Every WWE Studios Movie Ranked

2022 marks the 20th anniversary of the launch of WWE's filmmaking operations, which began as WWF Films before becoming WWE Films and then WWE Studios.

For the past two decades, the company has turned out a diverse quantity of films covering multiple genres, ranging from action/adventure thrillers to rom-coms to science-fiction and horror to animation -– and there was even a country-western musical in the mix.

Ranking the WWE Studios' output is tricky, because since the diversity of output is so extreme. Some of the productions were in a global theatrical release while some had a very limited U.S. theatrical release and others were either straight-to-video or, more recently, designed for a streaming audience. Thus, measuring solely on financial returns is impossible as data on the profits from the non-theatrical releases is not publicly available.

Thus, this ranking of WWE Studios' films will be based on audience and critical reaction as measured on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb, along with reviews that accompanied the film's release; several films were so under-the-radar that they did not generate any critics scoring on Rotten Tomatoes. For the films that played theatrically, their box office returns will weigh into their placement.

Also, this ranking focuses solely on films that were produced by WWE Studios –- the company picked up the distribution rights to a handful of films made by other companies including "Road to Paloma" and "Birth of the Dragon." But those works were created by other parties without any WWE input and, thus, they will not be considered for this list.

Thus, starting at the bottom and working our way to the top, here is our ranking of WWE Studio's film canon.

55. Leprechaun: Origins (2014)

Casting the WWE wrestlers in specific roles should not be a challenge, particularly if the role calls for a muscular tough guy. But within the WWE talent roster, the 4'5" Hornswoggle would not seem like the logical choice to play a two-fisted action hero.

For his turn in the WWE Studios spotlight, Hornswoggle was recruited to star in a new installment of the "Leprechaun" horror film franchise. In "Leprechaun: Origins," the wrestler –- billed as Dylan "Hornswoggle" Postl -– is the mini-monster who is on a homicidal rampage in the Irish countryside, terrorizing four young American visitors. This leprechaun belies the stereotype of Irish hospitality –- one character is fatally impaled while another has his spine ripped out –- and the film's ambiguous ending suggests further cinematic mayhem.

"Leprechaun: Origins" represented the bottom of WWE Studios' cinematic barrel: it holds a 0% critics rating and an 11% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 3.2/10 score on IMDb. Critics complained that the film jettisoned the off-kilter personality of the earlier films in the franchise in favor of a predictable horror film -– Bloody-Disgusting.com's Brad Miska dismissed it as "the worst kind of horror movie –- one that's so generic and mundane that it's nearly impossible to not turn off."

"Leprechaun: Origins" was Hornswoggle's only film for WWE Studios, although he was a frequent presence on WWE's web series "The JBL and Cole Show" during its 2013-2015 run. He was let go from WWE in 2016 and has since made occasional appearances in other promotions.

54. Pure Country: Pure Heart (2017)

Despite its title, this film was not a sequel to "Pure Country" or "Pure Country 2: The Gift," although it offered a mix of melodrama and country music. "Pure Country: Pure Heart" followed two young sisters in rural Tennessee who try to discover the truth about their long-deceased father, discovering that he had careers in the military and in the music industry. The sisters, who dream of becoming country singers, travel to Nashville and get to perform one of their father's songs on stage with Willie Nelson.

Nelson was prominently featured in the "Pure Country: Pure Heart" poster, although he is only on screen for less than four minutes at the film's conclusion. WWE's Shawn Michaels has a small role as a Nashville music manager (complete with cowboy hat) who encounters the sisters during their odyssey in the country music capital. He helps them unravel the mystery of their father's life while pointing them in the direction of their own music careers.  

"Pure Country: Pure Heart" is so obscure that it is the only WWE Studios production that has no score whatsoever on Rotten Tomatoes; it has a 6.3/10 score on IMDb. To date, this remains the only WWE Studios film that could be considered a musical –- the score features 16 original tunes. But Michaels did not participate on the soundtrack, commenting in an interview with "The Rack" that "I can't sing and I find that such a beautiful thing and when people can do that."

53. Armed Response (2017)

"Armed Response" was the first production from Erebus Pictures, a genre specialty label formed by KISS co-founder Gene Simmons and WWE Studios. Simmons co-produced the film with Wesley Snipes, who starred as the leader of a team of trained operatives that become imprisoned in a military compound where strange phenomena have taken control of the surroundings.

Seth Rollins was the WWE addition to the cast, which included Anne Heche, David Annable, and Simmons in a bit part. Rollins had made his film debut one year before with a guest spot in "Sharknado: The 4th Awakens," and he was among the WWE wrestlers who voiced their animated facsimiles in "The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-WrestleMania!", but this was his only on-screen appearance in a WWE Studios film.

"Armed Response" received a hostile response from viewers: it holds a 0% critics rating and a 17% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 3.7/10 score on IMDb. Alec Prigden used his Mondo Bizarro review to call this offering a "strange mess" while adding "if you ever wanted to see Seth Rollins fight Anne Heche, your strange wish was granted in 2017." And Bulletproof Action's Chad Cruise dismissed Rollins' input in this straight-to-video flick by complaining how "the writing for his character made him seem like a real dick and I was just waiting for the moment when he would die from his first second on screen. 

Rollins stated he enjoyed making the film, observing how staging "fight scenes in movies is a lot different than in WWE, but it was still relatively easy. One of the things that's very interesting to me is that the fight choreography, on these movies -– someone like Anne who hasn't done that many movie fights in her life, it might take her a bit more time to memorize the steps of a fight. But she was into it."

52. The Reunion (2011)

The final collaboration in the six-film 2010-2011 deal between WWE Studios and Samuel Goldwyn Pictures was also the final WWE film starring John Cena in an on-screen leading role. In this production, Cena played a tough police officer on suspension who comes into a $3 million inheritance from his father. But there is a big string attached to this fortune –- he has to form a business with two of his half-brothers and participate in the rescue a kidnapped business tycoon in Mexico. One of the half-brothers is a bail bondsman who holds a longtime grudge against Cena's character and the other is an ex-con whose existence was previously untold.

"The Reunion" generated an 8% critics' score and a 32% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 5.1/10 score on IMDb. This was the only WWE Studios film that Samuel Goldwyn Pictures sent straight to video.

The relatively few reviews of the film gave Cena mixed notices. Richard Cross of 20/20 Reviews felt that "Cena is no real movie star, but he has a certain presence and a likeability that carries him through." Freddie Young of Full Moon Reviews opined, "If you've watched him in WWE, you know the guy has charisma and personality. I kind of wish more of that was in display here, but he's not terrible."

51. Queens of the Ring (2013)

An anomaly within the WWE Studios output is "Queens of the Ring" –- or to be more precise, "Les reines du ring." Not only is this French production the only foreign language film made by the company, but it is also the rare film where the action is entirely focused on women's wrestling.

Marilou Berry stars as Rose, a single mother who was recently released from prison and lands a job at a supermarket. Her 10-year-old son is in foster care, but when she visits him she realizes he is more interested in professional wrestling than bonding with her. In an effort to connect with her son, she decides to become a wrestler and convinces two of her co-workers to join her in the ring. Despite the skepticism of her son and the apprehension from her colleagues when they discover the reason for her imprisonment, Rose perseveres and becomes the sensation of the French wrestling world.

WWE brought in three of its stars -– CM Punk, The Miz and Eve Torres -– to make guest appearances as themselves, and the company teamed with several prominent French production entities including Canal+ and M6 Films to create this film on a $12.4 million budget. But the film flopped during its French theatrical release –- it only grossed slightly over $1 million –- and it was never imported for U.S. theatrical release. An English dubbed version of the film has been available for sale on U.S. DVD.

The film has no critics' score on Rotten Tomatoes, where it carries a 40% audience rating; the IMDb score for the film is 5.6/10.

50. Killing Hasselhoff (2017)

"Killing Hasselhoff" might be best recalled today not because of who appeared in the film but because of who did not. Hulk Hogan had a supporting role in what would have been his WWE Studios debut, but his scenes were removed following a scandal when he was caught on tape making scurrilous racist remarks.

The film is a dark comedy starring Ken Jeong as a down-on-his-luck nightclub owner who needs to repay loan sharks in a hurry. To make his cash quickly, he decides to kill off his choice in a celebrity death pool. But terminating the Hoff proves more disastrous than Jeong expected.

"Killing Hasselhoff" falls into the mini-genre of comedies where off-beat stars play self-parodies of themselves, most notably Spike Jonze's "Being John Malkovich" and Michael Mongillo's "Being Michael Madsen." Hasselhoff happily plays a caricature of himself, although for much of the screening he seems like a clueless Road Runner to Jeong's bungling Wile E. Coyote.

The film packs its running time with a number of guest appearances including ex-Spice Girl Mel B, Howie Mandel, Master and Jon Lovitz. Iron Sheik represents the WWE in a blink-and-you-miss-it uncredited appearance and Justin Bieber's voice is used for K.I.T.T. in a jokey reference to Hasselhoff's "Knight Rider" series.

"Killing Hasselhoff" has an 18% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and the film scored a 4.5/10 on IMDb. Flick Direct's Alison Rose noted that some of Hogan's footage was included in the deleted scenes special feature on the film's DVD release, referring to an "interesting exchange" involving the wrestler, Hasselhoff, and Mel B.

But critic Phil Wheat dismissed this straight-to-video offering as a "major misfire for WWE Studios (in fact it's a huge step back towards the early days of the companies DTV output) ... like Hogan's now-sullied career, 'Killing Hasselhoff' should be resigned to the realms of gimmicks that need to be forgotten."

