WWE stars Becky Lynch and Roman Reigns are set to join the voice cast of Rumble, an animated wrestling comedy. Though the WWE is zeroed in on the in-ring aspect which it is known for, with a high-profile move to FOX on the way, the company is becoming more comfortable with getting involved in other aspects of pop culture.
WWE has branched out, particularly in recent years, in an attempt to broaden its viewership. The reality show Total Divas has aired for several seasons, launching two spin-offs, and serving as the launching pad for John Cena’s transition to big-time Hollywood franchises like Suicide Squad and Fast and Furious. The Miz and his wife, WWE superstar Maryse, have their own reality show and could follow a similar trajectory. In the case of Reigns and Lynch, they’ve become familiar names to fans that might only tangentially follow wrestling. Reigns recently appeared in Hobbs & Shaw, leading to speculation that an acting career could follow. Lynch has been on the covers of magazines and the upcoming WWE video game, notable for her spike in popularity which led to her winning in the main event of Wrestlemania 35. The two stars will soon be involved in another side project.
According to Deadline, the two stars will be starring in Rumble. Described as an animated comedy, Rumble takes place in a world where monsters exist and monster wrestling is a global sport. The story will reportedly be centered around Winnie, who seeks to follow in her father’s footsteps by coaching a lovable underdog monster. Lynch and Reigns will be joining Will Arnett, Terry Crews, Geraldine Viswanathan, Tony Danza, and sports commentator Stephen A. Smith as part of the cast. Hamish Grieve, who contributed to the Shrek sequels, will direct.
Rumble is set to be a partnership between WWE Studios and Paramount Animation. Mireille Soria, the president of Paramount Animation, said in a statement that she was thrilled to work with WWE due to their experience and reputation as leaders in the realm of professional wrestling. While it’s an expected sentiment, it is notable for in another sense.
For years, particularly after Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson transitioned to Hollywood, WWE has been largely reluctant to feature its roster of superstars in any outside projects. The sense was that the company didn’t want any one particular talent to become bigger than the company they worked for. This has even been expressed on-screen and alluded to by former superstars, such as CM Punk. Both Lynch and Reigns, who recently renewed his contract, have been unequivocal about their desire to remain as in-ring performers for as long as they can. Still, it’s a positive that they’re branching out and that WWE has been supportive of those efforts.