WWE is a media empire, with fingers and toes in every piehole and crevice of the entertainment industry. This means that every now and then, their production leg, WWE Studios, teams up with companies like Sony and Warner Bros. to make strange movie magic. And this is how we get very weird movie gems like Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery, a John Cena-starring Scooby Doo movie.
Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery was the first in a long and very strange line of WWE x Warner Bros. animated crossovers, and was unleashed upon this Earth in 2014. This delightful crossover featured WWE wrestlers teaming up with the cast of Scooby-Doo! to uncover the mystery of a "Ghost Bear" after it steals the WWE Championship right before WrestleMania.
Also, John Cena rescues the gang from a giant, Temple of Doom-style boulder.
It's cheesy but delightful, and features a great host of cameos from 2014's brightest wrestling stars. John Cena, AJ Lee, Santino Marella, Kane, The Miz, Triple H, Vince McMahon and Brodus Clay all feature in this delightfully bonkers crossover (voicing themselves) and bizarrely, there's even a cameo from the Young Justice team of Miss Martian, Wonder Girl, Zatanna and Artemis. I have watched it more than once.
WrestleMania Mystery was soon followed by The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age SmackDown! in 2015, another animated crossover, this time with iconic family The Flintstones.
In the canon of this crossover, John Cena is an indirect relative of Fred Flintstone named John Cenastone. Yes. After Fred messes up and loses his paycheck at work, he starts a stone age wrestling company in order to make money.
It hosts a bout where Barney Rubble handily defeats CM Punkrock who is flanked by his teammate, Marble Henry (in a sad portent of poor Phil's future UFC career). This whole crossover is bad rock puns, and old fashioned smackdowns and I enjoyed it a lot. Ironically, it became the last WWE production that CM Punk would work on before his final, unfortunate departure.
Now, can you believe that the next animated title that WWE helped produce was actually a sequel to Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery? The first movie did so well, they actually made another one! Incredible.
Scooby-Doo! and WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon was released in 2016, and instead of wrestling, this movie features... drag racing.
In Curse of the Speed Demon, WWE has kickstarted their plans for a WWE Moto X race, because apparently, that's exactly what the wrestling industry needs. I, for one, would not say no.
Unexpectedly, the race get a surprise entrant — a demon racer named Inferno, who sets out to ruin the race just because he can. Among others, the film stars Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Stardust (who I love dearly), Paige, Kofi Kingston, The Undertaker and, delightfully, Dusty Rhodes (in his final appearance before his death).
While not as good as WrestleMania Mystery, it's still a very fun and ridiculous movie, which I also very much enjoyed.
Following this, 2017 turned into a banner year for weird WWE Studios productions. The whole gang next appeared in the 2017 direct-to-DVD sequel to 2007 penguin film, Surf's Up. In this film, everyone in WWE is penguins? Not commentator Michael Cole, though. He's a seagull.
Also, Vince McMahon is an otter.
I can't bring myself to watch this one. Maybe it's because I'm frightened of the buff Vince McMahon otter, or the fact that they turned Paige into a tiny pink bird. This whole concept is just ... very strange, and I wish I could have been part of the production meeting where some poor sap pitched a WWE sequel to a decade-old animated movie about surfing penguins. Wikipedia has a one sentence summary of the plot, so I can only assume that means nobody has ever watched this movie. Good.
Next up, and our final entry in this bizarre journey, is The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-WrestleMania!, which came out in 2017.
The movie opens with Big Show flying a plane into a snowstorm, crashing, and waking up 100 years in the future — Captain America-style. Then, in a not-unsurprising heel turn, he takes over a robot army and uses it to conquer Orbit City.
The only course of action is for The Jetsons to return to the past, retrieve the rest of the modern day WWE superstars and have them face Big Show and his robots for the fate of the city in robot vs. human wrestling matches. That's some good shit right there, and a worthy final entry in this strange WWE saga.
Do any of these movies deserve to exist? The better question would be whether we deserve these movies. Truly, they're the gift that keeps on giving, and I hope more instalments are on the near horizon.
Please, WWE, I need this gift.