49. Vendetta (2015)

"Vendetta" was the first film in the "Action Six-Pack" series planned by WWE Studios and Lionsgate, but only three films were completed by the companies. The plot of this film involved Dean Cain playing a detective whose pregnant wife is murdered, and although the killer is sent to prison, Cain has himself arrested and sent to the same prison to get his revenge on the killer. However, his plan runs into more than a few roadblocks.

Jen and Sylvia Soska directed "Vendetta" and cast WWE's Big Show as the killer sought by Cain's character. This was Big Show's first acting gig since the 2010 comedy "Knucklehead." 

"Vendetta" earned a 35% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and 4.7/10 on IMDb. Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter referred to "Vendetta" as "the sort of B-movie violent actioner that makes you feel your testosterone level rising as you watch it." Eric Penumbra, whose Prison Movies website specializes in this genre, found the production "really tiresome" and questioned the absence of logic in the storyline "from placing sworn enemies together to putting a cop smack bang in the middle of the prison general population."

But Jeffrey Kauffman on Blu-Ray.com championed Big Show, stating he "actually manages to make his attitude as dangerous seeming as his pure bulk, and he seems poised to be another breakout star from the WWE stable." Alas for Big Show, outside of being the center of attention in an animated film featuring the WWE wrestlers and the Jetsons, as well as "The Big Show Show," he would not emerge as a true movie star.

48. The Condemned 2 (2015)

While the 2007 "The Condemned" was not a commercial success, WWE Studios returned to the property in 2015 with "The Condemned 2" and cast Randy Orton in the leading role.

But the sequel film bore little resemblance to its original namesake. In this film, Orton played a bounty hunter who finds himself as the prey in "The Most Dangerous Game"-inspired competition, where wealth bettors place their money on which contestant will be the last to survive a chase to the death.

Dennis Harvey of Variety panned the film, complaining that it was "generic enough to make the eminently forgettable 2007 original look like an oasis of cinematic personality." Harvey also wisecracked that the film was the "latest effort in the less-than-stellar annals of WWE Studios feature filmmaking" while complaining that while the first film "at least showed off the distinctive looks of the many musclebound WWE stars cast, this sequel makes scant effort to exploit even Orton's imposing 6'5" build."

Freddie Young of Full Moon Reviews was less interested in Orton's muscles being on display, although he lamented that Orton "recites his lines in the same monotone way he recites wrestling promos, which subtracts rather than adds to the performance."

"The Condemned 2" generated a 26% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes (there was no critics' score) and a 4.1/10 rating on IMDb.

47. The Marine 2 (2009)

The 2006 release "The Marine" was not a runaway hit at the box office, but the film found an audience in its DVD and VOD releases and WWE Studios theorized they could spin a franchise around a roguish Marine with a penchant of bending the rules to take down criminals.

John Cena, the star of "The Marine," declined to participate in this straight-to-video title, and Randy Orton –- who was originally considered for the first film -– had to withdraw after injuring his collarbone. Ted DiBiase Jr., who had no previous acting experience and was not considered a major WWE star at the time, was tapped for the leading role.

In this film, DiBiase plays a member of the U.S. Marine Force Recon who is vacationing with his wife at a resort in Thailand that is taken over by terrorists. He escapes, but goes back to rescue his wife and the other hostages.

Critical reaction to DiBiase's acting debut was not complimentary. Mitch Lovell of The Video Vacuum said DiBiase "pretty much acts like a good old boy football player the whole time" and praised Michael Rooker's supporting performance for giving the film its energy. Nick Bartel of DVDTalk.com complained that DiBiase was "one of the most wooden action stars I've seen, even by direct to video standards" and claimed that in comparison "the limited range of Steven Segal becomes greatly appreciated."

IMDb 4.9/10 34% audience score on RT. DiBiase was replaced in "The Marine" franchise by The Miz.

46. Countdown (2016)

"Countdown" is notable as Dolph Ziggler's only starring role in a WWE Studios film and Kane's first on-screen appearance outside of his serial killer role in the "See No Evil" series. In this film, Kane is a police lieutenant who suspends unhinged cop Ziggler but is forced to bring him back after Ziggler is targeted by a terrorist who kidnapped a boy, strapped a bomb to him and demands a $2 million ransom.

Part of the film involves a detour into a WWE live event, where the reigning talent roster -– including Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, Mark Henry, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, Lana, Rusev, Big Show, and Big E -– turn up in quickie cameos.

Full Moon Reviews' Freddie Young praised the stars, noting that "Dolph Ziggler handles himself quite well in his first starring role, doing as much as he can with the material" while noting that Kane has "the best dialogue and seeming to be having fun in a role that doesn't involve him playing a killer with a hook." But Uproxx's Brandon Stroud was ecstatic for one particular scene with "Rusev in full gear holding a gun on Ziggler, and Ziggler countering it with a superkick."

But not everyone shared Young and Stroud's enthusiasm. This straight-to-video title won a 34% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and 4.7/10 on IMDb. This was also the final collaboration between WWE Studios and Lionsgate, although it was not included in their aborted "Action Six-Pack" series.

45. Legendary (2010)

This was the first in a series of films that WWE Studios co-produced with Samuel Goldwyn Pictures, and it represented a shift in the company's focus on action-adventure films. John Cena stars as a wrestler going through a difficult emotional stretch and Devon Graye plays his bullied high school-age brother who looks to him as a father figure. The older sibling teaches his skinny, bespectacled kid brother how to be a wrestler, and the kid finds both his physical and emotional strength through this bonding.

"Legendary" included Patricia Clarkson as the brothers' beleaguered mother and Danny Glover as a wise and friendly neighbor with a penchant for fishing. While there is a brief flurry of violence where Cena gives some nasty characters well-deserved comeuppance -– including a fling through a plate-glass window -– the emphasis is mostly on melodrama.

A kinder and gentler WWE film might not have been what many people expected or wanted. The film has 20% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, along with a 59% audience score; it carries a 6.1/10 score on IMDb. USA Today's Claudia Puig noted the film borrowed too much inspiration from other movies without having a personality of its own.

"Instead of taking its cues from such inspirational sports films as 'Rocky,' 'The Karate Kid' and 'The Blind Side,' 'Legendary' takes liberties with them," she wrote. "Look closely and you'll see versions of 'Kid's' secret karate move, 'Rocky's' indomitable spirit and 'Side's' plucky, knowing heroine. It's too much for the film, which becomes a goulash of sports clichés."

The WWE Studios-Samuel Goldwyn Pictures collaborations had extremely limited theatrical releases –- the film played in only a handful of U.S. theaters and never made it into overseas cinemas. "Legendary" was made on a $5 million budget and BoxOfficeMojo.com reported that it grossed $200,393 in its brief time on the big screen.

44. Santa's Little Helper (2015)

This straight-to-video yuletide comedy stars The Miz as a corporate hatchet man who machinations backfire, resulting in the loss of his job and his home. He is recruited for the unlikeliest of jobs: as the right-hand assistant to Santa Claus. But he needs to go through a rigorous training and fend off a jealous elf who covets the eponymous job.

While one might imagine the diminutive Hornswaggle would have been perfectly cast as a North Pole elf, this film imagines Santa's workforce consisting of shapely women including WWE's Paige (now AEW's Saraya) in her film debut as a villainous elf. Maryse, The Miz's wife, is in the film for a brief appearance in a biker bar scene.

The Miz earned praise from James Plath of Family Home Theater, who said the wrestler "turns out to be as good of an actor as the most famous wrestler-turned-actor, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. This guy has a future in comedy and displays way more expression and range than body-builder-turned-actor Arnold Schwarzenegger." And Karl Smart on The Outer Haven felt "his attitude going from ruthless corporate shark to open hearted human being progresses so naturally that you can't help but enjoy his character." However, Billy Burgess of Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer was more excited about Paige, claiming she "steals every scene she is in."

But audiences were less enchanted with "Santa's Little Helper" -– it has a 24% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 4.8/10 rating on IMDb.

43. Barricade (2012)

Notable as the first WWE Studios production that did not have one of its wrestlers in the cast, "Barricade" was the creation of Michaelbrent Collings, a black belt martial artist who became an attorney and later transitioned into writing horror stories. It is not clear why the studio opted to cast the film without any of its wrestlers.

This Canadian production stars Eric McCormack (of "Will and Grace" fame) as a psychologist who takes his two children for a Christmas visit to a cabin in the mountains, which had been a longstanding desire of his wife. But his wife is not with them on the trip -– the reasons for her absence are slowly permeated during the story -– and when a blizzard traps the family in the cabin, they develop flu-like symptoms and are plagued by strange sounds and visions from outside the cabin and within their dwelling. The question arises: Is there a genuine terror, or is this the creation of the father's fecund mind?

The straight-to-video "Barricade" didn't find favor with critics. John Townsend of HorrorNews.net felt that what "begins as an enjoyable and at times scary film slowly descends into confusion and an amalgamation of too many ideas." And Dread Central's Foywonder groused that it "isn't so much a movie as it is a series of often poorly lit scenes almost always culminating in a fake jump scare operating under the mistaken belief that it's a mind-bending chiller in the tradition of 'The Twilight Zone' and 'The Shining.'"

"Barricade" generated a 4.4/10 score on IMDb and a 14% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.  

