This is the biggest week of the year for wrestling fans as Vince McMahon’s titan of a company, WWE hosts its 33rd annual supershow, WrestleMania from Orlando, Florida. While I know Geeks of Doom doesn’t always cover wrestling; (I’d quit my job and write full time if it did), one cannot deny the crossover appeal of pro wrestling, pop culture, and geek-based entertainment.
This is an industry that has spawned its own film company, and created some of the biggest stars in the world. Look no further than the highest grossing star in Hollywood right now, Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock. The Rock headlined wrestling’s Super Bowl 5 times and featured in some of the events greatest matches. Last year in Dallas, Texas at Cowboys Stadium, they set an indoor attendance record with 100,000 packed in, and wouldn’t you know who showed up with a flamethrower to commemorate the event… it was The Rock.
It was always a bit strange that no one had made a movie about the fascinating and sometimes heartbreaking life of wrestling legend and The Princess Bride star Andre the Giant.
In May of last year, we found out that this might change with word that a movie was finally being developed. The biggest challenge with that project, of course, is finding someone to actually play the giant.
Now comes word of another Andre project that’s on the way and doesn’t have to worry about casting someone to play the larger than life figure. It’s been announced that the WWE, HBO Sports, and Bill Simmons are teaming up to make a documentary simply titled Andre the Giant.
After months of taunting, sending threatening tweets, and dueling over social media, the time has finally arrived. Stephen Amell, the star of The CW’s hit show Arrow, got in a WWE ring tonight for a match with his arch rival Stardust, as part of a tag team match on WWE’s mid-summer spectacular, SummerSlam. This all started when Amell, a known wrestling geek who regularly exchanges WWE title belts in his fantasy football league, attended an episode of Monday Night Raw back in May. When Stardust (Cody Rhodes, son of the late-great Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes) got in his face, the feud was on. The two have been battling over social media ever since, and Stardust has been making cryptic comments on WWE programming about needing a “hero”. A few weeks ago, Amell had a front row seat again on Raw. After high flying wrestler Neville defeated King Wade Barrett, Stardust attacked, and got in the face of Amell, who charged the ring for a brawl, and later issued the challenge. Tonight… was the match!
Check out the coverage and the tweets (including video) below.
Stephen Amell is no stranger to fighting supervillains. For three seasons on The CW hit show Arrow, Amell has dealt with nefarious foes like Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett), and Ra’s Al Ghul (Matt Nable). But he ain’t never met anyone like WWE superstar Stardust, aka Cody Rhodes. After months of warring on Twitter, Amell showed up as a guest star on Monday Night Raw in Seattle, Washington, to confront the painted face wrestler. By 10:30pm, Amell was in the ring having security pull him off Stardust, and soon the match was made for WWE’s mid-year blockbuster event, Summerslam; this year emanating from Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center.
Watch the confrontation video (around minute 1), and Amell get his match in the videos below.
If someone penned a biography of me, it would be called “Pro Wrestling and Horror Movies.” Okay, maybe it would have a more clever title, but you get the idea. Someone who linked those two geek subgenres was “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. I was 5 years old when I watched Piper defeated Adrian Adonis at Wrestlemania III in what was billed as his last match. So a year later, when I saw Piper was the star of a movie, I needed to see it. The film was John Carpenter‘s They Live, a sci-fi action thriller that to a young kid, was about ugly aliens and CURSING! As I’ve gotten older, They Live has grown into an outright cult classic, with themes much deeper than my 6-year old brain could understand. And with the unfortunate and untimely passing of Roddy Piper on Friday, at the age of 61 from cardiac arrest, it assures They Live will live on forever, for both pro-wrestling and horror movie fans.
Rather than write a review of a near 20-year old film, let me simply point out some of the reasons They Live earned its cult status: