Card Subject to Change (2010)

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This documentary focuses on an independent professional wrestling association in New Jersey. We’re first introduced to the promoter, who has been doing this for three decades and really seems to enjoy his job.  Throughout the remainder of the movies we meet all levels of wrestles; from the guys just starting out, to former WWE superstars in the twilight of their careers.  We get to see their home lives, in addition to their in-the-ring alter egos, and realize that most of these folks are just average everyday people with regular 9 to 5 jobs and do this because they like it.  No one is getting rich wrestling in independent leagues, especially for as little as $25 a match.  These guys and gals show up, sometimes to very sparse crowds, in halls and gyms to do what they love, even though it is hell on their bodies.

We also get to see some of the downside to pro wrestling:  guys too reliant on steroids to keep up their image, rampant drug and alcohol abuse and wrestles who have destroyed their bodies in these hardcore matches where they wrestle on barbed wire and broken glass.  It is clear some of these people has no business putting on those junk smashing tights, and also that some former stars can’t let it go, even though they physically can’t perform anymore; it’s just all they have ever known.  There is a nice wrap-up at the end, with details about all of the featured wrestlers current dealings with wrestling.  For every story about one of them making it big, there are dozens of stories where they stay right where they are, wash out or even worse.

Alex’s Thoughts: It’s pretty obvious that this documentary was made due to the success of the movie The Wrestler, and it looks like the portrayal of these guys was pretty accurate in that film.  While I haven’t really watched wrestling in the last 15 years or so, I know a lot of people still do; and those guys you see on TV have to start somewhere.  You really get to see what some people are willing to go through to try to live their dream, and you sort of feel bad for those who it is pretty obvious are taking a beating for nothing and will never make it to the big show.  They do it for the love of it, and sometimes it ruins their lives.  It isn’t the most well-made doc you’ll see, and it’s sort of a niche topic, but it isn’t that bad if you’ve ever been a wrestling fan.  Alex Rates This Movie 5/10

Tim’s Thoughts: Fans of wrestling will really enjoy this doc, but then again, I am sure they already know about it. It’s the typical sad story of how all these guys destroy their bodies to do what they love, but we’ve seen it done better in Beyond the Mat, and at it’s best in The Wrestler. Still this isn’t bad, I never found it boring and I always find these kind of stories compelling. If you are a wrestling fan and you haven’t seen it, then get off your butt, and fire up the Netflix, because right now it’s streaming. Tim Rates This Movie 6/10

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View the IMDB entry for this movie here.