42. See No Evil 2 (2014)

While the original "See No Evil" was only a mild favorite with audiences, WWE Studios believed that a series could be generated from the property. Filmmakers Jen and Sylvia Soska were brought in to direct this straight-to-video sequel, with the goal of making Kane's character of the homicidal Jacob Goodnight into a recurring horror figure similar to Jason from the "Friday the 13th" franchise, or Michael Myers from the "Halloween" films.

This film picks up where its predecessor left off, with the victims of Jacob Goodnight's bloody rampage at the Blackwell Hotel being delivered to a hospital morgue. Jacob's body is among the recently deceased -– except that he isn't dead. Indeed, he is very much alive -– and his murderous instincts go into full-throttle when the young and good-looking morgue workers decided to have a birthday party at their workplace. Jacob chases and picks off his new victims in a grisly manner.

"See No Evil 2" earned a 60% critics' score on Rotten Tomatoes (albeit from only five reviews), but the critics were mostly mixed. Ryan Larson of ComingSoon.net complained that "the movie ends up feeling like something we have all seen already. This isn't always a bad thing but it ultimately ends up falling short of its actual potential." And Brad Miska of Bloody Disgusting said the work was "not a bad movie per se, and is surprisingly fun through the first hour. But once Jacob Goodnight begins stalking the halls everything slows to a crawl."

Audiences were less enthusiastic, giving it a 31% score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 4.7/10 score on IMDb.

41. Bending the Rules (2012)

Edge made his starring film debut in this buddy flick where he played a roguish New Orleans police detective facing corruption charges. But this law enforcement figure is such a badass that he goes about his duties in a Hawaiian-style shirt and shorts while sporting a long mane of hair that gives the impression of a surfer dude rather than a cop. Despite evidence that confirms his shady approach to justice, the straight-arrow district attorney (Jamie Kennedy) prosecuting him fails to secure a conviction, and the two wind up working as unlikely teammates when the DA's stolen 1956 Studebaker Goldenhawk is a clue to a large crime operation.

"Bending the Rules" populated its cast with several respected character actors including Jessica Walter, Jennifer Esposito, Alicia Witt, and Phillip Baker Hall. But the film did not make a good impression -– it holds a 30% audience score and a 4.8/10 on IMDb. This film had a brief theatrical release, but it did not secure Edge as a film star, though he would enjoy a successful career as a television actor

Critic Paul Arrand Rogers, reviewing the film on Fear of a Ghost Planet, pinpointed what might have gone wrong in this production's concept. "Edge suffers the misfortune of being thrust into a role made popular and defined by guys like Mel Gibson and Eddie Murphy," Rogers wrote. "Were 'Bending the Rules' allowed to push WWE Films' strict PG boundaries, were it able to identify what made movies like 'Beverly Hills Cop' and 'Lethal Weapon' successful, it's not much of a stretch to see Edge working as a surrogate for those previously successful characters."

40. Behind the Lines: Colombia (2018)

This film is notable for several reasons: It was the first production under the WWE Studios banner, the first from the company that detoured from a theatrical release and went straight to home video, the first to take over a franchise that had no previous WWE connection, and the first where a WWE wrestler was not top billed. The latter achievement involved Mr. Kennedy, who was second-billed to Joe Manganiello.

The "Behind the Lines" franchise began in 2001 with a theatrical film that starred Owen Wilson as a U.S. Naval flight officer shot down in war-torn Bosnia and Gene Hackman as his commanding officer trying to coordinate a rescue. A 2006 follow-up, "Behind the Lines II: Axis of Evil," had a similar story but moved the location to North Korea.

"Behind the Lines: Colombia" puts its five Navy SEAL protagonists into the middle of the Colombian civil war, where they are blamed for the murders of the negotiators of a peace summit; two SEALs are killed in the fracas and a third is taken hostage. Without support from their government, the two remaining SEALs need to find the bad guys, rescue their comrades and clear their names.

"Behind Enemy Lines" has a 24% audience score and no critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, while it carries a 4.8/10 rating on IMDb. David Cornelius, reviewing the film for DVD Talk, called this "a franchise nobody really wanted" but added that "as big, dumb shoot-'em-ups go, 'Colombia' makes for a surprisingly fun time."

The franchise continued with "SEAL Team 8: Behind Enemy Lines" (2014), but without WWE input.

39. Jingle All the Way 2 (2014)

WWE Studios teamed with 20th Century Fox on this straight-to-video sequel to the 1996 Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy "Jingle All the Way." In this go-round, Larry the Cable Guy stars as the hapless father trying to locate an elusive toy as a Christmas gift -– in this case, a talking bear. But in this film, the father is a truck driver competing for his daughter's affections with the husband of his ex-wife, a wealthy businessman played by Brian Stepenek who is also after the talking bear toy.

The WWE connection here is Santino Marella, in a supporting role as Larry the Cable Guy's best friend. Most critics didn't dwell on his presence, but Earl Rufus' review for the online Nerds on the Rocks highlighted him. "The strangest part of the movie for me was Santino Marella," Rufus wrote. "Not because he did anything wrong–he actually isn't even in this movie a ton–but was just weird hearing him speak with an American accent after so many years of his exaggerated "Wrestlers accent" and never quite got used to it."

"Jingle All the Way 2" has a 31% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and it carries a 3.8/10 score on IMDb.

Marella was joined by Larry the Cable Guy to promote "Jingle All the Way 2" on the November 24, 2014, edition of "Raw." By this time, injuries had forced him out of the ring, although he made occasional appearances on WWE broadcasts before being let go by the promotion in 2016.

38. The Main Event (2020)

WWE Studios' first film created for a Netflix release is about an 11-year-old named Leo who aspires to become WWE wrestler. When he is pursued by bullying classmates after school, he hides inside a house holding an estate sale is and finds a wrestling mask. When Leo wears the mask, he takes on the persona of a champion wrestler. Indeed, his masked persona become so overpowering that he auditions for a place in WWE's NXT.

WWE packed this film with its talent roster, including Keith Lee, Commander Azeez, Renee Young (now in AEW as Renee Paquette), Matt Polinsky, Kofi Kingston, Sheamus, The Miz, Otis, and Mia Yim.

"The Main Event" holds a 30% critics' score and a 25% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, making it among the few WWE Studios films where the critics were kinder to the production than moviegoers; it holds a 4.8/10 score on IMDb.

Courtney Howard of Variety opined "The Main Event" was the type of film that "represents all the tenets of the corporation's brand and suitably cloaks them in a celebratory, family-friendly guise." Howard was receptive to the WWE vibe, noting that the casting of The Miz as the NXT tournament host was "an inspired casting choice, nodding to his own humble origins of jump-starting his wrestling career on the 10th season of MTV's 'The Real World' while adding the film included "a loving, genuinely touching tribute to Rowdy Roddy Piper."

However, RogerEbert.com's Nick Allen complained the film represented "a considerable step back" from WWE Studios' "Fighting With My Family" from the previous year, adding that he felt it was a "bland, wearying movie that should be a lot more fun, and authentic."

37. No One Lives (2012)

WWE Studios' horror film gave wrestler Brodus Clay (now Tyrus) a minor role as a thug who is part of a criminal gang.

"No One Lives" finds Luke Evans as a sociopath who is on a cross-country road trip with his lover. The couple cross paths with a violent gang who kidnap and terrorize them, but Evans is even more violent and dispatches the miscreants on a man-by-man basis.

Japanese filmmaker Ryuhei Kitamura was recruited to direct this film, which had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival -– the first WWE Films title to be screened at the prestigious festival. Anchor Bay Films picked up the rights to the film but only gave it a 53-venue theatrical release in May 2013, where it brought in less than $75,000.

For those who saw the film, "No One Lives" scored a 48% critics approval and a 42% audience approval on Rotten Tomatoes (this is one of the few WWE titles preferred more by critics) while the IMDb score is currently 5.9/10.

36. Interrogation (2016)

This thriller, which was part of the "Action Six-Pack" series co-produced with Lionsgate, was the rare WWE Studios title where a male and female wrestler were paired as equals, rather than having the woman in a smaller supporting role.

Adam "Edge" Copeland and C.J. "Lana" Perry as an FBI interrogator and IT specialist, respectively, in a race-against-the-clock story to prevent an anti-American radical bomber from carrying out his destructive mission of blowing up an unnamed U.S. city. (The film was shot in Vancouver, with a few cutaway glimpses of the gambling mecca.) What is different about this film is the bomber (played by Patrick Sabongui from "The Flash" TV series) is apprehended early in the story an engages in mind games with his captors to determine the location of his explosives.

According to PWInsider.com, WWE Studios acquired the script for "Interrogation" in 2002, although 14 years passed before it found its way before an audience. But this straight-to-video title made little impact with critics, and the few reviewers who paid attention gave Edge backhanded compliments. German critic T. Wolters stated the wrestler-turned-actor "masters more facial expressions than a Steven Seagal" while the pseudonymous Chris the Brain of BulletProofBrain.com stated he was "better than one of the greatest action stars in history, Mr. Sylvester Stallone. But allow me to clarify that bold statement. Copeland cannot touch Stallone in terms of being a blockbuster action star." This critic was more negative about Lana, speculating she was cast by WWE based on "who they could part with for a few weeks while the movie was being shot."

The film has an IMDb score of 4.9/10 and a 34% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

35. Surf's Up 2: WaveMania (2017)

None of the WWE Studios films was ever nominated for an Academy Award, and the closest the studio ever came to the celebrated honor was in its teaming with Sony Pictures Animation on a straight-to-video sequel of the Oscar-nominated 2007 animated film "Surf's Up."

