Wrestlers (2023) is a Netflix docu-series about the legendary pro-wrestling company, OVW, and the efforts of famed wrestler Al Snow to keep it alive.
Ohio Valley Wrestling used to be the developmental territory for the WWE, but when they moved their base to Florida, legendary wrestler Al Snow stepped in to keep OVW afloat.
Al knew how the intricacies of wrestling and how to tell a story and create compelling characters but he wasn’t the best at pulling in the big bucks. Wrestling fans Matt Jones and Craig Greenberg decided to invest in the company and make sure it stays relevant.
They get to work trying to increase income but not without stepping on a few toes in a business that is sometimes not receptive to outsiders and is all about respect.
A summer tour of shows is Al’s last chance to prove that OVW can compete with the big boys and has a future in the business.
Wrestlers does a good job of explaining the specifics of the business to any non-wrestling fans and the accessibility makes it an easy watch. The series dives deep into what it means to be a professional wrestler in the lower tiers of the business.
It doesn’t shy away from showing the difficulties that these individuals go through, and the disagreements that often take place in a creative space regarding the bottom line of the company.
The score is absolutely brilliant and sets up the right atmosphere that one usually experiences at hot wrestling events. The pops and the boos are loud and clear for the audience to hear.
Clearly, Matt Jones agreed to have the footage of his seizure play on because it does lead to a heartfelt moment, but there should have been a trigger warning of some sort, and there is also a hint of skepticism over the true motivations of keeping it in.
Just as it is in pro wrestling, there are moments of drama that feel worked rather than true disagreements. The authenticity can be questioned on multiple occasions
Wrestlers (2023) is yet another attempt to explain this particular sport to the regular person who doesn’t follow it or ignores it for being “fake”. It doesn’t directly combat bad-faith critics and simply lays bare what the business is like and what the people within go through on a regular basis.
And it does well in that aspect, possibly bringing in more eyes to the product and increasing the fan base of this historic wrestling company.