The sports film genre has been fortunate enough to have a wide variety of high-quality offerings.
White Men Can’t Jump and Love and Basketball are two of the best basketball movies ever made. Moneyball and Bill Durham are must-sees for baseball fans. Friday Night Lights and Remember the Titans are regarded as two of the best films on football by fans. There aren’t as many choices for wrestling movie lovers when they’re obliged to hunt for films that depict their favorite kind of sports entertainment. Unfortunately, films like Ready to Rumble and No Holds Barred exist and should only be viewed for the purpose of amusement.
For those who want to avoid feeling like they’re wasting their time and energy by watching wrestling movies, we’ve got you covered. For this list, we’ve included 20 films that cover the chaotic world of professional wrestling in either a cinematic or documentary format, and they’ve all done a fantastic job of capturing the sport in all its glory.
In these films, amateur wrestlers aren’t trying to overcome their demons and achieve a triumphant victory in the end — they’re more concerned with the pomp and circumstance of delivering body slams, hot promotions, and other crowd-pleasing shenanigans.
1. ‘Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling’
Max Landis was fed up with the constant criticism of pro wrestling from its adversaries. We’re all in the same boat here. Max then decided to put together an incredible short video that legitimizes the sport he loves so much and demonstrates how engrossing it can be as a form of entertainment. Triple H’s onscreen persona is reimagined as a woman in Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling, which explores the numerous facets of his onscreen persona. While doing so, he showcases the sport’s best qualities in the most amusing and thought-provoking ways imaginable.
2. ‘The Wrestler’ (1974)
As a cinematic time capsule, The Wrestler (1974) includes some of the top names in pro wrestling from the mid-70s. Fans of sports history will delight in seeing all of their favorite Hall of Famers come to life onscreen in this entertaining documentary. It’s Verne Gagne’s turn as a wrestling legend in this film, and he’s hesitant about handing the championship to Billy Robinson, a young rising star in the sport. Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Don Muraco, Pedro Morales, Nick Bockwinkel, and a slew of other legendary wrestlers make appearances throughout the film.
3. ‘Paradise Alley’
A film about the sordid transactions and underground antics of professional wrestling, Sylvester Stallone’s directorial debut was with Paradise Alley, which he wrote and directed. One of the brothers persuades the more physically gifted sibling to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional wrestler, and the third brother takes it upon himself to manage him along the way. As the three achieves enormous success, a local gangster attempts to challenge their hot young prospect, resulting in plenty of drama. Be on the lookout for cameos from a slew of late-’70s icons, including Terry Funk, Dory Funk Jr.
4. ‘Body Slam’
Because of the film’s subject matter, it makes perfect sense that two of the most famous actors from the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection era appear in it. It follows the story of a music promoter who is having a hard time making a name for himself. It turns out that this new activity is his combining of rock events with a smattering of pro wrestling. With characters like “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, “Captain Lou Albano,” and “the Wild Samoans,” this film’s comedy abounds. It’s worth noting that the closing bout scene features some cool wrestling cameos.
The DVD and VHS versions of Body Slam are the only ways to watch the film.
5. ‘Queens of the Ring’
They have a terrible record of making decent movies with WWE Studios. It’s not uncommon for them to produce something that’s both watchable and, dare I say, unforgettable. Queens of the Ring, a comedy, is one of them. One of the protagonists is an unmarried single mother who is struggling to cope with the fact that her son has grown to prefer hanging out with his younger buddies over her. The mother collects her coworkers to form a wrestling team in an attempt to win back her son’s trust. This set-up, of course, leads to a lot of laughs throughout the entire process.
6. ‘Below the Belt’
In this heart-wrenching drama, below the belt, the emotional victories and disappointments associated with entering the wrestling business are on full show. It’s a harsh reminder of the challenges that women’s wrestling faced in the 1980s. This film tells the story of a waitress who makes a career change and meets a professional wrestling trainer as a result of her decision. It doesn’t take long for this training session to turn into a fight for her life in a murky business that’s both financially gratifying and psychologically draining.
7. ‘Foul King’
Foul King’s protagonist is viewed by his bank manager as a near-constant disappointment. Because he’s always running late, which makes sense. Unexpectedly, a local wrestler chooses to take on the underdog bank teller as a student. After this incident, the bank teller assumes the character of an after-hours heel pro wrestler known as the “Foul King.” As he gains confidence in the ring, he gets into all sorts of mischief, which the South Korean director follows in this film.
8. ‘Nacho Libre’
In his role as Jack Black, he is a joy to watch on screen. With the film’s wrestling antics, his gut-busting actions nicely lined up with his new role in Lucha Libre. In this film, he plays a cook who is trying to earn money for the monastery where he grew up. He moonlights as a masked luchador to keep the numerous children that live there fed and clothed, and he tries to remain undetected as the man behind the mask. Silver King, the legendary Mexican wrestler, and Human Tornado, a member of the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, make cameo appearances in this amusing video.
9. ‘Lipstick and Dynamite, Piss and Vinegar: The First Ladies of Wrestling’
Women’s professional wrestling’s earliest stars are interviewed by film director/producer Ruth Leitman, who performs an outstanding job of chronicling that era. A few of the iconic figures he meets are The Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Gladys “Kill ‘Em” Gillem, Ida Mae Martinez, Ella Waldek, and Penny Banner, to name a few. All of the ladies featured in this film are interviewed and their post-career lives are also examined in this fascinating documentary. The scene in which all six women gather to tell their battle tales is both intriguing and heartbreaking.
10. ‘All the Marbles’
Having a lovely manager who is also a jerk helps a pair of female wrestlers get noticed in All the Marbles. The “California Dolls” are a wrestling duo whose goal is to ascend through the ranks of the wrestling circuit and become a household name. The only difficulty is that they have to deal with the “Toledo Tigers,” a competing pair of female wrestlers, as well as a sleazy wrestling promoter. All the Marbles is a lighthearted look at the highs and lows of being a professional female wrestler. A few mud wrestling bouts are expected to take place in this one.
11. ‘My Breakfast with Blassie’
Andy Kaufman is an expert in the wrestling industry. His fight with Jerry “The King” Lawler garnered a ton of money at the box office, to be sure. Check out the Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon if you’re seeking for a primer on that money-making resentment. You may also observe “Classy” Freddie Blassie’s caustic tongue in action during a morning meeting with Kaufman in this film. A satire of the 1981 film My Dinner with Andre, My Breakfast with Blassie (not the giant). There are several eager fans involved in this imitation of Kaufman and Blassie, who improvise their humorous jokes and thoughtful conversations.
12. ‘GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling’
For fans of the Netflix drama series GLOW who want to learn more about the history of the show’s 1980s marketing campaign, this video is a must-see. An intimate look at the rise and fall of the wrestling federation that operated from 1986 to 1989 is provided by GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling In archive footage, some of GLOW’s best-known personas, including Mountain Fiji or Matilda the Hun, reminisce about their days as professional wrestlers.
13. ‘The Resurrection of Jake the Snake’
It was during the 1980s that Jake “The Snake” Roberts was atop the wrestling mountain. When he died, wrestling fans remembered him for his eerie speeches and lethal DDT finisher. But Jake’s well-known demons have played a major role in his demise. Diamond Dallas Page, a fellow wrestling legend, helps Jake rebuild his life and earn the faith of his family in this remarkable documentary. Wrestlers who are battling debilitating health difficulties are the focus of The Resurrection of Jake the Snake.
14. ‘Fighting With My Family’
It’s safe to say that Paige is one of WWE’s most successful female stars. Her journey from NXT to the main roster sparked the rise of the Women’s Revolution and a much-needed change in the wrestling industry. In this intriguing documentary, Paige’s wrestling family, her strong relationship with her brother, and her rise to WWE championship status are all explored in great depth. Due to the inclusion of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as a co-star, this film has gained even more credence amongst die-hard wrestlers.
15. ‘Kayfabe: A Fake Real Movie About a Fake Real Sport’
All of the greatest mockumentaries ever made fully embrace the absurdity of their subject matter and their own absurdity. Fans of wrestling should see Kayfabe: A Fake Real Movie About a False Sport. The Tri-City International Championship Wrestling Federation, an independent wrestling organization, is about to be shut down. While watching the final shows of the TCICWF, fans get to learn about the real and mythical parts of professional wrestling from the promotion’s wonderful yet silly wrestlers.
16. ‘Beyond the Mat’
What will happen to him? He will poop! Fans of Mick Foley, Terry Funk, and Jake “The Snake” Roberts may recall this iconic phrase from the 1999 documentary. Wrestlers of yore and aspiring newcomers are featured in this Barry W. Blaustein effort, which focuses on their successes and disappointments. Both WWE and ECW get lots of screen time here, as cameras chronicle the behind-the scenes drama that takes place in these two wrestling organizations.
17. ‘Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows’
While following Bret “Hitman” Hart about in 1997, director Paul Jay struck gold. As a result, the Montreal Screwjob, one of the most iconic episodes in professional wrestling history, was captured on film by his documentary. Bret Hart is the focus of Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows, a documentary that follows him from SummerSlam 1997 to his controversial match with Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series 1997. As Bret’s WWE contract expires, fans will witness him weigh his alternatives. They’ll also get a look at Bret’s fellow wrestling journeymen and his personal life.
18. ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’
For his part, Shia LaBeouf plays a guy with Down syndrome who breaks out from the restrictions of his nursing home so that he can pursue his goal. His dream is to become a professional wrestler, which he is now pursuing. Shia’s character ends up being a mentor and best friend to the boisterous young man. To keep up with a social worker played by Dakota Johnson, they discover more about each other during their adventure together.
19. ‘Andre the Giant’
Indeed, Andre Rene Roussimoff was a giant among men. His travels around the world put him in the midst of the largest wrestling promotions and matched him against some of the sport’s most well-known names. Since then, even non-wrestling fans have taken notice of his enormous physique, loving attitude, and jaw-dropping beer drinking abilities. This HBO documentary focuses on Andre’s ascent to prominence and the personal difficulties he faced because of his size. Anecdotes from friends and family and archive material help this documentary dispel the myth of the world’s eighth wonder.
20. ‘The Wrestler’ (2008)
It’s easy to trace Mickey Rourke’s comeback path back to his performance in this movie. His portrayal of wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a dejected figure, demonstrated his remarkable talent for capturing the inner turmoil of a character on television. Wrestling legends who continue to compete despite the fact that their prime years are behind them are featured in The Wrestler (2008). The film follows Randy as he competes in the independent scene against well-known wrestlers and tries to make amends with his estranged daughter, who appears in the film. For the film’s conclusion, it’s all up to you.