In this film, the WWE talent took on the zoomorphic versions of themselves in the characters of the surfing-obsessed marine life, with Vince McMahon as an otter, John Cena, Paul "Triple H" Levesque and The Undertaker as penguins -– albeit excessively muscular penguins -– Paige as a puffin and Michael Cole as a seagull.

Director Henry Yu told Animation Scoop that the project came about because WWE was "always interested in expanding their brand and bringing in a new generation of audiences. They actually came to us looking for a project that would fit their brand. And they saw 'Surf's Up,' and they thought, 'You know what? It's got a really fun vibe. It's really light-hearted. It's got a lot of goofy, cartoony fun.' It's about surfing –- it's about sports. So we thought it was a natural fit."

But not everyone agreed with Yu's assessment. The film has a 38% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 4.5/10 on IMDb. Critic Jeremy Germishuys felt the "story barely exists, the lessons are pushed way to hard, and the dialogue feels like those acts that occur between wrestling bouts, where everyone has a bunch of forced, pre-scripted dialogue to sprout while strutting about." And critic Rachel Wagner lamented that the "stunt casting does nothing for the story except for to provide a couple of inside jokes that I did not understand."

34. Knucklehead (2010)

The second film co-produced by WWE Studios and Samuel Goldwyn Pictures, "Knucklehead" is also the company's first attempt at creating a comedy film. Big Show made his starring debut as Walter, a good-natured by dimwitted 35-year-old named Walter who still lives in the orphanage where he was raised as a child.

Through convoluted circumstances, the oversized Walter is recruited and trained to become an MMA fighter, and he uses his newfound skills to raise money to repair the orphanage kitchen that he accidentally burned down. "Knucklehead" focused on low-brow comedy that relied on flatulence for laughs, and at one point Walter wrestles a bear -– and no real bears were injured, as the ursine competitor was clearly a man in a shabby costume.

"Knucklehead" was not widely embraced –- on Rotten Tomatoes, it carries a 10% critics' score and a 35% audience score, while the IMDb gives it a 5.1/10. Village Voice's Michelle Orange dismissing it as a "schmaltzy family comedy that won't pass the smell test for kids, parents, or even stoner second cousins." Slant Magazine's Nick Scharger gave the film's oversized star a backhanded compliment in noting that he "may be ever-so-slightly more expressive than fellow WWE combatant-turned-thespian John Cena, but his gentle-giant routine still makes Walter seem like a mentally handicapped boofus, albeit not one who's remotely amusing or engaging."

The budget for "Knucklehead" was not publicly disclosed, but BoxOfficeMojo.com reported the film grossed less than $8,000 in release from its extremely limited theatrical release.

33. Buddy Games (2020)

The eponymous competition in this comedy film involves a bonding exercise with a group of friends engaged in a series of extravagant and extreme activities, but one year the fun and games get out of hand when one member of the group is shot in the groin and winds up losing his testicles, which puts him in a downward psychological spiral. Five years later, the games are revived, but old animosities among the players scald whatever fun was being planned for the event.

The film marked the directing debut of Josh Duhamel, who starred alongside Dax Shepard, Olivia Munn, James Roday, and Kevin Dillon. Sheamus is WWE's addition to the cast. The Irish-born wrestler previously did a voice performance in the animated "The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-WrestleMania!" before taking a small role in this film under his real name, Stephen Farrelly.

"Buddy Games" revealed another split between critics and audiences: on Rotten Tomatoes, it generated a 16% critics' score and a 67% audience score; it holds a 4.8/10 score. Among the unhappy critics, Simon Abrams of RogerEbert.com summed up the disappointment by condemning the film as "a tortured, dim, and unbearably neurotic comedy about five self-styled alpha males who think that their lives would be so much better if they could just comfortably waste their own money on the titular competition — a 'Jackass'-style gauntlet of gross-out competitive stunts—and never have to worry about whether or not they're nice guys."

32. Inside Out (2011)

After making a handful of uncharacteristic comedies and melodramas in collaboration with Samuel Goldwyn Pictures, WWE Studios returned to the action/adventure genre with this crime thriller that gave Paul "Triple H" Levesque another shot at a starring role.

In this film, Levesque is a newly released convict who finds his return to liberty disrupted by former associates who seek to lasso him back into the criminal world while threatening his wife and daughter.

To its credit, "Inside Out" brought in a strong cast including Bruce Dern, Michael Rapaport, and Parker Posey. The film holds a 25% critics' score and a 22% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, which makes this a rare case when a WWE Studios production where critics preferred the production more than moviegoers; the film snagged a 4.5/10 IMDb score.

What went wrong? Slant Magazine's Chuck Bowen complained "should be wild and violent, playing on the soap-operatic mood swings that drive televised wrestling; instead it's one or two murders away from being a Lifetime movie of the week." And Levesque was no help, as the New York Times' Daniel M. Gold remarked, "Shooting for stoic, Mr. Levesque only delivers inert."

Samuel Goldwyn Pictures handled the distribution of "Inside Out" but did not release its box office earnings, which may have been very limited since the company only had the WWE Studios films in a very limited theatrical run before putting them out on DVD and cable television.

31. The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown! (2015)

After mixing the WWE stars with the Scooby-Doo characters in the 1973 "Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania," Warner Bros. Animation and WWE Studios collaborated on this straight-to-video animated feature that matched them with the prehistoric cartoon icons The Flintstones.

"The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown!" found Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble organizing and participating in a wrestling event with such Stone Age athletes as CM Punkrock, John Cenastone and Marble Henry. They also encounter a seafood seller named Mr. McMagma who takes an interest in wrestling promotions.

John Cena, Mark Henry, CM Punk, and Vince McMahon voiced the aforementioned characters, and other WWE talent providing voice performances were Brie Bella, Nikki Bella, Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio, and The Undertaker as Himself

"The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown!" ran into a unique production problem -– CM Punk had left WWE while the film was being made and it was too expensive to redo the animation in order to remove his character. As a result, he became the first and only wrestler not on the WWE roster to appear in one of the WWE Studios releases. He also earned praise from Mondo Bizarro's Alec Pridgen as the "stand-out ... who just goes all-in on playing a bad guy."

IndieWire's Greg Ehbar praised the film by stating how it "so meticulously recaptures the salad days of Hanna-Barbera [that it] only makes one yearn for more Flintstones cartoons."

The Flintstones film earned a 69% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes – there is no critics score – and a 5.4/10 on IMDb. The two production companies would collaborate again on another Scooby-Doo/WWE adventure and on another film mixing the wrestlers with The Jetsons.

30. The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-WrestleMania! (2017)

The straight-to-video feature "The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-WrestleMania!" marked the fourth and final collaboration between WWE Studios and Warner Bros. Animation. It also featured one of the complex plots for a WWE animated film –- or for any WWE film, for that matter.

After his match against Sheamus is cancelled due to a snowstorm, Big Show gets into an airplane and flies off into the snowy sky, never to be seen again ... until 100 years later when George Jetson discovers the wrestler in a frozen state beneath the ground of a new construction site. Once thawed out, Big Show discovers that WWE exists in the space age future, but with robots as wrestlers. Big Show steals the remote control from Mr. McMoon, the successor to Mr. McMahon, and plans to use it to have the robots take over Orbit City.

The Jetsons time travel back 100 years to a WWE event and manage to bring the wrestlers into the future to fight their robot counterparts. Sheamus joins the time travelers to engage Big Show in the match that was delayed a century earlier due to the snowstorm. In the end, the WWE stars return back to their time while the WWE of the future uses humans instead of robots for their matches.

The wrestlers in this film -– including Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Alicia Fox, Dolph Ziggler, Stardust, and the Usos -– give voice performances as themselves and their robot counterparts.

The film earned a 62% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.6/10 on IMDb. Kevin Lovell of Screen-Connections.com said this production "delivers all of the laughs, fun and silly entertainment of the previous animated films."

29. Escape the Undertaker (2021)

"Escape the Undertaker" marked the first time since the 2004 "Walking Tall" that WWE Studios gave the key roles in one of its films to nonwhite wrestlers. In this case, the tag team New Day -– Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods are in the spotlight –- joined by The Undertaker in a 30-minute interactive film released via Netflix.

"Escape the Undertaker" is a modern-day update of the hoary old haunted house comedies that Laurel and Hardy and The Three Stooges used to churn out. In this case, New Day winds up in The Undertaker's spooky mansion to steal his magical urn, but are confronted with a strange fog permeates the rooms and sinister-looking paintings that hang on the wall. The film concludes with New Day taking on The Undertaker in an unlikely three-against-one bout.

"Escape the Undertaker" has a 32% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and on the IMDb, it has a 4.2/10 score.

Cinefied's Dustin Gordon warned viewers unfamiliar with WWE that while "the movie does a good enough job filling you in on who these people are ... it would be to your benefit to be a wrestling fan watching this, because you may be a tad lost otherwise." Gordon also called out the film's B-level production values but noted that "there is enough campiness and fun to be had here."

Ghouls Magazine's Melissa Cox lamented the half-hour running time (the shortest for any WWE Studios film) but praised New Day for "their charisma and genuine friendship ... without them, the whole thing would be far less watchable."

28. The Chaperone (2011)

Paul "Triple H" Levesque made his starring debut in this comedy film, which was part of WWE Studios' pact with Samuel Goldwyn Pictures.

