Sylvester Stallone spoke with Sports Illustrated this week to discuss his new film, Samaritan, and got on the subject of his love for professional wrestling. The iconic actor actually played a significant role in WWE history as Rocky III, a film he personally directed, helped introduce both Hulk Hogan and Mr. T to a worldwide audience. WWE would then turn around and have both men in the main event of the first WrestleMania in 1985.
"I love wrestling," Stallone said. "It's all about getting swept up in the drama. There's a passion for that world, big time. People like Bruno Sammartino, those are people that helped forge my personality and my outlook on life. Bruno, Gorgeous George, [bodybuilder/actor] Steve Reeves, [boxer] Rocky Marciano--especially Rocky Marciano. I love wrestling's mythic qualities. I made my daughters watch wrestling--I wanted them to watch for the story."
"I understand what goes into it. I hear people say it's not real. Really? Gravity is real. Jumping off the top rope or having 300 pounds landing on you, that's real. I feel the same way about action films. They've been submerged in sort of a dismissive sort of genre. Like, 'Oh, it's an action film.' All I know is I've had maybe 31 operations due to action films, so I consider it very real. Wrestling, it has nothing to do with who's scoring a touchdown. It's entertainment. It's not meant to be 'The score is now 14--3.' It's a morality play, all about the drama. That's what it's all about."
WWE returns to pay-per-view on Sept. 3 with the Clash at the Castle event at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. The show marks the first major pay-per-view to take place in the United Kingdom since the 1992 SummerSlam event. Here's the lineup for the show so far:
- Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
- SmackDown Women's Championship: Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler
- Seth Rollins vs. Riddle
- Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss and Asuka vs. Bayley, Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky