Sports movie fans are fortunate in that there is no shortage of entertaining fare in this genre.
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White Men Can’t Jump and Love and Basketball are two of the best basketball movies ever made. Bill Durham and Moneyball are must-sees for baseball fans. Fans of football consider Friday Night Lights and Remember the Titans to be among the best films ever made about the game they love most. Fans of professional wrestling who are looking for noteworthy films to represent their preferred type of sports entertainment will be disappointed to find that their selections are not as many as you might expect. It’s a shame that shows like Ready to Rumble and No Holds Barred exist, but they’re good for nothing more than a good laugh.
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 depict the chaotic world of professional wrestling in either a cinematic or documentary format, and they’ve all done a fantastic job of doing it.
Amateur wrestlers trying to conquer their issues and win in the end aren’t the focus of these films. Instead, they’re all about the pomp and grandeur that comes with body-slamming, hot-promoting, and other crowd-popping shenanigans.
1. Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling
Max Landis, the director of the film, was fed up with the constant criticism of professional wrestling from critics. Honestly, we’re all in the same boat. It was then that Max decided to put together an incredible short film that legitimizes the sport he loves so much and explains down exactly 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. And all the while, Max shows off the best parts of wrestling in the funniest and most thought-provoking manner conceivable.
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. Each and every Hall of Famer who is onscreen can be easily recognized if you consider yourself to be a true sports historian. Verne Gagne, a star of the American Wrestling Association, plays an aging champion who is unsure if he should give up the championship to a young rising star, Billy Robinson. Cameos from Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Don Muraco, Pedro Morales, Nick Bockwinkel, and a host of other wrestling legends are sprinkled throughout the picture.
3. ‘Paradise Alley’
As a director, Sylvester Stallone made his directorial debut with Paradise Alley, a film about the shady underbelly of pro wrestling. The film depicts a trio of brothers, one of whom persuades the other to seek a career in wrestling, while the other takes it upon himself to manage him as he goes along. As the three achieves enormous success and attracts the attention of a local gangster, their hot young prospect is presented with an overwhelming obstacle. Terry Funk, Dory Funk Jr., Ted DiBiase, Dick Murdoch, and more stars from the late 1970s will make appearances.
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. His new venture is a mashup of rock shows with a dash of professional wrestling. The parts played by “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Captain Lou Albano, and the Wild Samoans all contribute to the film’s comedic antics. By the way, during the final bout sequence, keep an eye out for some dope wrestler cameos.
5. ‘Queens of the Ring’
They have a terrible record of making decent movies with WWE Studios. It’s true that from time to time, they do put out a product that’s both watchable and memorable. The comedy “Queens of the Ring” is one of them. Single mother who is struggling to cope with her son’s newfound disdain for her and prefers spending time with his pals over her. The mother organizes her coworkers to train as professional wrestlers in an attempt to win back her husband’s affections. This set-up, of course, leads to a lot of laughs throughout the entire process.
6. ‘Below the Belt’
An emotional drama, “Below the Belt” shows the highs and lows of being a professional wrestler up close and personal. A particularly sobering reminder of the various difficulties associated with women’s wrestling in the 1980s can be gleaned from this film. This film tells the story of a waitress who decides to take a leap of faith and become a professional wrestler. For her, this training period swiftly turns into a battle to become the greatest in a murky business that is both gratifying and emotionally draining at the same time.
7. ‘Foul King’
In the viewpoint of his bank manager, the protagonist of Foul King is a perpetual disappointment. Because he’s always running late, which makes sense. As luck would have it, the depressed bank teller meets a local wrestler trainer who agrees to train him. Immediately following the incident, the bank teller assumes the character of an after-hours heel pro wrestler known as “The Foul King.” Following his comical in-ring escapades and the difficulties he encounters because of this newfound self-confidence, this South Korean film is a must-see.
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. To raise money for the monastery he grew up in, Black plays a cook in this film. 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. ‘All the Marbles’
a janky but endearing manager helps a couple of female wrestlers realize their dreams of stardom in All the Marbles. The “California Dolls,” a professional wrestling team from the Golden State, are vying to become the next big thing in the sport. With the exception of the “Toledo Tigers” and a sleazy wrestling promoter, they had nothing to worry about. All the Marbles is a lighthearted look at the highs and lows of being a professional female wrestler. This is going to be a muddy one, so be prepared.