Levesque played Ray, a getaway driver for a criminal gang who opts to go straight in order to be a better father for his daughter and to win back his ex-wife. But Ray has problems finding honest work, so he agrees to help his bank robber comrades –- except that he drops out at the last minute to escort his daughter's class on a field trip. The crooks are furious and make their unhappiness known by crashing the field trip.

"The Chaperone" earned a 29% critics rating and a 43% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 5.0/10 IMDb score. IndieWire's Eric Kohn observed that "the movie seems to be at peace with its mediocrity. As a vehicle for WWE champ Paul 'Triple H' Levesque, it's haplessly stuck on cruise control." However, Rex Reed of the New York Observer was impressed, noting, "With his massive center-ring frame, Mr. Levesque takes up most of the screen's dimensions, but he has an appealing gentle-giant way with kids, and can say a dramatic line with unexpected tenderness ... Mr. Levesque has chosen a role with warmth, range and sensitivity, and even sings a few bars of the Fred Astaire classic 'Pick Yourself Up.'"

BoxOfficeMojo.com reported the $8.2 million film had a theatrical gross of $30,514 from its extremely limited theatrical release.

27. Eliminators (2016)

WWE star Wade Barrett, who previously turned up in a small role within the 2013 all-star WWE Studios' thriller "Dead Man Down," had a chance to shine in a bigger role within this straight-to-video flick.

Barrett plays a hitman who is ordered to kill an American federal agent (Scott Adkins) living in London under the witness protection program with his eight-year-old daughter. This hitman is not only handy with his fists, but also a hyperintelligent computer expert who can hack systems and track down vehicles with his digital smarts. And while the American and his daughter are in no shortage of perilous danger from this assassin, it is inevitable that the digitally savvy hitman should ultimately succumb to the action flick equivalent of a 404 error.

"Eliminators" has a 34% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.5 score on IMDb. Kung Fu Kingdom's Brad Curran praised Barrett, saying "Eliminators" would "most certainly be a lesser film without him." And Blu-Ray.com's Martin Liebman stated that "Barrett acquits himself nicely and, like most of his fellow wrestlers-turned-actors (which they are in the first place), he delivers a solid performance that accentuates the man more than the muscle."

26. Blood Brother (2018)

This crime drama involves four friends who grew up in the poor side of an unnamed city. In their youth, they encountered an attempted armored truck robbery that left the crooks and all but one of the guards dead. The youths steal the money and one of them kills the surviving guard. He later gets arrested and is sent to prison.

Fast-forward 15 years and Jake, the one who went to prison, is released while one of the youths, Sonny, has become a police detective. Jake reunites to old gang to split the stolen money, but Jake's homicidal tendencies.

WWE wrestler R-Truth had a small role in this film. His previous big screen work included cameo appearances in Chris Rock's 2003 movie "Head of State" and the 2008 Mickey Rourke drama "The Wrestler." To date, he has not appeared in another film since "Blood Brother" had its straight-to-video release.

"Blood Brother" had the most significant difference of opinion on the Rotten Tomatoes rating scales: it carries a 17% critics' score but a 64% audience score. On IMDb, it holds a 4.4/10 score.

R-Truth's input was overlooked by the few critics who reviewed "Blood Brother." Mark Dujsik of RogerEbert.com opined, "To be sure, there isn't a single, underdeveloped conflict here that isn't at least partially resolved with an outburst of gunfire. It's a long way from where 'Blood Brother' begins — appearing to have some consideration for its characters and their predicaments. Instead, the movie ultimately lets the guns do the talking."

25. 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown (2015)

This production was the third and final entry in the "12 Rounds" franchise and the second of only three films made by WWE Studios and Lionsgate for their "Action Six-Pack" series (it was never explained by the six-pack stopped with this entry).

Rather than bring back Randy Orton as the leading man, the studio opted to give the starring role to Dean Ambrose, who joined WWE in 2011 after wrestling in the indie leagues as Jon Moxley, a name he would resume using after leaving WWE in 2019. This was  his only starring role in a WWE Studios film.

"12 Rounds 3: Lockdown" differs from the previous two films by having the mayhem anchored in a single site -– in this case, a police headquarters building –- rather than having its hero in a wild chase across a city. Ambrose played a detective who is being hunted by dirty colleagues who realize that he is aware of their miscreant double-dealing.

Chris the Brain of Bullet Proof Action stated that he worked with Ambrose in his pre-WWE days at the Heartland Wrestling Association, and he praised his former co-worker for doing "an admirable job in his rookie movie performance ... it was definitely a departure from the 'Lunatic Fringe' character we have grown accustomed to every week on TV." But Mitch Lovell of The Video Vacuum was not impressed, stating that Ambrose made "Randy Orton look like an actual thespian in comparison."

The film has a 5.1/10 score on IMDb and a 50% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

24. Term Life (2016)

In 2014, Variety reported WWE Studios would be co-producing "one of its biggest film projects to date" with "Term Life," a thriller starring Vince Vaughn under the direction of Peter Billingsley, with Universal Pictures releasing the film in 2015. Hailee Steinfeld, Jon Favreau, Taraji P. Henson, Terrance Howard, and Mike Epps were also in the cast. "'Term Life's dynamic story and stellar cast make for exactly the type of movie that WWE Studios seeks to deliver to audiences everywhere," said WWE Studios president Michael Luisi. Focus World secured the distribution rights after Universal bailed, but the film was not seen until 2016 and only in a brief theatrical run before going to DVD and VOD.

Vaughn starred as a man who buys and sells heists but winds up antagonizing both sides of the law and is fleeing for his life. At the same time, he is trying to build a relationship with his estranged daughter and takes out a life insurance policy with her as the beneficiary – but he realizes too late that the policy will not take effect for three weeks after it is signed, so he needs to stay alive while his enemies are trying to kill him.

"Term Life" was cast without the WWE roster, but one of the actors -– UFC fighter Cain Velasquez, in his film debut as an assassin –- would join the promotion in 2019 for a one-year stint.

The film holds a 5.6/10 IMDb score and a 0% critics' score (from seven reviews) and 32% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes

23. Incarnate (2016)

After several years of having films in minimal or no theatrical release, WWE Studios secured a more robust distribution for this horror film that was co-produced with Blumhouse Productions.

The film offers an updated riff on "The Exorcist," with a boy being possessed by a female demon. A doctor (played by Aaron Eckhart) who can enter his patients' dreams when they are close to dying is recruited by a sexy female employee the Vatican to exorcise the demonic presence from the child. Needless to say, the demon does not welcome the eviction effort.

While WWE Studios routinely inserted wrestlers into the cast of their films, this film offered the smallest imaginable roles to one of its talent: Mark Henry had the blink-and-you-miss-it bit part and is billed in the credits as "Bouncer #2." Whether this role was given to Henry as a reward, a punishment or an afterthought is not known, but one couldn't argue that Henry was miscast -– the massive wrestler fit the part and overshadowed actor Tim Sitarz's Bouncer #1.

"Incarnate" generated a 17% critics' score and a 24% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.2/10 score on IMDb. Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter opined that "Incarnate" was the "sort of cheesy horror film in which demonic possession is signaled by little more than the actors suddenly sporting black contact lenses," adding that the film "won't be possessing theater screens for very long."

"Incarnate" opened in 1,737 U.S. theaters, and the $5 million film ended its theatrical run with slightly more than $9 million in ticket sales.

22. Christmas Bounty (2013)

"Christmas Bounty" was produced by WWE Studios as part of the "25 Days of Christmas" block for ABC Family.

The film stars Francia Raisa as Tory, a teacher at an exclusive Manhattan school. Tory has a secret that no one knows about, including her investment banker fiancé: Before teaching, she was a successful bounty hunter based out of New Jersey. When a criminal she captured reappears to threaten her again, she calls on a former boyfriend -– also a bounty hunter -– to apprehend him, all while trying to keep her fiancé from figuring out the strange happenings surrounding her.

The film scored a 50% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, where it did not have a critics score; it also has a 4.4/10 score on IMDb.

The Miz –- billed as Mike "The Miz" Mizanin –- plays the ex-boyfriend bounty hunter who goes by the nickname "Mikey Muscles." The wrestler generated positive feedback from the relatively few critics who reviewed the film – Den of Geek's Gavin Jasper said he was "pretty entertaining" and Film Intuition's Jen Johans comment that "his range in the film moves impressively beyond the physical, going past his boy-next-door looks and ability to lay down some serious smack to serve up a good-humored, charmingly relaxed turn that even manages to convey genuine romantic longing." However, the Film Critics United review slammed the film for bringing a higher-than-normal violence and vulgarity factor to a Christmas season flick, noting that "it has a body count that rivals an Expendables movie."

21. 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded (2013)

WWE Studios felt they had the potential for a franchise with "12 Rounds," which was a mild theatrical hit in 2009 with John Cena in the lead. Cena was considered for the 2013 straight-to-video "12 Rounds 2: Reloaded" while Chris Jericho and CM Punk were also mentioned for the starring role. Instead, the part went to Randy Orton, who was originally considered for the starring role in the 2006 "The Marine" that established Cena as a film actor.

In this sequel, Orton he played a paramedic who finds himself in another version of the deadly game that bedeviled Cena's FBI agent in the first film. As the story progresses, Orton's antagonist offers more dangerous and outrageous catastrophes, including the kidnapping of the state's governor.

