Years before wrestlers like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, John Cena, and Dave Bautista achieved mainstream success in the entertainment world, two of the biggest rebels WWE has ever seen were also two of WWE’s original breakout stars.
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Jesse "The Body" Ventura are more than WWE Hall of Famers and wrestling legends with movie credits to their names. The two superstars were also the stars of a failed television pilot in 1991. Entitled "Tagteam", the show cast Piper and Ventura in the roles of "Tricky" Rick McDonald and Billy "The Body" Youngblood, respectively. The two superstars mimicked their real-life profession, playing successful wrestlers who are forced to purposely lose at the demand of their promoter’s wife; when they refuse, they are banned from wrestling. The two would go on to try a series of odd jobs before settling on the idea of becoming police officers after stopping a grocery store robbery.
Wrestling Legends to Mainstream Stars
"Tagteam" wouldn’t have been Roddy Piper’s nor Jesse Ventura’s only forays into acting. Piper starred in movies such as the comedy "Body Slam" as well as the thriller titled "Hell Comes To Frogtown." He went on to earn the most notable role of his career, portraying the character Nada in the John Carpenter classic "They Live" in 1988. Already known as a professional wrestling star, that film made a whole new audience aware of "The Hot Rod."
Similarly, Ventura found success in landing the part of Blain in the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick "Predator." This opened up roles for Ventura in "The Running Man" — also with Schwarzenegger — and "No Holds Barred," which famously starred Hulk Hogan. Ventura eventually moved away from the entertainment industry, as he shifted his focus to politics, choosing to run for the governorship in Minnesota and being elected to the office in 1999.
Fortunately the two legends careers’ ended up as diverse as their show pilot characters’ job choices, since "Tagteam" was never picked up as a full series.