James Gunn has successfully taken two of pro wrestling’s biggest superstars and turned them into bona fide Hollywood actors. Dave Bautista delighted audiences as ‘Drax the Destroyer’ in Gunn’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ John Cena had a breakout role as ‘Peacemaker’ in ‘The Suicide Squad’ and its subsequent spinoff. Neither had anything to do with their time in WWE.

A fan recently asked James Gunn on Twitter whether he was a fan of professional wrestling. It seemed too on the nose to have discovered these two great talents without having seen them before. Gunn pointed out that it was merely a coincidence.

“It’s a coincidence. Dave got the gig because of auditioning and screen-testing against hundreds of other actors. John got the gig because I thought he was hilarious in Trainwreck.”

James Gunn might not be a fan of wrestling, but he has a great eye for talent. Between Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad, John Cena and Dave Bautista have brought in nearly a billion dollars in box office ticket sales. That doesn’t even account for how many HBO Max subscriptions were sold by the positive buzz over ‘Peacemaker.’


John Cena’s portrayal of the DC Comics character made him a viable leading man. The spinoff series has received rave reviews. Bautista has gone on to several high-profile roles since first appearing as Drax.

Whether Gunn ever watched a second of WWE content isn’t material to the discussion. Had it not been for their success in the company, Bautista wouldn’t have had in-roads to Hollywood and Cena would’ve never been cast in Trainwreck. Fortunately, things worked out, and James Gunn was able to spot both stars’ immense potential.

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Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a news contributor for Ringside News and Thirsty for News. Michael has an M.A. in Communication Technology from Point Park University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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