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Wrestle Maniac Deserves a Count Out

Slated for a March 30th release, Wrestle Maniac, written and directed by Mathew James Sheridan fails to deliver on its promise of being a wrestling cult classic. The effort is there but the return comes up short. The movie is centered around the Cassidy brothers, Chris "Splinter" and Matt "James Blond" as they try to make there way to the big time of the WWE. They work out of gym run by Hall of Famer Johnny Rodz, and each goes through their fair share of trials and tribulations. The problem with this movie is it fails to develop characters you want to care about or have any interest in. This fictional piece is supposed to show what it is like trying to make it out of the Indy circuit,but really fails to draw the audience in. There have been better specials about the Indy circuits done on MTV and also in Beyond the Mat.

The trouble with this movie is the cliche characters. The older brother Chris is the more serious type who is willing to hook himself up with anyone to get out of the little gym and into the spotlight. His younger brother is more interested in his gimmick than his in ring action and is seen going through multiple angles. Their father is a old pro wrestler who is the crusty old man type, critical of his sons, but deep downe loves them. Even Matt's love interest is the female who only cares about him for the size of his ring post. It's due to these cardboard cutout character types the viewer fails to be interested in the movies plot.

And for a movie about wrestling there is little in ring action showing what these guys are made of. There is one specific instance of this during the film. When Matt returns to his James Blond character he receives a review in a magazine. In it it states he will no doubt be making his way to the big time, but we fail to see anything of worth from the supposed match that was reviewed. And the action we do see show nothing to convince the viewer James Blond has any ability to make it what so ever.

The Independent circuit has a rich tapestry of tales to be woven, whether they be fictional like this movie, or done in documentary format. This film fails to tap into the true individual stories that drive people to place their bodies to the limit in front of crowds no bigger than a few hundred, in the hopes of entertaining millions. The effort was there, as were the production values, but Wrestle Maniac comes up short due to a flat story we already know the end to. If you are a hardcore wrestling fan, or a big Matt Striker fan, yes he plays a background role in this film, than this would be worth your time. But if you are not there are plenty of other good wrestling films out there to occupy your time.

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