To be fair, historically pro wrestling has not been an easy subject for Holllywood to portray accurately. Much of the company was, and to some extent still is, a closely guarded secret. Smart wrestling fans will always point out when the writers of a wrestling-based project haven’t done their homework. To capture the essence of wrestling, you need to understand not only the action in the ring, but also the psychology of matches and bookings, backstage politics, and how wrestlers communicate with each other. Entries on this list range from the ridiculous to the sublime.
Sometimes wrestling is used as a poorly developed afterthought. It may look like it and it may sound like it, but it’s not rasslin’. Other times, careful attention has been paid to the kinds of details that make fans suspend their disbelief and feel like they are peeking behind the curtain.
If taken seriously, movies and shows about professional wrestling illustrate the roughness and toughness of that lifestyle. We see the toll the company takes on the human body and human relationships.
We’ve separated the gold from the gunk. Half of this list warrants a “THIS IS AMAZING!” sing, while the others sing a “WHAT???” to deserve.
One critic stated that Body Slam was “a mediocre comedy that will appeal to wrestling fans far more than anyone else.” Bad news: It’s also not appealing to wrestling fans.
As an actor, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper exalted such films as Hell Comes To Frogtown and cult classic They Live. Unfortunately, it was beyond his capabilities to elevate or save this ultra-80s cheese feast. Body Slam is the story of a downtrodden music executive who decides to try and get promoted for wrestling. That promoter is played by a little 80s star and A-Team member, Dirk Benedict.
Visually, Body Slam looks like it was meant to be an old episode of Hardcastle and McCormick. Captain Lou Albano, posing as himself, adds a touch of charm. Neither his nor any of the other wrestling cameos can overcome a hackey script. The beats and storyline are all very predictable for a 1986 comedy.
The only advantage of Body Slam is that the wrestling in the ring is quite good as it casts real professional wrestlers. WWE alums Barbarian, Tonga Kid and the Samoans all appear in the film. However, the juice is not worth this 92-minute squeeze.