Orton was coming off a well-received screen debut in a small but pivotal role within WWE Studios' 2011 "That's What I Am," playing the homophobic father of a school bully, and critic Tyler Foster of DVD Talk felt his first starring role was a letdown, "Lord knows why the WWE keeps writing screenplays that stick their big, bold, to-the-back-row-of-the-arena performers into completely uninteresting, generic leading man parts." David Johnson of DVD Verdict also wanted more from Orton, writing, "The guy is wasted trying to emote; give him some skulls to crack." But Keith B. Holt in Ring Time Pro Wrestling felt "Orton did a solid acting job in his first feature role" while David Cantu of Cinema Deviant felt "Orton has plenty of potential but I think still needs more experience in the leading man department ... he has everything else it takes to be an action star."

The film generated a 5.3/10 score on IMDb and a 46% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and the film generated enough audience interest that a third film was added to the franchise, albeit with Dean Ambrose replacing Orton in the leading role.

20. The Condemned (2007)

This was the company's last film when was called WWE Films and it bore more than a passing resemblance to a pair of brilliantly grisly classics: the Japanese thriller "Battle Royale" with its story of a fight-to-the-death competition on a desert island that is broadcast to a global betting audience, and "The Most Dangerous Game" with its tale of human prey being pursued through an island's jungle.

Steve Austin received star billing while Nathan Jones, an Australian wrestler who had a brief stint with WWE, co-starred. The story involved 10 convicts who are brought to an island where they have time bombs locked on their ankles. The bombs are set to detonate after 30 hours, and the convicts are forced to fight each other to the death. If there is a surviving winner before the 30-hour mark, that person's bomb is to detonated and they will be set free with a cash reward.

The catch in the story is that Austin's character was a Delta Force operative who was captured in a secret mission and allowed himself to be imprisoned under a false identity rather than to blow his cover -– and this creates a subplot where an attempt is made by his military comrades to extract him from the deadly game before it runs its course.

Critics were unkind to the film, with the New York Times' Jeannette Catsoulis commenting that Austin "displays the acting ability of a tranquilized tree stump" while Alt Film Guide's Franck Tabouring stating this was "undoubtedly the worst of the WWE movies thus far released." If the critics were unimpressed, moviegoers who saw the film liked it: "The Condemned" received a 15% critics' score on Rotten Tomatoes versus a 58% audience score, along with a 6.0/10 IMDb score. However, not enough moviegoers saw it to ensure a box office hit. Made for $20 million, "The Condemned" had a worldwide gross of $8.6 million.

19. The Marine 3: Homefront (2013)

This film was the first of a three-picture deal between WWE Studios and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, with the latter handling the DVD and VOD distribution. WWE Studios opted not to bring back Ted DiBiase Jr. as the leading man and considered Bob Holly, Randy Orton, CM Punk and Cody Rhodes before giving the starring role to The Miz, billed as Mike "The Miz" Mizanin. 

In this film, The Miz plays Jake Carter, a Marine visiting his sisters in his small hometown in Washington state. As luck would have it, his sisters witness a murder by a domestic terrorist and get kidnapped. When the FBI is unable to rescue his sisters in a timely manner, Carter takes matters into his own hands.

Unlike DiBiase's stiff performance in the previous film, The Miz's ability to work the camera — a skill that he picked up during his pre-wrestling period as a reality television performer on "The Real World: New York," "The Real World/ Road Rules Challenge," "Fear Factor" and "Battle of the Network Reality TV Stars" — scored him favorable remarks from the critics who caught the film. Mitch Lovell of The Video Vacuum said the wrestler was "surprisingly not bad. He's actually pretty good in the early family-oriented scenes." David Cantu of Cinema Deviant added, "What he does, he does very well. He has a menacing calmness about him that works just right." However, most critics singled out Neil McDonough's villain as the strongest performance here.

The film received a 34% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 4.8% score on IMDb, and the studio was encouraged by audience reaction to bring The Miz back for another go-round in this franchise. 

18. The Marine 4: Moving Target (2014)

The Miz reprises his Jake Carter role from "The Marine 3: Homefront," but this time he is retired from the military and is working for a global security firm. The focus of the film involves a group of South African mercenaries who kidnap a female IT engineer from a defense company who has turned whistleblower. Carter, not surprisingly, puts his Marines training into use to singlehandedly rescue her from her murderous captors.

This straight-to-video title was marketed with The Miz and Summer Rae as co-stars, although the latter has a small supporting part. As with his previous outing in the franchise, The Miz scored favorable comments for his acting. Martin Liebman of Blu-Ray.com observed that "The Miz proves himself to be a capable actor and well suited to this part in particular," although he also complained that Summer Rae was "barely in the movie as more than a background piece and may not say more than 20 words the entire time." David Cantu of Cinema Deviant also lamented Summer Rae's fleeting appearance but praised The Miz for having done a "pretty good job so far with these films." 

"The Marine 4: Moving Target" gained a 5.1/10 score on IMDb and a 33% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. The Miz enjoyed making this film, telling the Miami Herald that he was actively involved with the script's creation in order to "evolve Jake Carter from 'Marine 3' to 'Marine 4.' So I've been really dedicating myself to that. I'm a busy man."

17. The Marine 5: Battleground (2016)

Most WWE Studios films would cast one or two wrestlers in a production, but "The Marine 5: Battleground" is unique by having six: The Miz reprising the title role, joined by his wife Maryse, Naomi, Curtis Axel, Heath Slater, and Bo Dallas. 

In this straight-to-video go-round, The Miz's Jake Carter is now a paramedic who gets a call with his female partner to tend to a gunshot victim at a parking garage at a carnival fairground. However, a biker gang seeking to terminate the gunshot victim arrives, forcing Carter to revert to his Marines training to keep his patient alive against an endless onslaught of homicidal bikers.

The other wrestlers in the film with The Miz play the bikers out for revenge, but not everyone believed their casting was a good idea: David Cantu of Cinema Deviant, one of the few critics who kept up with the entire franchise, complained that "all of the superstars caused a distraction to the story and made it feel cheesier than what it already was which was a bit of a bummer. The other thing that I didn't like was that Maryse was advertised as being in the film and she's even on the cover but the time that she's on screen is probably around 5 minutes or so."

But Phil Wheat of Nerdly enjoyed one of the supporting cast: "Bo Dallas in particular gets to shine, with a character that – honestly – he should probably bring to WWE programming," he wrote. "His sheer badass, take no prisoners, attitude and biker look would give him a brand new edge (and is a damn sight better than his former clean-cut 'Bolieve' gimmick)."

The film received a 5.0/10 on IMDb and a 47% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. 

16. The Marine 6: Close Quarters (2018)

WWE Studios' final entry in "The Marine" franchise is a curious work at several levels, most notably to a plot twist that cannot be revealed without creating a major spoiler.

In this film, there are two Marines: The Miz returns as Jake Carter and Shawn Michaels joins him as his fellow veteran Luke Trapper. The two visit an abandoned factory that has become the residence for homeless people, including one of their friends. But unknown to them, it is also where a group of thugs led by Maddy (WWE's Becky Lynch) is holding the daughter of a juror who is part of the trial of powerful figure that will stop at nothing to stay out of prison.

Critic Martin Liebman of Blu-Ray.com observed that this production was focused more on Michaels' character rather than The Miz's, as if a transition was underway to give the franchise to Michaels. "It's his character who is the impetus for the trip to the warehouse, it's his character who is given the more complex back story (albeit one tied to The Miz's), and it's his character who is in the middle of the movie's funniest moment when, after a nasty chest wound has been painfully cauterized, he is given a shirt that identifies him as "grandma" to wear, which he does for the remainder of the movie," Liebman wrote.

"The Marine 6: Close Quarters" 4.9/10 and a 59% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Director James Nunn expressed hope of continuing the franchise with a female lead, but no further "Marine" films have been made thus far.

15. Rumble (2020)

This animated feature based on Rob Harrell's graphic novel exists in a world where monsters compete in a sports entertainment called "monster wrestling." Each city in this world has its own monster wrestling champion, but the City of Stoker faces an existential crisis when its champion Tentacular leave for another city, the pressure is placed on a bumbling monster named Steve and his human trainer Winnie to fill the void.

WWE brought in Roman Reigns and Becky Lynch to voice the roles of the horned simian monster Ramarilla Jackson and the reptilian Axehammer, respectively. Will Arnett, Terry Crews, Tony Danza, and Tony Shalhoub are among the others providing voice performances in this film. Paramount Animation and Reel FX Animation Studios brought this production to computer-generated life.

"Rumble" generated a 44% critics score and a 48% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, along with a 5.9/10 score on IMDb. Critic Josh Batchelder felt the film "is perfectly serviceable for a kid, yet leaves much to be desired as an adult," while Film Frenzy's Brad Runson felt "the overall project will likely only appease children and the stray WWE fan."

"Rumble" was planned for a July 2020 theatrical release, but that was cancelled when the Covid-19 pandemic forced the closure of theaters. Paramount, which had the distribution rights, pushed the theatrical release to January 2021 and then to May 2021 before announcing a big screen premiere on February 18, 2022. However, a theatrical release was ultimately dropped and the film premiered on the Paramount+ streaming service in December 2021.

14. 12 Rounds (2009)

"12 Rounds" was the second starring vehicle for John Cena, who played an FBI agent that finds himself in an extravagant revenge game plotted by arms dealer who escaped from prison. In each round of the game, the FBI agent needs to locate and prevent excessive acts of destruction –- with the promise of rescuing his fiancé, who was kidnapped by the arms dealer.

