Watchlist – Wrestlers

The new Netflix series is an ode to independent wrestling and its irrational stars

How many of you are familiar with the glittering WWE violence? And how many of you have witnessed the dynamic rise of AEW up the wrestling food chain? Probably all of you have watched, if only for a moment, a live broadcast of these two entertainment powerhouses. And who among you has ever witnessed an OVW, Ohio Valley Wrestling pay-per-view? Probably no one. Because this independent promotion is the historically little brother of the great American wrestling majors, a purist’s paradise, a hotbed of talent that has created celebrities like John Cena, Randy Orton and Batista, but it’s also a business poised on the precipice of failure.

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Icon Collection Juventus

The economic resurrection of this scrappy, yet fascinating promotion is the focus of the Netflix series ‘Wrestlers.’ The advent of the two businessmen Matt Jones and Craig Greenberg allows us to discover a parallel universe, written and directed by the sole (impressive) imagination of former professional wrestler Al Snow: a universe where heritage matters more than profit, where credibility and inspiration consciously snub the laws of the market, and where dozens of athletes dream of making a living from their art, often colliding with a harsh reality composed of second jobs and economic struggles. ‘Wrestlers’ is an ode to independent wrestling and its heroes: human beings populated by demons, emotional fractures, family contradictions and controversial pasts, who in the adrenaline of the three ropes manage to find answers to even the most complex existential questions.

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Greg Whitley directs a magical series that allows us to explore the tumultuous identities of performers in search of their gimmick and their future, as well as the great beauty of a discipline that is too often undervalued. An art form that demands scientific timing and acting qualities. An endless novel that seeks only the viewer’s reaction and loyalty. A theater of pain, shaped by acrobatic hits and performances that are anything but superficial. ‘Wrestlers’ is a contemporary glossary of ambition, sacrifice, failure and, above all, irrational passion.The transversal passion that drives men and women to challenge their bodies and minds in order to temporarily step into the shoes of superheroes. Even in front of 30 people. Even for a handful of dollars. That’s why ‘Wrestlers’ makes its way right into our Watchlist.



Photo Credits

Gianmarco Pacione

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