Update: This editorial has been updated to include The Bloodline’s Goodfellas parody trailer that aired last night on WWE Raw.
When WWE WrestleMania goes Hollywood, expect to see your favorite stars featured in hilarious and sometimes not-so-hilarious parody trailers. The last time the biggest show of the year took place in Los Angeles, WWE WrestleMania 21, fans were treated to John Cena channeling A Few Good Men, Steve Austin getting his Gladiator on, Eddie Guerrero and Booker T going Pulp Fiction, Triple H attempting to deliver a Braveheart-styled speech and, of course, a cavalcade of stars delivering DeNiro’s classic “You talking to me?” line from Taxi Driver.
Yes, we all know Batista crushed it but who could forget Heindenreich trying his best?!
With WWE WrestleMania 39 around the corner, I’d like to take a look at the parody trailer offerings that we were treated to this time around. From the ridiculously cool to the eye-rolling-ly bad, here are my rankings for the WWE WrestleMania 39 parody trailers.
Number 5: The Miz & Maryse’s Not-So-Awesome Top Gun Parody Trailer
The Miz is usually awesome. I’ve been a big fan of his for a long time and think he’s probably one of the most underrated performers of the past two decades. He’s perfectly helped elevate talent like Bryan Danielson and ever since his Andy Kaufman-inspired turn as the Hollywood A-lister, has found a groove as a top mid-card heel. Granted, his Miz & Mrs. reality show isn’t my cup of tea but nobody is perfect.
Speaking of his imperfections, this Top Gun parody trailer just didn’t do it for me. It was the first WWE WrestleMania 39 parody trailer that I saw and after viewing it, dreaded what was to come. This didn’t have the crispness of the previous WWE WrestleMania 21 parody trailers and the one-liners seemed to be oddly paced, and forced. By the time Miz gets to his closing line about needing to talk to his agent “Goose-tofson,” I was well long over it.
While Miz and Maryse’s cutesy kissing and canoodling is a great way to get heat in a WWE ring, I’m not sure if getting heat is the purpose of these videos. When done correctly, as we’ll talk about later, these parodies can artfully be used to show another side of talent or create a memorable moment. None of that was accomplished here. I felt like Miz and Maryse rolled in, rolled off a couple of lines in a few minutes, and headed off to the next thing. Definitely not my favorite of the bunch and for all the reasons listed above, is my least favorite WWE WrestleMania 39 parody trailer.
Number 4: Montez Ford Is Cold As Ice Towards Bianca Belair In Titanic Parody Trailer
No one wanted this parody trailer to be good more than me. I have watched Titanic no less than 100 times since being with my wife and it’s easily her favorite film. So, when I heard that there was a Titanic parody trailer with Bianca Belair and Montez Ford, two of her favorites, I was optimistic that there could be a piece of pro wrestling content we could bond over.
I was wrong. She hated it, saying, “This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.” It’s the kind of reaction from your significant other that makes you embarrassed to be a pro wrestling fan. Now, granted, I don’t think this parody trailer is TERRIBLE, it’s just kind of dumb. The two seem to be having fun with it but the material they are being fed isn’t lighting me on fire. Why is Bianca scared that Montez is going to push her off the boat or something “like last time?” Montez is a gentleman, it just doesn’t feel right to me.
Then comes the closing moment where Montez goes to take a photo on his phone of Belair doing her best “I’m flying,” only to drop it into the ocean and lose the image because he forgets to back it up onto the cloud. What a dummy! It’s the kind of “whomp whomp” ending that makes you roll your eyes. Not as bad as The Miz and Maryse Top Gun parody trailer, but definitely is not my favorite.
Number 3: Ridge Holland Gets Waxed In 40-Year-Old Virgin Parody Trailer
This was the last of the parody trailers that I watched and, honestly, I wasn’t expecting to like it that much. My biggest hang-up going into this one was that Ridge Holand, who usually does not have any chest hair, was going to be the one getting his chest waxed. If you’re going to do this parody trailer, wouldn’t you want to wax someone who actually has a hairy chest? I was skeptical, at best.
What I was treated to instead was something that genuinely made me chuckle. Drew McIntyre and Sheamus as the giggling best friends played their part perfectly, and Butch playing into his silent but deadly persona, ripping the wax strip off Holland’s nipple, was the perfect final moment. I could feel it when they all yelled, “Not the nipples!” Chef’s kiss, no notes.
