And now I am going to jump completely out of my comfort zone of mid-80s WWF and not even watch a wrestling show, but rather a movie. No, it’s not No Holds Barred. It’s not even the more famous “The Wrestler” from 2008 starring Mickey Rourke, or as I knew him: “that dude from 9 1/2 Weeks”.
This “The Wrestler” was an independent film released in 1974 by Verne Gagne, the longtime owner and champion of the American Wrestling Association based out of Minnesota. At the time of the movie’s release, Gagne was in year 6 of a long title reign and was nearly 48 years old. And therein lies the premise of this somewhat autobiographical film: the promoter (played by Ed Asner) feels Gagne is too old and wants him to step aside to make way for a new champion (played by British shooter Billy Robinson). There are tons of cameos from active wrestlers, including Ric Flair who LIVED that “too old” storyline so many times. As it is 1974, the movie is done entirely in kayfabe. Continue reading The Wrestler (1974) Film Synopsis and Review