Cena did not wow the critics with this offering. DVD Talk's Brian Orndorf was particularly unkind to the star, writing, "After two movies, I still don't spot a single reason John Cena should be a movie star." The A.V. Club's Nathan Rabin went further by stating, "WWE superstar John Cena has a freakishly square head, the 'roided-out physique of the Incredible Hulk, a stiff monotone, and exactly one mode as an actor, a furrowed-brow look of grim concentration. So it's no surprise that his film vehicles, 2006's 'The Marine' and now '12 Rounds,' compensate for his negligible acting talent and dearth of charisma by putting him in the middle of brain-clouding orgies of over-the-top spectacle."

"12 Rounds" received a 31% score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and a 45% score from moviegoers, while the IMDb score was 5.6/10. The film was made on a $6.7 million budget and brought in $17.3 million in worldwide ticket sales. But as with several other WWE films that underwhelmed at the box office, it found more popularity on DVD and cable television, and two straight-to-video features with Randy Orton and Dean Ambrose inheriting the leading role.  

13. Walking Tall (2004)

The third and final WWE-produced film starring Johnson (still being billed as The Rock), this production was a semi-remake of the 1973 cult classic "Walking Tall" based on the life of Buford Pusser, an ex-professional wrestler who used his fists and a 2x4-carrying sheriff to clean up a corrupt Tennessee county.

Johnson played an Army veteran who returns from active duty to his hometown in Washington state, where he finds a similar level of corruption that Pusser found in Tennessee. And although this version updates the level of criminality to include crystal meth distribution, the 2x4 used by Pusser in the 1970s is employed by Johnson in his version of stamping out corruption.

"Walking Tall" generated a 26% critics rating and a 59% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and it holds 6.2/10 rating on IMDb. Roger Ebert, who supported Johnson's acting efforts despite having doubts about his films, wrote, "His acting style is flat and uninflected, authoritative without pushing it; he's a little like John Wayne that way." The New York Times' Dave Kehr also separated Johnson from his surroundings, writing, "'Walking Tall' has no more fat on it than the Rock himself, a hulking yet curiously ingratiating presence who seems the most likely candidate to replace Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as America's favorite living comic book character."

"Walking Tall" cost $47 million to make and grossed $57 million worldwide. While not a major commercial hit, the film managed to generate a pair of direct-to-video sequels with former TV Hercules Kevin Sorbo inheriting Johnson's role; WWE had no role in the follow-up films.

12. Dead Man Down (2013)

One of the most prestigious films in the WWE Studios canon (where it was a co-producing entity) is this crime thriller by Danish director Niels Arden Oplev, the filmmaker behind "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." The film's cast included Colin Farrell, Isabelle Huppert, Terrence Howard, F. Murray Abraham, Armand Assante, and Noomi Rapace, the star of "Dragon Tattoo."

Farrell played the right-hand man of a crime boss and is tasked with the assassination of the head of a rival crime faction. But he becomes involved with a neighbor (Rapace) who had been badly scarred in auto accident by a drunk driver. This neighbor is aware of Farrell's criminal history and blackmails him into killing the drunk driver who left her disfigured.

"Dead Man Down" scored a 41% critics' score and a 47% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, along with a 6.4/10 rating on IMDb. The film was made on a $30 million budget and garnered a worldwide gross of $18 million -– its U.S. theatrical release was limited, and most Americans came to know about it via DVD and cable television.

WWE's Wade Barrett had a small role in the film as a bodyguard, although it was easy to overlook him when considering the star power assembled for this production. Barrett's performance in the film was not mentioned by critics, but WWE was willing to give Barrett a second chance to make an impact with the starring role in the 2016 "Eliminators."

11. The Marine (2006)

This film was originally planned for "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, who told /Film that he didn't like the script. Randy Orton was announced for the role but was removed following complaints from several former Marines that the wrestler should not be cast because he received a dishonorable discharge from the Marines. John Cena was offered the role, and to explain his absence from WWE during the film's production a storyline was created that he was stabbed by one of Carlito's bodyguards and was away to recover from his alleged injuries.

Cena's character is a former Marine who was discharged for disobeying a command in an al-Qaeda takedown –- he doesn't wait for back-up and singlehandedly obliterates the bad guys while rescuing kidnapped comrades. He has a difficult time adjusting to civilian life. He takes his work as a security guard too seriously and is fired for using excessive force. He winds up crossing paths with a gang of diamond thieves who kidnaps his wife, but he is able to track down the miscreants to their hideout in a swamp and eliminates them one by one.

"The Marine" earned a 17% critics' score and a 60% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and it has a 4.7%/10 rating on IMDb. The New York Times' Nathan Lee acknowledged Cena's screen debut as a "role that demands extensive knowledge of bodybuilding and melees but little else" while The A.V. Club's Nathan Rabin dismissed him as "charisma-impaired" and a "granite-faced, quivering mass of muscles."

Made on a $15 million budget, the film grossed $22 million worldwide. However, the film found more audiences via DVD and cable television, which helped to spawn the company's only successful franchise with five sequels – albeit all straight-to-video titles. Cena, who later admitted being unhappy with his performance, stayed away from the sequels and was replaced by Ted DiBiase Jr. and later by The Miz.

10. See No Evil (2006)

The 2006 "See No Evil" was the first WWE Films title that was a unique production to the company and not a co-production with other entities. This was also the company's first attempt to make a film without Dwayne Johnson, with Kane taking on the title role.

Kane starred as Jacob Goodnight, a serial killer with a penchant for using a meat hook to terminate his victims. Most of the film's action takes place at an abandoned hotel where a group of teenage delinquents were recruited to convert it into a homeless shelter. But the teens are unaware that Jacob has other plans for them.

"See No Evil" generated a 9% critics' score and a 50% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and it holds a 5.0/10 IMDb rating. San Francisco Chronicle critic Peter Hartlaub noted that Kane had exactly three words of dialogue in this "low-brow horror film," but he admitted that "'WWE SmackDown!' writer Dan Madigan handles the script, and it's clear he can do more than write bad lines about smelling what the Rock is cooking." But Film Threat's Felix Vasquez Jr. opined, "It's embarrassing to think that this will actually gain a fan base, and that wrestling fans will show up in droves." And The A.V. Club's Nathan Rabin stated the film's "queasy juxtaposition of sex and violence is constant, and the acting, directing, and production values all fall somewhere between porn and direct-to-video schlock."

Made on an $8 million budget, "See No Evil" grossed $18 million at the worldwide box office. Eight years passed before a sequel, "See No Evil 2," continued the story of Jacob Goodnight's reign of terror

9. The Rundown (2003)

The second film made by the company, "The Rundown" was made film in collaboration with Universal Pictures, Columbia Pictures, and Strike Entertainment. Dwayne Johnson returned in the starring role, billed again as The Rock.

"The Rundown" finds Johnson as Beck, a bounty hunter who wants to start a new career as a chef. For his last assignment in his current line of work, he is sent to Brazil to locate and return Travis (Seann William Scott) the son of a loan shark. Beck locates Travis in the Brazilian jungle, where the youth has been a treasure hunter and discovered a rare gold artifact. Travis' lack of interest in being brought back home leads to multiple misadventures with violent rebels, mischievous wildlife and a bartender (Rosario Dawson) who has a secret identity.

"Rundown" also featured Oscar-winner Christopher Walken as the owner of Brazilian mining operation and a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo appearance by an unbilled Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"The Rundown" generated a 69% critics rating and a 63% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 6.6/10 IMDb rating. Although the film fizzled at the box office, grossing $81 million worldwide against its $85 million budget, Andrew O'Hehir's review in Salon speculated that Johnson had a future in action films. "If he isn't exactly Laurence Olivier on the thespian front — many of his line readings are captured in extreme close-up, which suggests that he's more comfortable playing to the camera than to other human beings — that's never been a requirement in this genre," O'Hehir wrote.

Attempts by director Peter Berg for a sequel with Johnson and Scott were made over the years, but to date nothing came of those efforts.

8. Scooby-Doo! And WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon (2016)

This was the second of two straight-to-video animated features films made by WWE Studios in conjunction with Warner Bros. Animation teaming the wrestlers with the Scooby-Doo series characters.

"Scooby-Doo! And WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon" finds the Mystery Inc. team running a food truck while observing WWE's latest endeavor, the Muscle Moto X Off Road Challenge. But this auto race for wrestlers is being disrupted by a demon racer known as Inferno. Not surprisingly, the WWE bunch rely on Scooby, Shaggy, and their pals to figure out who is creating all of the trouble on the race track.

Having the WWE wrestlers in a massive auto race was a change of pace, to be certain, and (spoiler alert) the film has fun with the usual story lines by having Triple H and Stephanie McMahon arrested and taken to jail for the destructive mischief they cause the other racers.

Vince McMahon, The Undertaker, Sheamus, Stardust, Goldust, The Miz, Paige, Lana, and El Torito are among the WWE talent playing themselves. This was the only time Stephanie McMahon ever turned up in a WWE Studios film, and it was also the only appearance by Dusty Rhodes in the studio's output –- sadly, he passed away one month before the film went into release.

The film has a 57% Rotten Tomatoes score and a 6.0/10 IMDb score. Luke Bonanno of DVDizzy.com found "Scooby-Doo! And WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon" to be "an odd movie, one which exists primarily to advance these two very distant brands with seemingly little overlap to their target audiences."

7. That's What I Am (2011)

One of the least characteristic productions from the WWE Studios was this gentle coming-of-age drama about a middle school student who learns multiple lessons of tolerance. Chase Ellison stars as Andy, who is paired with the school's pariah for a project by their teacher, Mr. Simon (Ed Harris). The story has two subplots concerning bullying -– one involves the former boyfriend of Andy's new girlfriend and the other involves a nasty student who spreads a false rumor that Mr. Simon is gay.

