Images (C) Getty/Original GWR illustration
If you told anyone in the late-80s that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone would one day start teaming up to make movies, they probably would've reacted the same way as when they found out The Mega Powers were forming.
But here we are, some 20 years later, and two of the biggest action stars of all-time are following up their work in "The Expendables" and its sequel with co-top billing in "Escape Plan," releasing this weekend.
But enough about these massive humans working together - what would happen if we threw these long-in-the-tooth He-Men into a hypothetical world record brawl? On the eve of their new film, let's find out who would escape in one piece!
(See what we did there?)
THE CASE FOR SCHWARZENEGGER
World-class bodybuilder. Top-flight action star. United States governor.
The Schwarzenegger résumé is certainly varied and distinguished. And it's reflected in some of the world records he's been recognized for, which show off one of the truest examples of "The American Dream" we'll ever see.
Winner of six straight Mr. Olympia titles from 1970-75 and another in 1980, Schwarzenegger held the records for both most consecutive and overall wins of the event until later being surpassed by Lee Haney (1984-91) and Ronnie Coleman (1998-05). Still, that five-year gap between his sixth and seventh titles still remains as the record for longest time between Mr. Olympia titles.
Arnie's influence in the bodybuilding world was so great, he later went on to have the Arnold Sports Festival named after him. Having skyrocketed in popularity since its founding in 1989, it was recognized in 2007 as the bodybuilding event with the largest attendance.
And that's not even getting into his movie records. And no, we don't mean the record for most awesome movie line ever:
We mean the fact he holds the record for most films made by a bodybuilder. To go from winning 13 world titles (seven Mr. Olympia, five Mr. Universe, one Mr. World) to starring in 36 feature films is incredible. In fact, he grew into such an in-demand star that his epic "True Lies" in 1994 became the first-ever movie with a $100 million budget.
THE CASE FOR STALLONE
Impressive on Arnold's behalf, for sure. But if you're already counting out Stallone, you've obviously never seen a "Rocky" movie.
And there's no better place to start when debating the merits of the de facto Italian Stallion. The "Rocky" franchise, running from the original in 1976 to "Rocky Balboa" 30 years later, is the most successful sports movie franchise ever, grossing $1,251,372,491 throughout its six installments. And the way Stallone keeps going, it wouldn't shock us to see a "Rocky 7" add to this total soon.
Stallone is also responsible for one of the most audacious stunts pulled off in movie history. For his 1993 vehicle "Cliffhanger," Stallone had stuntman Simon Crane perform the most expensive film stunt in air: performed just once, Crane's trick of moving between two jets at an altitude of 15,000 ft (4,572 m) cost $1 million. Ever the nice guy, Stallone offered to to reduce his salary on the film by the same cost in order to make sure the stunt went off.
Stallone even bled into the gaming world, as his Rambo character begat the first movie-licensed run-and-gun game, "Rambo: First Blood Part II" on the SEGA Master System in 1986. And while it's not a record, Stallone (for "Rocky") is also one of only two men (Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles) to be nominated for Oscars in best original screenplay and best actor for the same film - good company!
Unfortunately, Stallone also holds a dubious distinction on the other end of the movie awards spectrum. He's the most-nominated Razzie recipient of all-time, garnering 30 noms en route to 8 career "wins" in the Golden Raspberry Awards for the worst in film.
And while it absolutely crushes me to go against the man who graced my life with this...
...there's just no way I can overlook the impact Schwarzenegger had on both movies and sport (without even accounting for his completely incongruous two-term run as governor of California).
So two jacked geriatrics enter; only one wins. Hasta la vista, Sly.
Winner: Arnold Schwarzenegger