‘Fast & Furious’ Is the Most Pro Wrestling Movie Franchise
For the first time in a decade, there’s a new Fast & Furious movie that doesn’t star Dwayne Johnson. Starting with 2011’s Fast Five, Johnson’s Luke Hobbs essentially became the saga’s secondary hero as Agent Luke Hobbs, a DSS agent who first pursues Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto around the globe then eventually teams with him to stop even more dangerous criminals. Although Johnson became a key part of revitalizing the Fast franchise in its middle years, he also apparently squabbled with Diesel, and rumors of their sour relationship have proliferated for years.
According to Diesel in a new interview with Men’s Health, the tension with Johnson was sparked by the “tough love” he showed The Artist Formerly Known As The Rock while producing the Fast movies. “As a producer to say, ‘Okay, we’re going to take Dwayne Johnson, who’s associated with wrestling, and we’re going to force this cinematic world, audience members, to regard his character as someone that they don’t know—Hobbs hits you like a ton of bricks,” Diesel said. “That’s something that I’m proud of, that aesthetic. That took a lot of work. We had to get there and sometimes, at that time, I could give a lot of tough love.”
It’s interesting that Diesel specifically addressed Johnson’s background as a wrestler, and that he did it somewhat dismissively, because if pro wrestling were a movie franchise, it would be Fast & Furious. Long before Johnson joined the franchise — and long before fellow WWE superstars like Roman Reigns and John Cena were added to the series — Fast & Furious took almost all of its story, structure, and character cues from the world of pro wrestling.
Here are just a few examples:
Most ridiculously of all, the Fast films have incorporated wrestling holds into their fight scenes. In Furious 7, Dwayne Johnson gave Jason Statham his old WWE finishing move, the Rock Bottom:
Then in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Roman Reigns, playing Johnson’s brother, gave a bad guy a Samoan drop in a scene set — where else? — in Samoa:
I imagine some readers might be skeptical when I say that Fast & Furious is all wrestling. After all, Fast & Furious is a franchise based around cars, and wrestling is not. To which I say, if you don’t think there are absurdly macho fights involving cars in wrestling, you clearly haven’t watched the “Sumo Monster Truck Match” from 1995’s Halloween Havoc.
There’s also the “King of the Road Match” between Dustin Rhodes and Blacktop Bully from 1995’s WCW Uncensored, which looks like a deleted scene from an Asylum knockoff of Fast & Furious:
The pro wrestling storytelling is in full effect in F9, and like any good WWE pay-per-view, it ends with several big teases for where the story could go next. Supposedly, The Fast Saga will conclude with two final films that will be shot together over the next couple years. If I was fantasy booking the series, here’s what I would do: Bring back Luke Evans’ Owen Shaw in a shocking return (he was just in a coma!) and align him with Charlize Theron’s Cipher. Then you force Deckard Shaw to decide between his real family (family!) or Dom’s crew (FAMILY!). Then when all seems lost, The Rock finally makes his triumphant (shocking) return in Fast 11 — only to swerve the audience, turn heel, and try to destroy Dom once and for all. After that, the only acceptable conclusion for this epic struggle would be to take the single biggest and funniest rumor in all of Fast & Furious fandom and make it a reality: Have Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel settle their feud once and for all with … a match at Wrestlemania.
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This article was first published on yusmid.com.