The real star here is, obviously, Ridge Holland. The former rugby player turned pro wrestler has never shown this much personality in any of the WWE work he’s done. As I said earlier when reviewing the Top Gun parody trailer, these vignettes should be used to create a memorable moment or show another side of a talent that we have not seen before. I think it’s safe to say that this one perfectly helps show another side of Holland and could perhaps open the door for him to show even more range. They didn’t re-invent the wheel here but I enjoyed it nevertheless.
Number 3: Seth Rollins & Becky Lynch Step Into DC Universe With Joker Parody Trailer
Seth Rollins’ manic progression into his current persona has been one of the more entertaining things to watch on WWE TV over the past few years. The flamboyant outfits mixed with his infectious, menacing laugh and hard-not-to-sing-along-to theme song have culminated in one of the most unique characters to come through WWE in some time. It’s been hard not to see parallels between Rollins and Batman villain Joker, especially following Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal, and so it was only fitting that we finally got to see Rollins channel that titular character.
I’ll be honest, I hated Joker. I thought it was a movie that wanted to be something really powerful but ultimately fell flat with a subpar script and lazy thesis. I get it, society is bad and sometimes you have to be a crazy person to get ahead. Cool. Even still, the moment I saw Rollins dancing down those stairs, I was in. The tone just fits Rollins so perfectly and, at first, it wasn’t trying to be a joke. For the first ninety seconds or so it really is just a dramatic, artistic presentation of Rollins that made you feel like he could be Joker.
Then came the bit at the end with his wife, Becky Lynch, where she grabbed him by the shirt collar and did her best, raspy Batman voice. Only, she’s not Batman, she’s just The Man. This wasn’t my favorite part of the parody trailer, I was kinda just enjoying watching Rollins dance like a psycho but I understand why they did it. Lynch’s involvement here was good but the visual of Rollins channeling his Jaoquin Phoenxi-inspired Joker is what fans will likely most remember. We didn’t see another side of Rollins here, we saw the side of him we already see only amped up to ten, or more. This was a moment and one that will likely resonate.
Number 2: Roman Reigns Is A Funny Guy In Goodfellas Parody Trailer
I’ve never seen Goodfellas. I know it’s a mobster movie and I know there’s a scene where Joe Pesci questions those around him after someone makes a comment about how he’s funny. That’s really all I know about this film and that’s all I needed to know to enjoy this The Bloodline parody trailer.
You know that Bloodline shirt where Roman is sitting in a suit with Paul Heyman over his shoulder? This was like that shirt come to life. Much like Rollins’ Joker parody, pairing Reigns with an iconic mobster scene fits like a glove. The jokes are not forced here, like with Miz & Maryse, and there’s also some genuine tension until Reigns eventually breaks the mood.
The best part for me comes at the very end. As I have mentioned previously, if these vignettes are done well, they can show another side of a performer. I don’t think Solo Sikoa saying, “You really are a funny Tribal Chief,” showed a HUGE change to his character but it definitely made you sit up and think. Was he challenging Roman? Was he trying to make a joke? I don’t know and don’t care. This was great.
Number 1: Rhea Ripley Turns It Up To Eleven In Stranger Things Parody Trailer
Ridge Holland got to show another side of himself and Seth Rollins got to make a moment, ranking their parody trailers at number three and two, respectively. Rhea Ripley, arguably, got to show another side of herself and create a moment with her Stranger Things-inspired parody trailer. Featuring eventual WWE Hall of Famer John Cena, no less!
Right out of the gate, you see Ripley seated in a fluorescently lit room wearing a mind control cap ala Eleven from Stranger Things. If you’ve never seen that show, Eleven is a telepathic badass that is the only thing standing between humanity and an upside-down army of demogorgons. The casting of Ripley as Eleven grabbed me immediately, it’s perfect.
Then comes Cena, who you never actually see, playing the role of the evil Dr. Brenner, the man working to channel Eleven’s powers on behalf of the United States government. “How does the word pressure make you feel, Rhea?” Cena begins, before acknowledging Ripley shouldn’t be surprised she can’t see him. He then proceeds to lay into Ripley about the pressure of being in the main event of WrestleMania, prompting Ripley to snarl, turn to a Coke can, and CRUSH IT WITH HER BRAIN. Oh yeah, she also bleeds out her nose afterward just like Eleven, hella cool.
I legit got goosebumps the first time I saw this air. There are no dumb jokes here and Ripley came across as a total star. The endorsement from Cena, along with the clever wordplay about not being able to see him, makes this one an all-time great. Definitely the best WWE WrestleMania 39 parody trailer and arguably better than many of the classics from WWE WrestleMania 21.