Batista and WWE's 5 Most Successful Crossover Superstars

Aaron BowerFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2014

Batista and WWE's 5 Most Successful Crossover Superstars

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    Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

    Batista is currently in the midst of a pretty disastrous return to the WWE, with both the company and the man himself handling things all wrong on his return to the arena that made him famous.

    He is off shooting movies again later this year, and will no doubt be taking a leave of absence from the company after winning the Royal Rumble and headlining WrestleMania XXX.

    Batista isn't the only guy who could be considered a crossover star—he's not the only one to appear in movies away from the squared circle. In fact, there are plenty of men who have huge credits to their name away from the ring.

    Let's take a look at the five most successful crossover stars in WWE history. 

Steve Austin

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    Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

    We start with the man who is without doubt the most iconic wrestler of the Attitude Era, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.

    Although Austin's crossover career is relatively timid compared to some of the guys at the top of this list, it is still prevalent enough to be referenced.

    Austin has been in several movies since officially retiring back in 2004, including films such as The Condemned and The Expendables.

    Away from movies, he has hosted a fair few television shows, too. He was the host of Tough Enough when the WWE brought it back in 2011, and he has also hosted the reality competition Redneck Island.

Roddy Piper

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Believe it or not, Roddy Piper is one of the biggest crossover stars in WWE history, having appeared in a whole host of movies. In fact, he's more active in the film industry than anyone on this list.

    Piper took starring roles in his first couple of films—low-budget pictures that went on to become absolute cult classics.

    The biggest of those has to be Hell Comes to Frogtown, which was released in 1987. The storyline is so bizarre it simply needs to be seen to be believed, but the fact it spawned three straight-to-video sequels suggests it wasn't all that bad.

    His most recent role was the lead in the brilliantly named Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies. If that isn't a movie worth checking out, I don't know what is. 

John Cena

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    Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

    Love him or hate him, there is no denying that John Cena is one of the WWE's biggest crossover stars.

    It all began back in 2005.

    Cena released a rap album called You Can't See Me, which charted at No. 15 on the U.S. Billboard 200, which is a pretty impressive feat.

    Since then, he has moved into acting alongside professional wrestling, starring in movies produced by WWE Studios.

    He has appeared in films such as The Marine, which has since spawned multiple spin-offs featuring different WWE superstars, and 12 Rounds.

    John Cena's popularity amongst WWE fans made it inevitable that he would be a crossover star eventually. Quite how successful he goes on to be in that respect is well and truly up for debate. 

Chris Jericho

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    Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

    Whilst most guys on this list are simply wrestlers who became movie stars, it is safe to say Chris Jericho has plenty more strings to his bow.

    His most iconic role outside of professional wrestling is, of course, being the lead singer of rock band Fozzy. He has been in that role since 1999, and he still tours with the group to this day, hence his sporadic breaks from the WWE.

    He has also hosted game shows on U.S. TV. He even appeared on reality TV for a brief period, taking part in Dancing with the Stars in 2011, where he lasted until the sixth week of the competition.

    Rock star, actor, game show host and reality TV star. Chris Jericho is a guy who has done it all in an entertainment sense, and hopefully he is back in the WWE before too long to remind everyone just how brilliant a wrestler he is, too. 

The Rock

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    Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

    There can be little doubt that The Rock heads up this particular list, having starred in a whole host of movies since leaving the WWE for the first time a decade ago.

    Arguably one of the most iconic men of the Attitude Era in the WWE, The Rock went on to star in a variety of films in differing genres.

    Since starting out with the lead role in The Scorpion King back in 2002, he has gone on to appear in films such as Tooth Fairy, The Game Plan and Fast & Furious 6.

    He returned to the company for a brief period in the last couple of years, even becoming the WWE champion at one point, wrestling it away from CM Punk after a magnificent reign.

    After starring in more movies, The Rock will surely be back in the near future to flex his muscles in a WWE ring before too long. He is without doubt the company's biggest ever crossover star.