Tournament of the 80’s/90’s Action Stars: Round 1

It’s March and in the sports world, that means it is time for the NCAA Tournament. It is the biggest time of the year for college basketball as over 60 teams attempt to win the big tournament and become the champions of college basketball.

Here at Blog 4 Dat, we will have our own tournament. In this bracket, we will have 8 action movie stars of the 80’s and 90’s facing off against each other for the right to be called the best of the best and the “Blog 4 Dat Ultimate Action Star.”

The tournament is open for voting by everyone and all votes can be cast one of two ways. First, you can post your vote in the comments section of this article. Or you can send me your votes on Twitter at @darylk13. Voting will be open for this round until the end of the day on Saturday March 19. Thanks for reading and let’s get into the tournament.

The Machine Gun Region

#1 Arnold Schwarzenegger



#8 Nicolas Cage


Arnold Schwarzenegger enters the tournament on top and rightfully so. He was the king of the box office action movies in the prime of his career. His best action movie is arguably The Terminator and its sequel Terminator 2: Judgement Day. But films like Commando, Total Recall, The Running Man, Predator, and True Lies all build to one of the most impressive resume in action movie history.

Nicolas Cage came to the top of the action movie scene with Con Air, Face/Off, and The Rock. He made a few movies after this string of hits but this trifecta was by far the highlight of his action movie stardom. His career eventually fell and Cage has become more of a joke than a serious action star.

The Highly Explosive Chemicals Region

#3 Bruce Willis



#6 Jean-Claude Van Damme


Third-seeded Bruce Willis was best known for his role in the TV series Moonlighting until 1988’s Die Hard introduced action movie fans to John McClane. Willis would thrive as McClane and he helped the movie spawn four sequels to date. But let’s not forget Bruce’s other action efforts like The Last Boyscout, Striking Distance, Pulp Fiction, Armageddon, and Mercury Rising.

JCVD exploded into the action world with the hit movie Bloodsport. His role as Frank Dux, an American martial artist fighting in a deadly tournament, lifted Van Damme to superstardom. He followed this movie up with other hits like Kickboxer, Cyborg, Death Warrant, Universal Soldier, and Hard Target. His run on top was short-lived, but definitely action-packed.

The Bare-Knuckle Brawl Region

#4 Chuck Norris



#5 Mel Gibson


Chuck Norris has been the center of many jokes in the past few years but before he was a punchline, Norris was a great action movie hero. His role as Col. James Braddock in the Missing in Action series helped make Norris a bonafide action star. And even after this breakthrough action hit, he continued to kick ass and take names in movies like Code of Silence, The Delta Force, and on TV’s Walker, Texas Ranger.

Mel Gibson began his action hero campaign in the Mad Max films but took it to another level as the bat-shit crazy Martin Riggs in the Lethal Weapon series. Gibson, along with Danny Glover, helped make four great Lethal Weapon movies and an action franchise that will never be forgotten. Gibson also added to his action hero stardom with films like Tequila Sunrise, Braveheart, Ransom, Conspiracy Theory, and Payback.

The “Use Whatever as a Weapon” Region

#2 Sylvester Stallone



#7 Steven Seagal


Stallone is right behind Arnold in this tournament and deservedly so. Sure, Stallone was great in the Rocky films, but his action hero stardom is highlighted by his role as Rambo in First Blood and its sequels. The iconic role made “The Italian Stallion” a household name in the action genre. But perhaps his best role was as Marion Cobretti in Cobra. The movie is often overlooked but is amazing by action movie standards of the time. Stallone also got action credit for Tango & Cash, Lock Up, and Daylight.

Steven Seagal, like Van Damme, busted onto the action scene from out of nowhere. Seagal’s first huge action hit was 1988’s Above the Law. This movie greatly displayed Seagal’s martial arts abilities and his ability to carry an action film. He followed this up with hits like Marked for Death, Hard to Kill, Out for Justice, and Under Seige. He disappeared for a while after that, but still makes random appearances to this day to remind us all of what he once was.
Well, there it is! The bracket is laid out and let’s get the voting under way! Is it Arnold or Nic? Bruce or JCVD? Chuck or Mel? Stallone or Seagal?

Remember, please vote in either the comments section or by hitting me up on Twitter at @darylk13 Voting will close at the end of the day on Saturday March 19 and the next round will be up on the following Sunday. Thanks for reading and I hope to get your feedback!
Daryl Karpinski, Jr.