“If you’ve ever seen a one trick poney, you’ve seen me”
And so goes the only Bruce Springsteen song I’ll ever like. If you saw “Beyond The Mat” a few years ago, then you’ll like The Wrestler and get where its coming from. The Ram seems to be a combined potrait of three of the stars from BYM. Mick Foley was a main eventer for BYM, and so thats his past, his present is Terry Funk willing to do anything in the ring and still out there wrestling with kids young enough to be his kids and finally his future is Jack The Snake Roberts out there wrestling for that one more chance to capture the magic again with nothing existing outside the ring for him.
It should come as no surprise that Vince tried to minimalize any attention to The Wrestler. There are a million Rams out there. Just go to youtube and type in Jake The Snake Roberts and you’ll probably find an interview of a high Roberts rambling about the good old times. Type in “Iron Sheik” on youtube and you’ll probably find an interview with a drunk Sheik who appears to have lost any line between reality and wrestling. Also add in that the Sheik can barely walk anymore due to his injuries in the ring. Any number of wrestlers bodies have fallen apart, BTM opens with Funk, who at a doctors office is informed that his “Good Knee” is so bad he shouldn’t be able to walk on it anymore. Just as the NFL is having to deal with these vetreans of the league who built it up, the last thing Vince wants is a revolt of old wrestlers. Old men who were once heroes to hundreds of thousands of people in the old days are unable to stand, walk, even sometimes to think clearly. Yet without a wrestlers union, there is no voice for these old wrestlers.
Theres really not much to the plot that you haven’t heard. The story picks up twenty years after the high point of Ram’s (Mickey Rourke’s) career. He’s down to living in a trailer, working at an Acme and doing small shows on the side. Thats really all I want to get into without ruining more of the plot. Basically if you’ve never seen BTM think of the Ram as Hulk Hogan if he had slowly died off after leaving WWF instead of re-inventing himself. The Movie is well worth watching if you can catch it, and I can’t say enough good about it.
There is one downside to the movie, or at the very least something they missed. Although for two of the matches Ram is in front of major crowds for major independents (ROH and CZW) in which it is believable for the fans to get behind him, the matches in the Gymnasium for what is little more then an independent show is not only too packed for an indy show, but the fans are too responsive. They should have had at least one show at a half filled high school gym with disintrested fans who heckle the wrestlers. Anyone thats been to one of those smaller shows knows exactly what I’m talking about. It would have perfected just how far the Ram had fallen.
My other minor complaint is that this is called “The Ressurection of Mickey Rourke”. Well maybe I haven’t watched it a million times since it came out on DVD, but wasn’t he Marv in Sin City? To me the Marv section of Sin City easily carried the rest of the movie. Not only that, but Mickey comes off almost as a somewhat more Human verison of Marv. Considering the director Fought to have Mickey as the Ram, and gave up budget money from Fox to have Mickey, I think its not too much of a stress to say that he had seen Mickey as Marv and thought that would work for the Ram Charector.