friday), the man behind the character effectively makes us forget he's an English Literature major (he probably speaks better than Damien Sandow) and the former Isaac Yankem, D.D.S.
Sometimes he even makes people forget he's bald.
In fact, for the last 15 years, he's led many to believe he's not even human. Kane takes no prisoners, preys on the weak and destroys all in his path.
And no one ever questions it.
Somehow through the silly mask, the clearly painted face and wigged head, as well as the deep, grunting voice and displays of "magical" fire, Kane has thrived as a legitimate monster.