This is a drama about an aging professional wrestler, decades past his prime, who now barely gets by working small wrestling shows in VFW halls and as a part-time grocery store employee. As he faces health problems that may end his wrestling career for good he attempts to come to terms with his life outside the ring: by working full time at the grocery store, trying to reconcile with the daughter he abandoned in childhood and forming a closer bond with a stripper he has romantic feelings for. He struggles with his new life and an offer of a high-profile rematch with his 1980s arch-nemesis, The Ayatollah, which may be his ticket back to stardom.Written by
As someone who's a fan and who has actually worked behind the scenes in pro wrestling, I can tell you that Randy "The Ram" Robinson's story is a very respectful and realistic portrayal of the toll pro wrestling takes on its stars' lives. Certainly not everyone in the biz ends up as destitute and lonely as Randy was - some do, definitely - but those who end up well-off in every sense of the word (like Hulk Hogan, John Cena, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and The Rock, for instance) are VERY, VERY rare. Most end up somewhere in between.
Interestingly, as precarious as Randy's health became, however, if he were in his mid-50's (as was Mickey Rourke at the time), he still had a longer pro wrestling career than many others who abused their body likewise. Randy still was made up of some very tough stuff and in fact beat the odds with his career length.
When asked "is pro wrestling fake?", I always answer, "only where it needs to be" - i.e., the story lines and SOME of the action. No one deliberately sets out to end another one's career, but like any other contact sport such as pro football, the athleticism and subsequent pain & injury are all TOO real. There's no "off season" in pro wrestling, and certainly no astronomically high salaries as other pro athletes make - not by a long shot. But in pro wrestling you'll find the best athletes in the world.
Bottom line: It's a brutal business and an extremely hard way to make a living - period. That's why the men and women who stick with it and suffer all they do is for one reason only - because they love it. May God bless them all. :)
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