10. ‘Lipstick and Dynamite, Piss and Vinegar: The First Ladies of Wrestling’
Producer-director Ruth Leitman does an excellent job of chronicling the early days in women’s professional wrestling by interviewing some of its greatest luminaries. All of these women are legends in their own right: Mae Young, Gladys “Kill-Em” Gilliam, Ida Mae Martinez, Ella Waldek, and Penny Banner. There is a lot of footage of the women in the documentary and even a glimpse into their post-career life. All six women’s meeting to share combat stories is a fascinating and heart-wrenching sight to behold.
11. ‘My Breakfast with Blassie’
Andy Kaufman has a good deal of experience in the wrestling industry. After all, he made a lot of money when he was feuding with Jerry “The King” Lawler. The biopic Man on the Moon, based on the life of filmmaker Charlie Kaufman, is a good place to start learning about that lucrative vendetta. You may also see “Classy” Freddie Blassie utilize his sharp tongue in the morning meet-up with Kaufman if you like. A satire of the 1981 film My Dinner with Andre, My Breakfast with Blassie (not the giant). To witness Kaufman and Blassie goof about with one other and some excited fans in this parody, you’ll have to see it to believe it!
12. ‘GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling’
This documentary is a must-see if you’ve watched all of Netflix’s GLOW seasons and want to learn more about the show’s 1980s marketing campaign. With a unique perspective, GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling examines the rise and demise of the organisation throughout its three-year run (1986-1989). 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’
During the 1980s, Jake “The Snake” Roberts was a dominant force in professional wrestling. His eerie promos, lethal DDT finisher, and legendary feuds with other top wrestling performers are still remembered by wrestling fans. Even though his demise was largely due to his own personal issues, Jake’s story is littered with them. With the help of another legendary wrestler, Diamond Dallas Page, this film takes viewers inside Jake’s battle to restore his life and the trust of his family. Resurrection of Jake the Snake tells the story of a professional wrestler who overcomes a serious mental illness.
14. ‘Fighting With My Family’
With her rise to stardom in the company’s now-thriving women’s division, WWE has made a name for itself with Paige. NXT to the main roster helped to start off the Women’s Revolution, which in turn reshaped wrestling as we know it today. It’s a fascinating look at Paige’s early life, growing up in a wrestling household with a tight bond with her older brother and the journey she took to reach the top of the WWE ladder and become a champion. The inclusion of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as a co-star in this film lends credence to it among die-hard wrestling fans.
15. ‘Kayfabe: A Fake Real Movie About a Fake Real Sport’
When it comes to the best mockumentaries of all time, it’s all about embracing the absurdity of it all. 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. Fans receive a behind-the-scenes look at the TCICWF’s wonderful but funny wrestlers and a lesson in the real/fictional components of professional wrestling during the final shows.
16. ‘Beyond the Mat’
You know what they say: “He’s going to puke! He’s going to puke.” Fans of Mick Foley, Terry Funk, and Jake “The Snake” Roberts may recall this iconic phrase from the 1999 documentary. In this Barry W. Blaustein-inspired effort, a number of wrestling luminaries and aspiring newcomers to the sport are profiled, along with their successes and disappointments. Documentary-style footage from WWF and ECW shows the behind-the-scenes turmoil that takes place in both organizations.
17. ‘Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows’
When director Paul Jay decided to follow Bret “Hitman” Hart about in 1997, he struck gold. As a result, the Montreal Screwjob, one of the most iconic episodes in 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’
Shia LaBeouf plays a man with Down syndrome who decides to break out of his nursing home and pursue his dreams. And he is pursuing that desire by becoming a professional wrestling star. He ends up being a mentor and best friend to Shia’s character as a result of his friendship with the rowdy teenager. 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’
It’s hard to put into words how massive Andre Rene Roussimoff was. 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. As a result of his enormous physique, loving demeanor, and jaw-dropping accomplishments when it came to beer drinking, he captivated even non-wrestling fans. A look at Andre’s ascent to stardom and the issues he had to cope with as a result of his gigantism are explored in this HBO special. This documentary takes a fascinating look into the legend of the eighth wonder of the world through the eyes of its subject’s friends and family as well as archive material.
20. ‘The Wrestler’ (2008)
It’s easy to trace Mickey Rourke’s successful comeback to his performance in this picture. As Randy “The Ram” Robinson, he displayed an incredible ability to convey a character’s inner turmoil on screen. The Wrestler (2008) tells the story of wrestlers who, despite the fact that their best days are long behind them, continue to compete. 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. As for the film’s conclusion, it’s entirely up to you.