The Rock Has Been Dethroned As A Hollywood Favorite?

Dave Bautista is allegedly more popular than Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as a WWE star who transitioned to acting.

By Jessica Scott | Published

dwayne johnson the rock

Move over Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, there’s a new wrestler-turned-actor in town. According to a recent interview with The Atlantic, Glass Onion: Knives Out star Dave Bautista may be poised to take The Rock’s crown as the most popular WWE star to cross over into the movie business. When the interviewer called Bautista the greatest wrestler-turned-actor in the business, Rian Johnson, writer of Glass Onion, replied “I absolutely 100 percent agree.”

The Rock was very popular in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) with his bravado and his charm and his cool catchphrases like “Do you smell what The Rock is cookin’?”. His signature eyebrow raise is still mimicked by people all over the world, too, so it is no surprise that he made the crossover from the wrestling business to the film industry.

For decades, The Rock has been starring in movies like The Mummy Returns, Race to Witch Mountain, the Fast and Furious series, and the Jumanji remake, almost all of which were big commercial hits. He even lent his voice (even his arguably tone-deaf singing voice) to Disney’s Moana in 2016.

dave bautista

Most recently, he starred as the titular Black Adam in the film DC was hoping would bring Warner Bros. back into the limelight, but even The Rock’s toned muscles and dramatic acting skills couldn’t make the film a hit at the box office. New DC Studios CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran were quick to cast the film aside (along with lots of other projects and characters, like Henry Cavill’s Superman, who made an appearance in the Black Adam post-credits scene), leaving some to wonder if this might be the beginning of the end for The Rock’s tenure as the number one wrestler/actor in the business.

Dave Bautista would certainly be happy to take The Rock’s place as he becomes more of a household name himself. After being a breakout star in the WWE, Bautista got into acting as well, starring in the popular Guardians of the Galaxy film in 2014. This led to his earning other roles in MCU films before branching out into other buzzy films like Dune, Army of the Dead, and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

In the words of Rian Johnson, the thing that makes Bautista so appealing is that he is both vulnerable and tough. “This is someone who has the physical trappings of someone who would play it big, but he actually brings sensitivity to the role,” he said. Bautista might just have more acting chops than The Rock.

This is the same sort of thing that The Rock brings to the table, although he may be a bit better known for his comedic timing. The Rock has been in more hit movies than Bautista, but it appears that Bautista is also a force to be reckoned with. The movies he stars in are almost always big, popular hits and his career is just getting started.

So, where does this leave The Rock? Is he destined to fade out of the spotlight as Bautista takes over? Or is there room for two wrestler-turned-actors at the top? Only time – and reviews and audience opinions – will tell us who will get to keep the championship belt.