After watching WRESTLERS, you’ll understand why the longstanding promotion deserves a chance to survive and why fans continue to give their passionate support.

It would be too easy (and quite unfair) to compare Netflix’s newest docuseries, WRESTLERS to Apple TV Plus’ Monster Factory. Both streaming programs show the sweat and blood that go into the wrestling business and the people who strive to make successful careers therein. So, let’s focus on WRESTLERS from the head to the heart. 

(R) Mahabali Shera

It doesn’t take long to realize how many heads come together to build the present-day iteration of OVW into today’s top-tier wrestling promotion. After giving a showcase to many of wrestling’s most preeminent in-ring stars — John Cena, Dave Bautista, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, Shelton Benjamin, Natalya, Beth Phoenix, and more; WRESTLERS gives viewers a thrilling peek into the stars of tomorrow and veterans alike. People such as “Hollyhood” Haley J and her mom Amazing Maria, Leila Grey with fiancé “Certified” Luke Kurtis, former WWE and Impact star Mahabali Shera, Ca$h Flo, Freya the Slaya, Reverend Ronnie Roberts, and Eric Darkstorm.

Also, the BBC Studios production shows the painstaking process of maintaining and elevating a wrestling promotion in the 2020s. Leading up to OVW’s biggest show of 2022, The Big One, they show off tensions between owners and the local media.

Of course, there are a slew of other moments viewers won’t soon forget, including certain relationships put at the center of the series to shed light on the challenges of working in a business only before those within could fully understand. Amazing Maria and Hollyhood Haley J’s mother-daughter relationship is particularly analyzed throughout several episodes to a highly emotional degree. Anyone familiar or not familiar with both women will be able to relate to their story, as it’s a universal one on the complexities of adult child and parent connections. Still, it’s a rare thing to be able to exorcise demons of a relationship with a parent in the ring, taking situations from real life to promo work and wrestling sequences, but OVW gives Haley J and Amazing Maria this opportunity, and the results are moving.  

There are also stories of wrestlers who have tasted success in getting signed to the top wrestling promotion in the world, WWE. While filming WRESTLERS, Mahabali Shera was OVW’s Heavyweight Champion struggling to help his family back in his home country of India. Shera’s story of being an immigrant searching for a way to make his family proud and comfortable as he endures physical pain and career uncertainty is one of the show’s most sentimental underdog stories.  

Leila Grey

But, overall, WRESTLERS is a real-life tale of underdogs working together to keep the heart of OVW alive and untainted by outside narratives and suggestions of what the promotion could or should be. With more talk about the economics of the wrestling industry in mainstream and wrestling media today, seeing OVW’s boardroom talk is enthralling, even for the most oblivious of financial matters in wrestling overall. In the end, throughout all of the inner and outer conflict, both the penultimate episode of WRESTLERS and “The Big One” match shows the satisfying results of hard work, persistence and, in a nod to Al Snow, using two heads to get the best of one. 

WRESTLERS is available to watch now on Netflix.

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