-- As noted earlier today here on the website, the official WWE website has published an article catching up with wrestler-turned-actor Robert Maillet, who appeared as Kurrgan for the company in the late-1990's.

A few years after leaving WWE, Maillet ventured into the world of acting at the urging of a friend.

“I’d never really thought of it before, even though wrestlers had done it,” said Maillet.

Maillet landed a role in 2007-released flick 300 through Jacques Rougeau, who recommended him to producers looking to cast a super-sized individual as a savage, gigantic berserker named "Über-Immortal." Maillet reveals that his former WWE persona was the inspiration behind the character.

“I thought I could do Kurrgan, so I went nuts. They were all blown away," said Maillet, as the director asked him to “scream his head off” while being filmed.

The success of 300 led to Maillet being cast in another huge movie, Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey, Jr. The 7-footer drew media attention during the movie's filming when he accidentally punched Downey, causing him to be bloodied.

“We didn’t have a lot of time to rehearse the fight,” said Maillet. “The choreography of it changed on set. I really had to aim [the punch] towards his face, I couldn’t fake it.

“He somehow forgot to block it and I hit him on the chin. I knew I hurt him, I felt it.”

While promoting Sherlock Holmes on Late Show with David Letterman, Downey said Maillet was "ten times more upset" about the incident than he was. According to the former WWE Superstar, Downey gave him a champagne bottle with a card saying there were no hard feelings.

“I didn’t want to be known for punching out movie stars,” said Maillet.

Maillet also discussed his past life as a professional wrestler, as well as his role in Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. WWE's article can be accessed here.

-- Shannon Rose sent along the following:


Grand Opening of Big Vito's Wrestling Academy

(Clearwater, FL) August 27- The big day has finally come. I am officially opening my Wrestling Academy- Big Vito's Wrestling Academy. I am very honored and privileged to be doing this. I have learned from the best and been taught by the greats in our sport. The one thing I was taught from day one is pass it on. I understand it. I have helped many very quietly for a long time. Now, I get to help make the next generation of stars. Teach wrestling the one way, the right way. I may be a perfectionist, no nonsense, hard nosed, tough on you guy, but its for your own good.

Plenty of guys always ask me to watch their match, I never told them what they did good, I told them what they need to work on. Some can take it, others complain about it. The ones who took my advice got better, and the others, they are in the same place doing the same thing with the same people.

I have the credentials to teach you how to become a pro. At my academy, I want you to live and see what I have seen, do as I have done. Go from the bottom to the top, feel the excitement of the crowd, become a champion, be the best, have the respect from your peers, know when you walk in the room, you get people's attention just from your presence. Become the one who people measure up to and say, “I want to be better than him”. My training methods are proven as I have taught people all around the world.

This will become the place to be, a unique place. There are some fine schools out there. This is an academy. You will learn 2 things: Discipline and Wrestling. You will become regimented: Eating habits, training habits, wrestling, mixed martial arts, the business side of things. You will leave there the complete package. You will not leave there without the skill and mindset needed to become a Pro. You will be able to take care of yourself anywhere in the world today. No matter what style there is, you will be able to compete. If you come there with a dream, I will make sure I do all I can to help you live it. Does not matter what you look like in the beginning, in the end, you will look like a pro wrestler.

I tell everyone the same thing: Not Everyone Makes It. It is true. Who is someone else to tell you that you can't? That is not allowed in my academy, everything is “I Can”. Never let anyone stop you...