This film marked the first time that a WWE superstar was not cast in a leading role. In this case, Randy Orton showed up in a small supporting role as the virulently homophobic father of the student who slanders the teacher. While his screen time in "That's What I Am" was relatively fleeting, Orton received a flurry of positive notices from film critics, with The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney praising the wrestler for a "decent acting debut," Variety's Lael Lowenstein calling him "pitch perfect," and Blu-Ray.com's Jeffrey Kauffmann praising his "nicely detailed performance." Kauffmann also praised the production company by declaring how "WWE, that bastion of machismo and muscularity, has gone and made an actual tender hearted film that comes out swinging in support of tolerance."

"That's Why I Am" scored a 60% critics' score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 68% audience score, while on IMDb it holds a 7.0/10 rating.

"That's What I Am" was part of WWE Studios' collaboration with Samuel Goldwyn Pictures, where the film had a brief and limited theatrical release before showing up on DVD and cable television. The film only played in 10 U.S. theaters and grossed roughly $6,400 over three days.

6. The Resurrection of Gavin Stone (2017)

In July 2015, Variety reported that WWE Studios was partnering on the faith-based comedy "The Resurrection of Gavin Stone" with Harvest Bible Chapel's Vertical Church Films. WWE Studios President Michael Luisi, in announcing the acquisition, "It is a privilege to be working with the Harvest Bible Chapel and Vertical Church Films, as they share our understanding of the importance of a strong foundation for storytelling. 'The Resurrection of Gavin Stone' is a heartwarming tale of faith and redemption that will allow us to continue growing our audience as we expand into new genres."

The film follows a former child actor (played by Brett Dalton) who gets in trouble with the law and is ordered by the court to perform 200 hours of community service. He takes on work as a janitor in a megachurch that is planning a Passion Play, and he successfully auditions for the role of Jesus ... which he gains by falsely claiming to be a devout Christian. While learning the role, he begins to find a new meaning to his life.

Shawn Michaels, making his film debut, co-stars in a supporting role of a biker-turned-mechanic who plays one of the Disciples in the Passion Play. Although Michaels was prominently featured in the film's poster, he was barely cited in the reviews -– the lone critic who noticed him was Variety's Joe Ledyon, who said Michaels made a "winning impression." 

"The Resurrection of Gavin Stone" received a 54% critics' score and an 84% audience score from Rotten Tomatoes -– the second highest score for a WWE Studios film on that platform; the film earned a 6.2/10 from IMDb.

5. Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery (2013)

In 1973, the Scooby-Doo cartoon series began to incorporate real-life celebrities into their episodes. The series, then titled "The New Scooby-Doo Movies," included the likes of Sonny and Cher, Jonathan Winters, Cass Elliott, Davy Jones and Dick Van Dyke, as well as Batman and Robin, The Addams Family, and Laurel & Hardy (the latter was a bit odd, as the funnymen passed away years earlier).

In 2013, WWE Studios and Warner Brothers Animation revived that formula to include the WWE stars in a Scooby-Doo adventure. The straight-to-video feature "Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery" finds the Mystery Inc. team on their way to WrestleMania when their vehicle goes into a ditch. Fortunately, John Cena comes by to single-handedly lift the van from its predicament.

Scooby and his friends arrive at the right time because the WWE training camp is being terrorized by the Ghost Bear. Not surprisingly, there is a surplus of mayhem – at one point, Scooby and Shaggy are supposed to wrestle Kane – but the mystery is ultimately solved by those "pesky kids."

In addition to Cena and Kane, "Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery" had voice performances by AJ Lee, Santino Marella, The Miz, Brodus Clay, Triple H, Michael Cole, and Vince McMahon.

Critics viewed the films as marketing platforms rather than genuine entertainment -– Brian Costello of Common Sense Media found "WrestleMania Mystery" to be "little more than a giant infomercial for the WWE entertainment sports franchise" Still, audiences were enchanted: "WrestleMania Mystery" has a 69% Rotten Tomatoes audience score and a 6.2/10 IMDb score, and the aforementioned "Scooby-Doo! And WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon" (2016) was a sequel to this title.

4. Oculus (2014)

WWE Studios co-produced this supernatural thriller with Blumhouse Productions, MICA Entertainment, Mist Entertainment. and Intrepid Pictures. None of the WWE wrestlers appeared in the cast and the only reference to the company was an inside joke during an auction scene that referred to an item "recovered from the Levesque estate" –- a riff on Paul "Triple H" Levesque.

"Oculus" was a feature-length adaptation of Mike Flanagan's short film "Oculus: Chapter 3 –- The Man with the Plan." The original short featured one actor in a room with a haunted mirror, but for the feature production Flanagan expanded his vision with parallel stories of a brother and sister whose lives are disrupted by a haunted mirror that induced violent hallucinations during their childhoods and into their early adult lives.

WWE Studios' connection to "Oculus" was mostly ignored by critics, although Screen Rant's Michael Kennedy believed the film worked without the company's modus operandi. "No wrestlers make cameos in the film, and it's in no way a wrestling-related movie," Kennedy wrote. "'Oculus' is actually one of the most acclaimed things WWE Studios has ever been attached to, which suggests they do better with a hands-off approach, letting talented directors like Flanagan realize their vision unimpeded."

The film premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and had a 2014 theatrical release, where it grossed $44 million –- the budget was a low $5 million. The film achieved a 75% critics score and a 53% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes plus 6/5.10 IMDb score.

3. The Call (2013)

"The Call" has the distinction of being among the most commercially successful WWE Studios co-productions. Its theatrical release from Tri-Star Pictures resulted in a $68.6 million box office take from a $13 million budget.

The film stars Abigail Breslin as a teenage girl who is kidnapped by a serial killer and Halle Berry as the 911 operator who takes her call for help –- which is problematic, as the girl is calling from a burner phone and a GPS signal cannot be placed on the site of her call. But rather than wait for the police to locate the girl, the 911 operator takes it upon herself to leave her 911 call center and enact a perilous rescue.

"The Call" generated a 44% critics' score and a 65% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, along with a 6.7/10 score on IMDb. Berry received nominations for Choice Movie Actress in a Drama at the Teen Choice Awards and Best Actress at the BET Awards for her performance.

WWE Studio's talent input for "The Call" was David Otunga, who had a small role as a police officer. Otunga went unnoticed by the critics and, it would seem, also made no impression with WWE Studios –- the company would not use him for future films.

2. The Scorpion King (2002)

The company's first cinematic endeavor (as WWF Films) established Dwayne Johnson (billed as "The Rock" as a top-billed movie star. Johnson had a supporting role in "The Mummy Returns" as Mathayus, the villainous ancient Egyptian warrior whose soul is unleashed into the 1930s, where he morphs into the half-human/half-scorpion creature known as The Scorpion King. "The Mummy Returns" was a box office hit and inspired a spinoff featuring the character Mathayus character, albeit in a persona switch from cinematic heel to big screen babyface.

WWF Films collaborated with Alpha Films and Misha Films on "The Scorpion King," with Vince McMahon taking on a co-producer role and Universal Pictures handling its distribution. The film holds a 41% critics' rating and a 37% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while on the IMDb it holds a 5.5/10 rating.

Among the leading critics, Roger Ebert praised Johnson's presence amid the "goofiness" of the film's action sequences by declaring "I expect him to become a durable action star." But Stephen Holden of The New York Times complained "The Rock may be the first movie action hero made of flesh and blood who appears more digital than human. With his bulging eyes, skinny plucked-looking eyebrows, heavy-metal mane and monotone voice, he suggests a lobotomized Billy Crystal on stilts and steroids."

But moviegoers did not share Holden's scorn and "The Scorpion King" generated $180 million in worldwide ticket sales. Several direct-to-video sequels were spun from this film, with different actors in the Mathayus role; WWE played no role in the sequels.

1. Fighting With My Family (2019)

WWE Studios created films in almost every imaginable genre, although it wasn't until this 2019 film that it turned its cameras on the WWE empire with this drama inspired by the rise of British-born Paige as a WWE star.

"Fighting With My Family" dramatized the 2012 Channel 4 documentary "The Wrestlers: Fighting With My Family" about the Bevis family of professional wrestlers, which includes Paige and her brother Zak Zodiac. Florence Pugh played Paige in a melodramatic retelling of how she ascended from the British wrestling world into the WWE environment.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson returned to the WWE Studios fold after a 15-year absence to play himself in a small role, although his presence was amplified in the film's marketing efforts; he also held executive producer credit on the film. The film has Johnson discovering Paige during a trip to Britain, which is one of many liberties taken with her story, including the invention of a WWE recruiter and coach named "Hutch Morgan" played by Vince Vaughn. Big Show, Sheamus, and The Miz have cameos, along with announcers Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and John Layfield.

"Fighting With My Family" has the strongest Rotten Tomatoes scores of any WWE Studios film: 93% from the critics and 86% from audiences. It also has the highest IMDb score, with a 7.1/10 rating, and it is the company's only film to date that premiered at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. Even the critics who were skeptical of WWE embraced the film –- RogerEbert.com's Nick Allen wrote that "even though 'Fighting with My Family' is undoubtedly about branding the WWE as a fantasy factory, its biggest strengths are its wit and surprisingly big heart, celebrating underdogs who rumble for what they love."

"Fighting With My Family" was produced for $11 million and earned $41.5 million at the global box office.