Last time around we had two martial artists as our Hollywood cage match, this time we’re sticking to bulk and street fighting. There’s certainly no shortage of ripped Hollywood guys that could be pitted against each other in this “who would win” situation, but these two should be fun.

Short Version

Mark Vincent, aka Vin Diesel

  • Age: 46
  • Height: 5′ 11″
  • Weight: 225
  • Physical history: Bouncer at nightclub
  • College: English major for 3 years at Hunter College

Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock

  • Age: 42
  • Height: 6′ 5″
  • Weight: 260
  • Physical history: Football and professional wrestling
  • College: Bachelors in Criminology and Physiology from University of MiamiĀ 
After they had it out on screen in Fast Five, many were left wondering how that matchup would have been had it happened in real life. Not me, of course, I could care less, but many. Or so I hear. Regardless, if there are any out there reading this who have wondered about it, or saw the movie, or didn’t see the movie, or are wondering now for the first time, or still couldn’t care less but have nothing else to do but read this right now, let’s break the match down and see who has the upper hand. Because I don’t have anything else to do right now either.


Disposition and Family History

First, let’s cut through what should be the obvious point when it comes to the disposition of each of these men. Johnson comes from a line of professional wrestlers that include his father and his grandfather. He has Samoan in him. He played football for Miami in college. He’s considered one of the best professional wrestlers of all time. Then he decided to get into acting.

Vincent’s adoptive father was an acting instructor and theater manager, his mom an astrologer and psychologist. He studied acting and began acting early in his life, making his stage debut at age 7. He studied English in college and left for Hollywood to pursue acting, producing, directing, and screenwriting. While he was in college he worked as a bouncer in New York nightclubs.

So, Johnson = physical family+football background+pro wrestling career+acting

While Vincent = thoughtful and artistic family+acting background+bouncer

The Rock wins here, sorry Vin.



Who Would Win in a Fight: More Action StarsThe numbers don’t always tell the story in these situations. If height and weight were the only factors, Spud Webb would never have won the slam dunk competition (look it up). How you carry what you have matters as well, and so does in what way you use your numbers. The numbers do factor in however, and Johnson has the edge again. Getting an accurate height and weight on an actor is like trying to get a straight answer out of Washington, DC, but the stats above should be accurate enough. Johnson sports a 35 lb and 6″ advantage over Vincent physically, and is 4 years younger to boot. In your 40’s, four years can make a big difference.

Vincent’s only real physical claim to fame is bouncing for nightclubs during college. While bouncers in NYC don’t generally get away with being wimps, when we’re pitting these two against each other Johnson’s football and wrestling background has the advantage. He played defensive tackle on Miami’s ’91 championship team, and was replaced by Warren Sapp when he got injured. Not a football fan? Suffice it to say he was tough. His wrestling career is practically unmatched, and even if you think it’s all fake that doesn’t minimize the athletic ability and strength needed to do the stuff they do.

The Rock wins again.



Who Would Win in a Fight: More Action StarsBoth of these guys seem fairly decent, as in not complete dirtbags. Johnson seems to have the wider emotional swing, as he often appears somewhat goofy or boyish – like a kid inside a hulk’s body – but can be the baddest guy in the room when necessary. Vincent flots mostly between concerned and killer, never quite reaching the innocent effect Johnson can emulate. Even in The Pacifier, he wasn’t able to quite be goofy.

Speaking of attitude, let’s talk names. Vin Diesel comes from Vincents bouncing days, when he needed a fake name for his position (common among bouncers to avoid reprisal from annoying drunks that get kicked out). Vin is obviously short for his adoptive last name, Vincent, and Diesel was given by his friends who said he ran on diesel fuel, referring to his energy level. Not a bad name, really.

Johnson floated through stage names during his early years of wrestling, settling on Rocky Maivia, a compilation of his father’s and grandfather’s wrestling names. During a time of injury he became one of the “bad guys” who are paid to be hated, and began referring to himself in the third person as The Rock. The name stuck.

While Vin Diesel certainly has the “cool” quality as a name, The Rock is just flat out awesome. When you can call yourself The Rock and get away with it, you know you’re bad.

Vincent dropped out of college to follow his screenwriting and acting dreams after three years. Johnson continued college after his debilitating injury and got his degree, even if he wasn’t an “A” student. He then tried his hand at Canadian League football after the NFL passed him by. He has returned to the wrestling ring while acting, where he still has a huge franchise built with his name and persona. Entrepreneurially, The Rock wins as well.

Better name, more sticktoitiveness, and better entrepreneur. Johnson all around.



Who Would Win in a Fight: More Action StarsOkay look, neither of these guys will end up with an Oscar for best male performance in a drama, but this is one place where Vincent wins, and deservedly so. Remember, he’s an actor who plays a badass, Johnson is a badass who became an actor. Unfortunately, if it came down to a fight between the two the acting piece wouldn’t play much of a part. Some perhaps, if one were faking the other out, but not much.

Vincent wins here, but for our purposes it really doesn’t mean anything.


The Verdict

Once again we have a clear winner in our theoretical brawl, and it is most definitely The Rock. If we were measuring cool things may have been tighter, but when it comes down to who is going to remain standing in a toe-to-toe knockdown, Vin Diesel would be congratulating The Rock from his back – on the ground. If he was still able to speak, of course.


Vin Diesel vs. The Rock Checklist
  • The Rock is scared of spiders, but so am I
  • Vin Diesel was considered three times as a nominee for a Razzie Award for worst actor, and was a nominee once
  • The Rock was good friends with the late actor Michael Clarke Duncan, another awesome physical specimen
  • As a teenager, Vin Diesel was the instructor for a breakdancing video
  • Will there ever be a sequel to The Rundown?

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