Since the early ‘80s, the concept of wrestlers trying testing their acting mettle and going to the big screen has been around.

One of those wrestlers to cross (no pun intended) that bridge was Matt Cross, who starred in indie movie Powerbomb, about an indie wrestler who is kidnapped by a crazy fan and must use all his wits to escape from his captor.

Cross has been wrestling for 24(!) years in far too many promotions to list (some honorable mentions would be Ring of Honor and National Wrestling Alliance), including a 3800+ day reign as World Champion of Olde Wrestling which is still going on. Cross wrestles every weekend, and has been to 26 countries and 47 states throughout his career, though Cross wants to wrestle in all 50 states. “So I’m gonna hit all 50 in the Indies which I don’t think anyone’s ever done. That’s my goal.”

Matt Cross

Cross spoke with about his experience filming.

Initially, Cross heard about ‘Powerbomb’ through an email, and he assumed that he would be doing background work in the film. “I remember answering the email thinking it was to do background work. So I’m thinking, ‘Oh, I’m gonna get paid on a weekday as a pro wrestler? This is amazing.’”. Cross found out in a later email that he would be slightly more important in the film. “I almost forget about it. Months go by, they write me, they’re like, ‘We’ve talked with the producer and the funding, and we’re gonna cast you as the lead.’”

Though he took the job, Cross had doubts about how effective he would be on the big screen. “I’m thinking, ‘Oh, my God, am I morally obligated to tell them that I’m not an actor?’ So I really wrestled with that, no pun intended. I was like, I feel like obligated, I’m just a lowly wrestler. But then I’m like, ‘You know what, I’m going to find out if, a) I like this or not, and, b) if I’m any good at or not, sort of on someone else’s dime. So I’m like, I can’t turn this down. I really enjoyed it.”

Cross also had to learn about the acting space to do Powerbomb, including learning that actors had to have lines memorized. “A funny anecdote. I went into it thinking it’s more like wrestling, a little more freeform. I honestly didn’t know actors had to memorize their lines. I had read through it, I’m like, ‘Sounds good. I’m interested.’ But I in no way, shape, or form memorize my lines. So what an eye opening thing where I was like, ‘You just want the gist of it, right? I got it.’ ‘Oh, we need to …’ ‘Oh, actors remember all their lines? What!’ I’m sure it’s like people realizing, ‘Oh, the ring is super hard.’ Just a funny, ignorant guy coming into it and sort of being thrown in the deep end.”

Cross received another surprise on the day of the release in Cleveland. “We did a big release in Cleveland at a theater. And I’m thinking it’ll be an art house theater, where it was someone’s house. It was not. It was an absolute, genuine giant theater. I walked in, almost had a panic attack, because I was like, ‘It’s a real theater. Oh my God, my face is gonna be eight feet tall.’”

Cross also mentioned past wrestler’s forays into acting, touching on how it allows wrestlers to reach their fans in a new form. “I like that as wrestling fans, we all sort of search for when our thing is out there in a different medium. Now it’s almost in this pocket of the wrestling movies or movies that have had wrestlers. There’s like, RVD did a weird wrestling movie, and this guy did a weird wrestling movie. … I like that it sort of will have life forever for that.”

Cross also spoke about what it was like to have other wrestlers in the film as well. “It’s wild now too, because Britt Baker’s in it and stuff, pre-AEW. Adam Cole makes a cameo. There’s all these little Easter-eggy type moments that are really cool. And I remember watching it, again, for the first time in the theater, thinking Britt Baker comes out. I was like, ‘She’s doing amazing, genuinely.’ And then Greg Irons is in there. I was like, ‘Wow, he’s doing really well.’ Here comes Adam Cole. Everyone was doing so well that I was like, ‘Wait a minute. Somebody has to be the weak link.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, God, is it me?’ Because I thought everyone was doing so well.”

Britt Baker at the Icons of Wrestling Convention & Fanfest on Saturday, July 1, 2023, at the 2300 Arena, in Philadelphia, PA. Photo by George Tahinos,

Dr. Britt Baker at the Icons of Wrestling Convention & Fanfest on Saturday, July 1, 2023, at the 2300 Arena, in Philadelphia, PA. Photo by George Tahinos,

You can read Slamwrestling’s Powerbomb review, or watch the movie for yourself on Amazon Prime.