In the Ring with Matt: Bring it to the Ring
The Ring is where I go when I… well… when I want to watch wrestling.
If you’ve never met me before, or if you met me but didn’t really get to know me, then you should know that I’m an avid professional wrestling fan. My little corner of FilmFad is called “In the Ring” for this exact reason. I don’t particularly know why I like it so much; part of me believes it’s the respect I hold for the athletes and superstars and another part of me believes that somewhere deep down inside I would love to be a wrestler.
Regardless of what the real reason is, I try not to miss an episode of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and even dabble in some other promotions like Ring of Honor, Total Nonstop Action, and Lucha Underground. But, I’m not here to talk about my infatuation with the sport; I’m here to talk about professional wrestling and the film world.
There have been a few “professional wrestling” films. The most popular being “Ready to Rumble,” and Darren Aronofsky’s brilliant “The Wrestler.” But how come there haven’t been more biopics or films about certain events in the professional wrestling world? Sure, we all know it’s scripted and one big theatrical show, but that doesn’t erase the storytelling and pop-culture feats they have obtained. The company has done some wonderful stuff.
The WWE Network has plenty of documentaries about superstars, events, and eras, but with the success of “The Wrestler,” which is based on a fictional character, it only seems perfectly viable to make a biopic about one of the sports’ legends or legendary families. Maybe the company doesn’t want some dark secrets revealed? Or maybe no one has built up the nerve to tackle an autobiographical film about such a crazy business and lifestyle. I mean, Randy “The Ram” Robinson, protagonist of “The Wrestler,” could be based on many wrestlers, but truly seeing the story of a real wrestler would be even better, in my opinion.
I’d love to see a film about the Von Erichs and the tragedy that struck their family or a film about the late great Dusty Rhodes, who lost touch with his family because he was gone so often. There’s a rich history that’s dripping with emotion that could be tapped into to create wonderful movies.
Heck, even a 3-hour film about the Monday Night Wars clash between WWE and WCW would be incredible, but definitely a tough project to create.
All I’m saying with this article is that there are countless biopics about musicians, recording artists, actors, politicians, war heroes, models, schizophrenics, drug lords, gangsters, and boxers. Why not have a biopic about Ric Flair, Owen Hart, Road Warriors, Bryan Pillman, Fabulous Moolah, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Eddie Guerrero, Bruno Sammartino, Sensational Sherri, Randy Savage, Miss Elizabeth, and many others.
This could just be the fanboy in me complaining, but I bet if biopics were made about these men and women, then a huge amount of respect would be thrown their way, slowly but surely diminishing the tired expression of “Wrestling is fake.” “The Wrestler” does a good job with showing the dirty side of the professional wrestling world and how tough these performers’ lives are, so more biopics about the actual people would benefit the company and the sport, in my mind.