Top 10 Wrestling Movies

For such popular and theatrical forms of entertainment, professional wrestling and cinema haven’t crossed over nearly enough. An entire vocation devoted to sculpting bodies, costumes, and characters, and presenting them under bright lights with as much pomp and circumstance as possible, seems ripe for adaptation in any visual medium, and that’s not even considering the at-times bonkers true stories that occur behind-the-scenes.

All considered, there have only been a few dozen wrestling films of note, and even fewer that haven’t been made in collaboration with a professional wrestling company looking to control the narratives surrounding its history and those of its long-time wrestlers.

In this Movie List from The Film Magazine, we are peering inside this eccentric world of over-the-top characters and world-leading athletes, analysing the glory and the tragedy of the experience of being a wrestler, the elation and frustration of being one of its millions of fans, and judging which movies have best captured the wrestling experience whether in favour of the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) or not. These are the 10 Best Wrestling Movies.

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Honourable Mentions: No Holds Barred; Walk Like A PantherReady to Rumble (because no wrestling movie list is complete without former WCW World Champion David Arquette).

10. GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (2012)

Top 10 Wrestling Movies

GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (2012) is the mind-boggling true story of an “of its time” brand of wrestling show, warts and all.

Featuring appearances from some women who later wrestled for the WWE, most notably WWE Hall of Famer Ivory, the triumph of the documentary was similar to that of the resulting TV series ‘GLOW’, in that it managed to present a genuinely endearing family at the heart of a sexist, ridiculous and ultimately doomed late-80s wrestling show.

9. Nacho Libre (2006)

Top 10 Wrestling Movies

Starring Jack Black hot off the heels of his now iconic performance in School of Rock, and directed by Jared Hess who had recently shot to fame after writing and directing cult hit Napoleon DynamiteNacho Libre was primarily a comedy – and arguably a problematic one at that, given its representation of Mexican culture – but it was one that managed to cause many a laugh while simultaneously capturing the passion and infectious atmosphere of wrestling as a whole, all the while maintaining the spectacle and mythos surrounding Mexican Luchadores in particular.

The creators couldn’t seem to decide whether wrestling is real or fake, but so far as mainstream wrestling movies go this one is right up there.

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